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Location: Salt Lake City, Utah, United States

This blog is a record of events in the life of Joseph Taggart and his family since his spinal cord injury while body surfing in Guatemala in January 2006.

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Tidings of Great Joy 12/26/06

Christmas is such a great celebration. It is so significant to remember the birth of the Savior each year and think also of those we love. The music of the season and the opportunity for best wishes fill everything with joy. Please read our Christmas card at and know that we are thinking of you all this Christmas season.

It's great to have so many sending cards, emails, and stopping by with greetings. It's been great to see many of Joseph's friends, our missionaries, family anddear friends. Good thing we have a week to eat all the goodies before New Year's resolutions. . .

Today is Boxing Day in the U. K. and other parts of the Commonwealth, happy Boxing Day to you all.

Each Christmas we love to study the story of the original Chirstmas. Here are some insights we love:

Who Were the Shepherds?
"There was near Bethlehem, on the road to Jerusalem, a tower known as Migdal Eder or the watch tower of the Flock. Here was the station where shepherds watched the flocks destined for sacrifice in the temple.... It was a settled conviction among the Jews that the Messiah would be born in Bethlehem, and equally that he was to be revealed from Migdal Eder." (M. R. Vincent, Word Studies in the New Testament 1:142)

"In the fields of Bethlehem, not far from Jerusalem and the Temple of Jehovah, there were shepherds watching their flocks by night. These were not ordinary shepherds nor ordinary flocks. The sheep there being herded--nay, not herded, but watched over, cared for with love and devotion--were destined for sacrifice on the great altar in the Lord's House, in similitude of the eternal sacrifice of Him who that wondrous night lay in a stable, perhaps among sheep of lesser destiny. And the shepherds--for whom the veil was then rent: surely they were in spiritual stature like Simeon and Anna and Zacharias and Elisabeth and Joseph and the growing group of believing souls who were coming to know, by revelation, that the Lord's Christ was now on earth. As there were many widows in Israel, and only to the one in Zarephath was Elijah sent, so there were many shepherds in Palestine, but only to those who watched over the temple flocks did the herald angel come; only they heard the heavenly choir." (Bruce R. McConkie, The Mortal Messiah, Vol. 1, Pg. 346)

Who Were the Wise Men?

"Who were they? We do not know, nor does anyone... As to the men themselves, one thing is clear. They had prophetic insight. It was with them as it had been with saintly Simeon: the Lord had revealed to them, as it were, that they should not taste death until they had seen and worshiped the Christ. They knew the King of the Jews had been born, and they knew that a new star was destined to arise and had arisen in connection with that birth. The probability is they were themselves Jews who lived, as millions of Jews then did, in one of the nations to the East. It was the Jews, not the Gentiles, who were acquainted with the scriptures and who were waiting with anxious expectation for the coming of a King. And that King was to come to them first; he was to deliver his message to them before it went to the Gentile world, and his first witnesses were to come from his own kinsmen, from the house of Israel, not from the Gentile nations, not from the nations composed of those who knew not God and who cared nothing for the spirit of prophecy and revelation found among the Lord's people." (Bruce R. McConkie, The Mortal Messiah, Vol. 1, Pg. 346ff)

Jesus, the King of the Jews
Why in Matthew 1:1-17 does it give the genealogy of Joseph? It is the Royal Genealogical Line:
"At the time of the Savior's birth, Israel was ruled by alien monarchs. The rights of the royal Davidic family were unrecognized; and the ruler of the Jews was an appointee of Rome. Had Judah been a free and independent nation, ruled by her rightful sovereign, Joseph the carpenter would have been her crowned king; and his lawful successor to the throne would have been Jesus of Nazareth, the King of the Jews." (James E. Talmage, Jesus the Christ, Ch.7, Pg.87)

John the Baptist --Presiding Priest
"Had the Church of God been in existence with the Jews in that day, instead of the Jews being in a dreadful state of apostasy, then John the Baptist would have taken his proper place as the presiding priest of the Aaronic order. But they recognized him not and failed to understand his authority, even as they failed to comprehend the authority of our Lord. The authority of John was that which was conferred upon Aaron and which came down by right of lineage to Eleazar and his posterity after him; but the Jews failed to recognize John and rejected him. By right of his authority John laid the foundation for the overthrow of their kingdom, or power, which was based on a false foundation. Had they accepted John then also would they have accepted Christ, the Lord, their rightful King and the great High Priest of their salvation." (Joseph Fielding Smith Jr., Doctrines of Salvation, Vol.3, Pg.89).

How blessed we are to live in a day of miracles, with Priesthood on the Earth, and with living prophets. And how grateful we are for those who came before us, Mary so trusted to be the mother of the Son of God, Joseph the adoptive father, Zacharias, Elisabeth, and the others filled with faith and looking forward to salvation. . . available because to the baby sent to live among mortals. "Knowest thou he condescention of God?" (1 Ne. 11:16)


Blogger Chrissie said...

Boxing Day was indeed lovely. I prefer Boxing Day to Christmas actually...less pressure to be 'jolly' if you know what I mean. It's just a chill out, hang out, eat the food, play with the new toys (adult and child new toys!) and did I mention eat the food. Left-over Christmas food is the best. By New Year's I'll be DESPERATE to get rid of it all though.

Glad you guys had a good one. Interesting stuff about the shepherds...I like that.

Dec 27, 2006, 12:53:00 AM  

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