Melanie Stroud

Episode 20

May 13–19

Matthew 19–20; Mark 10; Luke 18

“What Lack I Yet?”

If you had the opportunity to ask the Savior a question, what would it be? When a certain rich young man met the Savior for the first time, he asked, “What good thing shall I do, that I may have eternal life?” (Matthew 19:16). The Savior’s response showed both appreciation for the good things the young man had already done and loving encouragement to do more. When we ponder the possibility of eternal life, we may similarly wonder if there’s more we should be doing. When we ask, in our own way, “What lack I yet?” (Matthew 19:20), the Lord can give us answers that are just as personal as His response to the rich young man. Whatever the Lord asks us to do, acting on His answer will always require that we trust Him more than our own righteousness (see Luke 18:9–14) and that we “receive the kingdom of God as a little child” (Luke 18:17; see also 3 Nephi 9:22).

This episode deals with marriage, divorce, the story of the rich man asking the Savior what he lacked and the parable of the laborers in the vineyard.  

I started by noting the Lord’s views on marriage as referenced in Mark 19:1-9.  He said that we should cleave to our spouse and I made the point that it was the cleave that meant stick together and not the cleave that meant chop in two.  That is an important clarification. I also read part of the chapter “Marriage” in the gospel topics.  

Then I referred to the talk called “Divorce,” by Dallin H. Oaks.  He said, “A marriage, like a human life, is a precious, living thing. If our bodies are sick, we seek to heal them. We do not give up. While there is any prospect of life, we seek healing again and again. The same should be true of our marriages, and if we seek Him, the Lord will help us and heal us.”

I made the comparison of our relationships to flesh-eating bacteria and listed the 5 things you should know about that life-threatening condition.

I then referenced my original thoughts on the rich man in Matthew 19 back in Episode 1, Min 8:30-13.  No need to repeat myself, ha ha.  I also included this quote from a talk about the rich man called, “What Lack I Yet? By Elder Larry R. Lawrence.  “Humbly ask the Lord the following question: “What is keeping me from progressing?” In other words: “What lack I yet?” Then wait quietly for a response. If you are sincere, the answer will soon become clear. It will be revelation intended just for you….”  “The Spirit can show us our weaknesses, but He is also able to show us our strengths. Sometimes we need to ask what we are doing right so that the Lord can lift and encourage us. When we read our patriarchal blessings, we are reminded that our Heavenly Father knows our divine potential. He rejoices every time we take a step forward. To Him, our direction is ever more important than our speed.”  I really liked that.  Let’s just start heading in the right direction!

Lastly, I read the parable of the laborers in the vineyard and referenced a talk by the same name from Elder Jeffrey R. Holland.  Once again, we were warned to avoid envy and being jealous of the good fortunes of others.  Elder Holland says,  “We are not in a race against each other to see who is the wealthiest or the most talented or the most beautiful or even the most blessed. The race we are really in is the race against sin…”  He said that in another talk last week!  I guess we need to keep hearing it.

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8 thoughts on “Episode 20”

  1. Thank you for sharing your valuable time with us! I listen to Emily Belle Freeman & David Butler and Meridian Magazine along with yours and enjoy everyone of them. Everyone brings out different comments and thoughts that are very interesting.

  2. I loved listening to this episode. Funny thing – I decided to slow it down to half speed and I really couldn’t stop laughing! Thanks for the recommendation from your sister a while back!
    I am going to be leading the discussion on this lesson and I have to admit that I’m a little nervous about it because we do have people in our ward who are divorced, and some very recently. Your desire to focus on the positive aspects of marriage found in the lesson and in the resources has given me encouragement to follow your lead. I love how the scriptures and our leaders can instruct us so clearly. It seems like we, with our mortal views and limited understanding, can really muddy up the Lord’s perspective as we lose sight of what we can truly reach for.
    Thank you for sharing your experiences and for choosing to help those of us who are also trying to apply these teachings in our lives.

  3. I was introduced to your podcast at the beginning of the year by my good friend Nanci. I have really enjoyed listening each week and appreciate your insights, your candidness, and your humor. Thank you! After listening to both this week and last week I thought I would recommend the most recent BYU devotional from May 7, 2019 by J.B. Haws titled “Wrestling with Comparisons”. It ties in really nicely with the last two lessons/podcasts.

  4. I love how it says that we are commanded to love our spouses with all our hearts. I told my wife, ‘I am commanded to love you’ and she said, ‘um, your commanded to love everyone.’ and I thought, ‘oh, that’s true too. Humm’, but then I said, ‘well I am commanded to love you “with all my heart”, that’s the difference’ and she said, ‘okay, where’s the remote to the TV?’ and that was the end of that convo.

    I love how we are to be ONE, I try to really push this in our relationship. I think it is so important that we change and grow together in all aspects of life, like physical, spiritual, mental… Our finances should be transparent to each other, our phones and computers shouldn’t be locked from each other, everything should be transparent and open so no secrets can be kept. Sin loves the dark and secret places.

    Thanks for your time in making these podcasts, makes the wheels turn in my brain and keeps the faith up!

  5. I really loved this episode. My husband and I got married after knowing each other after 2 months (lol). 7 kids, health issues, and over a decade later we went through a really rough time in our marriage that nearly culminated in divorce. From the outside, everything probably looked fine, but it wasn’t; we definitely had ‘necrotizing faciitis’. Neither of us were happy. We each had flaws and we both blamed each other and ourselves. We both ended up talking with our bishop and re-evaluating ourselves and our marriage. There were things that we both had overlooked. We weren’t giving each other enough time or honesty and our marriage very nearly suffered fatally. We opted for intensive treatment. We make frequent trips to the temple. We talk. We hold hands and spend time together. We changed our media habits. Our 15th anniversary is coming up in a few days and I’m grateful that we are both working together in love and righteousness. It’s still not perfect, but we are careful to apply ‘treatment’ and take our ‘vitamins’ to avoid falling back in that dark place.

  6. Thank you for your podcast; I look forward to it every week! I am now looking forward to the other one too 💗

  7. I am LOVING your podcast! You make the lesson so fun to listen to. The website that I attached is a link to a shirt I saw and immediately thought of you! I’d just listened to this episode where the kids called you the cool lady and then a couple days later as I was starting all the podcasts from the beginning you said that your brother told you you cry too much! I saw this shirt and thought it would be perfect for you!
    But here’s what I have to say about your crying: when I hear you get choked up it confirms to me that you are feeling the Spirit and it helps me feel it more too. It makes you seem more real, and not just a perfect voice recording reading a script. So keep crying, Melanie!
    Thank you so much for your example and your diligence in creating this podcast for us!
    For a second there I almost ended my comment with “Love you”, but you know, I kind a do! Love filled gratitude for what you’re doing! ☺️

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