Tag Archives: Mary

25 Days of Christ – Day 24


“And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Cæsar Augustus, that all the world should be taxed.

“(And this taxing was first made when Cyrenius was governor of Syria.)

“And all went to be taxed, every one into his own city.

“And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judæa, unto the city of David, which is called Bethlehem; (because he was of the house and lineage of David:)

“To be taxed with Mary his espoused wife, being great with child.

“And so it was, that, while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered.

“And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn.

“And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night.

“And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid.

“And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.

“For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.

“And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.

“And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying,

“Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.

“And it came to pass, as the angels were gone away from them into heaven, the shepherds said one to another, Let us now go even unto Bethlehem, and see this thing which is come to pass, which the Lord hath made known unto us.

“And they came with haste, and found Mary, and Joseph, and the babe lying in a manger.

“And when they had seen it, they made known abroad the saying which was told them concerning this child.

“And all they that heard it wondered at those things which were told them by the shepherds.

“But Mary kept all these things, and pondered them in her heart.

“And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things that they had heard and seen, as it was told unto them.” (Luke 2:1-20)

“Now when Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judæa in the days of Herod the king, behold, there came wise men from the east to Jerusalem,

“Saying, Where is he that is born King of the Jews? for we have seen his star in the east, and are come to worship him….and, lo, the star, which they saw in the east, went before them, till it came and stood over where the young child was.

“When they saw the star, they rejoiced with exceeding great joy.

“And when they were come into the house, they saw the young child with Mary his mother, and fell down, and worshipped him: and when they had opened their treasures, they presented unto him gifts; gold, and frankincense, and myrrh.” (Matthew 2:1-2, 9-11)

“For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.”  (Isaiah 9:6)

Christmas is about Christ, He is the gift!

25 Days of Christ – Day 19


Does the Christmas season get you down?  Is it hard to feel the spirit of Christmas?

In the story, The Timepiece by Richard Paul Evans, Mary and David Parkin lose their young daughter in a fire started by an angry young man as retaliation against David.  Of course Mary and David are heartbroken, and depressed.

At Christmas time several months later, they are still grieving terribly, especially David who has long since thrown himself entirely into his work, barely stopping even long enough to eat or sleep.

One day their minister stops by to see how they are doing.  He tells Mary of a child who will have no Christmas and invites her to go with him to bring the child a present.  Mary goes with him.  They are greeted at the small home by a young mother.  Her little girl is peeking around her to see who is there.  Mary gives her a doll and the child’s eyes light up!  She hasn’t had a present in a long time.

As they leave, the minister tells Mary that this is the family of the young man who started the fire and is now in prison.  Mary’s heart goes out to the mother and child.

When her husband finally gets home that night, Mary is brimming over with the joy she felt when giving the gift to the little girl.  David sees her love and happiness with the experience, and agrees to help provide Christmas to the family.  They deliver food and presents to the doorstep of this family who have almost nothing, and watch from afar as they excitedly gather the gifts and take them inside.

Despite their great loss, Mary and David have found the true spirit of Christmas through selflessly giving to those in greater need.

“Then shall the King [Christ] say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world:

“For I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in:

“Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me.

“Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink?

“When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee?

“Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee?

“And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.”  Matthew 25:34-40.

Women’s Conference in 5 Days


Latter-day Saints believe in the resurrected J...

Latter-day Saints believe in the resurrected Jesus Christ, as depicted in the Christus Statue in the North Visitors’ Center on Temple Square in Salt Lake City (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

In case I haven’t already convinced you, here’s an example of what was said at the 2012 women’s conference:

 

The Lord Has Not Forgotten You

 

By Linda S. Reeves

 

Second Counselor in the Relief Society General Presidency

 

Linda S. Reeves

Our Heavenly Father and our Savior, Jesus Christ, know us and love us. … We can feel of Their love and compassion in our suffering.

As we meet sisters around the world, we are amazed at the strength of your testimonies. So many of you are first- or second-generation members of the Church. We see many sisters serving in multiple callings, traveling long distances to attend church, and sacrificing to make and keep sacred temple covenants. We honor you. You are the Lord’s modern-day pioneers!

Recently my husband, Mel, and I met a volunteer tour guide named Mollie Lenthal as we visited a museum in Australia. We found out that Mollie, a lovely woman in her 70s, has no children and has never married. She is an only child, and her parents have been deceased for many years. Her closest relatives are two cousins who live on another continent. Suddenly, I was overwhelmed with the Spirit testifying to me, almost as if Heavenly Father were speaking: “Mollie is not alone! Mollie is my daughter! I am her Father! She is a very important daughter in my family, and she is never alone!

One of my favorite stories from the Savior’s life is the story of Lazarus. The scriptures tell us that “Jesus loved Martha, … her sister [Mary], and [their brother] Lazarus.”1 Word was sent to Jesus that Lazarus was very ill, but Jesus did not come immediately; He stayed away two more days, stating that “this sickness is … for the glory of God, that the Son of God might be glorified thereby.”2

Hearing that Jesus was coming, Martha “went and met him,”3 telling Him what had happened. Lazarus had “lain in the grave four days already.”4 Grieving, Martha ran back to her home to tell Mary that the Lord had come.5 Mary, weighed down with sorrow, ran to Jesus, fell down at His feet, and wept.6

We are told that “when Jesus therefore saw [Mary] weeping, … he groaned in the spirit, and was troubled,” and asked where they had laid him.

“They said unto him, Lord, come and see.”7

Then we read some of the most compassionate, loving words in scripture: “Jesus wept.”8

Apostle James E. Talmage wrote, “The sight of the two women so overcome by grief … caused Jesus to sorrow [with them] so that He groaned in spirit and was deeply troubled.”9 This experience testifies of the compassion, empathy, and love that our Savior and our Heavenly Father feel for each of us every time we are weighed down by the anguish, sin, adversity, and pains of life.

Dear sisters, our Heavenly Father and our Savior, Jesus Christ, know us and love us. They know when we are in pain or suffering in any way. They do not say, “It’s OK that you’re in pain right now because soon everything is going to be all right. You will be healed, or your husband will find a job, or your wandering child will come back.” They feel the depth of our suffering, and we can feel of Their love and compassion in our suffering.

Alma testified:

“And he shall go forth, suffering pains and afflictions and temptations of every kind; and this that the word might be fulfilled which saith he will take upon him the pains and the sicknesses of his people.

“And he will take upon him … their infirmities, that his bowels may be filled with mercy, … that he may know … how to succor his people according to their infirmities.”10

When we wonder if we are known by our Savior and our Father in Heaven or how well They know us personally, we might remember the Savior’s words to Oliver Cowdery:

“If you desire a further witness, cast your mind upon the night that you cried unto me in your heart, that you might know concerning the truth of these things.”11

Earlier the Savior stated to him, “There is none else save God that knowest thy thoughts and the intents of thy heart.”12

The Savior reminded Oliver that He knew every detail of that pleading prayer—and remembered the exact time, the very night.

Many years ago my husband became very ill with a rare disease. As the weeks went by and the sicker he became, the more I became convinced that he was dying. I told no one of my fears. We had a large, young family and a loving, eternal marriage, and the thought of losing my husband and raising my children by myself filled me with loneliness, despair, and even anger. I am ashamed to say that I pulled away from my Heavenly Father. For days I quit praying; I quit planning; I cried. I finally came to the realization that I could not do this alone.

For the first time in many days, I knelt down and poured out my heart to my Father in Heaven, pleading for forgiveness for turning away from Him, telling Him all of my deepest feelings, and finally crying out that if this was what He really wanted me to do, I would do it. I knew He must have a plan for our lives.

As I continued on my knees to pour out my heart, the sweetest, most peaceful, loving feeling came over me. It was as if a blanket of love was flowing over me. It was as if I could feel Heavenly Father saying, “That was all I needed to know.” I determined never to turn away from Him again. Gradually and amazingly, my husband began to get better until he made a full recovery.

Years later my husband and I knelt by the side of our 17-year-old daughter and pleaded for her life. This time the answer was no, but that same feeling of love and peace that our Savior has promised was just as powerful, and we knew that even though Heavenly Father was calling her back home, everything would be all right. We have come to know what it means to cast our burdens upon the Lord, to know that He loves us and feels compassion for us in our sorrows and pain.

One of the sweetest father-to-son moments in the Book of Mormon is Alma the Younger’s testimony to his son Helaman. Alma described the “inexpressible horror” he felt as he imagined coming into the presence of God to be judged of his many transgressions. After feeling the weight of all his sins for three days and nights, he repented and pleaded with the Savior to have mercy on him. He described to Helaman the “exquisite and sweet” joy of remembering his pains “no more.” Instead of feeling “inexpressible horror” at the thought of coming before the throne of God, Alma saw a vision of “God sitting upon his throne” and declared, “My soul did long to be there.”13

Is that not how we feel, my dear sisters, as we repent and contemplate the love, the mercy, and the gratitude we feel for our Heavenly Father and our Savior—that we too “long to be there,” to be embraced by Their loving arms once again?

Just as the Lord has testified to me that He has not forgotten His precious daughter Mollie Lenthal, I testify that He has not forgotten you! Whatever sin or weakness or pain or struggle or trial you are going through, He knows and understands those very moments. He loves you! And He will carry you through those moments, just as He did Mary and Martha. He has paid the price that He might know how to succor you. Cast your burdens upon Him. Tell your Heavenly Father how you feel. Tell Him about your pain and afflictions and then give them to Him. Search the scriptures daily. There you will also find great solace and help.

Our Savior asked:

“For can a woman forget her sucking child, that she should not have compassion on the son of her womb? Yea, they may forget, yet will I not forget thee. …

“… I have graven thee upon the palms of my hands.”14

“I have commanded that none of you should go away, but rather have commanded that ye should come unto me, that ye might feel and see; even so shall ye do unto the world.”15

That is our charge. We must feel and see for ourselves and then help all of Heavenly Father’s children to feel and see and know that our Savior has taken upon Himself not only all our sins but also our pains and our suffering and afflictions so that He can know what we feel and how to comfort us. I testify of Him in the name of Jesus Christ, amen.

Notes

  1. 1.  John 11:5.
  2. 2.  John 11:4.
  3. 3.  John 11:20.
  4. 4.  John 11:17.
  5. 5. See John 11:28.
  6. 6. See John 11:32.
  7. 7.  John 11:33–34.
  8. 8.  John 11:35.
  9. 9. James E. Talmage, Jesus the Christ, 3rd ed. (1916), 493.
  10. 10.  Alma 7:11–12.
  11. 11.  Doctrine and Covenants 6:22.
  12. 12.  Doctrine and Covenants 6:16.
  13. 13. See Alma 36:14–22; emphasis added.
  14. 14.  1 Nephi 21:15–16.
  15. 15.  3 Nephi 18:25; emphasis added.

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