Speaking in tongues vs prophesy. Confusion verses edification. Testimony of Christ as guidance in how to challenge. Walking the straight and narrow. Resurrection.
[00:00:15] Jason: Welcome to the Weekly Deep Dive podcast on the Add On Education Network. The podcast where we take a look at the weekly come follow me discussion and try to add a little insight and unique perspective. I am your host, Jason Lloyd, here in the studio with our friend, this show’s producer, Nate Pyfer. What’s up, Nate? I’m glad you’re here with me. I wish you were feeling a little.
[00:00:36] Nate: Better, but dude, exhaustion’s finally catching up to me a little bit, but I’m ready. Got some caffeine in me.
[00:00:44] Jason: Yeah.
[00:00:45] Nate: Much to the chagrin of a lot of people that used to think that caffeine was against the word of wisdom. But as we know, that not as far as we can tell.
[00:00:57] Jason: You’re going to open that can of worms to start us?
[00:00:59] Nate: I don’t even care. Go ahead and email us.
[00:01:02] Jason: Hi at weeklydeepdive.
[00:01:04] Nate: We’ll start with the email address this time. Hi@weeklydeepdive.com.
[00:01:08] Jason: Hey. Thanks for listening. We’re glad to have you guys here on the journey as we kind of explore these scriptures. And hopefully it is a little bit of a journey, something that you don’t readily see or think of and give you something to kind of think about and mull over and reflect. We do appreciate your perspectives on this and there’s a lot of room for perspectives as we get into Paul. Sometimes Paul is not the easiest to understand. This week we’re talking about Paul. It’s going to be chapters 14 through 16 of one. Corinthians a little bit more of a manageable read for us this week for you guys out there at home reading along and verse one we really covered well last week. And all I’ll say is, prophecy and charity go hand in hand, much like a marriage. Next, Paul’s going to talk about the gift of tongues.
All right. When he talks about the gift of tongues, he says it’s amazing to speak in tongues. And let’s be clear, not too long before we have Paul, we have the Pentecost. And what happened at the Pentecost, you had Jews from all over the world coming to Jerusalem to worship. And while they’re there, a group of the apostles, a group of the disciples begin to speak in the various languages of all the people that had come to Edify and to teach them. And this was a gift of tongues. They were speaking in languages they didn’t know. But the end to which they were speaking of these languages that they didn’t know was not to impress the world and wow them and say, wow, they’re speaking in a tongue they don’t know. It was to Edify, the people in their own language. And I think that’s something that’s important that God keeps stating when he talks about the Gospel going to the world, he says to every nation tongue and people he talks about, even in their language, are they going to be able to hear it. And there’s something about hearing the Gospel in your own language that makes it more plain for you or easy for you to understand.
And God speaks to us in symbols, symbols that aren’t always perfect, but they mean something to us, and we understand it the names that God uses, right? Today we say God, but anciently in the Greeks, it’s something different, right?
In Latin, it’s a different word. You go back to the old Hebrew, it’s Elohim. We don’t continue calling him Elohim because that doesn’t mean the same as what God means to us today.
It’s an imperfect symbol used to communicate with us, something that means something to us that might not mean something to anyone else. In fact, it might be confusing. And so when crossing these symbols and trying to teach people, it can create confusion.
Paul is dealing with people that are so impressed with the miracle at the Pentecost being fresh in their mind, that the greatest thing that they can do to show that the Spirit is there is to start babbling in a different language, to start saying something that nobody else understands, to say, yeah, I’m touched. I’m feeling by the spirit. When that wasn’t the original intention of Pentecost, when you had people from all sorts of different cultures coming together, it was to make things more plain to them that they could understand, not to make it more confusing to those that are listening. And that’s the important thing that Paul is trying to teach them, wherein the gift of tongues and the gift of prophecy are actually very similar things, because look at what he says with prophecy, verse three. But he that prophesied speaketh unto men to edification and exhortation and comfort.
And I don’t know if we always associate that with prophecy. Paul kind of lays it out very clear here. To prophesy is to speak to someone in exhortation, in comfort and edification.
That was what the original gift of tongues was, was being able to edify people that wouldn’t have understood, because now you’re communicating in a language that they do understand.
So these two gifts, he’s putting them almost as opposites, and he’s referring to the gift of tongues as being something confusing. When you speak and no one understands what you’re saying, it’s only edifying you if you even understand what you’re saying. So why are you saying it for everyone else? If they don’t follow? That’s not valuable. Prophesying is valuable. It edifies. It brings people to understand. It makes things more clear. But that’s the thing.
The gift of tongues was the gift of prophecy in the beginning, because it did edify, it did comfort, it did bring clarity to those who were listening, because it spoke in their language. They were the same gift.
So Paul’s communicating to an audience that has a very different idea of what the gift of tongues meant. And the gift of tongues now takes on a whole different meaning, a whole different symbol. And now he’s speaking to that symbol about that gift, and we’ll build on this. But before I go too far, I just wanted to read verse eleven, because this I don’t know, a side note, a tangent, something that kind of amused me.
Verse eleven. Therefore, if I know not the meaning of the voices, I shall be unto him that speaketh a barbarian, and he that speaketh shall be a barbarian unto me.
And I think it’s just kind of funny the way he ropes barbarians into this. What do barbarians have to do with speaking?
[00:07:13] Nate: Dude, it’s like that Geico commercial where it’s like, it’s so easy, even a caveman can do it. And the caveman, he’s going by on the escalator, the airport, and he turns around and he’s like, oh, come on. It’s like, what did the caveman do to deserve this? What did the barbarian do to have to deserve this? Why are we throwing the barbarian under the bus?
[00:07:36] Jason: That’s a great reference.
The reason this struck me funny is not necessarily the Geico commercial, although that is hilarious, is the meaning of the word barbarian. And here as we read this, and we think barbarian is just this uncivilized, like you say, the caveman, right? And the caveman’s like, wait, what?
The barbarian in Greek just meant anyone that didn’t speak Greek, it didn’t refer to any particular culture, any particular people. And the word itself just comes from bar. Bar. That’s what it is.
If you were talking about somebody that didn’t speak Greek, you’re like, oh, you know, the people, they’re like those people. That’s what barbarian was, was anyone that speaks like bar because you didn’t understand what they were saying because they spoke a different language. So in this case, we’re not talking about Conan the Barbarian, we’re not talking about cavemen, we’re not talking about some group of people. In this case, Paul’s just simply referencing anyone that speaks a different language or that you can’t understand that’s like babbling.
[00:08:41] Nate: Solid.
[00:08:43] Jason: It’s just fun to say that. Sorry.
[00:08:45] Nate: Oh, sweet. Let’s keep going.
[00:08:47] Jason: All right. Now I want to try to build on this a little bit more, and I’m flipping the page because it gets a little bit intense towards the end of this chapter. And I think we’ve talked about this a little bit.
So flipping the page and getting a little bit deeper into this. Verse 27. If any man speak in an unknown tongue, let it be by two or by the most three and the course, and let one interpret. So that makes sense. And he’s talking about this, but then he’s also going to talk about prophesying.
And he says, and if anything be revealed to another that sitteth by, let the first hold his peace, for ye may all prophesy one by one, that all may learn and all may be comforted. And so when he’s talking about this gift of prophesying, remember, prophesying is not just you’re going to tell future events and everything that’s going to happen, really? Prophesying is speaking in the name of the Lord. We learn in the Book of Revelation that the spirit of prophecy is a testimony of Christ. And we learn here from Paul in chapter 14, verse three, that he that prophesies speaketh unto men to edification, exhortation and comfort if the Spirit, while somebody is speaking, comes upon another. So let me go right back to verse 29. Let the prophets speak two or three and let the others judge. And if any of things be revealed to another that sitteth by, let the first hold his peace. When he’s talking about prophesying, he’s saying one person does not have the monopoly on the Spirit of the Lord, on truth, on edifying, on comforting. In fact, one person might be speaking, thinking that they understand something perfectly well. And it’s a fine line sometimes between prophecy and my thoughts, between revelation mixed with what I understand and how I’m trying to put this out to the best of my understanding, to the best of my knowledge, so that I can help somebody else. And if I’m speaking and yet somebody else receives an impression and the spirit telling them to speak up and to add clarity or contrast to what I’m saying, to help everybody else understand, that’s where it says, let the first keep silent, that the other may speak up, that all may learn and all may be comforted.
Maybe what I’m saying might not be comforting to everybody there because my approach, my bias, or what I take to this is not just all prophecy.
Maybe there’s some prophecy embedded in what I’m saying and I get it, but I don’t get all of it. And as I say what I say and somebody else hears and they feel inspired to add, then it’s my role to be quiet and allow them the opportunity to speak, that all might be edified. And sometimes the word of the Lord does seem to be contrasting. Paul is a very good point of this. We talk about how he says, don’t say some are from Paul and some are from Paulus and some are from Cephas, and then follows it up with, follow me and do what I say. I am your father. And you’re like, wait. He said, thank God I didn’t baptize any of you yet now he’s saying, I am your Father, and if you want eternal life, follow me. And you’re like, Wait, isn’t that Christ that you’re referring to? What’s this division? Why is there contrast? Is there contrast? And sometimes putting this out, we don’t always get it right on the first take. And I think it’s important that we get this distinction, the separation, when he’s talking about the gift of tongues and the gift of prophecy together. Because to Paul, the gift of tongues is not just how they understand. It is not just confusing and speaking in another language. Sometimes it’s confusing, even though both people are speaking the exact same language. In fact, he says this I love this scripture. I think you’ll resonate with you resonate Nate when he says, for if the trumpet give an uncertain sound, who shall prepare himself to the battle?
And so we’re not talking about, oh, if a harp comes out and plays the song to send everybody to war, are they going to be uncertain? A trumpet? It’s almost like speaking the same language, right? But you’re saying the wrong words just as the trumpet might be sounding the wrong sound.
And you know this better than most of us in the music. Some music inspires us to feel a certain way to do a certain thing, right?
[00:13:36] Nate: Well, the instrument itself can inspire you.
Multiple instruments could play the same melody and the instrument would change the feeling of how that melody is perceived or felt for sure.
[00:13:51] Jason: And there’s a difference in music that we play in sacrament meeting and the feeling that it has versus when you’re trying to get a bunch of people convinced to storm the battlefield, right? Or the music that you play to get everyone jazzed up at a sporting event or a competition.
And even sometimes you can just imagine if you’ve got a beautiful song playing in sacrament that’s got that right, feel that right spirit. But if all of a sudden you end it with dissonance and the wrong chord and he’s bad and it just grates.
I feel like there’s a reason he’s bringing this in when he’s talking about the gift of tongues. Because sometimes the way we talk about the gospel, even as well intentioned as we are, as we try to explain it, can sometimes fall flat and sometimes it doesn’t edify as much as we hoped it would or as much as we understand it would. And so here comes the gift of prophecy that’s accompanying this gift, which is a gift to edify, to add context to, to bring it to. And I like how he’s put this in with these and kind of married these two concepts similar to what he did with knowledge and charity. What is knowledge without charity? It’s puffing it up. What is the gift of tongues if it doesn’t have knowledge? If someone’s not there to interpret, what is it? If there’s no prophecy to add volume to it? And the same thing can be said if somebody’s speaking in gospel doctrine and all they’re doing is trying to impress the audience with everything they know. But there’s no sense of trying to edify or comfort or help us to understand, then it’s as well, even if they’re speaking the same language as if they were speaking in tongues, it’s missing. It’s like the trumpet that’s not calling to war.
Is that making yeah.
[00:15:48] Nate: Yeah. I like it.
[00:15:50] Jason: And Paul’s very clear in his point when he says if one’s talking and another one has, the spirit can go through the first needs to stop so that the second can correct.
And there is opportunity for course change here. And Paul’s saying don’t forbid people from speaking. In fact, it’s important that if you do feel the spirit that you speak to speak up.
And now we get a chance to see some dissonance in that. This is a trumpet dropping a note. Speaking of when Paul follows this up with let your women keep silence in the churches, for it is not permitted unto them to speak, but they are commanded to be obedient, as also saith the law. And if they will do the things, let them ask their husbands at home, for it is shame for women to speak in the church.
Wait, Paul just said, don’t forbid them from speaking. If they have the spirit, let them interrupt. And then he says, don’t let your women speak.
What’s going on?
And why all of a sudden the dissonance? It seems like Paul was speaking with the gift of prophecy, but now all of a sudden he’s gone back to speaking in tongues and something that we don’t understand or something that we don’t get. And I was trying to understand what Paul was saying here and I had to remember that this is a response to a letter that was sent to Paul and I had to ask myself the question, what could they have possibly asked Paul that would make this response make sense?
[00:17:30] Nate: Yeah, when you asked me that question, I’ve since been thinking like, what on earth could this have been? The answer to that is not going to feel dissonant to make this just feel like a completely like, what are we doing, Paul?
[00:17:44] Jason: Right. And it’s hard to think of any.
[00:17:47] Nate: Possible yeah, I was going to say you stumped me.
Either that or my question was what if the question was, hey, Paul, tell us something that’s just totally not right.
[00:18:01] Jason: Well, I see the reaction to this. In verse 36, what does Paul say? The very first word. What? With a question mark? And I’m like, Wait, Paul, that’s my reaction to what you just so as I was thinking about this, what could they have possibly asked Paul that would warrant this kind of explanation from Paul? The thought hit me and I could be way off on this. I’m just going to float this out there.
What if Paul’s not saying this?
[00:18:35] Nate: Yeah, what if he’s repeating the question? That’s it, that’s what’s funny. Because that’s why I was joke that’s again, my joke was also not totally a joke when it was like, what if their question was give us something that’s just totally not right and respond to it. And then it was like, okay, well, then here’s my answer.
I don’t know. It’s interesting.
[00:19:01] Jason: Yeah. I wonder if Paul is telling them whenever you have the spirit, that is most important, even someone who’s talking if somebody has the spirit, the first person who’s talking, who’s lost the spirit stop and let someone who has the spirit kind of course correct this. Don’t silence anyone is giving us context to where he’s saying right here.
What if he’s quoting back to them what they said to him?
And his response is what?
And he says, look at verse 36. Now came the word of God out from you or came unto you only.
Is he quoting back to what they said and saying, I am the one who’s going to stop you and interrupt you because you’ve lost the spirit by saying that, no, they can’t speak and they need to keep quiet.
Here comes one with the Spirit that needs to stop what you’re saying and correct. Why would you say that? Do you think that you can now give instructions to the rest of the church and tell the church that women can’t speak?
I don’t know if that’s what’s going on here, but it almost sounds let’s.
[00:20:19] Nate: Just run with that, though, because I would like to think that that’s the most understandable explanation.
[00:20:28] Jason: Well, because then he finishes it again by reaffirming that let all speak and he says, if any man think himself to be a prophet or spiritual, let him acknowledge that the things that I write unto you are commandments of the Lord. But if any man be ignorant, let him be ignorant wherefore brethren covet to prophesy and forbid not to.
So why would he say forbid to speak if it’s Paul? Why would he say, first off, don’t let them not speak. Don’t forbid them from speaking. And then he finishes again by saying forbid not to speak. And then he interjects this part where, oh, except for this, in case yeah, absolutely. No, what if he’s saying, you telling me that we should be forbidding why would you say that?
This isn’t coming from Peter. It’s not coming from the church. It’s not coming from me. Do you think you have prophecy to tell the whole church what they need to do? And by the way, if you do, sometimes the whole order of things is to stop and have somebody else with the Spirit course correct.
And I think Paul here, in doing this, brings a very important question that we need to address.
When is it okay to course correct?
Do we course correct? Do we have that right to course correct? Is it just an apostle here who is course correcting? Someone who’s lower than him saying this is a bishop or this is a community that’s trying to push on the church something that is not coming from the top. So Paul in the hierarchy is above is now laying the maybe.
But here’s the thing. Paul is not citing his authority as a reason to do this. In fact, he’s saying if anyone says something and somebody else with the Spirit comes to course correct, it’s not saying if somebody higher than you in the church organization, because sometimes correction doesn’t necessarily come from the top.
And as we were talking about this, Nate, I think we kind of looked at there are extremes in everything, and there are dangerous extremes. And on one end of the extreme, as we look at this, is if somebody is saying that this is how things need to be done and you know it’s wrong, first off, why do you know it’s wrong?
Because the Spirit has told you, and instead of speaking up, speaking out, or doing anything, you hold your peace and you don’t question what’s being done, and you allow that to happen.
If something in the church is going absolutely against what the Lord wants, and we’re not willing to speak up about it, and I think we could think of any number of cases. I don’t think that’s our responsibility. I don’t think we need to go into details on this.
But we let evil prevail and we don’t do something about it. That’s one extreme that’s wrong. We can’t just blindly accept everything that comes our way and not think about it. We are responsible for our own salvation. The Lord asks us to be engaged, involved, anxiously engaged in a good work, and we’re not anxiously engaged in anything if we’re just going to sit back, lie down, and let everybody else work out our salvation for us.
[00:23:57] Nate: That was literally my exact point, which was, yes, we’re going to be judged by the words of the prophets of our can’t. We can’t be judged on what we didn’t hear or what we weren’t taught or what we didn’t know or what wasn’t revealed to us. I get that, right? But like you said, the extremes are you have the children of Israel coming out of Egypt, moses saying, hey, God wants all of us to go see him up on the mountain, and the children just, no, no, you just go ahead and go do all of that communication for us, right? You go talk to God, you come back and tell us everything he said, we’ll complain about it, but you just go do all of that, and we’ll just stay down here and do our thing. Right? That’s an extreme, and it’s human nature.
[00:24:49] Jason: I don’t have to do it. Someone else is going to take care of it for me. I’m good. I’m going to check it off the list. You do it for me, right?
[00:24:55] Nate: You have examples of the other extremes. I mean, we just got done reading about the Pharisees, though, which is just like we whatever, or maybe not even the Pharisees, but you have examples throughout the scriptures of, we’re going to challenge everything that is being said. And I guess maybe you see this more now than all throughout the Scriptures, but I guess I’m just saying, like, the other extreme is just as visible.
Again, I bring it up all the time. If you get on any sort of social media, it’s just like the constant critiquing of during conference time. It’s just like every talk is being dissected, like, well, how could they say this? Well, how could they say this? Well, I don’t believe this, and I don’t believe this, and I don’t believe right. That’s the other extreme, right? Yes. Which is almost like, why even have leaders of the church if we’re not going to listen to anything we say? Because we already have it all figured out. So it’s like you have those two extremes, but luckily I feel like we have really good examples of how to walk that line well, which are Adam and Eve when they’re being told, hey, you’re waiting to receive more information, right? And then it’s just like, okay, cool, you have the adversary, which is like, well, I can give you information.
I can give you scripture mixed with philosophy. And they’re like, well, that’s not what we’re waiting for, right? We’re actually waiting for good information. We’re going to use good judgment to sift through the information that we’re being told. Right.
And that to me is like a flawless example of how we should be looking. Which is by the way too, though when good education comes, when we have our leaders and again, for me it’s like I will always tend to side as a starting place on I believe that the leaders of our church have probably spent quite a bit of time thinking through these things and quite a bit of time praying through these things and counseling with each other. You know what I mean?
I don’t think that conference is even remotely a, hey, let’s go up and wing some doctrine, right? Like, let’s just go up over the pulpit and just start winging some doctrine.
But even as kind of in some of our conversations throughout multiple topics, it’s like, oh, but what you can see though, is almost sometimes things that might feel like just little minor details that have just been kind of passed down because you’ve heard it said enough times or because whatever. And it’s like, oh, these things aren’t being said deliberately to lead the church astray. It’s just like, there are times where it’s just like, oh, these are details that maybe aren’t even the meat and potatoes of the talk, but that eventually actually kind of get weeded out or changed throughout the years when we start dissecting, when we at least just start looking at some of these little details, right? Like, again, we talk specifically about premortal life was a word that was just used over and over and over and over for a long time. And then when we notice preexistence instead of premortal life or pre earth life, preexistence was just a word that was commonly taught, where it’s like, if you actually look at that, you’re like, wow, that actually is contradictory to doctrine. Yeah.
[00:28:15] Jason: If we’ve existed forever, then what do you mean?
[00:28:17] Nate: We talk about free agency, where it’s like, that was just a very common term used in writing, used in speeches, used in the whole thing, where it’s like, yeah, that was probably never really the meat and potatoes of what was being talked about. But if you do look at that in a vacuum, you’re like, wait, that is also not complete. That’s not an accurate definition of what we believe free will is or agency is. Right? Right.
And by the way, even a lot of the things, some of the bigger changes that had to be made throughout church history, some of the really massive changes that needed to be made, when you look at, like, you’ve talked about where a lot of those false ideas kind of crept into the culture of things, you’re like, oh, my goodness. That didn’t start with Joseph Smith. That didn’t start with even Brigham Young in a lot of these cases. Like, oh, these things came from other places.
It was unfortunately, kind of a pass down idea. Right?
You and I have talked a lot about how even just early Catholic art influences a lot of the way that we view certain doctrinal things, right? It’s just like you can’t expect that God is going to be able to call imperfect human beings and then just immediately erase generations worth of ideas and misinformation that’s just baked naturally into the culture of what we’re raised in or the traditions of what we’re raised in. Right?
And that’s okay, by the way.
It doesn’t make all of the decisions, okay, but it’s okay because there are built in mechanisms for correctly changing and fixing and tweaking things to get it right. I mean, they’ve changed wording in the temple ceremony to make sure to be very clear and specific about actual doctrine and not just the way that things have always been.
There’s a constant, by the way. How amazing is this, by the way, too?
There is a constant reviewing of even the things that we sometimes just blanketly accept as like, well, if it’s said here, then no matter what, it’s perfect. It’s exactly right. It’s whatever. Don’t even question it. Don’t think about it. Don’t talk about it. Like, God forbid we ever start doing that because now we’re going against what the church prophets, apostles, and leaders are doing themselves, which is constantly taking a look and going, are we nailing this? Are we accurately representing these things? Like, if we’re still taking the time to go through the temple ceremony and go, hey, is this exactly how it was? You know what I mean? Is this exactly word for word how this is supposed to be changed?
We are constantly being told by those same leaders after and during and before conference, let the spirit guide you in what we’re saying and let the spirit be the thing confirming what we’re saying and testifying of the things that we’re saying, but rely on the spirit to have that confirmation. Don’t just take our word. For it. You have to do your work yourself, which, by the way, is harder than just letting somebody else do this work for you. We’ve talked about this, remember? We talked about this when we did the Old Testament, the children of Israel were trying to take the easy way out when they said, hey Moses, you got this.
You go talk to God or whatever because it’s scary if you go, well, if I’m going to go speak to God and no unclean thing can enter into his presence, what does that mean that I’m going to have to do before? Right.
When we talked about the difference between home teaching and ministering, when we talk about I mean, Jesus basically came to just say, like, hey, I’m here to fulfill the law. But the new law that I’m giving you is way harder than you think, which is I’m not going to just tell you how many steps you can take on Sunday. I’m not just going to give you a specific list of do’s and don’ts. You have to live a way that the Spirit is going to dictate these things. Right. This is a harder thing to do. What we’re suggesting, which is if there is something that’s being said, even by church leaders, that the Spirit is creating a dissonance or attention, then it becomes up to you to figure out why. Is it because it’s a personal bias? Which by the way, that’s the thing that’s very real and can really get in the way of a lot of people when their, let’s say, political opinions maybe are in a direct rub or they feel like are in a direct rub or conflict of what they’re hearing.
But look, at last conference when President Nelson comes out and says, hey, we need to be a lot better about how we’re communicating. We need to be a lot better about how we’re having political discourse. We need to be a lot better about how we’re having religious discourse. We need to be better about how we’re agreeing. That’s not calling out one lane of thinking versus a different lane of thinking. But it’s so funny because everybody, as he said in his talk, is going to go like, I know somebody else that needs to hear this, but do you see what I’m saying?
[00:34:01] Jason: Yes.
[00:34:04] Nate: I guess, again, I know that this is a lot of words to say. I guess what I’m trying to say, it’s harder to go and it takes a lot more self discipline and work to go. Is the reason when I hear this talk in conference that it’s rubbing me wrong? Is there dissonance in me because it’s going against what I want to think? Is it going against what I want to believe? Is it going against what my personal biases are coming into this?
Or is it the Spirit going, hey, you’re right, there is a rub there. Let’s pray, let’s talk through this. Let’s figure out why and you run into a lot of problems when you can’t separate those two.
This is where the extremes come into play, right? When it’s like, well, I’ve decided that I think that blank is the right way and so anytime I hear a talk against it, I’m going to go, I disagree, I disagree, I disagree, I disagree. Well, why do you? Well, well, I feel dissonant inside so that must be the spirit telling me it’s like, well, that’s not necessarily the case either. Or there’s a time maybe where it’s like, I don’t know the other extreme, which is just like, dude, we’ve had these conversations on this podcast. I mean, literally, where we’re going, hey, we’re pushing back against this idea that just because we’ve heard this said a thousand times that that means that we should just take it and be like, cool, it’s doctrine and we’re moving on. It’s like, well, it’s been said enough time in times, in articles or in conference talks where it’s just like, well, there’s a dissonance inside of me when I hear that said. And I want to understand why as I’ve been trying to understand why, I feel like I’ve been having immense amounts of personal revelation of why in a positive way that, by the way, is bringing me closer to God. Can we have this conversation? No, it’s already established, it’s been said we’re moving on. Don’t even question it. It’s like, that’s the other extreme, right? Like luckily we usually don’t get that pushback, but that could be the pushback, which is, hey, it’s already been established that this is what it is. Don’t even question it. It’s like, well, that’s not healthy either and God’s not telling us to do that either. There you go. That’s my thought.
[00:36:28] Jason: Which I think is why we keep referring to this as the straight and narrow. You get extremes on either end and it’s so easy and broad is the way. Right? It’s so easy to fall into the trap on either side of the deal, but to walk that line is hard. And to comment on what you were saying with trying to shift over to you do this for us. I think what God wants is to shift the accountability back to us.
[00:36:55] Nate: Yes.
[00:36:56] Jason: And it’s an accountability shift. We want it to be the law’s fault if we don’t make it to heaven. We want it to be whatever, right? I didn’t because it was, I just did the law. It’s the law that didn’t take it to it’s, not me. It’s trying to take that accountability. And I think one of the most important questions that was asked and maybe something that we can learn is when Christ brings up the subject at the Last Supper, one of you will betray me.
That had to have created some serious dissonance with the twelve apostles. The spirit is pricking their hearts and the first question they ask, it’s not a comment accusing the Lord of being wrong. I would never do this. The question is, is it me? And you said that so well, Nate. Because if there is dissonance, it’s easy to try to blame X, Y or Z, but the accountability has to shift back with us. We are responsible for our own salvation.
And if this is what the Lord is saying, do I understand this right?
[00:38:10] Nate: Okay, I don’t mean to jump in again, but you just said to me what the answer is, which is you just illustrated a perfect example of it tonight when reading through Paul again, which is the prophets and apostles probably aren’t even saying, hey, go question this to poke holes in it. They’re probably saying, hey, if there’s dissonance inside of you, go figure out why, because maybe there’s further understanding. Maybe you’re just misunderstanding the point that I’m even trying to make in the first place. If you truly have the Spirit with you, maybe it’s going to be a good chance for you to go and see what personal revelation feels like, which is, hey, let me clear this up. I know that on its surface, maybe that does sound wrong, and maybe on its surface, the way that you’re hearing it or understanding it is creating dissonance. Go spend a little bit more time with it. I’m giving you the invitation to go and spend a little bit more time with it, not to find fallacy with it, but to go and understand it better for yourself, right? This idea with Paul, you read those scriptures and on its surface you go, it’s easy to take the side of I have a problem with this, right? Oh, women shouldn’t speak. Women shouldn’t speak unless they go home and ask their husbands first. I’m like, yes, I have a major problem with that.
[00:39:26] Jason: That’s creating some dissonance.
[00:39:27] Nate: That’s creating dissonance. And so now it’s almost like, where then do you go, hey, how do you resolve that? Do you go, well, I just disagree with it. So it’s a mistranslation or Paul’s just wrong and I’m moving on. Or do you go, okay, this might be hard and I might not even like where the answer I get from this, but I’m going to go and put in the work. I’m going to take that personal responsibility, and you go, I’m going to dig back into this and I’m going to try to see I’m going to read deeper into this. I’m going to read deeper in this. And then you start noticing these little things and you go, oh, my goodness, what if? Oh, what if this is actually the way? And it’s like, for me, it’s like that dissonance immediately goes, okay, cool, great.
[00:40:06] Jason: Turns into harmony.
[00:40:07] Nate: That’s right. It’s like, oh, that’s resolved now. What an amazing opportunity to prove that process works once again, right?
[00:40:16] Jason: And it’s the contrast between speaking in tongues and prophecy and speaking in tongues.
Like you said, a trumpet that’s sounding the wrong sound. It just doesn’t quite sound right. It’s confusing. But it’s so interesting that he puts those two concepts together because when you do get to it, he says better is prophecy. It’s almost like prophecy is what follows, really. It’s what the whole speaking of tongues was trying to achieve in the first place was edifying. But for whatever reason we’re not hearing the right notes or it’s not sounding quite right. When you get to it, then it becomes prophecy.
[00:40:53] Nate: Well, it’s hard to prophesy if you don’t understand what’s being said. To me, it’s almost like the order in which those two things are a process more than they are necessary thing, which is I like it, which is the gift of tongues is so we’re all speaking the same language. Once we’re all speaking and understanding the same language, then it becomes about, now I’m going to give you the secrets of God. Like now I’m going to prophesy. Once we’re all understanding the same language, if somebody’s up over the pulpit prophesying and we can’t understand a word they’re saying, what good is it? They may be speaking literally with they may be writing doctrine from the pulpit, but if we’re all just looking around going like, I can’t understand a single word that’s being said, we might feel the Spirit, but that doesn’t help us know any better of the prophecy that’s being prophesied. Right?
To me it’s almost I read that as in an order of things, which is let’s get on the same language level first. Once we’re there, now there’s an opportunity to really start to really start sharing the inspiration and the things the Spirit is telling us.
[00:42:01] Jason: So let’s apply this process that we’re reading about to understanding the scriptures. When one is talking with the gift of maybe not even the gift of prophecy, what does it say?
I’m just going to read this right out of Paul.
To me it’s becoming magical.
Verse 30. For ye may all prophesy one by one that all may learn. And I read verse 31. Verse 30. If anything be revealed to another that sitteth by, let the first holdth his peace. Let’s say that the first now is Paul and his writings in the New Testament. If you’re reading Paul and it’s not quite making sense when it says let them hold their peace, it’s okay to put that aside. And another that has the Spirit that can understand, let them speak. It’s okay for us to go and ask somebody, hey, have you felt something trying to read this? I have a hard time. What is the Spirit telling you? Or what do you think about this? Or what do you perceive? Maybe it’s okay that we put it on pause to let someone else speak, that we might understand what was being said in the first place.
[00:43:14] Nate: Well, that’s what we look to the leaders of our church to do specifically, right? Which is go, hey, it’s so amazing that these scriptures that have survived thousands of years and still are just giving us profound, deep understandings of the gospel and of the nature of God, and that’s great. And there still has been a lot of human fingers involved.
It’s touched a lot of imperfect human hands along the way, is all. I changed a couple of languages and has changed. And again, let’s even give it with the benefit of the doubt of with the best intentions involved.
Let’s even remove the facts of the matter, which is also, though, we need this to kind of conform to what we all early Christianity, early Reformed Christianity, you know what I mean? Or reorganized Christianity was, hey, but we also need this to kind of like fit into what we really want to, we’ve decided is the nature of God.
But just for the sake of argument, even remove that just the fact that language to language is imperfect.
Greek, English, Roman, Hebrew, all of these things, there are words that just don’t have the exact perfect I mean, English to Spanish, they’re not even that far off, really, like historically, right? And they’re still imperfect translations. There’s still certain things that just can’t be a perfect one to one, which is frustrating, but also glorious. Right? But the point is that language itself just falls short, therefore, right. Therefore, without the Spirit, it’s going to be impossible to ever be able to fully understand these writings in their exact perfect context, which, by the way, I think is by the will of God. Right. Like, I think that this is all part of what makes the scripture so incredible is that there are just layers and layers and layers, and the more you really start to understand what it could mean in this language, it really kind of unlocks potentially way more of a deeper connection to what the point was. Even trying to be. My point of this is even with the Scriptures, the idea that we don’t need constant revelation is so absurd to me.
These things are so incredible, but the world has changed so much since these things were written.
We need revelation to help us apply this to what it is that we’re trying to do. Right. I guess what I’m saying is there’s still a reason that God has chosen to give us leaders that can help us understand these. Right? My whole point is I’m not a hard liner on one way or the other here. It’s like, no, we absolutely need leaders to help us try to understand this stuff. Luckily, the leaders put that responsibility back on us to say, go figure this stuff out. At the same time, you need all of these things to make it work, right? You need the Scriptures, you need the Word, you need modern revelation to help understand and guide a church, and you need personal revelation to figure out ways to fix dissonance within you. Without any of those things, it falls short, man.
[00:46:46] Jason: And Paul brings up Adam next, and I’m grateful that he does. For in Adam all die, yet in Christ shall all be made alive. And it’s easy for us to blame Adam. It’s easy for us to tell Moses to go do this for us. It’s easiest for us to say, well the law, whatever accountability, let’s take Adam’s decision and put it back on us because thank goodness that here we are 6000 years later, whatever the case may be, still waiting for further light and knowledge and how are we going to respond? Because if we’re waiting for further light and knowledge and we decide to check out or give up and not try to do it the Lord’s way, but to find our own alternative solution and listen to someone else’s solution for that, then we made the same mistake Adam did. It’s not Adam’s decision, it’s now our decision. And we are all facing that same decision on a daily basis today.
[00:47:41] Nate: Amen brother. And Satan’s still offering the same thing to us that he offered to Adam by the way. Absolutely, hey, I can give you somebody that’ll preach to you, scripture mingled, right? And you’re just like, oh what’s changed?
You can still find that, that and by the way, this is where accountability comes back into it. And again, as much as we try to figure out like, well, here’s just the easy way to do it, I’m going to be here to be the one that says it’s not easy sometimes having to try to navigate some of those things. Right. The only surefire way to do this correctly though is develop enough of a relationship with the Spirit that you can tell when something doesn’t feel right.
How are you now going to respond to that?
If it doesn’t feel right, I just reject it. Well no, that’s not right because that might be the spirit telling you, hey, you need to rethink something. Does it not feel right because of personal biases? Does it not feel right because the spirit’s telling, well, at a certain point you’re going to have to have developed enough of a relationship with the Spirit that you can start going through the processes of understanding why you’re feeling the way you’re feeling, why there is a dissonance or why there’s a connection or whatever that is.
You’re going to be even more, I feel like just there’s going to be even more of a barrage of the doctrine of men mixed with the doctrine of God.
Again, my thing is my first starting place is conference is great and you better listen to those talks. And if there’s a dissonance there, I would say before just saying, well it’s a them problem, I would start with it’s a me problem is it me. And I felt that at the last conference I was on the front line of okay cool, I know who this talks for.
Thank goodness though, right?
[00:49:46] Jason: Thank goodness we do. It’s very easy for us to see everyone else in all of the problems, but it’s shifting that accountability back to us. Is it me? Is it I I guess is how they actually say it. But what a powerful phrase.
I don’t know. Maybe to sum this up, as we’re talking through this confusion versus clarity, prophecy versus speaking in tongues and looking at how this goes, I see here again, two extremes and one extreme is to not question anything, to just take it for whatever it is and somebody else is going to save me and it’s not my concern. I’m not check out.
[00:50:27] Nate: But we’re told that that’s not how.
[00:50:28] Jason: You get saved and that’s not you’ve shifted that accountability. And the other extreme, and it’s funny because we get attacked on this on both angles, is to attack everything. This is wrong, this has to go away and I’m going to correct everything and I’m going to save everything.
[00:50:43] Nate: I know that this is right and I know that someday the church is going to come around to seeing this my way.
[00:50:48] Jason: Yes.
[00:50:51] Nate: Again, I’m going to say if I have to error on one of those sides, I will error on the I’m going to take the prophet’s word for it. Right. I’m going to say, I know what side I’m at least going to error on. Right.
But the thing is that the prophets themselves are the ones saying, you better pray about this. You better go home, you better get confirmation from the Spirit, if nothing else, than to learn the process of what that feels like because the Spirit is going to testify of truth.
I do know this, for me at least, but it’s a process that I’ve seen work for other people, which is it’s a healthy thing to go.
This is a layup.
If you’re hearing something in conference and the Spirit speaking to you, take a minute, pray about that. Hey, is this confirmation bias I’m feeling or is this the Spirit testifying? Why on earth wouldn’t God confirm that? Oh, great, good. Hey, this is good. I’m staying in touch with this process that I know works so that when, by the way, some hard ones come up for you, you know the process of going, hey, let me pray about this again. Hey, this is a different feeling than I felt when I felt the Spirit. Right?
Maybe the invitation sometimes is as simple as stay fresh on the fundamentals. Like, hey, we’re giving you some easy ones, go pray about it just so that you can continue to feel what that is like, to have the Spirit confirm truth, which is what the Spirit has promised. Know what we’ve promised. The spirit will do.
It will confirm truth and then you’ll be ready for when the storms come up.
[00:52:36] Jason: And that’s Paul’s Key here. It’s the spirit. If you have the Spirit, it’s the Spirit. The spirit will keep you from one extreme to the other. And because there are extremes, oftentimes the words in the scriptures seem contradictory. Don’t just lay there and don’t question anything. Well, don’t go sit there and question everything. And you’re like, wait a second, which way is it? Is it this? Is it that? Well, the truth is it’s a straight and narrow path right in the middle, and you’re going to run into contradictory things because there’s contradictory out of bounds. And we don’t want to push too far on this. We don’t want to push too far. How do we follow that line? And you said it beautifully. It is the spirit.
[00:53:16] Nate: Can I throw this out there too? Is that I think our intentions have so much to do with this as well.
You and I have pushed back against a lot of kind of culturally accepted ideas when we go, hey, I’ve heard this said a bunch of times, but I’m pushing back against this because this isn’t clicking. Why are we doing this? Are we doing this to find fault?
Are we doing this to poke holes? Are we doing this?
And again, I know we’ve beaten this thing to death, but it’s like the purpose of the sacrament is something that there was a dissonance for me in how we talked about this for so long that for me it inspired me personally to just really go as deep as I possibly can to understand this. For what?
For me, it’s to become closer to this and to understand it better and to not find a way to go well, this is wrong or to be critical or whatever. And again, I understand what it’s my personality. I’m sorry if it comes across that I’m doing this to sound critical. Hopefully anybody listening to us talk through this can see at least my sincere desire it’s an understanding. I want to understand this because the more I’ve begun to understand what I feel really is the purpose of the sacrament separate from what we’ve kind of said it culturally used phrases to say it is it has completely revolutionized my personal connection with what that ordinance is each week in a way that I’m like. I’m now so excited to share that and what I have found personally with the people that want to have this conversation and are willing to at least hear me out. I’m not pushing back against these ideas to prove why I’m intellectually right about something or where there’s a massive, I don’t know issue. The intention is to better understand this for spiritual depth and purposes and hopefully enlightenment and self betterment. Right? And so even then, when we look at being critical of things, it’s not even probably the best word to use. Right? It’s like when we’re looking to understand these things better, yes, it’s healthy to push back against ideas sometimes. And if our intentions are I’m pushing back against this because I want to better understand why this would have been said. Look at Paul. We read this thing and we’re just like, hey, we’re not pushing back against this with a blanket idea of we just want to beat Paul up and we want to prove why we know more than Paul did and why we now are more enlightened than Paul was. That’s not our intention of doing this. We’re sincere. We want to understand. What are we missing?
He said this for a reason. My goodness. It’s really hard for me to understand on its face value why on earth that would have been said. We’re going to push back against this not to be critical of Paul. We’re not going to push back this to try to prove I’m right and he’s wrong. We’re pushing back against this to provide an opportunity for some understanding and hopefully some clarity on our end. I feel like if that’s our intentions of questioning, if you want to use that word or pushing back ideas, I think you’re probably still going to be okay.
[00:56:43] Jason: I think so. And we keep throwing this term around the Spirit. If you do it with the Spirit, you do it with the Spirit. And let’s be clear, paul’s talking about the spirit of prophecy, and I’m just going to read this from the Book of Revelation, chapter 19, verse ten. Worship God for the spirit of Jesus is the spirit. Excuse me. Worship God for the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.
[00:57:06] Nate: Wow.
[00:57:07] Jason: So when you’re talking about having the Spirit, having the Spirit, there’s a spirit of prophecy. Specifically, he’s talking about prophecy. It’s a testimony of Jesus. And when you talked about you going through that process, is it not your testimony of Christ and your desire to understand what he is teaching and to be like Him? And your drive to, how do I become more like Christ? How does this help me in my life?
When you’re doing it that way and really it’s centered on Christ. When you’re centered on Christ, that is the spirit of prophecy. Because what does Christ offer? Comfort. Edification.
That is the spirit of prophecy. And we will come to understand it when we’re doing it through that right spirit. And it’s a testimony.
If you’re struggling with anything, first get a testimony of Christ and that will allow you to understand the rest.
[00:58:05] Nate: I agree. Totally agree.
[00:58:08] Jason: And maybe it’s worth even asking a difficult question here.
[00:58:13] Nate: I’m here for it. At this point, we’re ready.
[00:58:16] Jason: I mean, I feel like we’ve covered this very well, but I feel like it also offers an opportunity to ask a very uncomfortable question. And that question is, is it ever the right thing to do to walk away from the church?
And you look at Abraham, who decided at a very young age that he needed to leave and seek the blessings of his fathers. You look at Lehi, who was willing to take his family and separate them out from the church, from the community. At times, it seems like leaving is the right thing to so go back to challenging your beliefs, challenging what you know, challenging it, but challenging it with charity, with love, with a desire to be like Christ. And maybe you’ll come upon a deal where you know what? It is the right thing, but I don’t want to just float that out there.
[00:59:17] Nate: Yeah. What’s your answer to that?
[00:59:21] Jason: My answer stems from my testimony in Jesus Christ, and it’s not something I share often in this show. It’s not something I feel that this show was even meant for as we try to explore different ideas or different thoughts or different perspectives. But I think it’s important enough in this conversation to say that through the gift of prophecy, through that testimony of Jesus Christ for me, for what I see, I know that Jesus Christ calls prophets today. That he called not just Joseph Smith to restore the gospel here on Earth, but he continues to call prophets and direct them and that this is his church. And every time I have stumbled and I have questioned and I have wondered, I have gathered strength, conviction, and a deeper feeling of the Spirit in being able to come through those challenges and see more clearly, because I do ask the question, Is it I?
And for me, it’s not appropriate to leave, but that’s because it’s the spirit that I feel. That’s what I know.
I feel like it’s important to at least share that in context of that conversation.
[01:00:40] Nate: I think that you just illustrated exactly the point we’re trying to make, which is you ask a question, I immediately feel dissonance. Because you’re like, that is a tough question.
And if I’m going to be totally honest with you, there are people in my life that I’m very close to that them leaving the structure of the church for the time in 2020 was maybe the best thing that could have possibly happened for their full long term situation for them.
But I love that you just illustrated exactly to me the processes of finding deeper understanding. And that is, yes, sometimes asking a hard question creates an oof inside of you. Right?
And sometimes the answer to those questions aren’t I mean, they’re tricky. Sometimes they’re messy. Sometimes it’s not as easy of an answer as, well, yeah, of course. No matter what, yeah, of course.
That’s not the way the world works.
And then I appreciate and completely feel your testimony of that as well at the end, which is, well, here’s my process and here’s my answer to that question. I’m like, my goodness. I appreciate you asking a question that creates some okay, yeah, I feel that question in a dissonant way.
And then I appreciate the confirmation that I feel when I hear you testify, of why your answer is the way it is. And that’s an answer. I agree with, by the way, and feel the same way.
And I feel like that’s the process of what we’re being asked to do when we’re being asked to seek these things out for ourselves, to ask hard questions and then let the spirit give us the answers to those questions. Now, you and I may have an answer to that question because of our experience and because of where we’re at, but maybe that’s not exactly the same as the answer that other people might have.
I definitely don’t want to push the idea that we have the answer for everybody because.
[01:03:11] Jason: But then the accountability is being shifted on our shoulders. Exactly. It’s going to be hard because the accountability has to be on you.
[01:03:18] Nate: I was going to say hopefully you don’t listen to this podcast going well. These dudes are the authoritative position on all of these things. My goodness. If you just blanket agree with everything we say, you’re setting yourself up for failure too. Because Jason and I are still trying to figure this out on a daily basis as well.
I’m just saying I feel like what an amazing way of illustrating exactly the whole point of all of this, which is it’s okay to ask tough questions even if you’re for sure you know the answer to those tough questions.
We read Paul tonight and it’s funny because it’s the same type of a thing I feel when it’s like Paul’s like, hey, women shouldn’t speak. Go home and ask your words. The words even with maybe me feeling like I understand the context, I’m like, well, I already know the answer to that. I don’t need to spend any time thinking through that. Well, thank goodness, Jason, you spent some time thinking through that for us. I probably should have done it myself, but I’m like, oh, my goodness, you give me that answer and I’m like it resonates even more. I’m like, oh, cool. The dissonance set up such a great opportunity for the spirit to be like, hey, now that you feel that, yeah, that’s because your body’s telling you that there’s something wrong there. Here’s good information. Now feel what you feel inside. Oh, my goodness, I recognize that feeling. That’s harmony.
Hey, is it ever all right to leave the church, man? For me, I feel like I know the answer to that question, so I want to ignore it. Well, my body’s feeling dissonance.
Maybe you should spend more than just 3 seconds being like, no, I reject the question. I mean, it’s funny because it’s funny even when you ask that. My initial instinct is to go, oh, I want to answer that question.
Instead of maybe take a maybe take a beat and think for a minute and listen. Maybe think through that for a second. And then when we get the opportunity to hear your answer to that question, I’m like, Cool.
That resonates in harmony with how I feel too. And it’s like, oh, what? Again? An amazing opportunity to feel the spirit in a process of, hey, this is life. By the way, are these hard questions.
Some people are willing to ask these questions publicly. I fear more for the people that feel these hard questions but are too afraid to talk about them and that are too afraid to ask those questions in a Sunday school class to their friends or to their family.
I feel bad for anybody that would have to feel like that they feel dirty or wrong or any sort of, I don’t know, unrighteous for having doubts and for having hard questions that they’re asking themselves and are too afraid to let anybody else know that they’re struggling with something.
Because it’s a missed opportunity, I think, to be able to have real, honest, hard, but potentially healing, hopeful, amazing conversations with others who are also in the same place, asking those hard questions and being able to be able to at least maybe get some thoughts and advice from some people who’ve already kind of gone through that place. I always hope that our conversations, Jason, in the smallest of ways, can eventually be a place where people can listen to honest and sincere dudes trying to figure this out as well. Unafraid to ask the hard questions, but very willing to unapologetically state where we’re at, you know what I mean, in our faith and in our testimony. And hopefully that can be if you are asking hard questions yourself, hopefully you can always feel a safe landing place to come and listen to us try to work through these as well. But knowing that we’re not here to try to break down your faith, we’re here to try to show you that that’s all part of the process, too, is asking hard questions for the purpose of finding answers, to shore up your faith and not to poke holes in it.
[01:08:03] Jason: Well said. And I feel bad for anyone, as painful as it is, who has not had the opportunity to wet their pillow with their tears, crying to the Lord, trying to understand something. It’s a painful process. And as much as I wish I could take away that pain, I would never want to rob anyone of that growth. And I feel like that’s what the Lord does, is he sets us up for these opportunities here on earth.
You read the scriptures and they’re so vague about who is God and this one and this not one, and what is God? And some of the most important things in life come with ambiguity. And why is that? Because over and over and over again, ask and you shall receive. Seek and you shall find. And some of these foundational things are the most important things to Him, the most important things to us. And thank goodness there’s ambiguity because it gives us the opportunity to really pray, cry, seek.
And having those experiences grounds us in life and helps us to be able to battle with some of these things in here that in comparison seem trivial.
And maybe it’s not as important trying to understand every little thing that Paul’s saying, but when you’re anchored and you know, and you’ve set that process and you’ve set your foundation, the rest of the house builds so much smoother, and you can wait on further light and knowledge, and when it gets there, it edifies.
And that’s how the missionaries start. Any discussion is an invitation to pray. And if nothing else, you get out of this. Reading through Paul, I look at this as an excellent opportunity.
Build that foundation on Christ and seek that spirit of prophecy so that you can understand everything else. And it does couple with love.
I know time wise we should probably stick a fork in it and be done, but we still have like a couple of chapters. Nate, can I go into one or two more things?
[01:10:17] Nate: Sure.
I feel like we’ve said what we’ve needed to say for the most part, so, I mean, if there’s any other things that you want to hit on, let’s do it. But I also trust that those listening to this show are doing a lot of this. They’re not relying on us to basically translate the stuff for them.
[01:10:40] Jason: Yeah, it’s not going to be a word for word here.
I’m going to be brief.
There’s one more big thing in here for me that really puzzled me almost the entirety of this week. And in fact, I don’t know if it was on the drive here or if it was sitting here in the studio before we started. It finally just fell in place for me and it was talking about the resurrection. I love what’s happening here in Corinthians, chapter 15.
And he talks about I know some of Paul doesn’t read very well. I’m just going to kind of go through this real quick.
Okay. Verse 34. Awake to righteousness and sin not, for some have not the knowledge of God. I speak to you, I speak this to your shame. But some man will say, how are the dead raised up, and with what body do they come? Thou fool, that which thou soest is it not quickened except it die?
And that which thou soest, thou soest not the body that shall be but bear grain. And it shall by chance, by wheat, or by some other grain. So I already feel like I need to slow this down and just explain a little bit.
And he talks about the resurrection. Verse 35. But some man will say, how are the dead raised up and with what body do they come?
When Paul’s response to this, that which thou soest is not quickened except it die. I thought when I first read this, a seed, when you plant it in the ground, the seed dies in a sense, right?
You’re burying it in the ground just like you bury a body when it dies and the insides of the seed come out almost like the seed has expired and there’s no more seed, it’s just plant. That’s how I was interpreting this.
But this next verse really kind of shook me and it said verse 37 and that which thou soest, thou sowest. Not the body that shall be, but bear grain.
It may chance of wheat or some of other grain. He’s saying when you plant a seed, it’s not the whole grain of, let’s say, a stalk of wheat. You don’t take a stock of wheat and bury it in the ground and it comes back. You bury the seed. And the seed has a very different form than the grain did. So it’s not that the seed dies. It’s the stalk of wheat or barley or whatever it may be. That stalk has to die in order for the seed it stops. So I used to grow a lot of barley and wheat working at a place, trying to produce feed for cattle. And the plant initially puts all of its energy and focus into growing and it shoots out the roots and it shoots out the plant. But at some point in that plant’s life, it transitions and it puts all of its energy and focus into creating seeds because it knows it’s going to die. And here is the next generation. And you don’t plant the plant and expect it to grow a new plant. You plant the seed and that becomes another plant. And he says the form of that is the same as the form of the previous. So I’m thinking it’s not the seed that dies, it’s the plant that dies. And in taking on different forms, all of this confused me for a while until I read verse 47. Paul explains it. The first man is of the earth earthy. The second man is the Lord from heaven. As is the earthy, so are they also that are earthy and is in heaven, so are those that are heavenly. And as we have borne the image of the earthy, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly.
Now, earlier when he talks about the seed, verse 38 but God giveth it a body as it hath pleased him, and to every seed his own body, all flesh is not the same flesh. And he says the seed, it might not look anything like the wheat stock. It’s a different body, it’s a different form. But by taking that form on, it’s allowed to become itself again. So going back and reading it, when Paul says the first form is the man earthy, the second is the Lord, I realized what Paul was saying.
We must die our natural man, ourself, and take on the image of the seed. What is the seed? The Lord Jesus Christ.
When we seek to imitate the Lord Jesus Christ, which is a very different form than we are used to we’re this plant, right, and the seed takes on a different one. But when we seek to become like Him, and this is what we’re doing when we make our covenants in the baptism, this is what we’re doing when we take the sacrament. I am going to take his body, his spirit, his name. I’m going to impersonate Him, be like Him. I am going to be like this seed and die as to who I was.
Then I get to raise up, but not as a seed, but as who I was, becomes resurrected through the power of that seed. And I understood this very differently.
And Christ is that gateway, that path through which we travel, to which we can be resurrected again. I love Paul’s discussion on the resurrection, and I’m not going to go into everything here, but what I do find profound. In 29, he says, if there’s no resurrection, then why are we baptizing? Why are we doing baptisms for the dead if they raise not up again? And Paul has a very firm testimony of the resurrection, why he saw Christ resurrected. That’s why he’s an apostle. Part of the prerequisite to being an apostle was to be a special witness of the resurrection of Christ. It is the resurrection to which Paul is testifying so strongly to. Why are we doing baptisms for the dead if they raise not from the dead? And this became kind of interesting because I wondered, how do other churches take this verse and we look at it? I think I could be wrong. I don’t know of any other religion that performs baptisms for the dead outside of the Church of Jesus Christ.
And here Paul’s stating it as if it’s just common knowledge. Why else are we doing it? So what are the other religions? How do we understand this? So as I started digging into how scholars interpret it, it’s fascinating. There are over 200 different ways to interpret this verse. Wrestling with it, trying to correct it.
[01:17:49] Nate: Trying to change it, doing the I mean, again, it’s funny because we just got done talking about, like, are you challenging it? That’s what I’m saying. Are you challenging it to try to poke holes in it, to try to adjust it to fit the way that you want it to fit and believe, which we’ve all been guilty of. But I’m just saying, like, you’re illustrating over and over exactly kind of our big picture point of tonight’s episode, right? It’s like 200 ways of trying to go, well, this is in direct conflict and dissonance with what I want to believe the gospel is. So now I’ve really got to try to find a way to explain this away, that it’s got to change, that.
[01:18:36] Jason: It works something else.
[01:18:38] Nate: I mean, did any of these make any sort of sense?
[01:18:40] Jason: No, absolutely not.
[01:18:43] Nate: This one’s tough because, man, this one’s pretty on the nose.
[01:18:47] Jason: It’s hard to see this as anything else at least in a scholarly sense, there’s a lot of agreeance that this is exactly what it’s saying. In fact, this is where it gets interesting and this is where you get a little bit of debate. And I think most scholars kind of come to a conclusion on this.
Well, I don’t know. I don’t know if I’m going to speak for most scholars here. I’ll say this.
There is archaeological evidence.
There is extrascriptural reference. There is historical reference, there is historical proof that early Christianity was performing baptisms for the dead.
Where it gets iffy is most of this evidence does not date as early as Paul. We don’t see a lot of that in there. It’s not to say it didn’t happen. It’s to say we just haven’t found a lot of that concrete whatever.
But if we have solid evidence that early Christianity was performing baptisms for the dead, and we have a written record here of Paul attesting to this belief, it would seem very easy to understand and make that bridge. The reason why most of Christianity has a hard time accepting this is because after Paul, early Christianity split into several main branches, one of which continued to practice baptism for the dead, which is why we have archaeological evidence, which is why we have historical records. And a couple of the other main branches branded that branch as heretics. And because Christianity today has descended from those main branches, and those main branches has branded this as heretical, then therefore we can’t believe that it ever happened. We must find a way around Paul accepting this. We must look at this in a different way.
It’s an interesting history, the wrong way.
[01:20:51] Nate: To go about understanding dissonance with your personal beliefs and the prophets giving you different information.
[01:20:58] Jason: You’ve got to ask some hard questions about it. And to have Joseph Smith restore this part of the Gospel and understand this different from what everyone culturally understood this at his time is to me, another example of exactly what Paul’s talking about speaking in tongues or this confusion or whatever, versus prophecy and a testimony of Christ and revelation and where that? And I find great comfort reading how Paul describes the Resurrection from a perspective. I think a lot of us wonder what’s going to happen next. And we have to wonder. That’s a hard question. Speaking of asking hard questions, death is maybe one of the hardest questions we’ll ever ask.
[01:21:48] Nate: Fully willing to admit that that’s the one that sneaks up on me sometimes late at night when the darkness gets me, you know what I mean?
That’s one of the few that still just lingers so hard for me that when you’ve had a rough week and it’s just like, do the lights just go out like I don’t believe they do.
I live my life as if they don’t. It’s where I’ve said in the past, where hope is such a powerful thing, where I’m just like I’m going to rely on hope for a little while right now, even if my faith is waning a little bit on this one specific thing.
[01:22:25] Jason: You know, it’s a hard question I’ve asked myself many times, and I may.
[01:22:29] Nate: Continue to ask because your logical brain just wants to just go it wants to take the easiest path from point A to point B, right. The logical part of your brain goes, well, it’s the easiest way to go. No, when the lights go out, the lights go out. And so eat, drink, and be merry, I guess, right.
It’s almost the easiest one to kind of just I don’t know, if you let your brain dwell on it too long, it can get pretty heavy.
[01:23:04] Jason: Yeah. As a kid, I would wonder about what it was like if we didn’t continue to live. And I’d try closing my eyes and I’m like, no, that’s not it. I can still think. It’s not just that the lights go out. Like, how do you cease to exist? And that was something I just could not wrap my mind around. And I think there’s a reason for that. I think we are eternal. I think we have to be. We can’t fathom not existing because we’ve always existed.
[01:23:29] Nate: Well, Paul, to your point, paul, in a sense, was resurrected himself. It’s like it’s very easy for him to see what that process looks like. Yeah, he has that deep testimony as seeing a resurrected savior, but he died and was reborn again too. I guess. I’m just saying so many of these things that we do illustrate to hopefully help us understand and make it easier for us to believe and understand hard things to believe, which is a lot of these ordinances we go through represent these things, right. Baptism, death, and resurrection. It’s like, I mean, Paul himself, really an old part of him died and was buried, luckily. And the resurrected version of Paul was a completely different person. I mean, he was the analogy that he used, right? Like his old form died and was reborn. It wasn’t just the seed of an old form that was reborn.
It was a completely new animal. It was a completely new plant that was born from that different seed.
[01:24:49] Jason: You brought something. It reminded me of maybe just a couple of verses here to maybe add some clarity. All flesh is not the same flesh, but there is one kind of beast of men, another flesh of beasts, another flesh, and of fishes and another of birds. There are also celestial bodies, and bodies terrestrial. But the glory of the celestial is one and the glory of the terrestrial is another. And I think we often get caught up when we hear celestial and terrestrial, at least in our church and our understanding celestial terrestrial tlestrial we think of all of these as different heavenly beings. But I just want to take a minute and explain celestial means of the heaven terrestrial means of the earth. I don’t think Paul is talking about the difference of kingdoms after here. I think he’s talking about the difference of heavenly bodies versus physical bodies, at least in this context. And then he goes on to specify about heavenly or celestial bodies. As he says, there is one glory of the sun, and another the glory of the moon. Another, the glory of the stars. For one star is different from another in glory. So also is the resurrection of the dead. So he does talk about differences of celestial bodies, of heavenly bodies. And there are all sorts of different animals. I think here you can see just as there’s different animals on Earth, you would expect to see different animals in heaven. There’s a resurrection of not just people, of animals as well. The kingdom of God is full of all life.
[01:26:24] Nate: Sharks. Sharks, dinosaurs, dino, saudios. Oh, man. If you guys want the episode of a lifetime, go back to our first year Doctrine of Covenants and when we have to cope with the idea that there might be dinosaurs in heaven.
[01:26:38] Jason: All right, it’s got a picture of Godzilla on the artwork.
[01:26:42] Nate: You’ll want to listen to it? You’ll want to listen to it? All right, we really need to wrap this up.
[01:26:46] Jason: All right, last verse. And I’m done. This is chapter 16 and verse 22. I just want to add a little bit of clarity. If any man love not the Lord Jesus Christ, let him be an athema maranatha. And you look at that 22, they’ve got a little footnote a and it says the Lord will come or come, O Lord. And I think it’s interesting that they don’t translate the last two words here. Why do they leave it in the Aramaic anathema or maranatha?
If we take that translation, if any man love not the Lord Jesus Christ, let him be. And we just skip down there and read it. The Lord will come. Or come, O Lord. That doesn’t make so I think this is a little bit of a tricky verse, and I just want to make this a little bit easier for anyone who’s stumbling or trying hard to figure this out. It’s not Anathema Maranatha. That means the Lord will come. It’s just Maranatha. That means the Lord will come. Why they didn’t try to translate the first word before, I do not know. I wish they would have translated both. Either translate both or translate none. The first word, anathema, is kind of this cast out or rejected. So if any man love not the Lord Jesus Christ, let him be cast out. The Lord will come, is what that should read in all fullness. I feel like it’s a little bit of a disservice that one of those words got left untranslated because it adds confusion and you’re looking at it and maybe that adds a little bit of dissonance to you. And like, what is this talking about? It doesn’t even read right, so hopefully that gives you a little bit of harmony to the end of the book.
[01:28:19] Nate: Sweet. We appreciate you listening. Questions, comments, you know how to get a hold of us at this point. Hi@weeklydeepdive.com. We really appreciate you listening. We really appreciate the feedback that we get on these, the questions, the pushback, the additional thoughts and perspective that you all have. It’s awesome, really. It’s like, we love getting the emails with some additional thoughts on these things. We’re like, yes, that’s a great I wish we would have had that thought. But that’s what makes this fun, is that we are not entitled to all of the we are not the holders of all good perspective. This is just some of our own little unique, hopefully, points of view and perspective on these things. But know that we completely love hearing your feedback and your ideas and thoughts on these as well. And you guys are usually a lot more right than we are, so not always, though. Sometimes we do. Sometimes we got you, and I’m just kidding.
But we love you guys, and we appreciate you listening and the support.
I think that’s all we got for this week. So until next week, do Benevolence. Do Benevolence.
[01:29:32] Jason: We’re bringing that one back.
[01:29:34] Nate: I’ll say it. See you. Bye.