On the Seventh Day of Christmas my true love gave to me . . .
my mother’s favorite, “seven swans a-swimming.” She loves swans and she also loves alliterations. This seventh day is dedicated to her, the woman who gave me my life and encouraged me to have many fun filled New Years.
Traditionally the seven symbolizes the seven gifts of the spirit. Isaiah wrote them in chapter eleven. They are wisdom, understanding, counsel, fortitude, knowledge, piety, fear of the Lord.
the seventh article of faith we also find a lists seven gifts, “We
believe in the gift of tongues, prophesy, revelations, visions, healing,
interpretation of tongues, and so forth.” (Article of Faith 1:7)
Seven and three are the most commonly used numbers found in the scriptures. There are 7 days of creation, Enoch is the 7th generation and taken to heaven (complete). Jacob worked 7 years Leah and 7 more for Rachel, Joseph prepared for 7 years of plenty and 7 years of famine, there are 7 Holy days (Lev 23), Naaman dipped seven time in the Jordan river to be cleansed, John teaches to the 7 churches/cities is Asia. We are to forgive 70X7 times, there are 7 levels of persecution and 7 dispensations to complete the earth’s cycle.
Seven in nature is found in cycles. Crystals have seven major systems to be created. Cells go through seven steps to split. Rainbow have seven colors. There are 280 days of gestation, a multiple of seven.
There are cycles in the Hebrew number seven or “shevah.” It is from the root “savah” which means “to be full,” “to be satisfied,” or “to have enough of.” (see Beloved Bridegroom) Think about the days of the week, seven days complete the week. The word “week” comes from the Gothic wiko signifying “sequence to which we come” which is derived from the Egyptian uak, the word for festival, a quarter of the moon’s monthly cycle of 29.52 days equaling one “moonth.” The seven-day rhythm creates and is a familiar cycle to all of us.
|The Hebrew word “shevah” can also be read “shabah” which means “to swear” or “to take an oath.” Thus, seven not only signifies fulfillment and completion, it also is a number for an oath and a connection to covenants and covenant making. Christ made a seven-fold covenant promise with Israel at Sinai. This covenant is remembered in the wine on on table of shew bread in the Holy Room of the Tabernacle.
Anciently the Hebrews drew a mattock or tool for the number seven. This was to remind them that on the seventh day they were to lay their tools and weapons aside for a day to receive spiritual nourishment. The seventh and last of the Hebrew Holy Days is Yom Sukkoth or Feast of Tabernacles. This celebration is about Christ’s coming and taking us home to rest with God again in Heaven (His Tabernacle). The word “rest” means “security in the house of your husband.” On the cross was the seven word description, “This is Jesus The King of the Jews.” Christ’s last words was a seven word phrase, “Into thy hands I commit my spirit.” (Luke 23:46)
The seventh constellation is Pieces, the two fishes that are caught in the bands of death and being dragged down to hell by the sea monster or devil. The two fishes represent the ancient and the latter-day churches. Christ stands at the head of His church (Eph. 5:23), the Great High Priest (Heb. 4:14) as depicted in the main star.
The seven swans were swimming and so were the two fishes in the constellation. There are so many commonalities within the number seven. What will you remember from this study? the word meanings? the seven gifts? or all the cycles? the covenants? The Sabbath Day? Whatever you choose may God Bless you on this New Year’s Day!
| On the seventh day of Christmas My Father gave to me
seven complete cycles,
five things of power,
four family members,
three great desires,
two directions …
On the Sixth Day of Christmas my true love gave to me . . .
What? six geese a-laying. What are they laying? baby chicks, raw eggs or golden eggs? It would make a difference. Right?
Tradition uses the six to remind the children of the six physical days of creation in which the crowning creations were man and woman. The six has been given a bad reputation because in the book of Revelations it says, the beast is “the number of a man; and his number is Six hundred threescore and six.” (Revelation13:18) This article will not focus on that, but on the positive, amazing aspects of the number six.
Think about all the six letter words, first there is Christ. Then all the seasons have six letters, spring, summer, autumn and winter. Many relationship words have six letters, father, mother, family and friend.
The sixth constellation is Aquarius, the Water Bearer. He represents Christ as the Good Shepherd and Master Teacher sharing His knowledge in the form of water to His students (the church) represented by a big fish. See John Pratt’s Zodiac article, http://www.johnpratt.com/items/docs/lds/meridian/2005/zodiac.html
Lehi took his family out of Jerusalem Six hundred years before Christ. In modern times, there are six steeples on the Salt Lake temple and in the 1990’s President Hinkley introduced his 6 B’s.
There are many sixes in the Hebrew culture. In the Tabernacle you’ll find six branches on the Menorah, the candlestick in the Holy Room. There are six symbolic foods in the Passover meal and six stone jars for wine at the wedding ceremony.
The sixth letter in the Hebrew alphabet is vav, anciently it was presented as a tent peg and its meaning is nail, stake, hook and connection. It represents the scriptures, bridges and links. We are the vav or link between generations and Christ is our vav between us and God.
The sixth Hebrew Holly Day is Yom Kipper, the Day of Atonement. This celebrates the coming of Christ and the fulfillment of His mission. Christ died on the 6th day of the week. Don’t forget that He was both born and resurrected on April 6th and the church was organized on April 6th.
Respect the number six! Celebration of the birth, the resurrection and the second coming of Christ are huge reasons to fall back in love with six. You will stand for the six with me?
On the sixth day of Christmas My Father gave to me
five things of power,
four family members,
three great desires,
two directions …
Everyone’s favorite is, “five gold rings!” Why are gold rings so popular? Their color? Their value? Their beauty? It is unsure the reason why they were chosen in this Christmas song, but tradition tells us the reason for the number five.
It represented the first five books in the Old Testament, the books of Moses. The Hebrews call these books the Torah. Why are they so important? Because they give us all the stories from the creation through the exodus, plus all the laws and covenants they made and lived.
|There are many examples of five in the scriptures. David picked up five stones, the holy anointing oil was made of five ingredients, there were five kinds of animals used in the sacrifices, the tabernacle was measured in measurements of five. The Hebrew number for five is ‘H’ or Hey, anciently it was written as a man with his hands raised. It represented breath, life, thought, revelation and choice, all qualities of mankind. It is also the covenant number. Abraham and Sarah had an ‘H’ added to their name when they made a covenant with God.
The fifth finger is the pinky, the smallest of them all. He is not the last in the line-up but takes the quarterback position. He is the worker, he takes care of the production, the check-ups and the follow throughs. He is the “doer of the word” not just the hearers and talkers only (see Sterling W. Sill’s talk called Hold up your Hands). The hand has five fingers all working together. The right hand is the covenant hand, the one that make covenants with, like accepting a callings or the sacrament. The human body can also be seen as a pentagon with outstretched, two legs, two arms and a head.
The number five as a pentagon represents life, regeneration and procreation. As a pentagram it means excellence and grace and as a spiral you see balance and cycles. And all of them elude power. God’s power is priesthood (article of faith #5). There are also many words in the scriptures that have five letters like grace and glory.
I’m reminded of the worker bee, who is small and seems insignificant but the one who produces the honey. Remember “jots and tittles?” they are the commas and apostrophes in the Hebrew language, tiny, but necessary and not forgotten by God. We use fives and stars in our language to describe and to rate things such as the five star hotels or “stardom” and the Olympics.
Five gold rings, little worker, human life, hands, grace are all little things. But the number five also has great power. Production Power, Procreation Power and Priesthood Power. Remember the little things, be grateful for them for they have great Power! Can you see that in your life?
On the fifth day of Christmas, My Father gave to me five things of power.Continue reading
On The Fourth Day of Christmas My Father gave to me . . .
“Four calling birds.” What are they calling for or singing to? Tradition tells us that this famous song was written to remember religious things and they portray it in the numbers, but I wonder about the items. Why calling? Why mostly birds? Was it only about meter? I don’t know the answers but will to learn.
The four represented the four gospels in the New Testament. The first hand witnesses of Christ’s mortal life.
The fourth constellation is Sagittarius, the archer. He is a centaur, half man and half horse, which represents the dual nature of Christ, being half god and half mortal. He is shown in the act of shooting the scorpion, the adversary. This is the task he was completing during his mortal life on earth.
|The number four in numerology means mortality or earth life. The universal symbol for earth is a circle with a cross in it. The earth has four seasons, four directions and four basic elements and four states of matter. It also represents the preparatory gospel of faith, repentance, baptism and the gift of the Holy Ghost. Does that remind you of an article of faith? Which number?
|The square is the fourth shape. Think about how we use this word in our language. “Are you dealing squarely with me?”, “fair and square”, “go back to square one”, etc. These all have to do with relationships with ourself and others.
Now the fourth finger is the ring finger, the family
relationships. This finger represent the source of most of your eternal
happiness, satisfaction and education for both here and the hereafter.
You have heard it said you only take to the next life what you learn,
but you also get to take your relationships. What are you doing to
strengthen your relationships? Our family relationships are our great
source of satisfaction and pleasure. God is also our family and if we
feel like His work is burdensome and makes us weary and not uplifting
then we should reevaluate, repent and reassess. This mortal life is for
us to find joy and we can do this through our families.
The first commandment given to Adam and Eve was to “multiply and replenish the earth.” This is exemplifies the essence of the number four and the Hebrew number 4, dalet. Could the four “calling birds” be four baby birds calling for their parents?
On the fourth day of Christmas My Father gave to me
four family members,
three great desires,
On The Third Day of Christmas My Father gave to me . . .
According to tradition the “three french hens” represents the three’s in the scriptures like faith, hope and charity; or ask, seek and knock. My professor taught me this statement with the threes.
Ask and ye shall receive faith.
Seek and ye shall find hope.
Knock and it shall be opened unto Charity (Christ)
are many sets of three within the scriptures like the three degrees of
glory, another are the offerings found in the Old Testament. They are
the SIN offering, BURNT offering and PEACE offering. The sin offering
focused on the killing of the sacrifice and the giving up of sin. The
burnt offering focused on the burning of the sacrifice and dedicating
oneself completely to God. The last offering of peace focused on the
giving of the sacrifice (cooked) to others and the sharing of the
|In symbology the number three represents unity (braid), the creation of the sun, moon and stars, Christ, first born (first 3D shape), The Atonement (third pillar in the Plan and third Article of Faith). The shape is the triangle. Christ is at the top of this triangle looking down, shining light onto our path back to God.
In body language the third finger on the hand is the middle finger, the tallest of them all. This represents the desires of our hearts, our personal mission. The word ‘desire’ means “of God.” Imagine sitting down with God, before you came to earth, and learning about your mission, the desires you would have. You were excited and couldn’t wait to come and fulfill those desires. Now on earth our desires are clouded with beliefs. You ought to spend a lot more time than you ordinarily do in increasing the volume and intensity of your righteous desires. Ask to see them more clearly, seek to obtain them and knock down all the walls to receive them.
third zodiac constellation is Scorpius, the Scorpion. With the heroes
foot on his head it is the representation of evil being overcome by
Christ our Judge. This reminds us that we are all in the same battle
against evil together. Are you fulfilling your individual mission in not
heeding the temptations of the devil?
The third gift from God is your mission. Everyone is given an overall mission and an individual mission. Everyone has the mission to overcome Satan. Individually, you have a mission to fulfill your desires by increasing your faith and sharing your message of hope and spread the love of God everywhere and with everyone. On the third day of Christmas My Father gave to me,
three great desires.
On The Second Day of Christmas My Father gave to me . . .
According to tradition the “two turtle doves” represents the two books of the bible, The Old and New Testaments of Christ. I imagine two identical doves looking at each other. One facing east and the other facing west. Which in turn reminds me of the Old Testament looking forward to Christ and the New Testament looking back on His life, both pointing to Christ. The Testaments teaches us about Heavenly Father’s Plan and invites us to look to Christ for direction.
|The second finger is the pointer or direction finger. It is how you show people the way. The word leader means pathfinder, one who helps others find their individual path, but you can only lead others when you know your own way. You must be converted in order to direct and lead. The second finger is two fold, becoming converted and becoming a leader or example for others.
symbology the number two represents opposites, repentance, polarity,
doorway, female, Heavenly Mother, The Fall (second article of faith),
The Plan of Happiness. The shape is the vesica pisces, two equal
circles sharing a radius. The Law of Polarity states that for every
question or problem there is an equal answer or solution we only need a
new view to see it. The vesica pisces forms the shape of an eye inviting
us to see the solution and the answers and then we can help others see
You are “Shod [shoed] with the preparation of the [preparatory] gospel of peace” when you put on the Armor of God. This also deals with direction and the basic gospel principle of faith and repentance. Which way are you feet pointing?
The pointer finger, the number two, the shape of an eye, shoes, and the scriptures all teaches us about direction and leadership. Which way are you facing? Learn a lesson from the two turtle doves and look to Christ for direction on our individual path.
On the second day of Christmas My Father gave to me two directions.Continue reading
The Twelve Days of Christmas . . .
“I don’t like that song!” my daughter said. “Why, not?” I asked. “Because it is boring, too repetitious and silly!” I couldn’t disagree with her and then I remembered my mother-in-law telling me something about the song and Epiphany. So I decided to look it up! What I found was fascinating! The song was written for a serious religious reason.
The Twelve Days of Christmas are not the twelve days before Christmas as many people believe. They are the days between Christmas and January 6th, which is called Epiphany. This is the time in which the three wise men traveled to see the baby Jesus, arriving on Epiphany, January 6th. (http://noelnoelnoel.com/trad/12days.html)
1558 – 1829 it was against the law for Catholics in England to practice
their faith with severe penalties. Thus the song was created as a
memory aid for children to remember important doctrines of their faith
by hiding true the true meanings within the silly lyrics. The children
sang it openly without the authorities knowing the real meaning.
The “true love” of the song is not a suitor but is actually God Himself. The “me” who receives the presents represents every baptized person.(http://noelnoelnoel.com/trad/12days.html)
God giving gifts to his people. This reminded me of the symbols of numbers and wondered if the song and number symbols complimented each other. I found my next project!
My son, Matteo, will be returning from his mission on January 6th, Epiphany! In honor of him and because I love numbers I will share these findings over the next twelve days! If you like history, numbers and/or symbology you will enjoy this journey too! 🙂Continue reading
On The First Day of Christmas My Father gave to me . . .
Why a “partridge in a pear tree?” According to the Christmas website
“A partridge in a pear tree” is the symbol for Jesus Christ. This symbol is used because a mother partridge will appear to be injured when a predator is near to lure him away from her helpless chicks, representing the sacrifice she is willing to make. (http://noelnoelnoel.com/trad/12days.html)
was new! I had never thought of the partridge as a Christ figure. The
first gift God gave us was His son, Jesus Christ. “For God so loved the
world that he gave His only begotten Son.” (John 3:16) His sacrifice
made it possible for us to return back to God, the perfect 1st gift.
Recently I have studied the symbolism of the hand with its five fingers. The first digit is the thumb. In his talk, “Hold up your Hands,” Sterling W. Sill talked about the hand and what each digit represented. He said the thumb is the anchor man to the hand and it represents the knowledge of God’s existence.
In symbology the number one represents God himself, the Creation, unity, order, omnipresence, eternity, etc. The shape is the point and the circle. The circle has three main parts, the point, circumference and radius. Each of these three parts represent the members of the Godhead. The point is God, himself, eternal, unlimited, with no beginning or end. The circumference represents the Holy Ghost, also unlimited (never ending, pi). The radius represents Christ, lighting the path (line) back to God. Just as Christ chose to be limited in mortality, to live within the bounds of birth and death, the radius has a beginning and an end.
The thumb, the number one and the first gift in the song compliment each other. We can all agree that there is a God, that he created the earth and all of its inhabitants. He loves us and has given us the gift of His Son. Let us remember Him.
There are so many learning style and patterns out there. And there are so many ways of using them. As I have pondered over these many different ways of learning I would draw diagrams, pictures, write list, etc. and nothing seemed to stick. You see I wanted to incorporate everything I loved. After many years of experimenting I have finally found a great solution. I call it the Key Pattern of Learning, an LDS companion guide to all learning.
This incorporates the Come, Follow Me Curriculum, the Duty to God program, Symbology and the framework from David A. Bednar’s book, Increase in Learning. The give and receive cycle, how to recognize and follow the spirit and the importance of celebrating your learning are important and found in this model.
Notice there are two large triangles.
I used pieces of these patterns for years, but as I sought for
more symbolism in my teaching and compiled all these patterns of
learning, it not only came alive for me but also for my
family. Homeschooling was wonderful for my personal education, I gained a
new love of learning so naturally I wanted that same desire to be
within my children. Still, it felt like I was doing all the learning and
the only one enthusiastic about the next project. Then, I started
adding symbols into our learning and my children became enthusiastic
This pattern helps me be a better homeschooler, it has creates an environment where the spirit speaks to each of us all at our level, it is a pattern for finding answers to all types of questions and creates order in our learning. It brings us closer to God and to each other. It gives us funny new memories. For example, while we were learning about the tongue, God’s symbol for language, my younger son asked, “Do you mean when I talk to other people it is like I’m licking them?” Our entire family burst out laughing for several minutes and it became our new family joke and a permeant learning experience. These memories and the learning will last forever!
Do you want to know How? Come to the Keystone Education booth at the LDS Homeschool Conference in August to receive a copy and a worksheet on how to use it. And you can put your name into a drawing to receive a free copy of The Key Patterns of Learning, an LDS companion guide to all learning. OR you can leave a reply below, with your name and email address and be added in early!! 🙂Continue reading