Archive Monthly Archives: December 2016

Sixth Witness – Joseph

Joseph legally claimed Jesus as his own when he named the child. 
​            ~ Isaiah 7:14 

Joseph was a patriarch of a man.  He was the one that had family home evenings with Jesus, he taught him a trade, told him stories, encouraged him to walk, talk, read and sing.
Angel Gabriel helped him whenever he needed it. Gabriel first comforted Joseph, “Fear not to take Mary as thy wife… for she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins.” (Matthew 1:20-21) Fulfilling the prophesy, “The Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Emmanuel” (Isaiah 7:14.)

The angel giving Joseph the name of the baby was very significant.  In that culture when a man names the child he is legally claiming him as his own.  Joseph named him “Jesus” which means save his people just as the angel told him. He loved Jesus as his own.
We know that he was righteous and faithful in keeping the law of Moses. He was strickly obedient and rose immediately when warned to flee Bethlehem.
​There are no scriptural record of any words spoken by Joseph, yet his righteousness and reactions to Mary’s condition bear testimony to his belief in Christ’s divine sonship. 

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Fifth Witness – Mary

He that is mighty hath done to me great things; and holy is his name. ~ Luke 1:49

Jesus was born the son of God to a virgin mother as foretold by Isaiah (Isa. 7:14) and other prophets (1 Nephi 11:13-21; Alma 7:9-10.) Gabriel called her, “highly favoured” and “blessed… among women” (Luke 1:28.)

From the Book of Mormon we learn what the mother of the Savior looked like. Nephi “beheld a virgin, and she was exceedingly fair and white.” (1 Nephi 11:13)

​Mary was a perfect mortal witness. Gabriel told her she would conceive “the Son of the Highest.” (Luke 1:32.) 

Christ’s mother was very special and the Nephites understood how special she was because her name was announced. It was their culture to not write the name of women except in very special circumstances. There are only 4 women names in the whole Book of Mormon.

“He shall be called Jesus Christ, the Son of God, the Father of heaven and earth, the Creator of all things from the beginning; and his mother shall be called Mary.” (Mosiah ​3:7-8)

Nephi understood the symbolism of the fruit of the tree when he witnessed the love Mary had for Jesus. 

“I looked and beheld the virgin again, bearing a child in her arms. And the angel said unto me: Behold the Lamb of God, yea, even the Son of the Eternal Father! Knowest thou the meaning of the tree which thy father saw? And I answered him, saying: Yea, it is the love of God, which sheddeth itself abroad in the hearts of the children of men; wherefore, it is the most desirableabove all things. And he spake unto me, saying: Yea, and themost joyous to the soul.” (1 Ne. 11:19–23.)

Nephi knew the meaning of the tree was love because he could feel their love for each other.  Love is the MOST desirable, the MOST joyous.
How did you feel when your children were born? or when you held a newborn baby? It is that love that God desires us all to feel and have and experience. When is the last time you felt the love of God?
​Following that marvelous event, she testified, saying, “He that is mighty hath done to me great things; and holy is his name.” (Luke 1:49.)

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Fourth Witness – John the Baptist

The babe [John] leaped in her womb; and Elisabeth was filled with the Holy Ghost. ~ Luke 1:41

What a marvelous event it must have been when Elisabeth greeted her cousin Mary in the spirit of prophecy and Mary responding by that same spirit, then John leaping for joy. The testimonies of two women—the aged Elisabeth and the young Mary—each bearing a child conceived under miraculous circumstances. They, and the unborn John, all rejoice in the great event about to take place.
Christ was the rightful heir to David’s kingdom and John was rightful heir of the office of Elias. He began his ministry, to “go before the face of the Lord to prepare his [Christ’s] ways,” by leaping for joy while still within his mother’s womb. (Luke 1:41, 76; see also Luke 1:15.)

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Third Witness – Elisabeth

Blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb. And whence is this to me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? ~ Luke 1:42

Elizabeth is a type of Alishiba, the wife of Aaron. Her name means ALL sons are priests. Elizabeth’s line was to bare the priests! She and Zachariah were not able to bare children. He being a Priest was at the prayer alter praying for Salvation (Jesus) and he received salvation for his family! 

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Second Witness – Zacharias

His son he would “go before the face of the Lord to prepare his ways.”       ~ Luke 1:76 

Zacharias was a “just and holy” man (Alma 13:26) and a priest. He and his wife Elisabeth were descendants in the Priest’s line (Luke 1:5) In Hebrew his name meant Lord has Remembered  and her name meant consecrated to God.
This noble couple were promised a child who would be the forerunner of the Messiah. Zacharias did not believe this could happen as they were “sticken in years” so Gabriel told him he would “not be able to speak, unto the day that these things shall be performed” (Luke 1:20.)

He remained mute until “Elisabeth’s full time came that she should be delivered.” (Luke 1:57) It was then that Zacharias’s “mouth was opened” (Luke 1:64) and he bore witness of the divine mission of his newborn son, testifying that he would “go before the face of the Lord to prepare his ways.” (Luke 1:65) News of these miraculous occurrences “were noised abroad throughout Judea.” (Luke 1:76.)

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First Witness – Gabriel

Introduced himself as Gabriel, one who stood “in the presence of God.”          ~ Luke 1:11, 19 

Angel Gabriel is the first witness, he was a righteous messenger from the King or God who brought messages and helped prepared for the birth of the Christ. In Hebrew the word “angel” is Malak which means messenger from the King. Gabriel means God is my strong man.  He “stands next in authority to Adam in the Priesthood” (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, p. 157), and that he holds the keys of the “restoration of all things” (D&C 27:6–7.)
Gabriel made his initial appearance in the temple to Zacharias, a faithful priest, who performed a ritual for his nation—burning incense on the altar within the Holy Place.

In response to his prayer, an “angel of the Lord” appeared before Zacharias, standing on the right side of the altar of incense and identified himself as Gabriel, one who stood “in the presence of God.” (Luke 1:11, 19.) Gabriel tells him of the good news and gives him instructions.
Gabriel also visits Mary and Joseph to help prepare the way for the birth of Christ. ​

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The Twelve Witnesses of Christmas

Each day I will post one of the twelve witnesses of Christ’s birth and talk about its importance to you and us today.

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