1: We Are Responsible for Our Own Learning (2024)

Tammy 0:00

Okay, so I'm gonna go on the record here and say that this week's discussion is just a tad unusual because it's not scripturally-based, meaning we're not going to jump into the New Testament yet. But what we are going to do, and I love the theme for this lesson, it is: we are responsible for our own learning. And I just can't think of a better way to begin our study of the New Testament than to take ownership of it. And I'm so excited for you to hear from my guests today who have indeed become responsible for their own learning and you're going to love their stories.

Tammy 0:33

Welcome to the Sunday on Monday Study Group, a Deseret Bookshelf Plus original brought to you by LDS Living where we take the Come, Follow Me lesson for the week, and we really dig into the scriptures together. I'm your host, Tammy Uzelac Hall. Now, if you're new to our study group, just want to make sure you know how to use this podcast. So follow the link in our description. It's going to explain how you can best use this podcast to enhance your Come, Follow Me study, just like my new friend - oh my gosh, how much do I love this - Austin Cloward, who is the coolest 13- year old I've ever met who listens to the podcast and loves it. How cute is that?

Tammy 1:03

Okay, now here's another awesome thing about my study group and you guys know this, is each week I'm joined by two of my friends, so it's always a little bit different. But today - drumroll please! I could not be more excited because I have with me "Bible Study". Okay, now listen. For those of you who have been listening for the past couple of years, I've had these ladies on individually, but we have never collectively done an episode together and we refer to ourselves as "Bible Study". So I'm super excited to announce that I have: Susan Stanger, 'HB' Holly Butterfield Rawlings, 'Farley forever' Becky Farley, and then Holly Howarth. Hi, ladies.

All 1:44

Hey, Hi.

Tammy 1:46

This is so fun, because everyone's heard you individually or with other different guests. But we've never been all 5 together. Uh, so should we be nervous or excited? We've never done this together you guys, all 5 of us!

Farley 1:59

There is some tension in the room, Tammy

HB 2:02

You can cut it with a knife.

Farley 2:03

I mean, I, I you know, we just never know what could come up. Or

HB 2:10

I'll tell you what's in the room, is so much joy of being together.

Farley 2:15

Yes. Oh, absolutely.

HB 2:18

And........some tension. (laughters)

Tammy 2:20

Of course there's tension. But there's gonna be chaos, we just got to, we probably should set that precedent right from the get-go. For those of you listening, if it sounds a little crazy, because it is. It's, I mean, and we're going to tell you our whole story how we know each other, and all that fun stuff. So I don't want to get into that right now. So if you guys want to know more about my friends, you can read their bios and see pictures of them in our show notes, which are found at LDS living.com/sunday on Monday.

Tammy 2:44

So this episode is really, it is interesting. And the title is super-interesting. It's coming, I mean, it's like really the last week of December and then the first day of January, and that's how it's working out. So that's why we're gonna start out with, "I'm responsible for my own learning." Then next week we're gonna dive into the New Testament. So I couldn't think of five better women (I'm going to include myself on that) (laughter) to discuss how we have become responsible for our own learning. Alright, ladies. So let's tell all of our guests a little bit about ourselves before we get into the story of how we became Bible study. So we'll start with you, Susan. Just give us a little info. I want you to tell us, are you married? Do you have kids? And what's your favorite treat?

Susan Stanger 3:23

Yes, I'm married to a wonderful man, my best friend, and I have four wonderful children: three daughters and one son. And my favorite treat is probably a really good root beer freeze.

Tammy 3:34

Ooo. Now just so everyone knows, we have a code name. What's Susan's code name?

All 3:38

Cinderella.

Susan Stanger 3:40

Oh, dear.

Tammy 3:42

She is that because she's just that lovely.

Farley 3:45

Oh, yeah, she is.

Tammy 3:45

And mice love her. Oh,

Holly 3:49

And if she sings, the birds will come.

Tammy 3:50

Oh, yeah. She sings, the birds would come. What did you say, Susan?

Susan Stanger 3:53

I said, well, I just have to clean up after these ladies, that's what.

Tammy 3:56

That might be true, too, in more ways than one.

Susan Stanger 4:00

So true, So true.

Tammy 4:01

All right, HB.

HB 4:03

I'm Holly Butterfield. Rawlings. I'm from the pine tree state, the state of Maine, home of Stephen King. And I, I never thought I would get married. But I did. And I'll tell you what happened. It worked out great. I was worried for nothing. And we have a set of 15-year old triplets. If anyone's in the market for maybe, you know, a study abroad. If you'd like the triplets to come live at your farm or anywhere in the, in the continental United States, we'd feel comfortable with that.

Tammy 4:37

Or Europe.

HB 4:38

Or Europe, or any continent. Yeah. Nah, they're great. And um, sorry, kids. And my favorite treat all day long - Peppermint Patty.

Tammy 4:52

All right. Becky Farley.

Farley 4:54

I'm Becky Farley. And, what did you ask? Oh, yes, I am married. Um, I married up. He is much kinder, much nicer.

Tammy 5:05

Here-here.

Farley 5:07

Amen to that.

Tammy 5:08

Boy, we love Doug.

Farley 5:09

He's a really compassionate person. I have three kids, and one baby-grandbaby, Tom-Tom, who is the light of my life. I love him. And my favorite treat right now? I think it's a Costco churro. Goin' with the Costco churro.

HB 5:28

Wow, you're slumming, Farley.

Farley 5:30

I'm always slumming. Listen, I'm a cheap date. I'm a cheap date,

Tammy 5:35

And you're the only grandma of the group.

Farley 5:37

I am the only grandma.

Tammy 5:38

That's kind of fun. All right, Holly.

Holly 5:41

Okay. Holly Howarth, and I'm jealous that she's a grandma. I have the oldest kids, but I'm not a grandma. But could be, sometime soon. I have five children: four boys, one girl. And three of 'em live out of state, so that's hard. And my favorite treat is popcorn.

Tammy 6:04

Are you married?

Holly 6:05

Oh, yeah. Sorry, Robert.

Tammy 6:10

No one can forget Robert.

Holly 6:11

No, Robert is incredible.

Tammy 6:13

Yes.

Holly 6:14

Robert Howarth, he's been on a few times.

Tammy 6:16

Yeah.

Holly 6:17

Yeah. He's a great guy.

Tammy 6:18

He's been on with us, and Susan, your husband Trace.

Susan Stanger 6:21

Yeah. Awesome.

Tammy 6:22

Okay, so now you know a little bit about my friends. And let's just tell everybody, how long have we known each other?

Farley 6:27

Wait. Tam, can you just introduce yourself?

Tammy 6:30

Oh, sure. My name is Tammy Uzelac Hall. I also never thought I'd get married.

HB 6:36

Boy, isn't that the truth?

Tammy 6:37

And you all were there. You all have been there through all my date stories, and, uh,

Farley 6:42

Those are great. I'm sorry we couldn't have a podcast about that.

Tammy 6:46

We could, we totally could.

HB 6:48

Remember when I told you, remember when I told you to stop acting desperate? Uh huh. Then what happened?

Tammy 6:53

Then it did. For all you single ladies out there, apparently acting desperate is a turnoff. I stopped asking. Yeah, I stopped acting desperate and I started to believe my Patriarchal Blessing. Turns out that's a win-win right there. That's a winning combination. So, yes. And, I am married, I've got four girls. It's all drama all the time. Someone's always crying, including me. And my favorite treat? Candy. Any kind of candy: Hot Tamales, Bit O' Honey. Yes. I just want to candy. So

Farley 7:25

We all know your favorite treats.

Tammy 7:27

Yeah, you guys do. It's so true. When we get together: Oreos, co*ke.

Farley 7:31

It's kind of your treats. Your treats do generate our gatherings. And popcorn

Tammy 7:38

and popcorn. Well, okay, so now, how long have we known each other?

HB 7:43

Well, I met you first. And the year was 1998? 97?

Tammy 7:50

'97. 1997

HB 7:52

Oh, no. May have been 96. 96,97.

Tammy 7:56

Oh, yeah, it was. I jhad ust graduated from the BY. Okay, so we met in the singles ward. And then turn of events, I met Holly. And then that's how I met Becky and Susan and all of us came together. So we've all known each other collectively for about

Holly 8:09

23 years.

Tammy 8:11

Who's good at the math?!

Holly 8:14

We three were pregnant. The other three

Tammy 8:17

Oh, that's right.

Holly 8:17

So it's easy to know. We were all pregnant with our 22 year olds. We all had babies.

HB 8:24

Well, Susan, Becky and Holly did.

Tammy 8:25

Yeah. Okay. Oh my gosh, this is gonna be awesome. All right. So in the next segment, we're going to tell you how we all became friends. And it's the coolest story ever, so I can't wait for you to hear it.

Segment 2 8:35

.....

Tammy 8:40

Okay, we are going to break down the introductory paragraph of the Come, Follow me lesson. So here's how it starts out for this week's episode. It says "The purpose of scriptures is to help you come unto Christ and become more deeply converted to His gospel." Now when I read that I kind of felt like that is sort of the impetus for how we all became friends was, it started with Holly and this desire to really come unto Christ and be more converted to His gospel. So I asked Holly to start. Holly, tell us the story about how we became "Bible Study".

Holly 9:13

Okay, well, as you know, as young mothers, things can get pretty hectic. You're home a lot, you're, you just kind of feel like you lose yourself sometimes. And so I had this really strong feeling that we should, Susan and I had talked about, that we wanted our kids to see us studying the scriptures and reading the scriptures, that we enjoyed it. And so we got with Becky - with Farley. And we're like, let's start a little study group of scriptures. And I'm like, Who else better to teach it than Tam? Tam was teaching Seminary at the time, so I asked her. And I said, Tam, would you be willing to come one day a week after school, stop by my house and teach us for an hour? And she said, "Absolutely, I would love to." And then we called HB and said, Do you want to be a part of it with us? And she said absolutely. So it's always been us five, us four with Tam teaching us.

Holly 10:24

And when it started, we were really into it. Like we really studied. Tam would bring us notebooks; she taught us a lot of incredible things. But what was interesting is there were always kids running around, there were kids crying, we were nursing. I mean, everything was going on during that time, and Tam just taught us through all of that.

Tammy 10:48

Yeah, I mean, it was complete chaos.

Holly 10:50

So we prepared her for the high school kids, is what we did.

Susan Stanger 10:52

But you know, it never seemed like chaos to me.

Tammy 10:57

No, looking back it really wasn't.

HB 10:59

And maybe I'm, yeah, maybe I'm like, Oh, remember when they were small and it was so wonderful. I don't tend to do that, but I don't remember ever feeling frantic, or, it just, you just went right through it.

Tammy 11:13

Yeah.

Holly 11:14

And we were so eager to learn. We were so eager to sit there and learn everything we could.

Farley 11:22

Okay, but, you forgot one part, Holly. Listen, when we asked Tam to first do it, we said, Well, we weren't so good at going to seminary.

Tammy 11:36

Oh, yeah. Oh, yeah. That's right. Because you were like, We didn't really go to seminary, so this is gonna be our seminary. I remember you saying that.

Farley 11:41

Yes. So it really did feel like learning seminary the first time.

Holly 11:46

Oh, I went to seminary. Are you kidding? Six o'clock every morning. I grew up in California, I went to Seminary. Now learning, now that's the distinction that's exactly right. I went to Seminary. Now LEARNING something. But I went all four years, but learning,

HB 12:01

I did in Maine. And then lo and behold, I didn't know Christ came to America

Tammy 12:06

Sure. No, yeah

HB 12:07

till I was halfway through the MTC.

Holly 12:08

So we didn't know what to call "Bible Study". So we were trying to think of this great name. So my husband worked at home and he would come in sometimes. And he said, I grew up in Texas, and all the neighbors get together and have Bible study all the time. And he went, growing up, to Bible study. So he said, call it Bible Study. And we're like, okay, Bible Study, it is.

Farley 12:32

I think that there is something to be said about, to go back to learn, like, going to seminary and learning is very different than just being there. And I think that's the same thing with, you know, we're responsible for our learning. Okay, if you're gonna be responsible, you're gonna show up. And maybe you're not quite there yet. Maybe you're not quite ready. I was not ready at 16 clearly, but I was ready at 30 or however long it's been. And I was ready to learn at that point. And so I think that being responsible is knowing when you're ready, instead of, you know, just going along.

Susan Stanger 13:16

Well after about a year,Tammy, didn't you get tired of teaching us every week? And I recall sometimes Tammy saying, "Okay, you two, you four, you sometimes need to be prepared and teach." And that worked maybe a few times. Like we would come prepared sometimes but then we'd turn it over to you after about 15 minutes.

Tammy 13:36

I think that's when we started doing "Lectures on Faith". I'm like I'm running out of material, which was so funny, because you don't really run out of material. But I would teach you my lesson that I taught my students that day, or that week, and I would bring you handouts, and we'd mark our scriptures and

HB 13:49

We sucked it up like a sponge. And to what Farley said, I think that just showing up is enough. And that you're ready to learn some things at 16 but not clearly what you're ready to learn at 30. But really, I could be ready to learn something on a Wednesday, and I wasn't ready on a Monday. And so, you know, I think that just going, you know. I never want to go to church. There hasn't been a time I've woken up in the last 20 years that I thought, Oh, Happy Sabbath. I can't wait to head over there. That's the truth. I don't

Susan 14:27

you feel the anxiety

HB 14:28

I Do, I Do. I feel quite a bit of anxiety. Had of bad choir experience. Just kidding. Yeah, every time. You're exactly right, Susan. Every time I hear something, I feel something, or I'm able to to connect with someone there. And so I'm never sad that I went. But it's, I have to show up. And it's a challenge for me, but I'm always glad that I mostly get there.

Holly 14:59

Yeah. I love that HB. I just told our Young Women that. I said, I know what you're thinking, that we absolutely love church. And Saturday night we are so excited, we can hardly sleep because tomorrow's Sunday, and we getta go to church. Just so you know, that is not true. I said, it is hard for me to want to go. But I go because it's the right thing to do. And I put that effort in and I'm always glad I did, because I'm so grateful every time. But it's okay not to want to. Yeah.

Tammy 15:35

Well, and I think what's been so cool about this discussion is the theme of this segment, which is Showing Up. And you guys showed up every Thursday, no matter what. You showed up with little kids, you each took a turn at a house. It mostly was at Holly's, but I can remember you showing up with kids in tow in, you know, messy diapers, unkempt hair, it didn't matter. You were always there and that made a huge difference for me. Because I felt like, Okay, I'm going to come, I'm going to teach, and I loved that. But there was just this spirit about that experience where there really, truly, when we read "Where one or two are gathered in My name", the spirit was there. And five were gathered every Thursday for many years. And the spirit was definitely there, just by showing up.

Holly 16:18

And because of that, these five women who are all very, very different - and I don't think would come together under normal circ*mstances - now we're the best of friends. And we have helped each other through the most difficult times of our lives, and will continue to. But I think because we showed up and we did that, and we were just kind of thinking, Who could we do it with? And then our life has continued to be blessed because of that.

Tammy 16:52

Oh, Holly. Thank you. Thanks for sharing that.

Farley 16:55

I was just gonna mention the fact of consistency. How important consistency is, and consistency in a relationship, consistency in learning, consistency in yourself. Like whatever your goals may be with scripture study, that just saying, "Okay, no, I am. I'm gonna, I'm just gonna, no matter what, it's going to happen." And you're always blessed. And just what Holly said. I think it's true that this friendship has been such a blessing to all of us because it was based on gospel learning. And there is something that's so beautiful about that. I mean, I could get, you know, friends, a bunch of mindfulness friends who love to meditate with me, or, you know, go biking or play tennis or you know, whatever. But it's not going to have that depth. When you open up your soul to your friends, talking about your relationship with Jesus Christ, that is going to deepen and, and just enhance your life like nothing else.

Tammy 18:01

Yeah, definitely.

HB 18:01

I think, I think part of it. to what you said, Farley, is that, and Holly, is that when you're studying, you know, the Gospel, then you feel the presence of the Savior in your life. And you know that it's okay to just come as you are. But I didn't learn that it was okay to come as I am to the Savior until I learned that it is okay for me to come as I am to you four. And you, you showed me that that's how Jesus feels about me. And I'll be eternally grateful.

Tammy 18:44

I love you, HB.

HB 18:45

I love you guys.

Holly 18:46

I just want to say one thing that made it so successful as well. And that's we always kept it positive. And to this day, because I think you can spiral when you get together also, and talk about negative things. Now, I'm not saying we don't have issues and that we don't have issues.

Tammy 19:04

And we talk about 'em

Holly 19:05

Yeah. And issues with certain things in the church that we don't understand or things we're struggling with. But Tam, our fearless leader has this incredible gift to keep everything on the straight and narrow. She never goes down any offbeat path. She always says, "Hmmm, that's interesting." She never will say like, that is wrong. Or, "oh, let's, let's," you know,

Tammy 19:39

(aside) "You're a doofus. I can't believe you think that."

Holly 19:41

"Let's look at this." She just always says, "Hmmm, that's interesting. Let's see what the Scriptures have to say about that." That's always how she has led this group, which is fabulous. So we've never

HB 19:56

and we also can sit in not knowing, you know. Farley has taught us to sit with it. But sometimes there are not clear answers. You just are taking one step at a time, you hope you're going in the right direction. And you might not feel comfortable with the, with what you're hearing and it, it's okay. You just wait it out.

Holly 20:21

I love that.

Tammy 20:22

Let's do this, because we're going to talk about that later on in this episode. So thank you very much HB. So with what all of you have said, here's the cool thing is that, everybody listening, I feel like everyone listening right now feels energized to just show up and be consistent. That that is, hopefully you're feeling that in your heart, like, Alright, I'm going to do it this year. I'm going to study the New Testament, I'm gonna read my scriptures. And so in the next segment, what I want us to talk about is the effects that being consistent and showing up has had on not only ourselves, but other people in our lives.

Segment 3 20:54

........

Tammy 21:02

Now, the second line in the Come, Follow Me manual says this, "Come, Follow Me for individuals and families can help you understand the scriptures and find in them the spiritual strength you and your family need." I agree. However, I was single, and there are many people who are listening who are single. So let's talk about how the Come, Follow Me curriculum and studying can strengthen us and people in our lives. What did studying the Scriptures do for you personally, and then for people in your own life?

HB 21:32

Tam, I think it's interesting that it says "for individuals and families". We are all part of a family. But we need Come, Follow Me individually, first.

Tammy 21:43

Oh, good, good,

HB 21:44

right? Because, you know, I can't just show up and hope I'm gonna help my children find their, you know, their faith.

Farley 21:54

Because, because the water gets down the row. So you, you water at the top, you water with yourself, and then it expands out. And I just think that if you're not, if you're not watering yourself, nothing is ever going to happen. People try so hard to say, Well, I need to do this for them. And I need to have scripture study for them. No. You know what? You don't have to try so hard, you can do it for yourself. And then the ripples from the pond extend out and you don't have to do anything except for embody your, your study, yourself. If you're doing it how it helps you, guaranteed it's going to get out to everybody. So it doesn't matter and I love that it says "individuals and families." Yes, but it starts with the individual, it should always start with the individual and then move out to families, and to your Sunday school class, and to your co-workers, and to, you know, whoever else it's going to bless. But you don't know who it's going to bless if you're not blessing yourself first. (says the self-compassion expert.)

HB 23:07

Well, you're worth it. You're worth it.

Farley 23:09

Yeah, amen.

HB 23:10

You merit that, you merit that tenderness that comes from faith and from study.

Tammy 23:19

Um-hm, asolutely. Well, and when we started this I was single, and I really like how you just applied like "I watered myself first." And I think there's so much like, I'm still processing that I really like how you said that. Because then the water,

Farley 23:32

the water gets down the row.

Tammy 23:34

Wow. That's really good.

Farley 23:34

So you're watering from the top and it just comes on down the row. You don't have to sit and "water this plant, and water this plant, water. Just water yourself. And then because you're embodiment of the scripture study. It just, it's a natural...I am a little bit of a lazy person. So I'm going to be

Tammy 23:54

we can all agree. (laughter)

Farley 23:58

I'm gonna be all about what can I......like how can I get it? How can I kill two birds with one stone? Well how you're going to do that is study yourself before you go in to teach the class and before you think, what does the class need? Or what does my family need? What do I need? Chances are extremely high it's the same thing.

Tammy 24:24

How did you guys do it when we were doing Bible study then? Was that the only day of the week you studied? What was the process? Like would you think about it throughout the week? Would you talk about it with other people? Like I don't really know, we've never talked about this. I teach my lesson on Thursday and then I, you know, I'd go on a single and go on another blind date. That was my life. You guys had to make dinner. So what was it like after the lessons?

Susan Stanger 24:50

Well, I definitely talked about what we learned from you and what we discussed together, with my family.

Tammy 24:56

Oh, you did?

Susan Stanger 24:56

Oh yeah. With my kids because I, my daughters especially love you ladies.

Holly 25:02

We love them

Susan Stanger 25:04

like their aunties, you know. And so I think just us being together and studying the scriptures together was such an example to our kids. As Holly said, that was our goal in the very beginning. And sharing what we learned really influenced my household.

HB 25:21

And, you know, we don't, we don't meet every week like we did. We're in different circ*mstances now. But all those years. I mean, my kids don't really remember that time because I had children later then, then, you know, Tammy and I did at the same time, actually. They don't remember that gathering as much, but they know that they are the children of Bible Study. And my daughter Sydney always says to me, Mom, isn't it so cool that you guys are best friends? And now, Lilly and Soph - so those are Tammy's daughter's, youngest daughters - Lily and Soph and Lizzie and I are best friends. And then we're going to have kids and they're going to be best friends. And it's all because of Bible Study.

Tammy 26:10

Yeah. All because of Bible study. What about you, two? I mean, I have a great memory from you, though, Holly. Every time I would teach something on a Thursday, inevitably, a couple days later, I get a phone call from either you or Robert saying, 'Okay. Do you have a source to back that up?' Or you would teach Robert something and he'd be like, I've never heard that before. Like it was a cool process that happened.

Holly 26:35

It still happens. We called Tam a couple of weeks ago before you went on your trip. And Robert's like, 'Holly's telling me something, and could you give me the facts and back it up? I don't really know what she's talking about.' That's a normal. Where he says, Well....Yeah, I definitely talked about it all the time. And sometimes Tam would give us scriptures to memorize. So it would be on the bathroom and we'd memorize that scripture. And so the kids would come in while I'm doing hair, they would read the scripture.

HB 27:09

And don't you guys find yourself now, even things from 20 years ago that she taught us? And I would say, Oh, my friend Tam, she, you know, my, my friend Tam. And I remember when you taught us the - Ii it six principles, 10 principles of a true God? Or the, what is it called?

Tammy 27:30

Oh, The characteristics and attributes.

HB 27:31

Yeah, how many are there?

Tammy 27:32

Well, I don't know that. It's in "Lectures on Faith".

HB 27:34

Yeah, right. We'll edit that back in, but. I remember, I remember learning, I remember when you taught us that, because I did not grow up as a member of the church. I grew up as a Protestant. And I, I believed in God, but I had never, I never knew there was like, a list of attributes that He had. And so I've relied on that over and over and over again. You know,

Tammy 28:04

That really resonated with you.

HB 28:05

It really did, because I, you know, I was taught the three-in-one theory, you know, of the Trinity. And

Tammy 28:15

And that God's this big ominous being that kind of floats over the earth, or He's behind a desk. Yeah, he's business,

HB 28:22

business, all business, right? And so learning that God is love and that He's no respecter of persons. And that He doesn't change, and all those things, And I have shared that hundreds of times since you taught us that.

Tammy 28:37

That's cool. So do this for me. For people who are listening right now, let's give ideas of how they can begin to the watering process. Like what does that look like for us individually at the top of that row? Boy, I really love that, Becky. I'm gonna keep coming back to that, because it's different for everybody. Or how do they start a Bible, some people are like, I want a Bible study group. I mean, give us some ideas.

HB 28:59

You have to be brave. You have to be brave and put yourself out there and say, Would you want to? I mean, when you asked me, I could have said, Hohoho, the Bible? No, I mean, you know, or I could have said, Oh, not for me. I don't have time.

Holly 29:14

Yeah, like I don't have time; you were teaching junior high at the time. And so you had to drive all the way over to my house before you went home the opposite way.

HB 29:24

Right?

Holly 29:24

And I lived in another county.

HB 29:26

Yeah.

Holly 29:27

And you were hot all day there. They didn't have air conditioning.

Tammy 29:31

AndShe'd come in sweating

Holly 29:32

She was teaching

HB 29:33

Butler Middle, Home of the Bruins.

Holly 29:32

smelly little junior high kids, but you made the effort.

Tammy 29:41

Yes.

HB 29:51

I did, and I'm glad.

Tammy 30:21

Susan, you were gonna lean in.

Susan Stanger 29:45

Oh, I was just, when you said how do we water from the top? I my routine: I get up first thing in the morning at 6:15 and read my scriptures. And so I remember Ethan going off to school, that's what he saw me doing. And one time, he said as he was leaving, Mom, what do you get from reading the scriptures? Why do you do it? I was a really short, quick answer because he was walking out the door just then. And I said, It's my daily way of remembering Jesus, who He is. And it gives me hope. And that was it. And years later, when Ethan came home from his mission, you know, I just recalled that and we talked about again, why, why do you read the scriptures? I don't know, I guess maybe just seeing that I grew up with a dad who read His scriptures every morning, too. And I think just seeing that example, is a influence.

Tammy 30:38

I like how you just said, it gives me hope.

Farley 30:42

Wow, that just reminds me what you just said, Suz, about, you watched your dad do it. I was explaining Jesus, who Jesus was, to a friend of mine today. And I was saying, you know, if our children didn't see us working hard, or going to college, or they wouldn't know what, how to do that. And that's who Jesus is to us. You know, when it says "He is the WAY, the TRUTH and the LIFE". He really is, like we can watch what He does. And that's how we know how to get back to Heavenly Father. And so in just getting back to that point of watering yourself, that is the way that the people around us are going to know, is if we're actually doing it ourself, embodying that studying? And I think that we have to think of it as like, the low goal and the high goal, right? So you've got the low goal of, so sometimes my goal is I read one verse, or I lay in bed and repeat a memorized verse in my head. And, and then, you know, say the prayer. But my high goal is

HB 31:54

That's my high goal sometimes.

Farley 31:56

Well no. I mean, really, but high goal is, you know, 30 minutes or whatever with your Come, Follow Me. That's your high goal. It's like, but you might hit it someday. Right? So that's an awesome high goal. But then you got your low goal, which is laying in bed and repeating "Jesus wept", or you know, just repeating a scripture in your mind, just so that you know, Okay, good. Good job, Becky. I mean, it's a goal that you can do no matter what. If you're sick, laying in bed with the stomach flu, you can hit this goal. So ya make it really low. And then you start, I mean, I'm all about watching like the effects of things, right? I love, I love looking above stuff and seeing it from, but you can start to see in your own life how it works, and what a gift it was for Ethan, Suz, to say that, for you to have an actual moment of seeing, Oh, wow. Being, you know, actually studying my scriptures did help my family members. And you might get that every once in a while. But you also might just recognize in a journal or just thinking, How did my month change by making even just the low goal? Even just that low goal? Did, did my month go better? Guaranteed it will.

HB 33:17

And I'm going to call it the do-able goal.

Farley 33:19

ooooh, do-able goal.

Holly 33:19

Oh, I like that, instead of low., a do-able. Because it's not pejorative, it's not, like it makes it sound like the goal is, um

Tammy 33:21

less than

HB 33:21

less than, right? Like it's, 'The very least you could do' is you know. But like I think having grace for ourselves in the busy world that we live in, you know. Just remembering that Jesus wept humanizes Him. And that's enough. You know, we're enough. Wherever we are, whatever we're doing, we are enough to be able to get through to the next thing that we need to get and do.

Tammy 33:58

Well, the thing that I love about studying, and again, the theme for this week is, it is individual. There are no promises that if you study the Scriptures on a daily basis, your life will be perfect. That is, I mean, we want to think that but there's nothing in writing that says life will turn out great, you're gonna get what you want, your kids will be awesome, and nope. Trials. But I think reading your scriptures every day gets you through all the yuck. And that's the goal, or reading - whatever your goal is. And I think that's the whole point of this episode is to set a goal and to think about what does it look like for you to water yourself on a daily basis? And it's gonna be different for everybody. And that's the discussion I've liked. Because for me some days really it is, like I've said before, I grab my phone and before I check out social media, 'All right, I'll go to the gospel studies app.' I'll read a verse, you know. I get one verse from the Book of Mormon in, and then some days it's more. So it just is different for everyone.

Tammy 34:51

I do love this, tho, and I have to do a shout out for these - this is so awesome for me - there are five sisters. So this is how they study: they wanted to do their own Bible study group. So there are five sisters who zoom call once a week and they talk about what they've learned in Come, Follow Me. And they're from all over the United States in different places. And so Hi to Casey, Ronnie, Shane, Whitney, and Jamie. Aren't those the cutest sister names? I know, I love that. And then their cute parents who are serving in the Fresno California Temple mission. So I just think, my old stomping grounds.

Holly 35:21

Oh, you know, they save the very best missionaries for Fresno, Tam. You bet they do. My son's in Fresno

Tammy 35:27

Yes, he is - Fresno. But think about what it looks like for you. And I know we have felt like, Okay, I'm gonna do this. So right now in your journals or on a piece of paper, just write a quick goal. What's it gonna look like for you this year? And maybe not even a year goal, right? Let's just say what's it gonna look like for you tomorrow? And if you hit that goal, awesome, you did great. Because that's the whole point of the Come, Follow Me lesson is just to figure out how you're gonna water yourself. And then I just think that's cool, Farley.

Holly 35:54

That's new. Did you write it down?

Tammy 35:57

That's a new thing you've just learned recently, isn't it, the watering thing? How we've never heard that?

Farley 36:01

No, no, I've been saying that a long time.

Tammy 36:03

That is not true. We have not heard that.

HB 36:05

You've never said that before today.

Tammy 36:06

No, never.

Farley 36:07

Listen, you guys have never really listened to me. (lots of laughter)

Tammy 36:10

Right. Oh, right. Next segment.

HB 36:09

You guys, that is actually probably true. We do as much eye-rolling at Farley as we do listening.

Tammy 36:13

You're hilarious.

HB 36:24

You know, Tam, I'm sitting here thinking, I mean, I see, I see people, I see other women in Relief Society and I know they're lonely. And so you know, of course I'm gonna say hi. And you know, but I just think, find your own Bible study, like, you know. Find it and maybe it's you and one other friend. Maybe it's you and there's five of you, but find your people. Because women need women. And and men need friends, and. however it looks for you. Whether that's someone in your family or a neighbor or someone who's not of your faith.

Susan Stanger 37:07

Or you know, 5 sisters

HB 37:10

Find your people. And Take a chance.

Tammy 37:16

All right, ladies. Well, thank you so much for that discussion. Because we're going to lead into the next segment talking about what this looks like then, once you've started to study and where you can take your knowledge outside of your home.

Segment 4 37:27

.....

Tammy 37:27

All right, here goes the next part in the Come, Follow Me paragraph says, "Then in your church classes, you will have opportunities to share insights and encourage your fellow saints in their efforts to follow Christ." So I want to know, from studying, from reading, from watering yourself, have you had the opportunity then to share your knowledge as a teacher or as a student in church? Or in a Sunday school setting?

HB 38:05

Well, so Bible Study kind of phased to, we would go to the temple.

Tammy 38:13

Oh, yeah, Temple Tuesday.

HB 38:16

Right? And soTemple Tuesday, and so on double feature, right? So on Temple Tuesday we'd go and we'd do some sort of Temple work and then we'd go to the movies

Tammy 38:24

because it cost $5.

HB 38:25

Because it was $5 Tuesday, luxury seating. And so we spent most of the day together on Tuesdays. And it was, you know, so wonderful. I didn't make it to the temple every time but I always made it to the movie. But um, you know, but um, I have learned, I've learned more about the temple attending it with you four ladies than I've learned anywhere. And I have a friend who's going through a very difficult time right now. And it was those talks that we would have in the celestial room, and we were asking each other questions, and we would share things. And that, I have a friend right now who is on kind of unsteady waters. She doesn't really understand who she is. And because someone has told her she's not who she is. And I, even today, was able to remind her of her, the covenants that she's made in the temple and the blessings of the Initiatory. And because when I see her, she's magnificent. And I know she's the strongest, most wonderful spirit who's filled with power, filled with that virtue that you've taught us about, Tam.

Tammy 39:57

Oh, in fact, let's read that verse of scripture since you brought it up, it's Alma 31:5. And it's Alma the Younger talking about what are we going to do to help the Zoramites, because they don't get it any more. Like they have left the church, and then they have completely forgotten who they are. And then Alma the younger has this brilliant idea. And he teaches us this. Holly, will you please read this verse of scripture for us.

Holly 40:21

Alma 31:5 "And now, as the preaching of the word had a great tendency to lead the people to do that, which was just, yea, it had been more powerful effect upon the minds of the people than the sword, or anything else which had happened unto them. Therefore, Alma thought it was expedient that they should try the virtue of the Word of God."

Tammy 40:46

There it is. Virtue means power.

Farley 40:49

Okay, so I actually have a story with this that goes along with what you were just saying. What was the question? What if there's ever been a time when you were, had....

Tammy 41:00

Yeah, because you watered yourself, then would you have a chance to ever use that in a different setting for somebody else?

Farley 41:05

Okay, so I got called as the Gospel Doctrine teacher, which was quite scary. I did not feel like I was the right person for that calling at all. Anyway, I remember so often, that I would teach a lesson on faith or hope or, you know, whatever, something and someone would come up at the end ansay, That was the greatest lesson I've ever heard on forgiveness, or whatever. And it wasn't even about the subject that I was teaching. But when I listened to that, Alma saying, the, it was, it was more powerful than the sword - the the Word of God. The Word of God cuts through, despite your own failings, despite whatever you have. That word of God is the most powerful thing, because people hear it differently and there's nothing more powerful than your own voice in your head. And then, because Heavenly Father knows that, someone may be saying something, but you're gonna hear what He wants you to hear through the Spirit, whatever it is.

Farley 42:16

I mean, think about all the times you've been in a church meeting where they've been speaking a different language. And yet, you felt, you felt it? You could feel it because that word of God is so powerful. And, you know, just to try it, try it. Everybody's trying all these other things. Get a, you know, get a diet book or get this, you know, go and look at this tick tock telling you how to make great heavy toxic metal smoothie, you know? And that's gonna, that's gonna, you know, drink your celery juice, whatever. No, maybe you should try the Word of God, Farley. I mean, really, like, well, maybe I'm hearing the Word of God to say, to drink celery juice. But I'm just saying that, that it really, I just, I cannot stress it enough. All of these people that are saying, Well, maybe I'm going to go talk to my friend who's left the church. Or maybe I'm going to talk to my friend who, who doesn't believe anymore and is an atheist. Maybe go talk to God. Maybe also go talk to God and read and see which one really is the most powerful, and will cut through to your heart and to your spirit. And it will come through.

Tammy 43:34

Thank you Becky.

HB 43:35

And you don't have to listen to anybody else because the word of God, you'll recognize that it's your Father. And it's your Brother. It's your Heavenly Parents and you've known their voices since the very beginning. And it is stronger than a sword.

Tammy 44:01

Right, right. Well, and how interesting that it would say in here that the word of God had a great tendency to lead the people to do that which was just. Like, it would, it had a tendency to lead them to do that which was right and good and just. And so

HB 44:18

It's just, what like, what is that word? Like, fair?

Farley 44:23

I think it's, it's bringing good. It's, it's bringing good from evil, even. It's not just about, like making what we think is just like they ought to get what they deserve. No, because none of us are getting what we deserve. We're getting so much more. We're getting everything. I mean, what we deserve is, is nothing or just the dust of the earth like King Benjamin says. But Jesus is giving us always good for evil, good for good. We always get the good because of Him and that's Just.

Tammy 45:01

That is just

HB 45:02

even when it's so hard.

Tammy 45:04

Yeah, we get the good. And He wants us to have the good.

HB 45:08

I Iove that, Farley.

Tammy 45:09

That's what so just about it, is that He wants that for us. So

HB 45:12

Wait, He doesn't want us to be miserable and suffer and hate ourselves and doubt everything and?

Tammy 45:18

I don't think so, I can't think of a scripture.

HB 45:20

I lived that through the 90s pretty consistently, so familiar with that, right?

Tammy 45:25

Yeah. Yeah,

HB 45:26

Yeah, He wants us to have joy.

Tammy 45:29

And that's where we get it is from the Word of God. But it really is when you hear truth, then the Holy Ghost will teach you.

Farley 45:35

What is that line in the Scripture again, that it's more powerful than a two, the sword line?

Tammy 45:42

Oh, it had more powerful effect upon the minds of the people than the sword. Isn't that interesting? What does the sword have to do with your brain?

Farley 45:50

Well, I just think of a sli, like a sword slicing something.

Tammy 45:53

The spirit will slice

Farley 45:54

Yes. That it pierces your heart. It opens your heart, you know, and that that's when God's word can pour in is when your heart is open.

Tammy 46:05

And listen to this. It says, oh, my gosh, I love this. I"t had more powerful effect upon the minds of the people than the sword or anything else which had happened unto them." Like think about all the stuff that happenbs to us in our life. I know, right than any other thing. Any other thing that happens to us in our lives - the word of God, that is the answer. That will overcome anything that happens to us. Boy, I love that verse of scripture.

Holly 46:32

And yet, we still go to tick tock.

Tammy 46:36

And we still want to believe the faults.

Farley 46:37

And we still, like what in the world?!

Holly 46:40

Of course we do. It's programmed like that, of course we do. We just have to recognize that it's meant to suck us in. You have to you know, see a spade for a spade and not beat ourselves up for wanting to be, to scroll and just endlessly. It's designed for us to want to do that. That's not our fault. But the Word of God? No matter what anyone has said to us, whatever has happened to us, THAT is what's true.

Holly 47:10

Well, I was just gonna say, and I, I'm not sure if I've shared this before. But our Bishop asked us to read the Book of Mormon in a month. And I said, Oh, yeah, I don't really want to do that. I have little kids at home, I have this wild child, he's 16. I'm dealing with all this. It's not really for me, that's kind of fast. And then I just had this feeling like I better read it, I better read it in the month, he asked us to. So it was day 3 of reading it, you know, so, you know, we're just in, we're, they're just, you know, leaving Jerusalem. They're just going back. And I had this feeling three times in one day that I had to have another child. And as you know, I did not want to do that so badly. And I look at it now. And I'm like, if I would not have been reading the Book of Mormon, and I was not reading anything about having another child, my heart wouldn't have been open., I wouldn't have been able to feel those things that I needed to feel to have this precious child join our family. And again, it was a very difficult time. I had a three-year old who had severe allergies and just literally cried all day long. It was the furthest thing from my mind. And I

Tammy 48:15

You had already packed up everything baby-wise.

Holly 48:32

Everything was gone.

Tammy 48:34

Yeah, I remember that. You're like, I'm done.

Holly 48:35

I thought I had one too many already. And I was like, I cried so hard. That night I went in to my husband and I said, "I believe Father told me I need to have another baby." Of course, he was thrilled. And I go, Why? Why would He do this to me? And he goes, Well, He asks us to do hard things all the time, Holly. Okay.

HB 48:59

And he also said, Of all those spirits that - I'll never forget this - of all the spirits that are in heaven, how blessed they would be to be able to come to our house, which isn't perfect. But where they know they'll be loved.

Holly 49:17

Aw, I forgot that

HB 49:18

and they'll be taught the gospel and they'll be safe.

Holly 49:20

Yeah. And it's true. And he's 16 now and what a joy he is in all of our lives, but joy

Farley 49:27

a joy to all of us.

Holly 49:28

Yes, yes. He is,

Tammy 49:29

He is a joy. We love that kid.

Holly 49:31

But I but I always go back to if I was not reading my scriptures and that spirit was not in my home or in my heart, I wouldn't have done it. I wouldn't have known. I wouldn't have been able, I don't think I would have been able to feel the spirit that strongly to tell me to do that. So when it says that it influences your life, not even about what you're reading, but the spirit that it gives you.

HB 49:56

You know, President Benson, I can't believe I'm gonna quote a prophet. This, buckle up, everybody. But, and we can thank Dave and Connie Bailey for this from my mission, my Mission Leaders. But President Benson said "the moment you begin a serious study of the Book of Mormon, a power will come into your life." And look at that. Now we have Boo.

Holly 50:20

Now we have baby Boo. His real name is Christian, by the way.

HB 50:23

It is,

Tammy 50:23

but he's never gone by that.

Holly 50:25

No

Tammy 50:25

He'll be Boo his whole life. We love Boo. That's a great example, a great story. Wow, thank you, ladies for sharing that. That is an example of what it looks like when you're studying the Scriptures, the effects that it has on others, and just on life in general. So, awesome, awesome, awesome. Thank you. I love this. It's just been so spirit-filled. We're not even done yet. This is so cool. Okay, so having this discussion then and talking, you're probably thinking, Oh, these women are so sure they know everything. But what happens when you have questions and doubts. And that will happen. And we're going to talk about that in the next segment.

Segment 5 50:56

.....

Tammy 51:02

So one of the things that I was the most fascinated with is in this Come, Follow Me lesson, it actually addresses what you do when you have questions, concerns, doubts, all of that. And so of course, we have to talk about that, because I can't think of four better women to have this discussion with because, yes, we have done a great job of taking time to water ourselves individually. But what happens when doubts creep in and questions. And so I want to know, what recommendations do you guys have when people have questions? Like when you're unsure what have you guys done? And I'm going to start with Holly.

Tammy 51:35

I think we all together collectively, makes me emotional, we've all had those moments where we're just like, uhhgh, really? We're not sure, it's hard. And Becky's done a great job of teaching us over the past 25 years it's okay to be uncertain. It's, you got to sit with it, just sit with it. Like, you don't, you don't want to just jump out of the boat because you're going to sink, you just will. And so just stay in the boat and let's just do this together and wait it out. And so I want to know from Holly, what that has looked like for you. And we're already so emotional about this.

Holly 52:12

We're alread crying now. I think we've all in this group, at one time or another have had doubts and concerns and frustrations. Mine just happens to be huge. So, and if you've been listening to the podcast over the years, you know, you know my daughter, Ellery. She's been on several times. Beautiful, faithful, incredible, smart, beautiful. Everything good in the world, right? Graduated from BYU, served a mission, loved her mission. We actually went back, was probably one of the highlights of my life of parenting. And seeing her - we went to this one house of this woman. And Ellery said she didn't even recognize her because she had changed so much in the year and a half that she had been home because she had just joined the church right before. And she didn't speak any English. And we don't speak Spanish, my husband and I. And so Ellery would translate, and she said, "She wants you to know that I'm an angel sent from heaven. She wants you to know that I'm the most beautiful person in the world. She wants you to know that I changed her life."

Holly 53:41

She you know, and it went like that forever. She sat there holding Ellery and loving her. And then she took out a, oh, we were in this teeny tiny room. She had a hot plate where she lived and she opened up this drawer and pulled out this manila folder and it was her certificate that she had just gone through the temple. And she was so excited and told us, told Ellery that she's going to be a temple worker.

Holly 54:13

And so anyway, last year, last September, Ellery told us that she's gay. And I think the hardest thHing about that was her suffering that has happened. And I'm not understanding how God could make her this way. That if He loved her, why wouldn't He heal her and make her normal? And, as a parent, that's so heartbreaking to hear your child say that to think, literally that death is a better option than being who she is. And so her father and I, especially her dad, he's just kind of black and white. The gospel is just one way, it just is this, it's easy for him. I remember when we were dating, that's what attracted to me so much about him because it was so easy. The gospel is so easy. And now here we are, you know, 27 years later, and it's not so easy. And there's a lot of questions. And our hearts have been broken. Not because of who Ellery is - I want to make that clear - but because of where she stands in the church, and what does God think of her?

Holly 55:57

Well, that has been really hard for us. And we have so many questions. And I'm grateful that Ellery said to us, "You and dad better not leave the church over this because it's everything I believe, and everything I love. Although she's not a part of it now, she still loves it. And so there's not a bitterness there. So that's a plus for us, because I know a lot of people whose children are bitter. And I'm sorry for that. At least at this point, Ellery is not bitter. But we've had so many questions and so many concerns and so many frustrations. And I get angry, I get so angry. And I don't get the answers to my questions. Although we say we will so I have to have the hope that someday we will. And Robert and I just keep trying to plug along, do what's right, do what we're supposed to. And we get people telling us, family members, good friends saying how can you stay? And you need to leave if your daughter's not, you know.

Holly 57:34

And so we keep going to the temple. And I feel like the temple's a safe place for us. And we keep trying to figure out where our place is, where her place is in all this. But I would say, safe to say, that I don't go a day in the last year where I'm not sad or hurt or mad or frustrated about things. And so I just, we keep holding faith, having faith. My son was in the MTC, home MTC when she told us. And before he left, I asked him to give me a blessing. And he said, "Well, I don't really know how." But my husband's like, Oh, well, you know, well just do this. And he's like, okay, I'd love to do it. And he put his hands on my head. and he said, "Your heavenly Father wants you to know that your faith is sufficient." So for now, I'm just going off of that, That with all these questions I have, all these concerns, all of these heartache, my faith is sufficient. And I've had too many experiences in the church, too many experiences with the power of the priesthood that are so incredible, that I cannot deny it, and I won't deny it. But it doesn't mean that every day isn't hard.

Tammy 59:31

Holly, thank you. Thank you for sharing that. It's been tender as we've been with you throughout this year.

HB 59:38

Holly, when you just said like, one of the things you said that's so hard is you just wonder, you know, what God thinks about her. And when you said that, what He thinks about her was what that precious Guatemalan woman: said that she is an angel. That she is is the best person, that she is full of light. And that's who Ellery is. And I do not know how, but it's all going to work out. And I, I hate that answer in the midst of my own trials because I think there is no way for this to be resolved. Like logically there is no way for this to work out. Logically, with Ellery like, you know, she's not part of it right now, part of coming to church.

Holly 59:39

Even though if you're listening Ellery, I can't think of a better place because people need you. And you need them.

HB 1:00:49

But like, I don't know how it's gonna work out. But I know what God thinks about her. And it's what that beautiful Guatemalan woman said to you.

Tammy 1:00:59

Yeah. What I love so much about what you shared is that your experience sums up what the Come, Follow Me lesson says. But you just applied it. The answer in the Come, Follow Me lesson was to seek understanding from God, to act in faith, and to keep an eternal perspective. That's the answer. And it goes to what you said, HB. Like, we don't really know, it gets such a hard place to be in because there are no concrete answers. And that is that that's what the Come, Follow Me manual teaches us to do. When we aren't sure, when we have questions, to just seek understanding, act in faith, and keep an eternal perspective. And you wish there was more of a concrete answer, you know,. "For this trial, turn to Acts 3; for this trial, turn to whatever in the Old Testament." And it just doesn't work out that way. It's for this trial, keep an eternal perspective, seek understanding, and have faith. And that is hard.

Holly 1:01:52

And I would say, feel the Spirit every day.

Tammy 1:01:57

How do you do that?

Holly 1:01:58

Somehow. Through reading my scriptures, through watching things, you know, talking to people. But I feel like every single day I have to feel the spirit.

Tammy 1:02:12

Listening to a podcast.

Holly 1:02:13

Listening. YES. Listening to your podcast. Yes, absolutely. And otherwise, that it's easy to forget. And it's interesting. how, you know, in the book of Mormon we hear "Remember, remember, remember" all the time. And I've always thought it meant something different. But to me now, in my life, it's to remember every day. Every day, I have to feel the spirit somehow. And it doesn't always have to be spiritual things like you've said. Like truth is truth. And I was in Texas and the marching band came out of the high school. And I'll tell you what, I felt the Spirit, the chills.,They were playing the most incredible song. And I, I just have to do that every day. That's what keeps me grounded.

Tammy 1:03:09

It goes back to what Farley said: you water yourself every day. And I am connecting it to what Susan started out with, that it gives you hope, to feel that every day. To start with your scriptures every day is what gives you the hope to carry on, that it will work out. I like that we started with that.

Farley 1:03:25

Can I give another analogy? So it helps to consider a mountain at this point where the mountain is there. It's solid, it's rooted. It's there. Despite the storm that comes in, despite the broiling heat, despite the terrible cold, despite the, the all of it. The beautiful day, the lousy day, all the days in between, the mountain still stays. And I think we can look at ourselves like this. And that's what Holly is doing at this point, that consistency. She is the mountain. They're going to just keep staying through it and recognize that one day there will be an answer. It might not be anytime soon, we don't know. I think about all the answers that have come in the last five years that I prayed my entire life for, my entire life to understand where women fit with the priesthood power. And now to know and understand that. There are going to be answers, but we have to be the mountain and allow ourselves to stay and just wait. And God will continue to give us the daily bread that we need. The whatever it is to keep going, to feel the spirit, whatever it is, and we can go just one more day, and it's okay.

Tammy 1:04:56

And I would say I'm sitting here with four mountains. I mean, and Suze, you've been a mountain in your family your whole life; you are the mountain.

Susan Stanger 1:05:07

I've been contemplating the last two few days on the "aim and the means", And what that means. Like if our aim is to be like Jesus, okay? What are the means, okay? It's what you're doing Holly every day, feeling the spirit. It's seeking out the good and the beautiful and uplifting. It's sharing our testimonies. It's being filled, because we're there. We're just present. And I think sometimes the church, we lose the aim. And sometimes the means becomes the aim. And it shouldn't be. Maybe I'll think of an example of what I mean. The church was so wise in I think, changing the visiting teaching and home teaching to ministering. Because did we get to the point where the aim was to get our visiting teaching done? You know, oh, I got that done. Check it off the list, or these things that we kind of feel like I'm a good person if I check it off the list. And sometimes I don't get to the whole list. But if I remember what the aim is, then I can recenter and go, Okay, this is the aim. And the means might change sometimes. I don't know if that makes sense.

Tammy 1:06:23

Oh it does.

Susan Stanger 1:06:24

But, it's just some thoughts that I've been thinking about the last few weeks, just because when we do have questions, and/or doubts, or we can't find the answer right away. I think if we just keep that aim in our mind, and we do the little bit that we can every day, that's what will make the difference.

Tammy 1:06:45

Oh, gosh, Susan, that was so good. Thank you. Thank you for sharing that. In fact, I just want to talk about that some more, then, so here's what we'll do. In the next segment, I want to talk about the aim. Because that's what this whole thing is about, is what is our aim this year as we study the New Testament? So thanks for sharing that. And Holly, thank you for sharing your experience. We'll talk about that next.

Segment 6 1:07:58

.....

Tammy 1:07:14

Okay, so at the very beginning of our Old Testament year, we set out with a goal to find Jesus throughout the Old Testament, I thought it was pretty good goal. I think we did it. We studied all these cool stories, and we found Jesus in all of them. And so Old Testament was to find Jesus, and I feel like New Testament is to follow Jesus; that's going to be our goal, to follow Him. And I think that's our aim, Susan, I'm so grateful has brought up that example. So if our aim is to follow Jesus, what is the means going to look like for us? And so that's my question to you. How are you going to follow Him this year? As we've been discussing and talking, I want to know what's touched your heart, or maybe a goal that you have kind of set in your own little mind and heart like, Oh, yeah, I think I want to do that. And kind of just share with us what that looks like, or what it will look like for you this new year. What's your means?

HB 1:07:58

You know when I was listening to Holly and then Susan talk, I thought, they are so vulnerable and they are telling the truth. And it's only when we tell the truth that we find healing. And so Holly's not pretending that like, "It is so super neat, my daughter's gay." Right? "And we're just not sure where she fits in and neither is she." You know, I mean, like, it's not, she's just telling the truth about how she feels and that she feels angry. And, and Susan's talking about like, just being honest. And our dear friend Lynn taught us this, that you can only heal when you tell the truth. And I, as you guys were talking, I realized I have not been being honest with my faith journey. And really if you knew about my life, you probably wouldn't be either. But you know, there's some, there's some, it's tough to be a parent. I don't have to tell any parent that. But I'm so consumed with what's happening with my, in my childrens' lives and the struggle that one of them in particular is having, that I kind of haven't really dialed into what the Lord needs me to do and what I need the Lord to do for me. And so I just, I want to pray. I want to Yawei, right? The breathing, right? I want to ask for help.

Tammy 1:07:58

Yeah, that's a great means, HB, to pray. Thank you. Who else?

Farley 1:09:44

Um, I do think that you have to feel what you're feeling and I like what you said HB about being honest, that honesty is really hard. But God asks for a broken heart. And if we just pretend or ignore or shove it under the rug, then we don't ever end up with that broken heart where God's love can pour in at that point. Because I'm pretty sure that everybody feels this, that the times that they have felt the Savior the closest is when their heart has been broken. And if we just pretend and become numb, through whatever, you know, whatever that is that we choose. I mean, could be a million different things. But if we can allow ourselves to actually feel it, and let our hearts be broken, He can come in and heal like, better than the sword, better than everything else. So, you know, when you ask what my goal is, what our goals are, I think that that might be my goal, to find that broken heart. Not to sit and wallow, because I think there's a big difference. Not to become a victim, but to have that humility to say my heart is broken. Jesus come and fix it and heal it.

Tammy 1:11:17

It's a great, great goal. Thank you, Becky.

Susan Stanger 1:11:21

I guess one of my goals, or one of my means will be to, I don't know, follow the spirit more and trust it. Just in reading my scriptures I'll give you an example, me reading my scriptures. I mean, when I say reading, sometimes it is just reading. I don't necessarily study. But sometimes I try to pull out a scripture that really hits me and share with my family or, but I was reading. This chapter had never really meant anything to me before, which is terrible to admit. But I was reading in 2 Nephi chapter 4 and it's, it was so powerful just this one time. And I know that this is why we're encouraged to read the scriptures over and over, because different parts of it will, will hit you at different times. And for some reason, that chapter was so powerful to me. And it's, I'm usually just the one to read a chapter and just keep going. But this time, I read that for one week, every single morning, I read the same chapter. And I don't know why I was drawn to it. I just, I just loved his pleading with the Lord and this powerful prayer, these questions. And so maybe it's just not doing what you're supposed to do, but doing what you feel, what makes you feel right, feel close to God. I guess

Tammy 1:12:44

What's right for you. That's great Susan, like how you articulated that. Thank you.

Holly 1:12:51

Okay, so I have in the last year, become very casual in everything, because I feel like I deserve it. I know it sounds really funny. And it kind of is, right. Um, but so my goal this year is to not be as casual with everything in my life as spiritually. Although I try to fill the Spirit every day, I've also become very casual in a lot of things. And I don't like that. And I'm not attending the temple as much as I used to - COVID, We did it every week before COVID. And so that's, and I'm really grateful we're setting Christ. And if I make it about Christ, then I hope that I can naturally go that way where I won't become, won't be so casual in everything. My dealings.

Tammy 1:13:56

That's a great answer. Thank you. So for those of you listening, take a minute and just write in your journal, put "Christ is the aim", and then write what your means will be. I thought that was so great, Susan. Alright, that's it, we're done. So just gather your thoughts and give me a one-sentence take away; what's something you are going to take away from today's episode or something that you learned? And we'll just go. Mine is when Susan said "it gives me hope." That's why you read the scriptures every day and I will echo that. I think it gives me hope too, and that's why I love them so much. I love the scriptures. I'm not always perfect at reading them but boy, when I do I Love, Love, Love, Love, Love, Love with a capital L scriptures because it does give me hope. So thank you.

HB 1:14:38

I'll do mine, and mine is Becky's, what we talked about. I need to worry about me. And so I know Becky cannot do it for you. She's done a great job. She's done a great job with me. So it is now time for me to water myself and then let it flow where it will.

Tammy 1:15:00

Yeah.

HB 1:15:02

Oh, it will, friend.

Farley 1:15:04

Mine. I'm thinking about all of the people listening to this podcast and just being really inspired by them. Because I feel lucky that I've gotten to be on the ground floor with this. But I just think about all the people worldwide that are wanting the same thing as us 5 today. That they're wanting a friend to talk to about the gospel, that they're wanting just to have a chance to be able to share their testimony with friends and with a safe place. And I think that that's my take away, just them thinking about them. I mean, I've spent all these last three years, every time I've gone on, trying not to think about them, listening and thinking, okay, it's just me, it's just me and Tam, just me, you know. But now, I actually want to think about them, and that there are millions of us that want to follow Jesus. Church members and people who are of a different faith, that there are millions and millions of us that are being gathered to Jesus right now. I think that's just my take away, thinking about them.

Tammy 1:16:22

I like that take away.

Susan Stanger 1:16:24

I think mine is, Tammy, like you said, the answers are in the Scriptures. And the Word of God? That's, that's it, that is the answer and where our power can come from, where our healing comes from, where we get a stronger testimony and our faith grows. And I'm grateful for that.

HB 1:16:47

You know, I think mine is just having had the privilege to sit in this room with my, my dearest friends. And to think that, who am I to sit among these mighty women? I'm so humbled by it, and I'm so grateful. I don't have a sister, I don't have sisters. But because of Bible study, I have sisters. And like Farley said, there's someone out there who is there for you. And I wouldn't be alive without you. I literally would not be alive without you. And my children, my husband, are so blessed. And I know that. I know that my children will call your names blessed. And they just, I just know, like Farley said, there's all these people all over the world listening to this. And there are people there who love you and want you and you are enough.

Tammy 1:18:08

Amen. Amen!

All 1:18:10

Amen.

Tammy 1:18:11

Wow. Thank you. All right. Oh, my gosh, thank you, everyone for participating. And, and for those of you listening, thank you. And we are really looking forward to what your takeaway was from this episode today, because there were so many good ones. So share with us on social media what you've learned and what your aim is, and just all that good stuff. And if you have not already joined our discussion group on Facebook or on Instagram, go do it. Because it is such a great place where you can just ask questions throughout the week. Or even if you're just so anxious to already share your takeaway and it's not a Saturday, go ahead. Post it on Facebook, we don't care, we'd love to read what it is. But on Saturday we do a post calling for your big takeaway. So comment on the post that relates to this lesson and let us know what you've learned.

Tammy 1:18:50

You can get to both our Facebook and Instagram by going to the show notes for this episode on LDS living.com/sunday on Monday and just go there anyway because it's where we're gonna have the links to the references we used today as well as a complete transcript of this whole discussion. So go check it out. The Sunday on Monday Study Group is a Desert Bookshelf Plus original brought to you by LDS Living. It's written and hosted by me, Tammy Uzelac Hall and today our fabulous study group participants were Bible Study: Susan, HB, Holly, and Farley. And you can find more information about these friends at LDS living.com/sunday on Monday. Our podcast is produced by Cole Wissinger and me it is edited by Hailey Higham and recorded and mixed by Mix at Six Studios. And our executive producer is Erin Hallstrom.

Tammy 1:19:30

Thanks for being here and we'll see you next week and please, oh my gosh, there's ever an episode to remember,

Tammy 1:19:36

Please remember that you are God's favorite.

Transcribed by https://otter.ai

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