Melanie Stroud

Episode 40 “For the Perfecting of the Saints”

September 30–October 13


“For the Perfecting of the Saints”

When the gospel began to spread in Ephesus, it caused “no small stir” (Acts 19:23) among the Ephesians. Local craftsmen who produced shrines to a pagan goddess saw Christianity as a threat to their livelihood, and soon “they were full of wrath, … and the whole city was filled with confusion” (see Acts 19:27–29). Imagine being a new convert to the gospel in such a setting. Many Ephesians did accept and live the gospel amid this “uproar” (Acts 19:40), and Paul assured them that “Christ … is our peace” (Ephesians 2:13–14). These words, along with his invitation to “let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away” (Ephesians 4:31) seem as timely and comforting now as they were then. For the Ephesians, as for you, the strength to face adversity comes “in the Lord, and in the power of his might” (Ephesians 6:10–13).

Some quotes used in the lesson:

Elder Orson Hyde said, “We have forgotten! … But our forgetfulness cannot alter the facts.” (Journal of Discourses, 7:315.) Yet, on occasions, there are inklings. President Joseph F. Smith observed how “we often catch a spark from the awakened memories of the immortal soul, which lights up our whole being as with the glory of our former home.” (Gospel Doctrine, 5th ed., Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 1939, p. 14.)

Just because we were chosen “there and then,” surely does not mean we can be indifferent “here and now.”   This doctrine brings unarguable identity but also severe accountability to our lives.  Neal A. Maxwell (Premortality a Glorious Reality) 

President Gordon B. Hinckley taught priesthood holders:

“The wife you choose will be your equal. Paul declared, ‘Neither is the man without the woman, neither the woman without the man, in the Lord’ (1 Cor. 11:11).

“In the marriage companionship there is neither inferiority nor superiority. The woman does not walk ahead of the man; neither does the man walk ahead of the woman. They walk side by side as a son and daughter of God on an eternal journey.

“She is not your servant, your chattel, nor anything of the kind. …

“I am confident that when we stand before the bar of God, there will be little mention of how much wealth we accumulated in life or of any honors which we may have achieved. But there will be searching questions concerning our domestic relations. And I am convinced that only those who have walked through life with love and respect and appreciation for their companions and children will receive from our eternal judge the words, ‘Well done, thou good and faithful servant: … enter thou into the joy of thy lord’ (Matt. 25:21)” (“Personal Worthiness to Exercise the Priesthood,” Ensign, May 2002, 53–54).

President Spencer W. Kimball (1895–1985) explained:

“A woman need have no fear of being imposed upon or of any dictatorial measures or of any improper demands when the husband is self-sacrificing and worthy. …

“Husbands are commanded: ‘… love your wives, even as Christ also loveth the church, and gave himself for it.’ (Eph. 5:25.)

“Christ loved the church and its people so much that he voluntarily endured persecution for them, suffered humiliating indignities for them, stoically withstood pain and physical abuse for them, and finally gave his precious life for them.

“When the husband is ready to treat his household in that manner, not only the wife but all the family will respond to his leadership” (“Home: The Place to Save Society,” Ensign, Jan. 1975, 5).

Joel Osteen said,  “I agree with the word of God, when it says we should submit to our husband, but in this verse it compares our submission with being submissive to The Lord.  Think about it…You submit to The Lord everyday by following His word and you learn to love your husband like Jesus loved the church. 

Now, don’t believe for one minute your husband has it easy just, because YOU are submitting.  The thing God wants you to do is to trust and believe in Him, and He will lead your husband in the direction to where your husband has to love you with the same love Christ showed the church, your husband has to also love you the same way he loves himself, and your husband must lay down his life in sacrificial love and protection for you.  If all of these things are happening or they may be transforming to happen, than you as the wife should want to look toward your husband for that leadership role he has in your marriage.  Therefore, by being submissive.”(I can’t find where I found this!!  Ahhh!  I’ll find it!)

M. Russell Ballard said, “Long before the world was formed, Satan and those who followed after him raged against the forces of good and tried to overthrow the work of God.  That struggle has not ended, only shifted battlegrounds.  It is ruthless and relentless, and the objective of the battle is your eternal soul and mine.”  

 Elder Larry R. Lawrence Of the Seventy said,I would like to suggest that each of you participate in a spiritual exercise sometime soon, perhaps even tonight while saying your prayers. 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.”  (What Lack I Yet? October 2015)


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3 thoughts on “Episode 40 “For the Perfecting of the Saints””

  1. You mentioned today in the podcast that maybe you are not the right one to be giving out marriage or parenting advice because of the things that are happening or have happened in your life. I think this is why I do like your advice. Just like Christ experienced everything to understand us better, a friend who has also experienced hard things understands a little better too. I needed to hear “dont get divorced” today from someone who has felt that pain. It makes me want to put on my big girl panties and jump back into the trenches and fight a little longer. ” In the world ye shall have tribulation, but be of good cheer, I have over come the world.”

  2. Hi Melanie! I started listening to your podcast when I was experiencing a miniature faith crisis – I had no desire to leave the fold, but I was having a hard time with overwhelming doubt, when I wanted so badly for it – God, Christ, Joseph Smith, an afterlife with my husband and child – to all be true. I decided to throw myself into as many good Gospel resources as possible, and found you among the other (think Primary answers) things I have been doing. I just want to say I really appreciate the enthusiastic, relatable way you share the gospel and your testimony. I am learning, slowly, that I have been starving my testimony of something that I truly need – human interaction. Listening to others’ experiences and sharing my own in fellowship has been a big part of what I feel God is trying to teach me at this time, and I just want to say thank you. The Spirit has come back into my life as it has not in a long time – I feel as though I am waking up out of a long sleep where I wasn’t doing bad things, but I was stagnant in so many ways. Thank you for helping be a part of that!

  3. As I listened to this episode (my 1st one) I really enjoyed your insights. One bit of (hopefully constructive) criticism. Remember that you are talking to women and men. As you spoke about marriage you emphasized the wife’s point of view as that of your listener. You emphasized the husbands role in marriage, but it was from the perspective of the wife. I understand that is the perspective you see, just something to consider. Thank you for what you are doing and sharing your gifts with all of us. I look forward to the next many episodes.

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