Tag Archives: bible

Christmas is coming

I didn’t use to be sure whether the Bible was just full of good advice or writings of real experiences of real people.

But, once I learned how to find out and then took the steps, it didn’t take long.  It’s really quite simple: Read, Ponder and Pray

It’s a pattern to use to find out if anything is true.  The Holy Spirit will witness to us of any truth; earth-shattering or miniscule.  I have also found that I can know something is true without fully understanding its meaning.  Sometimes that takes a lifetime of staying on the right path.  References to related scriptures also help. 🙂

The Holy Bible IS writings of real people with real experiences.  Jesus Christ is a real person.  He IS the Savior of the world.

The Old Testament prophets all testified of Jesus Christ (Jehovah).  Through Isaiah, the Lord gave the people a sign of Christ’s birth:

Isa. 7:14  “Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.”

Christmas Nativity
Christmas Nativity

Leading up to Christmas – Day 24 (sundown)

<– Day 24 (evening)                 Christmas Day –>

3 Nephi 1:15 – 16

“And it came to pass that the words which came unto Nephi were fulfilled, according as they had been spoken; for behold, at the going down of the sun there was no darkness; and the people began to be astonished because there was no darkness when the night came.

And there were many, who had not believed the words of the prophets, who fell to the earth and became as if they were dead, for they knew that the great plan of destruction which they had laid for those who believed in the words of the prophets had been frustrated; for the sign which had been given was already at hand.”

The first Christmas Eve.  I’m trying to imagine that.  “Astonished” might be an understatement when the sign was given.  They could see the sun go down but the sky remained light!

God does fulfill His promises.  He tells His prophets what to reveal.  He answers our sincere prayers.

What a fitting sign (no darkness) to give for the coming of Jesus Christ!  He is, literally, the Light of the world!

Leading up to Christmas – Day 20

<– Day 19                                               Day 21 –>

3 Nephi 1:9

“Now it came to pass that there was a day set apart by the unbelievers, that all those who believed in those traditions should be put to death except the sign should come to pass, which had been given by Samuel the prophet.”

Wow!  So, the unbelievers were SO annoyed by the believers by now that they want to KILL them?  Why not just laugh in their faces if the sign doesn’t come?  The thing is, Satan is getting desperate.  He only has a few more hours before the sign is given.  Once the sign is given, everyone will know that Christ has come and even the unbelievers will repent.  Satan will lose his grasp on a lot of people.  If we repent of our sins, we belong to Christ’s family.  This is no small community.  If there were thousands of believers then there had to have been at least that many unbelievers to be convinced that they could over-power the others.  It is interesting, too, that the unbelievers call the prophecy a “tradition”.  I think that’s another way that we can convince ourselves that something is not from God.  If Satan can convince us to become apathetic or cavalier about the Word of God, he doesn’t have to work as hard for our time.  Then he can spend his time and effort on the believers.  But, if he can stir up the unbelievers to the point where they kill a believer, they’ve shortened his work.  Satan cannot claim the soul of the believer who has lost his life.  But he certainly has a firmer grasp on the soul of the person who took the life of another human being.  The more severe the sin, the harder it is to repent of it.  Maybe, if I start thinking of the Bible (Old or New Testament) as a book full of “stories” or “traditions”, that is an early warning sign that I’m heading down the wrong path.  The nice thing about electronic media is that I don’t have to sound like a broken record. (I wonder if people under 30 know what that sounds like?)  Anyway, click here for my opinion on recognizing truth: Day 13.

Leading up to Christmas – Day 7

<– Day 6                                              Day 8 –>

Helaman 14:12

“And also that ye might know of the coming of Jesus Christ, the Son of God, the Father of heaven and of earth, the Creator of all things from the beginning;

and that ye might know of the signs of his coming, to the intent that ye might believe on his name.”

God’s prophet’s primary purpose is to bring us to Christ.  The better we know Jesus Christ, the more we can pattern our life after His and, in some small way, understand His love for us that we might believe Him.  Prophets from the Old and New Testaments of the Bible and from the Book of Mormon have told of the coming of Christ and what that will mean to all people on the earth.  As I study all those scriptures I can piece together a more full image of who Jesus Christ is and why He subjected himself to the flesh.

A few more Book of Mormon references from King Benjamin, Abinadi and Jesus Christ himself give us insight into who He is: Mosiah 3:8, 15:2-4, 3 Nephi 9:15, Ether 4:17

He Will Heal Our Hearts

If you don’t believe in Jesus Christ and are not interested in a religious topic, skip this post.
As our daughter, son-in-law and granddaughter grieve the loss of their stillborn son and brother and our sister-in-law grieves the loss of her brother, I wish I could take away their pain.  I can’t imagine the ache in their hearts as they miss their baby and brothers.

I know that Jesus Christ knows their pain and can lift the burden of grief as they (and we) pray to Him for comfort.

I used to wonder how Christ could relate to my pain.  He didn’t sin so how could He know of the pain and anguish I felt from making poor choices?  And how could He relate to pain from illness or grief when He had such a short life?

I’ve since come to understand the Atonement a little better.  Jesus Christ knew what His mission on earth was.  He knew He wouldn’t be here long.  Knowing His mission, and that He would pay the price for our sins, had to be an incredibly lonely feeling.  If anyone could honestly say “nobody understands me”, it would be Him.  He knew that God, the Eternal Father, knew Him and was there to strengthen Him.

We read, in the scriptures, that He did suffer grief and pain; more than I ever have.  But does He actually know what you or I are going through?  I mean, other than watching us go through it and feeling the heartache like a loving parent has for their suffering child?  I believe He has actually, physically, experienced everything that I have gone through.  He was able to do this through the miracle of the Atonement.  He asked the Eternal Father to bless Him to experience these things.

Alma, an ancient prophet, prophesied of Christ’s atonement: “And he will take upon him death, that he may loose the bands of death which bind his people; and he will take upon him their infirmities, that his bowels may be filled with mercy, according to the flesh, that he may know according to the flesh how to succor his people according to their infirmities” (Alma 7:11–12; emphasis added).  Luke tells us that His pain was so extreme that “his sweat was as it were great drops of blood falling down to the ground” (Luke 22:44, Doctrine & Covenants 19:18-19).  And He did it willingly; just so He could comfort us when we had to endure the pain.  I wonder if experiencing our infirmites made it easier for Him to endure paying for our sins?

Our pain doesn’t, usually, immediately go away when we pray that Jesus will heal us or lift our burden.  But, over time, as we trust Him and rely on Him and listen to Him, our pain gets lighter and we are able to bear it.

I remember a description of, or analogy about, how our trials strengthen us.  It describes how a wound in our flesh heals.  As it heals, it builds scar tissue.  The scar tissue is actually stronger than the original tissue.  It takes time, patience and endurance.  But, the wound DOES heal.  Maybe the love of family and friends is like the ointment used to comfort and protect the wound until it is scarred?

Our hearts go out to you.  We pray that your hearts will heal.  We love you dearly.

I looked and looked for the pastel drawing of Jesus and a todler looking into each other’s faces.  I couldn’t find it.  But this is about as close as it gets: