Latter-day Saint Life

Day 3: ‘Joseph … did as the angel had bidden him’

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Joseph and Mary talk on the road to Bethlehem.
The Chosen YouTube screenshot

This article is part of a series called “12 Days of Christmas: A daily study guide to bring the Savior into the season.” See the full list of days in the study guide and learn more about how it’s formatted here.

We discussed on day one that Joseph was told not to fear to take Mary to wife. In his dream, he is told that the baby Mary is carrying shall be named Jesus, and He would save people from their sins. Then in Matthew 1:24, we read this verse:

“Then Joseph being raised from sleep did as the angel of the Lord had bidden him, and took unto him his wife.”

What can we learn from this verse?

  • Joseph was a man of action. After his dream, he did not wait around to think on whether he should follow what the angel told him. He woke and did “what the Lord had bidden him.” We can follow Joseph’s example by also acting immediately on what the Lord commands us.
  • Joseph trusted his revelation. Joseph’s dream was clearly a powerful one. But he made the choice to follow the direction given to him all on his own, trusting in what he had seen and in what he had been told. Similarly, when we receive our own revelation—even when it may not seem significant—we can trust in that revelation and act on it the way Joseph did.
  • Revelation requires effort. Perhaps God could have told Joseph right away that Mary would be bearing His Son. If Joseph had known everything in advance, things likely would have been easier for him, and he wouldn’t have had to worry or question what to do. But instead, God let Joseph think through things for himself before the angel came to him in a dream (verse 20). This is a good reminder that often when we are faced with a difficult decision, God gives us time to work things out for ourselves. He will then guide us along our path.

Quote: “Getting out of our own way—overruling our personal desires, expectations, preferences, and lack of understanding in order to hear and feel the voice of the Spirit—is one of the great challenges of our mortal probation. But the task is not so much to persuade the Spirit to guide us as to recognize that He is and has been guiding us all along” (Elder David A. Bednar, The Spirit of Revelation).

Ponder: What’s one thing in my life I can more intentionally seek revelation about?

Read: Why Elder Bednar says you can learn to stop worrying whether or not you’re receiving revelation” on LDS Living

Watch: The Chosen, “Joseph and Mary on the Road to Bethlehem”

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