Melanie Stroud

Episode 13

Hand of God by Yungsong Kim

Matthew 14–15; Mark 6–7; John 5–6
“Be Not Afraid”

The manual for this lesson gives the purpose of this lesson so beautifully!

What could have inspired Peter to leave the safety of his boat in the middle of the Sea of Galilee during a boisterous storm? What led him to believe that if Jesus could walk on water, he could too? We can’t know for certain, but perhaps Peter understood that the Son of God came not just to do wonderful things for the people but to empower people like Peter to do wonderful things too.

In this episode, I talk about our Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ and how they are so proud of each other.  I quote from a beautiful talk by Jeffrey R Holland called, “The Grandeur of God.”  Elder Holland quotes Joseph Smith, “Little wonder then that the Prophet Joseph Smith taught: “It is the first principle of the gospel to know for a certainty the character of God.” “I want you all to know Him,” he said, “and to be familiar with Him.” We must have “a correct idea of his … perfections, and attributes,” an admiration for “the excellency of [His] character.”

He continues quoting Joseph Smith, “in the words of that prophet I, too, declare: ‘Our heavenly Father is more liberal in His views, and boundless in His mercies and blessings, than we are ready to believe or receive. … God does not look on sin with [the least degree of] allowance, but … the nearer we get to our heavenly Father, the more we are disposed to look with compassion on perishing souls; we feel that we want to take them upon our shoulders, and cast their sins behind our backs.’ I bear witness of a God who has such shoulders.”

Then I talk about the miracle of the loaves and fishes and the manual so beautifully applies that miracle to our own lives.  Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ can take what little we have to offer and turn it into a miraculous thing of beauty.  The manual references a great talk by James E. Faust called “Five Loaves and Two Fishes.”  In it, he says. ” “It has been said that this church does not necessarily attract great people but more often makes ordinary people great. Many nameless people with gifts equal only to five loaves and two small fishes magnify their callings and serve without attention or recognition, feeding literally thousands.”

Then we talk about Peter and his faith and letting Christ save us.  I suggested we call out to the Savior as we begin to sink, rather than waiting until we hit the very bottom.  I loved that the minute Peter called out to Him, “immediately Jesus stretched forth his hand, and caught him.”  Let’s not wait so long next time to ask for help.  I spoke of a painting I really like by Yongsung Kim called, “Hand of God.”  I also referenced a song by Avril Lavigne, “Head Above Water.” 

We end by talking about the disciples who left Jesus because of his “hard saying” and the Savior asking, “Will you also go away?”  So sad to me.  The manual references a talk by Elder Russel M. Nelson called, “To Whom Shall We Go?”  He says, “If anyone of you is faltering in your faith, I ask you the same question that Peter asked: “To whom shall [you] go?” If you choose to become inactive or to leave the restored Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, where will you go? What will you do? The decision to “walk no more” with Church members and the Lord’s chosen leaders will have a long-term impact that cannot always be seen right now.”  Just stay people.  It’s the best choice.

Again, I suggest reading Lawrence Corbridge’s talk, Stand Forever.

Then I suggest that you send me videos of your family re-enacting Jesus and Peter walking on the water.  Because that’s what the manual suggested and I want to see it come to pass.

Shine on friends!

Stand Forever, Lawrence E. Corbridge

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22 thoughts on “Episode 13”

  1. Hey- if you want to read and listen to powerful lyrics…check out Lauren Daigle. She sings a song called, “You Say.” so powerful!!!!

  2. Thank you for your podcast. My daughter and I are really enjoying it. We were bummed we missed out on your $12 giveaway! We will try to do your contests in the future. Can we ask one favor, please? If there us a way for you to record your podcasts a bit louder, it would help us. I have my phone up all the way and we gave a hard time hearing it over the noise of my toddler.


      1. Hi, Melanie! I just want to say thank you again for your podcast. I have been trying to catch up on all of your old episodes and my girls and I love it. My 7 year old daughter yelled from her bed for me to not listen to it at night because she can’t fall asleep because it’s too funny ! My 2 year old just said to me ” mom,come follow me is a good book” ( shes used to me listening to audio books). Thank you thank you for all you do. I love your personal stories- they truly lift me (they good and sad).


        P.s. I’m not sure if you can still try to make it any louder but I did find a volume boosting option on castbox. I dont have the iTunes version, but if I did, I would give *****!

        1. Melanie Wellman

          This has me laughing and laughing. Out of the mouth of babes! ha ha. I love not being able to fall asleep because it’s too funny. That might be my new life’s goal.

  3. Tanys B Searle

    I love your podcast. It has helped bring the spirit closer to me each week. You are a light! Thank you for sharing your time and love with all of us.

  4. Hurray! You are the answer to my prayers. I was introduced to your podcast last Wednesday and I have binge listened to every episode. Some twice. I personally love your tangents. That is exactly how my brain functions! I go right with you and come right back instead of having my own squirrel moments and getting completely lost. I can’t thank you enough for making Come Follow Me and the scriptures come to life for me. I can’t wait for the Book of Mormon podcast you talk about. I have read and taught the story of Ammon many times, yet now it’s so cool to think of this humble dude not wanting to brag about all the arms he smote off. That was hilarious, not to mention that my husband doesn’t stink! He’s awesome!!!! Great lesson for me to learn. My son said I’m starting to sound like you and I told him “I sure hope so! She is great!” You’re like my new best friend and you don’t even know it. Thank you for magnifying your talents by sharing with peeps like me.

  5. I gave my boys the whole week to think about their parable. We told them last night so we are too late for the competition. But they where so great I wanted to share. It was a totally mom and dad payday because they came up with them by theirselves. The first one said that a foot in a sock is like our spirits in our bodies. The body can’t move without the spirit and the sock can’t move without the foot. The next one was about how fire and our choices are a like. Fire can be good and give us heat, cook our food, make things…. just like our choices can be blessing in our lives. But fire can be bad and hurt us and cause us great pain. It also can destroy things too. Just like bad choices can hurt and destroy things in our lives. The next one was about how when we use a light switch it brings light into our lives. The only way we can have that light is through action. We have to turn the light on. Likewise we have to act into order to have the gospel bring light into our lives. The next one was about rain. Rain represented blessings from heaven. A umbrella represents us putting things in our way so we can’t receive those blessings. Thanks again for your time and talent! Ward council’s spirital thought was from your podcast. ( not by me but someone I told about the podcast) It is amazing what the Lord can do when we give our fish and loafs of bread to him, he feeds thousands!!❤

    1. Melanie Wellman

      Those are great parables! Once you start looking for them, they are everywhere. It might just be a great way to get stop the boredom in a long car ride etc. You’re welcome! Ha ha

  6. I love this podcast, I felt the spirit so strongly in this one. I really liked how you said we should be excited to pray to our Heavenly Father and tell him about our day. It reminded me of an experience I had today, bare with me while I try to set the scene.

    My sister-in-law and I signed our kids up for swim lessons, I work full time, so my sister-in-law said she would take my daughter to the lessons with her kids. When the time came for her to be in swim lessons, I was sad that I couldn’t be there to watch her learn, grow, and be brave. (She isn’t a fan of getting her face in the water). When I was driving home, I was so excited to hear about how her swim lessons went, she told me she was brave like Captain Marvel and put her face in the water. I was so proud of her and she was excited to tell me all about her success. When I told her how proud I was of her, I could tell that she could feel my love for her and wanted to do more to make me proud. This relates to prayer because as much as I wanted to hear about her day, Heavenly Father wants to hear about ours even more. We are all here trying to learn, grow, and be brave.

    If she would not have told me about her swim lesson, it still would have happened, and she would still be learning and growing, but because she told me, I was able to let her know how proud I was of her and she was able to feel my love for her and is excited to go back and continue learning and growing. If we do not let Heavenly Father hear about our experiences, He will still know we are having them, but we are missing out on the opportunity to hear about how proud Heavenly Father is of us. That feeling of love can help us feel close to Him and feel encouraged to keep learning, growing, and being brave.

  7. Thanks so much. I have been wondering about my talents. I look around and see all that everyone else e has but I don’t see mine. I am going to take your advice and find mine and ask how I can use them. ❤️

  8. Melanie, I really appreciate the courage you have to share this podcast! I’m sure it takes oodles of time but it means so much to me. I enjoy your insight and you’ve reminded me that the Saviors teachings are found in each of our daily lives. I too love the paining of the Savior reaching into the water, when I first saw it, it just spoke to my soul. I’m glad you reminded me of it!
    Keep up the great messages!

  9. LaChere Vawdrey

    As always-so good! Thx for sharing your time and talents! You are blessing many with your faith and testimony. What an incredible way to shine the light and help others either see that light or just stay on the path! We love you for it! And-side note-that random family sounds pretty dang cool!!!!!

    1. Melanie Wellman


  10. Cecilia Tangataevaha

    I seriously binge listened to this podcast over these last 3 days and I. LOVE. IT! I love your enthusiasm for the gospel and your love for the Savior. Your views are so refreshing and you make the gospel so REAL! You have truly inspired me to be able to bring the gospel to life for my family! I have 3 and 1 year old boys and when we were talking about Peter walking on water, we HAD to try it out during bath time! My 3 year old would say, “I can do anything with Jesus!” Yes! Yes, you can!!! It makes me SO excited that He Can understand, even at his age, what it means to have Faith in his own way. “Come, Follow Me” is truly an inspired program and bring our families so much closer through our testimonies and Love! Thank you for sharing your light. Thank you for being such a great example of strength, resilience and love. I am so happy that you have this platform to share your story! So Powerful! You are AWESOME!!

  11. Konnichiwa!!!! So, I feel like we could be friends! I also served my mission in Japan, and I love your personality and insights. And, we just moved out of Surprise, so I feel like we have all these connections! I could just gush on and on and on about you, and have to my sisters and friends.

    As for the lesson this week, one of my absolute FAVORITE takeaways was in Matthew 14:13. When He found out that John the Baptist, his cousin, friend, and faithful disciple had died, he grieved. He went up into the mountains alone and was sad! Then when all the people found out where he was, his heart was moved with compassion and he healed them. What a perfect example he was of salving your grief by serving others. But THEN, in verse 23 after he sends the people away, I think he’s praying still about his grief. I took from this that it’s ok to grieve, and that’ it’s ok to still hurt, even after you serve like you’re “supposed to” in order to feel better. It’s ok to grieve and be sad!

    Lastly, I know some others don’t like it, but I love when you share about your own life! It makes you more real and relatable, and that’s why I love you and this podcast!!!!!! Keep doing what you’d doing, because I truly feel that your podcast is one way the Savior is reaching his hand in the water to save me when I feel like I’m drowning.

  12. Melanie thank you so much for doing these podcasts every week. I look forward to them so much. I just want you to know that I look at your website, read all your posts, listen to all your podcasts even the .5 ones, and I tired to write you a review but I don’t know how. But I really love to listen to these each week they help me read the scriptures and understand them differently you’re getting me to think outside the box and I love it.
    I also wanted to just say that I have been lucky enough to hear your book of Mormon speech twice now. And I wish I could listen to it every day because your book of Mormon lesson has motivated me greater than anything else I’ve ever tried. So please tell all your stories and don’t worry about the people who will hear it repeated cause I would love to hear it repeated every day. And I’m sure they would too!
    Thank you for being you. I love and miss you and sometimes wish I could transport back to girls camp and young women’s because you are in some of my best memories!

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