Melanie Stroud

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Episode List

Luke 12–17; John 11

“Rejoice with Me; for I Have Found My Sheep Which Was Lost

”In most situations, 99 out of 100 would be considered excellent—but not when such numbers stand for beloved children of God (see D&C 18:10). In that case, even one soul merits a thorough, desperate search “until [we] find it” (Luke 15:4), as the Savior taught in the parable of the lost sheep. Then the rejoicing can begin, for “joy shall be in heaven over one sinner that repenteth, more than over ninety and nine just persons, which need no repentance” (Luke 15:7). If that seems unfair, it’s helpful to remember that, in truth, there are none who “need no repentance.” We all need rescuing. And we all can participate in the rescue, rejoicing together over every soul who is saved (see D&C 18:15–16).

In this episode, I start by talking about the parable of the foolish rich man.  The point of the story was how much do we really need? How can we be a better steward over the wealth and talents the Lord has blessed us with?

The next section is all about searching for the lost.  Lost money, lost sheep, lost coins etc.  Again we talk more in-depth about the prodigal son.  The lesson references one of my FAVORITE talks by Jeffrey R Holland, “The Other Prodigal.”

The story of the Prodigal Son is a beautiful story about the love that our Heavenly Father has for us. But there is also another story hidden in there that we often miss.  And that’s the story of the other brother.  Elder Holland’s talk addresses this brother’s jealousy and the feelings that all so often have for others.  It’s really humbling to find out you need rescuing as much as the person you are judging.  Yikes!

Then the podcast ends with the story of the 10 lepers.  The manual references another favorite talk by Henry B Eyring entitled, “O Remember, Remember.”  He talks about the importance of noticing the hand of the Lord in our lives every day and writing it down.  It’s so good. 

Episode 18

I am the Good Shepherd

John 7-10

This episode covers John 7-10.  It starts with the scripture, “If any man will do his will, he shall know of the doctrine, whether it be of God, or whether I speak of myself.”  Once again the Savior is telling us to DO WHAT WE HEAR.  How many times can we hear this without understanding the importance of applying the gospel and the principles we learn to our lives?  DO IT!  

I shared a story about paying my tithing when I was in college and how I immediately was blessed.

Then we go to John 8:2-11 about the woman taken in adultery.  I talked a little bit about being “convicted by our own conscience” and how it would be nice if this happened to us a little more and we figuratively stopped throwing stones at other people and just worried about ourselves.  

Then I shared a sweet story about my Grandma showing compassion in a hard situation and relating that to the love the Savior has for us and the love, compassion and lack of judgement we should have for each other. 

I quoted the talk in the manual, “Our Good Shepherd” by Elder Dale G. Renlund of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles.  He said, “Surely, the Savior did not condone adultery. But He also did not condemn the woman. He encouraged her to reform her life. She was motivated to change because of His compassion and mercy.”

Later in the talk he said, “As His disciples, let us fully mirror His love and love one another so openly and completely that no one feels abandoned, alone, or hopeless.”

I then spoke about the mercy that Moroni showed the repentant Lamanites by sending them to live with the People of Ammon (see Alma 62).

I spoke about John 8 and how living the gospel actually sets us free instead of making us servants of sin.

Then we talked about the miracle of Jesus healing the blind man that had been blind since his youth and about the importance of knowing the Saviors voice so that we won’t be deceived. 

Episode 17

What Shall I do to Inherit Eternal Life?

This episode addresses forgiveness AGAIN because I needed to hear it AGAIN.  And apparently so do you or else they wouldn’t have put this in again 16 weeks later… 

I also talk about the parable of the Good Samaritan and the experience of Mary and Martha. 

Two quotes from Elder David E. Sorensen’s talk, “Forgiveness Will Change Bitterness to Love.”

“Joseph’s brothers jealously hated him. They plotted to take his life and finally sold him as a slave. Joseph was carried into Egypt and struggled for years to rise from slavery. During these challenging times, Joseph might have condemned his brothers and sworn revenge. He might have soothed his pain by scheming to get even someday. But he did not.

In time, Joseph became ruler over all of Egypt, second in command only to Pharaoh. During a devastating famine, Joseph’s brothers traveled to Egypt for food. Not recognizing Joseph, they bowed down to him because of his high position. Surely at that moment, Joseph had the power to exact revenge. He might have put his brethren in prison or sentenced them to death. Instead he confirmed his forgiveness. He said: “I am Joseph your brother, whom ye sold into Egypt. Now therefore be not grieved, nor angry with yourselves, that ye sold me hither. … And God sent me before you to preserve you a posterity … and to save your lives by a great deliverance. So now it was not you that sent me hither, but God.”

Later he said, “I would like to make it clear that forgiveness of sins should not be confused with tolerating evil. … Although we must forgive a neighbor who injures us, we should still work constructively to prevent that injury from being repeated” 

Sister Bonnie D. Parkin, former Relief Society General President, taught: “Mary and Martha are you and me. … These two loved the Lord and wanted to show that love. On this occasion, it seems to me that Mary expressed her love by hearing His word, while Martha expressed hers by serving Him. … Jesus did not dismiss Martha’s concern, but instead redirected her focus by saying choose ‘that good part.’ And what is that? … The one thing that is needful is to choose eternal life [see 2 Nephi 2:28]. We choose daily” (“Choosing Charity: That Good Part,” Ensign or Liahona, Nov. 2003, 104).

https://www.lds.org/general-conference/2008/10/hope-ya-know-we-had-a-hard-time?lang=eng

Episode 16

Ashley Stroud

This episode focuses on Easter and the resurrection of Jesus Christ.  I talk about the different versions of the story from the different books in the New Testament.  I interview my Brother-in-law, Jaymeson Stroud about his experience with his sister that was born with a rare genetic disorder.  

I include part of a talk by Elder Paul V Johnson.   Elder Johnson shared a letter his daughter Alisa wrote at Easter time, shortly before she passed away: “Easter is a reminder of all that I hope for myself. That someday I will be healed and someday I will be whole. Someday I won’t have any metal or plastic inside of me. Someday my heart will be free of fear and my mind free of anxieties. … I am so glad I truly believe in a beautiful afterlife”

He continues by saying, “The reality of the Resurrection of the Savior overwhelms our heartbreak with hope because with it comes the assurance that all the other promises of the gospel are just as real—promises that are no less miraculous than the Resurrection. We know that He has the power to cleanse us from all our sins. We know that He has taken upon Himself all our infirmities, pains, and the injustices we have suffered.18 We know that He has “rise[n] from the dead, with healing in his wings.”19 We know that He can make us whole no matter what is broken in us. We know that He “shall wipe away all tears from [our] eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain.”20 We know that we can be “made perfect through Jesus … , who wrought out this perfect atonement,”21 if we will just have faith and follow Him.

“And There Shall Be No More Death,” Ensign or Liahona, May 2016, 121).

Special Bonus Episode

The Book of Mormon

This episode is about the power of the Book of Mormon and how it can transform your life.  I explain a way that I was taught to read the Book of Mormon on my mission.  I learned that I wasn’t reading just a story or trying to learn the history of an ancient civilization.   I learned that if I prayed in faith and then took my thoughts to the Lord, he would answer my prayers through the Book of Mormon.  It’s an amazing thing.  Our Father in Heaven wants to lead and direct our lives.  And lucky for us, He has given us this special gift that helps us draw closer to Him every day.  

Some quotes I used in the lesson:

 “When I think of the Book of Mormon, I think of the word power. The truths of the Book of Mormon have the power to heal, comfort, restore, succor, strengthen, console, and cheer our souls.”      – Russell M. Nelson      

“My dear brothers and sisters, I promise that as you prayerfully study the Book of Mormon every day, you will make better decisions—every day. I promise that as you ponder what you study, the windows of heaven will open, and you will receive answers to your own questions and direction for your own life. I promise that as you daily immerse yourself in the Book of Mormon, you can be immunized against the evils of the day, even the gripping plague of pornography and other mind-numbing addictions.” Russell M. Nelson

“I told the brethren that the Book of Mormon was the most correct of any book on earth, and the keystone of our religion, and a man would get nearer to God by abiding by its precepts, than by any other book.”   – Joseph Smith

“I implore each of us to prayerfully study and ponder the Book of Mormon each day. As we do so, we will be in a position to hear the voice of the Spirit, to resist temptation, to overcome doubt and fear, and to receive heaven’s help in our lives.”  -Thomas S. Monson

“When you look to the book, you look to the Lord.” -Gary E Stevenson 

“Whenever I hear anyone, including myself, say, “I know the Book of Mormon is true,” I want to exclaim, “That’s nice, but it is not enough!” We need to feel, deep in “the inmost part” of our hearts, that the Book of Mormon is unequivocally the word of God. We must feel it so deeply that we would never want to live even one day without it. I might paraphrase President Brigham Young in saying, “I wish I had the voice of seven thunders to wake up the people” to the truth and power of the Book of Mormon.”

Scriptures cited:

1 Nephi 15:24   Fiery darts

Jacob 2:13 Costliness of apparel

1 Nephi 2:15 Lehi dwelt in a tent

Doctrine and Covenants 8: 2-3 Spirit of Revelation

2 Nephi 1:14 Hear the words of a trembling parent … (ha ha)

1 Timothy 2:15  Saved in childbirth

Helaman 3:29  Word of God is quick and powerful

Doctrine and Covenants  84:85 Treasure up continually the words of life

Mosiah 7:18-19 Effectual struggle

Alma 37:46  Easiness of the way

Doctrine and Covenants 97:8-11, 28

1 Nephi 5:2-3 Mother complained

 

(Study Guide)

Book Of Mormon Study Guide

“There is a power in the Book of Mormon which will begin to flow into your lives the minute that you begin a serious study of the book. You will find the power to avoid deception. You find the power to stay on the straight and narrow path.” – President Benson

 

Set aside a block of time

1. Pray. Express gratitude. Repent. Ask to gain knowledge and inspiration

2. Read. (Not necessarily a chapter a day.) Smaller portions. Learn to cross-reference.

3. Ponder. What does this have to do with me? My family? etc. Why was this saved for my day?

4. Write. Write down the scriptures that touch you and your feelings about them.

5. Pray again. Ask for help and guidance to apply the things you learned. Thank Heavenly Father again for the rare opportunity you have to have the Book of Mormon.

“I implore each of us to prayerfully study and ponder the Book of Mormon each day. As we do so, we will be in a position to hear the voice of the Spirit, to resist temptation, to overcome doubt and fear, and to receive heaven’s help in our lives.”
– President Monson

 

 

Matthew 16–17; Mark 8–9; Luke 9
“Thou Art the Christ”

This podcast talks about Christ’s question, “Whom say ye that I am?”  “Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God.”
The manual then asks us how we answer that question.  The manual refers to many scriptures that talk about the importance of the Holy Ghost testifying of Christ and that when we look for signs we can miss the most amazing thing of all; the Holy Ghost.  He is the one that testifies of Christ and he is the one who will soften our hearts and confirm to us the divinity of the Savior. 

The lesson then talks about Priesthood keys and the Priesthood in our lives. The manual referred to a talk by Neil L. Andersen called, “Power in the Priesthood.”    I really liked when he said,  “A man may open the drapes so the warm sunlight comes into the room, but the man does not own the sun or the light or the warmth it brings. The blessings of the priesthood are infinitely greater than the one who is asked to administer the gift.”  I talked a while about my own dad giving me blessings when I was a kid and then after he died getting them from other people.  I testified that it didn’t matter who gave me those blessings because ultimately they all are from my Heavenly Father and that’s all that really matters.  

The lesson ends with the beautiful story of the father with a tormented son. When the Lord asked about his faith the father says, “Lord, I believe; help thou mine unbelief.”  Jeffrey R. Holland gives a beautiful talk on this subject that I will link here.  Let’s all lead with what we know first.  Because in the end, we really do know more than we think.

https://youtu.be/2nPY22FoDpY

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

Thanks, Lindsey for making these up for me! If we missed one you liked, let us know!

Episode 12

Matthew 13; Luke 8; 13
“Who Hath Ears to Hear, Let Him Hear”

This episode is about some of the parables used by the Savior. I discuss the parable of the sower, the parable of the mustard seed, the parable of the nets and introduce another of my own little parables called the parable of the pinky.

References:

President Brigham Young (1801–77) said: “The worst fear that I have about [members of this Church] is that they will get rich in this country, forget God and his people, wax fat, and kick themselves out of the Church and go to hell. This people will stand mobbing, robbing, poverty, and all manner of persecution, and be true. But my greater fear for them is that they cannot stand wealth; and yet they have to be tried with riches”

Stand Forever Lawrence E. Corbridge

Forbes article about brand influence in our life 

The Parable of the Sower Dallin H. Oaks

So last night I read 2 Nephi 31:20. It said, “Wherefore, ye must press forward with a steadfastness in Christ, having a perfect brightness of hope, and love of God and all men. Wherefore, if ye shall press forward, feasting upon the word of Christ, and endure to the end, behold, thus saith the Father, Ye shall have eternal life. “

Wow! That’s all we need. For real. If you want a road map for your life, here it is. Follow Christ. Have hope. It doesn’t say have perfect knowledge, it says have perfect hope. That’s much easier!

When Christ was asked what the most important commandment was in Matthew 22 he said, “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all they heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind…. and the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. ” It’s not a coincidence that the Lord put it in our roadmap here.

Then, press forward. I heard someone say once that our gospel journey is like climbing UP a DOWN escalator. If we aren’t moving forward we are moving away from our goal. If we think we are only standing still, we are wrong. And how do we keep moving forward? FEAST ON THE WORD OF CHRIST! Read the scriptures every day! Apply them to your life every day. Then you’ll make it home! And if you say, “Well it’s too hard to love my neighbor, or it’s too hard to love myself or God,” then read the Book of Mormon! It will help us with all the other things. It gives us hope. It teaches us to love. It straightens out confusion. It’s the key.

I love the Book of Mormon with all my heart. It will lead us home.

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2 thoughts on “Podcast”

  1. Brooke Covington

    Melanie,
    I love to listen to your podcast on my lunch hour at work. You are so inspiring with your great stories and to help me remember that I am important in the Saviors eyes even when my world is upside down and it feels like I’m not. Thank you for what you do!

  2. Karen Johnson Logan utah

    You and your sister are so great together! I do believe Heavenly Father has a sense of humor:)
    You help remind me to find answers to ALL questions in the scriptures. I have been a listener since the beginning. I know I was lead to you. You truly speak my language and I feel I can relate to “the way you teach.” 😉 air quotes
    Thanks!

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