Sunday on Monday Season 2 logo

3: “We Have Come to Worship Him” (Matthew 2, Luke 2)

Fri Jan 06 12:29:59 EST 2023
Episode 3

If you’re like us, now that the new year has begun you might be experiencing holiday withdrawals. But what if we told you that Christmas can keep on going? Luckily, this week’s Come, Follow Me lets us revisit the story of the Savior’s birth in the second chapters of Luke and Matthew. In these verses, we learn of early witnesses of Christ from the shepherds to the wise men from afar who recognized that this baby boy was called to an important work. So let’s start out the new year by studying this miraculous story and bringing the Savior into the season and into our hearts once again.


Glue-Ins (free printables for your scriptures)
First: The Life and Faith of Emma Smith by Jennifer Reeder

Segment 1

Luke 2:1-6 (Traveling to Bethlehem)

World = His Empire (JST)

Segment 2

Luke 2:7 (Away in a manger)
Luke 2:14 (Joy to the World)
1 Nephi 11:16-17 (The condescension of God)
Luke 2:20 (While Shepherds Watched Their Flocks)

Church resources regarding the birthplace of Christ:
Birth of the Messiah by Paul Thomas Smith
Jesus the Christ by James E. Talmage (Chapter 8: “The Babe of Bethlehem”)
The Road to Bethlehem by D. Kelly Ogden

Once in Royal David's City lyrics

Manger = Feeding box for cattle (Greek)


Segment 3

Luke 2:25-35 (Simeon’s story)
Luke 2:36-38 (Anna’s story)

Widow = almanah - unable to speak or not spoken for (Hebrew) / chera - forsaken or left empty (Greek)

Words of the Prophets:
“The most important truth the Holy Ghost will ever witness to you is that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the living God”. (Russell M. Nelson, “Revelation for the Church, Revelation for Our Lives,” April 2018 General Conference)

Segment 4

Luke 2:35 (Piercing hurt)
Matthew 2:1-10 (Herod pursues Christ)
CR: Micah 5:2
Matthew 2:11 (The wise men visit Jesus)
Matthew 2:16 (Herod kills the children)

Governor = Leader (Greek)

(Scripture references for three gifts can be found in the Glue-Ins.)


Segment 5

Luke 2:40 (The grace of God was on Jesus)
Luke 2:52 (Jesus increased in wisdom)
Matthew 3:24-26 JST (Jesus served under his father)
D&C 93:13 (From grace to grace)
Alma 49:30 (Because of their heed and diligence)

Words of the Prophets:

“Jesus was a God before he came into the world and yet his knowledge was taken from him. He did not know his former greatness, neither do we know what greatness we had attained to before we came here.” (Office Journal of Lorenzo snow, 8 October 1900, 181-182).

President Snow also taught that during the savior's life it was revealed unto him who he was and for what purpose he was in the world. The glory and power he possessed before he came into the world was made known unto him  (Conference Report, April 1901, 3; emphasis added) 

When quite a boy he had all the intelligence necessary to enable him to rule and govern the kingdom of the Jews, and could reason with the wisest and most profound doctors of law and divinity, and make their theories and practice to appear like folly compared with the wisdom he possessed; but he was a boy only, and lacked physical strength even to defend his own person, and was subject to cold, to hunger, and to death. (Joseph Smith, The Joseph Smith Papers, 1838-1856, vol F1)

Segment 6

Luke 2:19, 51 (Mary kept those things in her heart)

Words of the Prophets:

“As you learn to ponder over sacred things, you will have your heart and mind open to greater truths of the gospel. It will take practice and patience, but I can bear personal witness that pondering will lead to revelation.” Elder Scott D Whiting of the 70 at Ensign College Nov. 7 2014

Tammy 0:00

When I was growing up, my mom's side of the family held an annual Christmas party where we would re-enact the Christmas story as read from Luke 2. Every year I begged to be Mary. And unfortunately, I was typecast as a shepherd, which I guess is better than a donkey. The bigger parts went to the older cousins and right about the time that I was to be Mary, we moved to Missouri. I was devastated. But I'm happy to report that several years later, after my mission in college and kind of a career, I was granted one last chance to be Mary, at the ripe old age of 30. Today we get to study Matthew 2 and Luke 2 and I can honestly say to all my shepherds out there, it turns out it may be one of the best roles there is to play.

Tammy 0:43

Welcome to the Sunday on Monday Study Group, a Deseret Bookshelf Plus original brought to you by LDS Living, where we take the Come, Follow Me lesson for the week, and we really dig into the scriptures together. I'm your host, Tammy Uzelac Hall. If you're new to our study group, we just want to make sure you know how to use this podcast. So follow the link in our description and it's going to explain how you can best use this podcast to enhance your Come, Follow Me study just like my friends Melinda Roth and Kathy Cahoon from Kaysville (Utah). Hi, ladies; thanks for coming up and saying hi to me. Now another awesome thing about our study group, and it's my favorite, is each week we're joined by two of my friends. And today we have a dynamic duo. They're back! We have Cherie Clark and Jenny Reeder. Hi, ladies.

Cherie Clark 1:24


Jenny Reeder 1:26

Hi, Tammy.

Tammy 1:26

These two are my very good friends. And they were on many times during our Doctrine and Covenants year because they are all things church history. And I just couldn't think of two better women to come help me tell this story in Luke 2 and Matthew 2. Ladies, real quick for people who don't know, who haven't known us - tell us a little bit about yourselves and how you guys know each other.

Cherie Clark 1:45

I live in Alpine, have four kids. I'm married and I just got my very first grand baby.

Jenny Reeder 1:52


Cherie Clark 1:52

Oh, my gosh, it's been heaven. So thinking about Mary and her baby, I did that a lot at four o'clock in the morning as I took that swe'vehift with the baby this last month.

Tammy 2:06

Oh, wow!

Cherie Clark 2:07

But I know Jenny because I ended up working on the "At the Pulpit" project with her back in 2013. So we've known each other a long time and worked with her ever since and helped on her book with Emma, "First". So we've done a lot together. We're working on "Eliza R Snow" right now.

Jenny Reeder 2:32

Yeah, it's awesome.

Tammy 2:33

Oh, so awesome.

Jenny Reeder 2:35

And I'm Jenny. I'm from Provo, Utah. And I do have to give a shout-out, they beg me every time - my, two of my mission companions love this podcast.

Tammy 2:46

What are their names?

Jenny Reeder 2:47

Kim Ethington Tafua and Mickelle Gardner Boyd. So shout out to Kim and Mickelle.

Tammy 2:54

Hey, ladies.

Cherie Clark 2:56

Hey, Kim. Hey, Mickelle.

Jenny Reeder 2:58

Ciao bella! because we went to Italy.

Tammy 3:01

Ciao, bella. Oh, it's beautiful.

Jenny Reeder 3:04

So obviously, I went to Italy on my mission, and I'm a church history historian for 19th century women's history.

Tammy 3:12

and an author. And let me just be clear. I'm gonna brag for both of these women because they wrote the book - well, they studied it and Jenny wrote it - it's the book on Emma Smith. It's called "First - The Life and Faith of Emma Smith". And it just won an award. Hellooooo!

Cherie Clark 3:27

Isn't that the coolest thing for Jenny? I was so excited.

Tammy 3:33

Oh, we were we were beaming for Jenny. So listen, if you guys have not read that book, you're doing yourself a disservice because it is so good. I love it. We actually, it's our book club book, and Jenny wrote it. And we're gonna discuss it in our book club that we have as friends and we can't wait. So read it, you're gonna love it. I love these women. Well, if you want to know more about them, you can read their bios and see their pictures which are going to be in our show notes. You can get to that at LDS On Monday.

Tammy 4:00

K, we're gonna do this: Luke 2, Matthew 2. So everyone grab your scriptures, your journals and something to mark your scriptures, with 'cuz this is going to be a great discussion.l Let's Dig In!

Tammy 4:09

So when you guys were kids, did any of your families act out Luke 2? Did you ever have a pageant?

Jenny Reeder 4:14

I think we did. But I don't remember. But the one, I mean, I think I slightly remember. The one that I do remember is I was an adult and all of my nieces and nephews were in at my sister's house and we acted it out. And it was so much fun because my mom was a pre K teacher. So she has this little script that she uses, and costumes, of course,

Tammy 4:15

Uh, huh. Oh, the costumes are the best part.

Jenny Reeder 4:41

Yes, beautiful, beautiful costumes. And my brother was the donkey and he was carrying Mary - who was his daughter. And his back was hurting and so he finally just bucked her. It was great.

Tammy 4:56

That's a GREAT Luke 2 story. Oh, I think that's awesome. What about you, Cherie?

Cherie Clark 5:01

You know, I was trying to remember that, too. I, I'm the oldest of seven and my, so I reached out to my sisters and said, Do you remember this? I said, I kind of remember. And I went through all our pictures and stuff. We had lots of pictures with Santa Claus, but no pictures of a Nativity. And being the oldest daughter, I actually remember directing the little play and having, you know, telling my sisters what to do. But the thing that came to my mind even more because you know, we would play Monopoly in my bedroom as little girls waiting for/at Christmas Eve. But my mom took me to, it must have been like Walgreens or something when I was just tiny. And we picked out a nativity set. And I still have that set. I grabbed it from my mom. And I put it up every year and the noses are all kind of like gone. And it's, it looks a little bit weathered, but it means a lot to me. So that nativity, that always brings me back lots of wonderful memories.

Tammy 6:14

Oh, that's sweet.

Jenny Reeder 6:16

I love it.

Tammy 6:17

Well, for those of you that have nativities that mean something to you, or if you ever acted out the nativity, I think today's discussion might change the way we view the nativity, or even the roles that you always wanted to play. Maybe Mary and Joseph won't be the coveted roles after all. So I'm excited to do this and discuss this story with these two friends. So let's go to Luke chapter 2. And we're just going to read a couple of verses and mark up some of the words to help us understand the framework, the background, and what we're dealing with here. So here we go. Luke 2:1, and Jenny, I'm gonna have you read it as if we're at a family party actin' it out. Here we go.

Jenny Reeder 6:50

LUK 2:1 "And it came to pass in those days that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus, that all the world should be taxed."

Tammy 7:01

Okay. Highlighters, underline the word 'world'. The Joseph Smith translation actually teaches us that it's not 'world', it says that "all his empire should be taxed." So all of Caesar Augustus's empire is going to be taxed. Verse 2, I'm going to read that. 2: "And this taxing was first made when Cyrenius was the governor of Syria." Now this taxing was to be done in springtime. Cherie, I want you to read verse 3 for us.

Cherie Clark 7:29

3: "And all went to be taxed, everyone into his own city."

Tammy 7:33

Now, underline 'own'. This is really interesting. According to the Jewish law, you weren't taxed in the city you were living in, and this taxation was more of a census. It was sort of a way to be counted, your whole family, and then you pay taxes. So but according to Jewish law, you wouldn't pay the tax in the city you were living in. You would go and pay the tax that your ancestry came from. So kind of keep that in mind as we read this next verse because it changes for Joseph. He doesn't pay the tax where he's living; he has to go where his ancestry comes from. So Jenny, will you please read for us verse 4.

Jenny Reeder 8:11

Yeah, but can I ask a question first?

Tammy 8:12

Oh please.

Jenny Reeder 8:14

I'm assuming this is where the husband or father's family came from?

Tammy 8:19

Yes, you're absolutely right, because women weren't even counted in a census. So yes, it's going to be father.

Jenny Reeder 8:20

The other thing that I learned about when I was reading about this, is this only happened every 20 years.

Tammy 8:30

You're right.

Cherie Clark 8:32

Oh, wow.

Jenny Reeder 8:33

So just that that was in place at that time is, it's just, you know, it's not coincidence, as we know,

Cherie Clark 8:37

it's almost a generational thing, right?

Tammy 8:43

Well, and it's awesome you brought this up, because Micah prophesied that the Savior would be born in Bethlehem. And so then the timing of this takes them to Be... they had to go to Bethlehem. It's blowing my mind the timing. I'm so grateful you brought that up, Cherie. So go ahead and read for us verse 4 Jenny.

Jenny Reeder 9:00

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

Tammy 9:11

Okay. Now Nazareth and Bethlehem are 92 miles apart; it probably would have taken them about five days to get there. So it's a pretty arduous journey that she's going to be taking, and Mary is pregnant, and Joseph is with her. So that's the distance they're going so that they can go and be taxed. And then we learn this about them in verse 5.

Tammy 9:32

5: "To be taxed with Mary his espoused wife, being great with child."

Tammy 9:36

Now we learned last week that Mary and Joseph come from the same familial line. Their dads were brothers allegedly, making them cousins. And so going to Bethlehem would be both of their native or ancestral home, which I think is kind of cool. So we have the story here and then we have verse 6. "And so it was, that while they were there," I like that verse, because sometimes we just go straight to Bethlehem and then she has the baby. But there's nothing that leads us to believe that. That statement "while they were there" means maybe they were there for a little while before he she had Jesus. What took place in that period of "while they were there: before she delivered this child and so I'm kind of just thinking like, you know, Cherie, you came out to take care of your daughter in law, and your new little baby. And what took place while you were there during the days before she gave birth?

Cherie Clark 10:31

Lots of preparation for that birth. So yeah, we got we we got diapers and all the bedding and all everything ready, bags packed, you know, everything so she would feel comfortable and ready, so. She never did, you know, you never feel completely ready, right? when that new baby comes.

Tammy 10:55

Yeah. Well, and the description of Mary in verse 5 "being great with child." I mean, what does that make you think of?

Cherie Clark 11:03

Uhhgh, holding on underneath. Remember, when you hold your stomach underneath, and it's trying to keep it up? Just being so big. You have to get to the point where you're ready to have the baby out so you can actually sleep, but then you don't realize, no, you're not gonna get sleep either way.

Tammy 11:19

Yeah. Well, and I think it's important for us to recognize that "great with child" when you put it into context of the journey they took. I mean it just gives you this whole new appreciation for Mary.

Jenny Reeder 11:32

Well plus, riding a donkey? I mean, if that's really what she rode, is it really what she rode? I mean, that's always what we say. But

Cherie Clark 11:41

I read something about that. They said, if you sit back on the hip bones of the donkey, it's actually quite a smooth.

Jenny Reeder 11:51


Cherie Clark 11:52

it's, it's very smooth, almost like you're in a rocking chair. Now, I'm thinking that they're being, you know, pretty optimistic about that. But that would be very interesting if that was true, so

Jenny Reeder 12:06

I guess you have to have the right donkey, right?

Cherie Clark 12:07

Yeah, that'd be big enough for you.

Tammy 12:10

Oh, my gosh, I'd like to know: if there's any women listening who are pregnant, if you could go ride a donkey for us and let us know, I'd appreciate if that's the experience you have, so. That's awesome. Okay, well in the next segment, then, we're going to find out what happened while they were there. And we're going to continue on with the story of the birth of Jesus Christ.

Segment 2 12:27


Tammy 12:39

All right, so I asked you two ahead of time to share with me what is your favorite Christmas song about Jesus or His birth.

Cherie Clark 12:48

I thought a lot about that. And I would say "The Hallelujah Chorus", especially that part with Isaiah's scripture about, you know, being the "Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The Everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace". It just, I think there's like, some power that comes when you say out loud the names of Christ, and that energy and stuff. And I don't know, every time I hear that, even when I read that scripture, it just brings like goosebumps, right? So I love that. And then my other one that I was thinking about was its "Breath of Heaven" with Amy Grant. I love that one, but always made me think, you know, how Mary must have really felt - a little overwhelmed, and can I really do this? I mean, can you imagine how you felt about that, but then holding that little baby. And as I did that this last month with my cute little grandson, Tao, he is just a cuddler. And he'd just cuddle right up on into my little, into my neck. And just sleep on me, he was so sweet. And it, you know, late at night in the middle of the night, that you have a lot of time to think and when you're holding that baby like that. It's a it's a sacred time. So

Tammy 14:16

Wow. I think it's beautiful that you have that time and to think about Mary, that that's where your mind went. That's really powerful, Cherie.

Jenny Reeder 14:25


Tammy 14:26

Oh, that's cool. What about you, Jenny, do you have a song?

Jenny Reeder 14:30

So I love so many different Christmas songs. But it's so funny because it's like the moment it's a specific time and performance or moment in which I am hearing it or singing it. And so it's so hard for me to choose one. But there's one that I love, "Once in Royal David's City". And I love it because there's a verse that we don't have in our hymnal that I think is so beautiful. And I think it's beautiful. Anyway, it's by an Irish woman who published it in her hymnbook "Hymns for Little Children" in 1848. She also wrote "All Things Bright and Beautiful. But so you know, we know "Once in royal David's city stood a lowly cattle shed where a mother laid her baby in a mangor for his bed." But there's this verse, "For He is our childhood's pattern, day by day like us He grew. He was little, weak, and helpless. Tears and smiles like us He knew. And He feeleth for our sadness and He shareth in our gladness."

Tammy 15:42

Oh how sweet.

Jenny Reeder 15:44

And then you know there's a couple of more verses: And our days that lasts.... "And our eyes at last shall see Him through His own redeeming love. For that child so dear and gentle is our Lord in Heaven above. And He leads His children on to the place where He has gone. Not in that poor lowly stable with the oxen standing by we shall see Him, but in heaven, set at God's right hand on high." But I just love that, "He is our childhood's pattern, day by day like us He grew. He was little, weak, and helpless. Tears and smiles like us He knew."

Tammy 16:15

Yeah, that stood out to me. He is our childhood pattern. Yeah that's neat. Those are great words. Well, I wanted you to be thinking about this song, because in this part of Luke 2 is where we do get my favorite song, which is "Joy to the World." I absolutely love it. I want to sing it so loud when we sing it in church, that it's almost a little embarrassing. I belt that joy so loud! And I love the words in verse 14 of Luke 2: "Glory to God in the highest and on earth peace, goodwill toward men." I just, I think it's amazing to think of angels singing this. And before the angels sang there, let's go to some verses that are going to get us to that moment. So let's go back to Luke 2:6 "........while they were there, then the days were accomplished that she should be delivered." And then Cherie will you read verse 7 for us.

Unknown Speaker 17:04

Yes. 7 "And she brought forth her first-born son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn."

Tammy 17:14

Okay, so let's do a couple things with this verse. Underline the word manger. The word manger in Greek actually translates as 'feeding box for cattle'. So we always think manger means like a manger, you know, like a thatched roof, and that's where they are. That's not what it's saying. That she wrapped him and laid him in this little feeding box for cattle, because there was no room for them in the inns, put an S after that. The Joseph Smith translation has it as 'ns'. There were no places for them. So where in the world did she give birth? Now here is what many scholars believe. And I have a cool picture to show you to the side of verse 7, you can just write 'limestone cave'. Many scholars believe that Jesus was born in a cave.

Tammy 18:01

So this is a cool picture. It's in the hillside. And it's big enough for the shepherds to then have their flocks go at night and settle down inside this cave, where there would have been many mangers - feeding boxes - to feed the animals or cattle or anything like that. And so in the shownotes, we have several sources that will back up that this is where the Savior was born. And it kind of just changes the way we view her being in with like, I don't know, I always thought it was a manger with all these animals with hay and straw. But knowing the context that now the shepherds are going to come on the scene, it makes sense, they would know where to go, they're gonna go into the very caves that they probably have used to put their own sheep in.

Jenny Reeder 18:43

A couple years ago, - oh, maybe it was last year, I don't remember - we have a, every year we have a department Christmas Devotional. And Elder McKay, who is now the church historian, at the time, he was the Assistant Executive Director, Kyle S. McKay gave a talk to our department that I will never, ever forget. And I thought I had it in my journal here, but it's at home. He talked about how it had to happen this way because that is the condescension of God. That He is going to the very lowest place which is a hole in the rock, a cave, in a box with straw that's scratchy. And, but that was because He was born in the most humble circumstances so that He could know our most humble circumstances. And that condescension is everything in understanding who He is, and why we need Him so badly.

Tammy 19:44

Oh my gosh, I'm writing so many notes.

Jenny Reeder 19:47

So in First Nephi chapter 11 Nephi is seeking to see the vision that his father has seen and he prays, and the heavens open. An angel comes down and asked him what he sees. He sees a virgin who is Mary, who's beautiful and fair. And then the angel says to Nephi "Knowest thou the condescension of God?" And Nephi says, "I know that he loved his children, but I don't know the meaning of all things." And I think it's interesting, because I guess I didn't really think about it this way too, that Mary's also part of this condescension. It's not just Christ, it's also Mary.

Tammy 20:28

Wow. Yeah, such great insight.

Cherie Clark 20:32

You know, that reminds me of a, I had to, I was asked to give a talk at a troubled boys school. And because my dad was over the meeting that day, and so I came, and I talked about Christ and, and our Savior and how He could, He knew everything that we felt. We could turn to Him for everything. And then I was giving the talk somebody raised their hand in the audience, and I'm just looking, and I'm finally, Yeah, what, can I help you? And he said, 'How? How can He know what it's like for me who, who's been abused? Who's had all of these, you know, terrible things that have happened to me. I don't believe that He knows any of that.' And what you just said, Jenny, is absolutely true. He did. He's, He knows. He was born in such humble circumstances and knew how it felt to be unpopular, and, you know, people, not having a home to really live in and all of that. And, you know, trying to get that young man to understand that, I was, I was still so young when I was trying to explain that. It was hard for me to even comprehend that but I've thought on that many, many times and, and how I would answer him now, and how I could testify of the truth of that as I have, you know, learned more about, about how He can sucker us in all in all things and understand us in all things.

Jenny Reeder 22:15

Well, and Cherie, He was abused.

Tammy 22:17

Yeah, I know. He was and that's what, you know, I could tell him.

Tammy 22:22

Yeah. Well, and then you go back to "condescended below all things", beginning at His birth. Like His circumstances of His birth were far below that of what any woman at this time would have experienced, so, excellent job. Excellent. Okay. So let's just go into these verses then because I asked you two to look over verses 8-15, and all I wanted you to do was to find as many connections as you can to Christ in the story of the shepherds. Because there they are, abiding in the fields, we know the story. In the night they're there and they're probably wrangling their sheep to get them ready to go into one of the caves where they will settle for the evening until morning, when they'll take them back out to eat. And so we know the story, but there are so many cool connections to Christ. I just want to know, tell me, what did you guys come up with?

Cherie Clark 23:10

Well, starting in verse 8, you know, "shepherds abiding in the field". He is the ultimate Shepherd and watches over us, His sheep. So that was easy. .

Jenny Reeder 23:22

I love that too. Because it's in the same country. It's where we are. It's not off in Bethlehem. I mean, it is but it's also in Provo, Utah, or Alpine, Utah, or Draper, Utah or Salt Lake City, Utah. It's in the same country wherever we are.

Cherie Clark 23:39

Yeah, yeah. I love that. I thought about that, too, as I thought about it being "in the field". You know, He, the Savior will come to us wherever we are, He'll come to that place.

Tammy 23:51

Wherever you are, that's your field. Where you live, that is your

Cherie Clark 23:53

Yeah, and I love that.

Jenny Reeder 23:57

And I also love that He's keeping watch. Like He's not falling asleep like his apostles did in the Garden of Gethsemane. He's always awake and keeping watch, even if it's night. Even if, especially, when it's our darkest nights.

Tammy 24:14

You know that, don't you, Jenny?

Jenny Reeder 24:16


Tammy 24:17

He has kept watch over you many times. Wow.

Cherie Clark 24:23

I love in verse 9, that He sent His Messenger, the angel of the Lord. He sent his friend, you know, basically, to come and say, 'Hey, go and let them know what's happening. What's going to happen.' I don't know; that really struck me thinking, Oh, this is the angel of the Lord. He knew Him, he knew personally. What a wonderful errand to be sent on, you know. What a privilege, a sacred privilege he must have felt as that angel.

Tammy 24:56

Yeah. I circled the word 'flock' at the end of verse 8, because some scholars believe that these flocks were destined for sacrifice in the great altar at the temple. That they were being watched and preserved so they could be used during sacrificial times, during Passover, in the Spring.

Cherie Clark 25:13

Well, and how, like if those were the shepherds that were watching over that particular Passover sheep that are going to be sacrificed, which, you know, as we believe that He was born in April during the Passover season,

Tammy 25:32


Cherie Clark 25:32

then that's what, that would be foremost in their mind that they're taking care of those male sheep that are unblemished, ready to be sacrificed at Passover. And here they're going to find out about the reason for that.

Tammy 25:50


Cherie Clark 25:52

I love thinking about that too. I mean, how appropriate that they were the, they were given that opportunity and that gift of finding out about it that night.

Tammy 26:02

Yeah. How about when they were told where to go? Look at verse 16, the shepherds, "and they came with haste." I put the word 'succor' next to the word haste, because that's what the Savior does for us. He comes with haste to us. He will run to us, to find us in our caves.

Jenny Reeder 26:19

You know what it reminds me of? The apostles when Mary Magdalene comes and says, "The tomb is empty". And they go with haste.

Tammy 26:29

Yep.They run. That's awesome.

Cherie Clark 26:32

I think that's such a great pattern for us is that we get revelation, we get thoughts and ideas. And then instead of just sitting on it, they ran and acted. And they did it with haste, and how, you know, we need to take that and make that a lesson in our lives to think about that.

Tammy 26:56


Jenny Reeder 26:58

Well, and it's, it's also like Nephi, who frankly forgave his brothers. It's like not holding on to it. Another thing that Elder McKay has taught us in his most recent department devotional was that Christ has the bands of loosening. And so He loosens whatever's holding us back, which I think is going with haste, or frankly forgiving or whatever, succoring. You're not held back.

Tammy 27:33

Let's go to verse 20 and read that. Cherie, will you read verse 20, for us.

Cherie Clark 27:38

"And the shepherd's returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things that they had heard and seen, as it was told unto them."

Tammy 27:47

I mean, it's so, I love to imagine that moment how excited they must have been, to tell people and, oh. That makes, that verse makes me happy.

Cherie Clark 27:56

To be the witness, to be a witness of it all. How, how awesome is that?

Tammy 28:01

Exactly. I like to envision that moment for sure. And how they wondered at these things, in verse 18. And when they heard it, they wondered.

Cherie Clark 28:08

Yeah. I thought, I thought about that, too, is that word 'wondered'. It made me think, do we often when we hear something like that, do we wonder about it? And then do we just sit on it? Or do we act with haste like they did, you know? So

Tammy 28:23

Ooo, I just connected that: they wondered and then they witnessed. Like, that is what we're asked to do: wonder and then witness. So, oh, my gosh, this is a fun activity to do. I highly encourage you to do this with friends or family. Read the story of the shepherds and find as many connections to Christ as you can. Because we could do this for so much more. Like we could do this for an hour, easily. And we don't have time today, but I encourage you to do that because it is a fun idea. And it's a fun lesson to just see all these connections that we have, that Christ has with the shepherds. And so we have these shepherds, these beautiful shepherds that wondered and witnessed. And so in the next segment, we are going to learn about two more characters in the nativity story who were witnesses of the Savior, and how they told their story.

Segment 3 29:06


Tammy 29:22

In the April, 2018 General Conference, our Prophet taught us this: "The most important truth the Holy Ghost will ever witness to you is that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the living God."

Tammy 29:38

So we are going to find out about two people who received this witness in Luke chapter 2, and what they did with their witness. So here we go. Let's jump into Luke 2:25. Bracket off verses 25-35 and write the name 'Simeon' next to those verses. The first person is Simeon. Then the next group of scriptures I want you to bracket off are verses 36-38 and right 'Anna' to the outside. Ok. Simeon's got a great story. Here's what you need to know about Simeon. In verses 25 & 26, the The Holy Ghost reveals this to him. And then what you want to know are verses 29-32, you can go ahead and just label that as 'Revelation'. And then verses 34 & 35 is a prophecy that Simeon gives. And this is so fun to teach. And we always talk about Simeon, but I feel like we don't ever talk about the second witness, Anna. And so we're going to talk about Anna and I love her witness. So let's dive into Anna, ladies. She is our heroine, we love her so much. At let's just start with the Scriptures about her: 36-38. And Cherie, hit it; I'm gonna have you read those.

Cherie Clark 30:44

36: "And there was one Anna, a prophetess, the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Aser: she was of great age, and had lived with an husband seven years from her virginity.

Cherie Clark 30:58

37: "And she was a widow of about four score and four years, which departed not from the temple, but served God with fastings and prayers night and day.

Cherie Clark 31:10

38: "And she coming in that instant gave thanks likewise unto the Lord, and spake of him to all them that looked for redemption in Jerusalem."

Tammy 31:20

Okay. I mean, you're like, three verses, and they're just packed with so much goodness. So we have a woman named Anna, talk to me about her. What do you know about her just from reading those verses?

Cherie Clark 31:31

That she was only with her husband for seven years, and he died. And that she's either 84 years old, or she's almost 100 years old, because she's lived as a widow for 84 years.

Tammy 31:46

Yeah. Now Some scholars think it, literally is she's that old. And then she could be 100. Or it's the author's way of just saying she's really, really old. That's what we need to know about her. They're just using that to like, she's so old. She's of a great age. Yes, very good. What else do we know about her?

Jenny Reeder 32:05

I, um, when I think of her, I think of the old ladies at the temple that like they're widows, and they don't really have much to do. And so they just spend a lot of time at the temple, either working in the temple or being a patron in the temple. And I love that they are so dedicated to that work, and this time that they have to do that.

Tammy 32:31

Oh, beautiful. You know, the word widow. It's interesting. The word widow in Hebrew is ALMANAH. And it means unable to speak or not spoken for. And the word in Greek is CHERA, which means forsaken or left empty. At this time, a widow is the worst thing you could be. The most marginalized group in society were widows. They had no way to provide for themselves, they had no, I mean if you didn't have a man or a son or anybody to provide for you, you are completely destitute. So that adds even more to me with Anna is that here she is just doing. The best thing she can do in her life is to continue to serve God with fastings and prayers and to go to the temple regularly. Like talk about your widow's mite. Like that's all she can give, not eating, praying, and attending the temple.

Cherie Clark 33:24

It actually made me think I went to Israel a few years ago, and we went to the Church of the Nativity, where it's the church that's built over the grotto where they think Christ was born. And you go downstairs to get into that grotto. And there's a big silver star that's on the floor of the stone floor of that cave. And we were standing in line and there was a lady in just in front of us, waiting to see and she was old, in pretty humble circumstances you could tell. She seemed like she was from, you know that area or somewhere in the Middle East or something. But I would say she was at least 80 years old. That's what she looked like to me. And when we got down to where it was her turn, she just fell to the floor on this silver star, and just was weeping. And it was such a witness. She was a witness to all of us as we stood in line, just how much that Christ meant to her and that she had taken that pilgrimage to feel His spirit and to feel His manifestation. And that would, as I was reading about Anna, I thought about that sweet lady and they were probably close to the same age, and she had done the same thing to us. And it brought a spirit into that little cave that I don't think would have been there without her. It was really a sweet experience.

Tammy 35:09

I can tell

Jenny Reeder 35:10

That's awesome, and it's, you're never gonna forget.

Cherie Clark 35:12

No, no.

Tammy 35:14

Oh my goodness. Well, with this Anna in verse 38, I thought this was kind of cool when it says

Tammy 35:21

38a; "And she coming in that instant gave thanks likewise." Like meaning also because Simeon also gave thanks so she's connected to him, "gave thanks likewise". "and spake of him". That word 'spake' is the imperfect verb, and it means it's 'ongoing'. Like it wasn't a one-time thing. That word spaked means, "and spake of him to all of them that looked for redemption in Jerusalem." She will continue to do that until her dying day is what is believed by that word spake right there. And I don't know, it just kind of had me thinking - I really like what Camille Olson writes in her book, oh how much do I love Camille Fronk Olson - she writes about Anna. And I was reading it, and I enjoyed what everything she had to write about it. But then she posed this question, and I want to pose it to you guys, because it struck me. After reading about Anna, she says this: "How do Anna and other widows in Jerusalem inspire you to recognize ways to serve in your own want?"

Cherie Clark 36:21

Well, whenever things get so hard, you know, you're, I'm always: go to the temple. That's, and that's, you know, you're serving others as you are at the temple looking for a blessing, you know, yourself and for help. But so many times, especially we as women, we will start helping and serving others, and you have to put your own needs aside, and you just start helping and doing all that you can. And in the end, it always seems like you get your answers or something will come about that will help. And so, you know, I think I think that's kind of like the widow's mite is oftentimes our mite, is the time that we don't normally really have. We don't have time for that, time to just take care of ourselves all the time because we're serving so many other people. But through our covenants we are strengthened to be able to do that with the Lord. So I think that's our mite. And that's what the widows teach us, especially as you're looking what Jenny had talked about, seeing the the older women in the temple and on all that they do there.

Jenny Reeder 37:48

I mean, sometimes those ladies do like two sessions. And there, and I'm like, I'm out.

Tammy 37:55


Cherie Clark 37:56

right. I can't do another thing.

Jenny Reeder 37:59

I know. But you know, the other thing that I thought of was the Navajo Relief Society, where Joseph Smith taught the women that their responsibility was to relieve the poor and to save souls. And I've often thought about that. And I've often read experiences from different women or thought in my own experiences where I think in relieving others, I find relief myself. And I love the word relief, because I think it takes us back to Christ.

Tammy 38:29


Jenny Reeder 38:30

Is He relieves us of our burdens.

Tammy 38:35

I gotta tell you, Jenny, when I'm reading this, I'm picturing you with one of your caps on. Like in your moment of absolute want. You had been through chemotherapy, bone marrow transplant, everything. I mean, you don't get more want than that, I think. And when you were going through all of that, how did you continue to serve? Because you were being served. What was that experience like? Or how did you witness of Christ in your moment of want?

Jenny Reeder 39:04

You know, I think, I've thought about that a couple of times. The first time I was in the hospital was in Virginia, and I had just been called as Relief Society president. And I was at the Virginia Hospital Center in Arlington. And I don't know, to me, I think it was all kind of a blur in the fact that "I don't have leukemia, this is some big mistake. This is not, they've misdiagnosed me." But it was also just like, Well, I know nothing's gonna happen. I mean, I know I'm going to be fine because I have so much more to do with my life. I had such as firm sense of mission and purpose with my life. And I think that that influence, like nurses that would come into my room or even doctors and they'd be like, You, you realize how serious this is. And I'm like, yeah, sure. But even like, when I got home from the hospital I was in bed for months. And I realized I had a choice: I could either curl up in a ball and stay in bed all day and feel sorry for myself, or I could get up. And usually I had this plan:

Jenny Reeder 40:19

Every day I would make my bed, and I did. But sometimes I would crawl back into it like 20 minutes later. But every day I, I realized I could email people in my ward, or I could send them notes. And it was my way of serving as a Relief Society president and I would, you know, thoughts would just come to my head with people who might need a little note. And it felt like, it literally felt like I was giving them a blessing. I wasn't laying my hands on their heads, but I had that same power of administration, and the ordinance of healing in the sense that I was aware of their needs and their wants. And the things that I wrote did not come from me, but they came from the Lord. And I knew that if He would do that for me, and helping serving others, that He would do that for me, for myself. And it was beautiful. The way too, that people, you know, not all days were great. And not all days did I smile. Some days I just threw up. But and some days I cried. And a lot of days I cried. But they're, you know, it was beautiful to see how people came and took care of me. I'll never forget those days, those were the days.

Tammy 41:40

Yeah. Those were the days to never be forgotten.

Cherie Clark 41:44

Women's hands are so sacred, really, as they care for others that are sick or in, you know, needing help or troubling or taking care of the babies or whatever. It's just such a sacred experience and you know, a special mission that we as women have. So

Tammy 42:09

Agreed. Thank you, both of you, because in the stories you both shared, you were Annas. And people were Annas to you. And I think this is so incredible that, that we as women can relate with this Anna experience. And I'm looking back at this verse 38, that she speaks to everyone who's looking for redemption. That word is huge. Like that's who she's seeking - people who are looking for redemption, and redemption from what? You know, there's so many things we want to be redeemed from. And um, Cherie, I like how you ended: women's hands can do that. Women's hands can testify of the Savior Jesus Christ. And I think that's what we've experienced here. So thank you, both of you for your stories and for what you've shared. We needed to hear that. So thank you. Okay, well, we are going to continue with more witnesses of Christ. And in the next segment, we're going to learn about three more.

Segment 4 42:57


Tammy 43:09

Okay, so I have a picture to show you. I saw this years ago, and I knew I was going to use it for this lesson because it was so striking. K, it's by Carl Bloch. And I just want you to use descriptive words that tell me what you feel as you look at this painting.

Jenny Reeder 43:28

it's beautiful.

Cherie Clark 43:29

That mother. I can't imagine what she's going through.

Jenny Reeder 43:33

It's dramatic. It's so dramatic. And so like,

Cherie Clark 43:39

There's just so much anguish.

Jenny Reeder 43:42

Well, it's so dark inside and so light outside, too.

Tammy 43:47

Oh, yeah, I'm writing down all these words.

Jenny Reeder 43:53

And it's not I mean, it's private in the way that it's private between the mother and the baby.

Tammy 44:00

Look closer at the baby.

Cherie Clark 44:01

Oh, no, the baby's been stabbed, huh?

Tammy 44:04

You wonder if he's on his way out. Did he do it? And he's ready to leave?

Jenny Reeder 44:10

Or is it the father and he's he's protecting if anything else happens or comes in? He's gonna allow his wife this moment to mourn.

Cherie Clark 44:22

Can you imagine though, I mean, trying to keep a baby alive at that time was so difficult. So if you had a baby that was, actually had made it to two years old, and then to be killed like that. Uh, I just, I can't even imagine the sound that had to have been coming in that village from all the women.

Tammy 44:45

Well, and the way that she's dressed in this picture makes me think she had just finished feeding the baby. Yeah, notice the way her clothes are draped that she must have just finished nursing. The title of this painting is called "The Slaughter of the Innocents" and it's by Carl Bloch. And it struck me when I went years ago down in Provo, BYU had a huge Carl Bloch exhibit. This picture was not part of the exhibit, but you could buy a big huge pack of all of his paintings. And so I bought it. It was super cheap, I was shocked. And I was looking through them and I had seen the ones I had, that were in the exhibit. And I got to this one and my heart stopped. I had just had a baby, and I just like connected with this mother - the grief on her face, the way he painted her, it is awful. IYou get, I got emotional when I saw it. And I want us to just kind of think about this because this is the next part of the story that we're going to talk about. And I want us to find out how the people and how Herod got to this point of darkness, drama, anguish, awfulness. Jenny,

Jenny Reeder 45:54

Do you think it also is like "La Pieta" - Mary and the loss of her son?

Tammy 46:04

Oh, like foreshadowing.

Cherie Clark 46:05

Symbolic? Yeah.

Tammy 46:08

Wow. That's a great I've never even considered that. But the anguish on her face is what you would imagine Mary would be going through.

Cherie Clark 46:17

And Mary had to have been trying to understand, like the prophecy that Simeon gave about Jesus dying. This, you know, being pierced by a sword or

Jenny Reeder 46:30

"is set for the fall"'s what Simeon said.

Cherie Clark 46:33

Yeah, she had to have been mulling all that over in her head. So that same, that same idea as she looked at her baby. Ugh, yeah.

Tammy 46:42

In fact, let's read what Simeon said. That is, I'm glad you brought up the prophecy. This is what Simeon said about the baby in Luke 2:35. He gives a prophecy to Mary. And the Joseph Smith Translation changes it. It's really powerful. So 35 says, "(Yea, a sword shall pierce through thy own soul also,) that the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed." The Joseph Smith Translation says, "a spear shall pierce through him Christ, to the wounding of thine, Mary's own soul also."

Jenny Reeder 47:20


Tammy 47:21


Cherie Clark 47:22

And that's the truth.

Tammy 47:23

Boy, it is.

Cherie Clark 47:24

As a mother, you feel everything that your children feel. So

Tammy 47:29

Let's go back then. Let's go to Matthew chapter 2 and we're going to begin the story of how we got here to this picture. Okay, so, such a fun story. Jesus is born in verse 1 in a cave. I put where it says "born", I put above it i'n a cave in Bethlehem'. And then we have some really great people that come on the scene. Here we are: the wise men from the East to Jerusalem, saying, Jenny hit it. What do they say?

Jenny Reeder 47:52

2:1 ".....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."

Tammy 48:01

Okay, now verse 3, Herod, when he heard this, he's troubled. And he calls all of his scribes and chief priests and he's demanding like, what is this? Like, What are we talking about? There's this Christ should be born. And I think it's fascinating in verse 5. They say unto him, Oh, In Bethlehem of Judea, for it's written by the prophet. Highlight the word prophet, because we've already learned this, but you can cross reference it to Micah 5:2. They're like, Oh, yeah, Micah prophesied that he'd be born in Bethlehem. And so then in that he would be governor. I think that's interesting. In verse 6, it says governor. And in Greek that means leader, so he will be the new leader to rule the people of Israel. So of course, Herod is not having it. He's furious. But he kind of tricks them. Let's go to verse 8. And Cherie, read verse 8, because Herod, in his trickery, here's what he does.

Cherie Clark 48:46

2:3 "And he sent them to Bethlehem, and said, Go and search diligently for the young child; and when ye have found him, bring me word again, that I may come and worship him also."

Tammy 48:58

Not true. He's awful.

Cherie Clark 49:01

Do you think they had seen the star at that point? It seems like only certain people were seeing the star, people that had maybe studied and recognize the symbols and the signs that were prophesied, and not everybody recognized that?

Tammy 49:17

Well,verse 7's interesting. "Then Herod, when he had privily called the wise men, enquired of them diligently what time the star appeared."

Cherie Clark 49:25

Oh, yeah. See,

Tammy 49:26

So he's like, Wait a minute. There's a star? When did this show up? What are we talking about here?

Jenny Reeder 49:30

Well and they're also in Jerusalem, and how far away is that from Bethlehem? I don't know.

Tammy 49:35

Oo, it's not very far. It's about a 30 minute drive.

Jenny Reeder 49:38

But you know what, I also wonder if like the city lights in Jerusalem would have made it hard to see.

Tammy 49:44

could have, yeah, yeah. Interesting.

Cherie Clark 49:47

I don't know. It's just like how were taught, you know, about the signs of the Second Coming and things so that we'll be prepared, but I don't think, you know, everybody's going to recognize those. And I think maybe that might be the same thing with the star. It's just another star that showed up and was bright, but not everybody really recognized the meaning of it.

Tammy 50:11

Boy, I hope I do. I hope I react the way that thewise men did when they saw that star. Read verse 10, Jenny.

Jenny Reeder 50:19

10: "When they saw the star, they rejoiced with exceeding great joy."

Tammy 50:22

Oh, they were so happy. I want to be that way as I start to see the signs of the Second Coming. And we were living in the signs, but when they like, let's be excited, Jesus is coming! Ohhhhh! Okay. So, then we talk about the wise men and what they brought, and what that tells us about them. I think this is really powerful. If you go into verse 11, it says they came into the house. So they had moved back. Now they're living in a home, they are no longer in the cave. They come into the house, and they see the young child. So a lot of scholars believe he was no longer a little baby, he would have been a little bit older. And when this happens, they bring three gifts: gold, frankincense, and myrrh. And so this is kind of fun, what these three gifts could mean. They could just be gifts they're giving the child, which, I've never given a child any of those gifts. I'm giving them, you know, paper and pens, crayons, I don't know, art supplies. But I think this is cool, because here's the idea behind these. Gold is a gift that you give royalty when you meet them. Frankincense is a symbol of priesthood and temple. And frankincense always existed during times of sacrifice. You had to have frankincense when you would sacrifice animals. And myrrh was used in the burial process. And there are scripture references to back up where these things are found. And so when you think about how they brought gold, frankincense, and myrrh. More than being gifts, they were foretelling His future, that He would be a king, that He would be sacrificed. And then that He would be buried, like just His death. And I think this is, for me it was powerful when I learned these things, that this is what these could mean, wow.

Cherie Clark 52:02

It was a symbol of his life. And it was all of that. But at the same time, God knew that Mary and Joseph are going to need some help to get to Egypt. And so these gifts are worth a lot of money. And so not only were they gifts of a spiritual nature and a prophecy, but they were a gift of a temporal nature that could be used. So I think that God works that way so often in our lives, that there's so many layers with things and He, and he is able to teach us things, but also in a literal way, too. So,

Tammy 52:42

Cherie, thank you for telling us though, that they're going to have to go to Egypt, because you're totally right. An angel says to Joseph, Get your family and get out. And then the angel also tells the three wise men to do what?

Cherie Clark 52:54

go a different way.

Tammy 52:55

Yeah, don't go back to Herod. It was a trick. And Herod, in his fury, he's so mad, that that's where we have verse 16. Jenny read verse 16 for us,

Jenny Reeder 53:05

16: "Then Herod, when he saw that he was mocked of the wise men, was exceeding wroth, and sent forth and slew all the children that were in Bethlehem, and in all the coasts thereof, from two years old and under, according to the time which he had diligently enquired of the wise men."

Tammy 53:25

And that's how we got there to that sad, sad picture. So sad.

Unknown Speaker 53:29

What an evil man.

Tammy 53:30

Ah, he's the worst. Yeah.

Cherie Clark 53:34

But he had also killed his wife and his children, too. So,

Tammy 53:38

So yeah, no, he's awful.

Cherie Clark 53:40

He doesn't even, that, no conscience whatsoever.

Tammy 53:43

None. Okay, so here's what I want you to do. At the end of verse 23 - so you can continue to read more of the story - but go all the way down to the end of verse 23 and draw a line right there, and put Luke 2:39- through 50. This is where the story goes next in the timeline of Jesus's life. So put that cross reference there. And we're going to turn to Luke 2:39-50. And we're going to find out what happens to Jesus in those verses in the next segment.

Tammy 54:24

We are going to go to Luke chapter two, and we're going to study verses 39 through 50. And these two scripture verses that we want to read, I really like because have you ever played that game or talked with your friends? Like, what was it like to raise Jesus? What kind of brother was he like you ever think about that? Oh, for sure. Yes,

Jenny Reeder 54:41

Yes, we have these cousins. My mom came from a family of three children and she had two older brothers and the oldest brother Steve had 12 kids and they were, we called them "the cousins". They were the cousins, not the other family. Because they were perfect and we couldn't stand them because they were so. My mom's like, But the cousins don't fight and argue. Oh, my gosh.

Tammy 55:09

Oh, you probably know then, because I'm imagining, you know in my family, Leave Jesus alone. You guys stop it. You know, I have a sister who never gets in trouble or never did growing up and that's how it would be like. You just leave leave Him alone. Like was He the perfect child? or was He a little bit naughty? Did, like these are kind of things you wonder,what was He like? We only have two verses of scripture that teach us about His childhood. Let's go to Luke chapter 2. We're going to read verse 40, and then we're going to read verse 52. So Cherie, will you please read verse 40.

Unknown Speaker 55:37

2:40 "And the child grew, and waxed strong in spirit, filled with wisdom: and the grace of God was upon him."

Tammy 55:46

And then Jenny, read verse 52.

Jenny Reeder 55:48

52: "And Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favour with God and man."

Tammy 55:55

Okay, now, I have two quotes from Lorenzo Snow that I think we need to read right here because it gives us some more insight into how Jesus grew and how He learned. And then will you each read one of these? So Cherie, will you read the first quote.

Cherie Clark 56:09

"Lorenzo Snow taught that Jesus was a God before He came into the world, and yet His knowledge was taken from Him. He did not know His former greatness, neither do we know what greatness we had attained to before we came here."

Jenny Reeder 56:25

The veil,

Tammy 56:27

Yeah, the veil. He had the veil, Jesus had a veil too. K, Jenny.

Jenny Reeder 56:33

"President Snow also taught that during the Savior's life, it was revealed unto Him whoHhe was and for what purpose He was in the world. The glory and power He possessed before He came into the world was made known unto Him.

Tammy 56:48

Thank you. Okay. So He's going to grow, He's going to progress. Doctrine and Covenants teaches us more. We'll come to that in a minute. But before we do, we want to hear the story about him as a young man, and Cherie is going to tell us the story that takes place in verses 41-47. What happened, Cherie?

Cherie Clark 57:07

Okay, so He's 12 years old now. And He and His family are going to go to Jerusalem for Passover. And, you know, it's the feast, they're going in a big caravan of people. You know, it's crazy. There's gonna be a big party. And they get there and they're there for, I don't know, for several days. And they get ready to, they leave and they're in with so many people that they don't worry about Him, I'm sure aunts and uncles, cousins, you know. There's, He's somewhere in there with the friends and then they went a whole day and found, realized that He wasn't there any longer.

Tammy 57:56

And a day's journey, in verse 44, is roughly 20 to 25 miles. Like that's how far they believe they had made it out of town before they realized, Wait a minute, where's Jesus?

Cherie Clark 58:07

Well, and that kind of reminded me of, my parents did that to my little sister. They stopped, they stopped with the motorhome in a little town and got everybody pop, and did bathrooms,jumped back in the car and headed down the road at least an hour before they realized one of the pops was still sitting there. And they had left my little sister who was eight years old at the gas station

Tammy 58:36

for an hour.

Cherie Clark 58:38

Yeah. Luckily, there was a really nice little family that took her in and just waited until they came back. They, they turned around and came back. But

Tammy 58:49

There were no cell phones, you couldn't call.

Cherie Clark 58:51

There wasn't; We were going to, they had to call, they were going to call the Highway Patrol to... I can't even imagine, because my parents were just beyond, you know, what have we done? Where's our child? So I can't imagine what they were thinking. But even worse is that they get back there and it took three days of searching before they find Him.

Tammy 59:14

Right! Verse 46 says that. After three days, they find Him.

Cherie Clark 59:19

found Him in the temple. And so the thing that I found was so interesting is, so parents were required and had the responsibility of teaching their children. And then after a while He would be taught in the synagogue about, you know, the law. And the only textbook that they used would be the scriptures up until He was 10 years old. And then when He was 12, you would normally be taken to Jerusalem to the Temple to be tested by, and talked to by - who were they? They were the doctors of the law to see if He was a son of the law. And so it kind of is interesting that He's 12 years old, and they find Him in the temple and He'd kind of be doing the thing that He would do anyway, after your Bar Mitzvah. You go and you become this son of the law, and they test you. And here He's in the temple, sitting in the midst of the doctors, both hearing Him and asking Him questions. And so, and they all heard. And verse 47 says,

Cherie Clark 1:00:34

47: "And all that heard him were astonished at his understanding and answers."

Cherie Clark 1:00:38

I can, you can only imagine. There's this quote by the Prophet Joseph Smith that taught about Jesus Christ. He said, "When still a boy, He had all the intelligence necessary to enable Him to rule and govern the kingdom of the Jews, and could reason with the wisest and most profound doctors of law and divinity, and make their theories and practice to appear like folly compared with the wisdom He possessed. But He was a boy only, and lacked physical strength, even to defend his own person, and was subject to cold, to hungerm and to death." So He needed Mary and Joseph, he needed His family, still, He had this incredible understanding of who he was, and that He told them when they found Him. And can you imagine when they found Him? Jesus! Where have you been? You know.

Tammy 1:01:32

Their response is exactly what I imagined it would be.

Cherie Clark 1:01:34

Right? And just so upset, and He just kind of looks at 'em, and as a 12 year old boy, it seems so, just like a 12-year old would say, What's your problem? You know? Why did, why have you seeking me? Because I must be about my Father's business. "And they understood not the saying which he spake unto them." Which is, you know, that's kind of interesting to me as they're trying to understand this mission that their son has.

Tammy 1:02:07

So what's so interesting is just earlier in Luke 2, before Anna and Simeon actually see the Savior - if we go into verse 21, it says "and eight days were accomplished for the circumcising of the child". Okay. And then we have verse 22, "When the days of her purification, according to the law of Moses, were accomplished". So Mary had to wait for 40 days before the family could then journey to present Him to the Lord. In verse 22, it says, "present him to the Lord". This is so interesting, because every firstborn male would be dedicated to the Lord's service, every firstborn male. And so you would then take a sacrifice to the temple on behalf of that child. And if you couldn't afford a big animal, you were allowed to offer something smaller. In verse 24: "A pair of turtledoves, or two young pigeons,". That equaled poverty.

Tammy 1:02:54

So Joseph and Mary were so poor, but they were going to present Him to the Lord to be in the Lord's service. But not all firstborns would become high priests. But isn't it fascinating that they're taking this son to the service of the Lord; He will be THE great high priest. And He will come again at 12 and do exactly what He knows he's supposed to do: present Himself to the doctors. And so here He is, and He is just saying, I'm about my Father's business, this is where I belong. And He's teaching them,and I love the quote you shared, Cherie fro,m Joseph Smith. That is,

Cherie Clark 1:03:26

Yeah, that tells us alot, doesn't it?

Tammy 1:03:30

So He's 12. His ministry will not begin for 18 more years. So He still has time to grow and learn, right? So I mentioned earlier that there were only two verses of scripture that tell us about the life of Jesus. But that is not true. There's actually a bonus verse. A couple of verses, this is fun, but they are the Joseph Smith translation of Matthew. So here's how you're gonna find it. Turn to Matthew chapter 2. And you want to scroll all the way down until you get to verse 23. If you have your digital scriptures, and the last word is Nazarene, click on footnote C. And that is going to take you to Joseph Smith translation, Matthew 3: 24-26. Now if you go to Matthew chapter three, it ends at verse 17. But the Joseph Smith translation gives us more light and knowledge, more information. And so we're going to read what this has to say about those years between 12 years old and then 18 years later when He'll begin His ministry. So Cherie, read the Joseph Smith Translation for us.

Unknown Speaker 1:04:31

Okay, this is Matthew 3:24-26, and JST appendix. "And it came to pass that Jesus grew up with His brethren and waxed strong and waited upon the Lord for the time of His ministry to come. And He served under His father, and He spake not as other men, neither could He be taught, for He'd needed not that any man should teach Him. And after many years, the hour of His ministry drew nigh."

Tammy 1:05:02

Thank you. Fantastic. I like how that teaches us more. What did you just learn about Him?

Cherie Clark 1:05:08

Well, that He served with his father, and it could be both fathers. He served as a carpenter and learn that trade. But He served under His Heavenly Father that obviously taught Him, because He needed not that any man should teach Him. Yeah.

Jenny Reeder 1:05:26

And He grew up with His brothers.

Tammy 1:05:28


Jenny Reeder 1:05:29


Cherie Clark 1:05:29

And sisters.

Tammy 1:05:30

Yes, He did have sisters, brothers and sisters. You can read about that in Mark.The book or Mark has that. He had family,

Cherie Clark 1:05:37

Which I love. It just tells you how important family, just being put in a family to grow up is so important for people. So even Jesus had that.

Tammy 1:05:47

And I think for the first time, I realized that after I'd gotten married, that He was in a blended family. Like, I think, you know, some scholarship says that Joseph had been, he was a widower, and that that's when he married Mary, and that he had children from that first marriage.

Cherie Clark 1:06:01

Oh, wow.

Tammy 1:06:02

I know, there's, it's really fascinating to me to learn that, but to think that like, here's this Joseph raising this son that's from God. And what was that? What was that like? Did he ever say, You're not my dad? I don't know. Was He a normal little kid? But He did. He waxed strong, and He grew. And then Section 93:13 of the Doctrine and Covenants, we have to just end with that. So go there. Let's go to Doctrine and Covenants 93:13. And this is a verse in the Doctrine and Covenants that will tell us about Jesus. And Jenny, will you read that for us.

Jenny Reeder 1:06:36

"And he received not of the fullness at first, but continued from grace to grace until he received a fullness."

Tammy 1:06:43

Thank you. Why did you shake your head yes when we mentioned that? You were like, um-hmm.

Jenny Reeder 1:06:49

Because I thought about it when I was reading this passage of Scripture, and I didn't see a cross reference to this. But I, I'm just intrigued by the thought of what that means. Not of the fullness at first, but grace, from grace to grace. And then in verse 12, "grace for grace". And so I thought a lot about that and what that means. And I think it's, it has a lot to do with, I love the verse in Alma chapter 12, that says that "according to their heed and diligence". And I think that's what this is, according to our heed and diligence, according to the grace that we give or receive, then we can get more grace to give and receive, which goes back to the providing relief and finding relief. Like it's such a, it's such an important construction. Does that make sense? It's so connected.

Tammy 1:07:54

And I, as you're talking, I'm like, that is how we grow. That, right here, this is the pattern for growth for all of us: "grace for grace, grace to grace." Thank you, ladies. Thank you. Oh, my gosh, that was a great discussion. Okay. So what we're going to do in the next segment, is we are going to tackle two verses that we purposely kept out of our whole discussion until now and we'll show you what those are in the next segment.

Segment 6 1:08:14


Tammy 1:08:26

Okay, so we purposefully did not read Luke 2:19 and 51. So I want you to highlight verses 19 and 51. And here we go. I'm going to read them, I want you to highlight them.

Tammy 1:08:38

2:19 "But Mary kept all these things, and pondered them in her heart.

Tammy 1:08:41

51: "And he went down with them, and came to Nazareth, and was subject unto them: but his mother kept all these things in her heart."

Tammy 1:08:42

Okay. What does it mean to keep something in your heart? Talk to me about Mary. And what do you think she was pondering on? I think these verses are so amazing. As a woman, as a mother, her experience, everything, talk to me about it.

Cherie Clark 1:09:09

I kind of think that pondering is a form of prayer and worship. And I believe she probably started her pondering from the minute that Gabriel, you know, came to her and said, you know, Mary, Miriam, you, you're it. You're the, you're the one that everybody in the village is named Mary, but you're going to be the Mary that's actually the Mother of God. And so oftentimes, when we get something like a big calling, or a big, you know, responsibility, we start thinking, Can I really do this? What have I got myself into? And can you imagine Mary as this young girl thinking about what she just learned and who she was going to be and what was going to be required of her?

Cherie Clark 1:10:07

So I think those ponderings started, clear back then all the way, all the way up to, as she gave birth. And as the shepherds came and the Wise men came and all the things she kept learning about her child, what did this mean? What does this mean? But honestly, for me, pondering is that prayer and that worship and, and is the things that are so sacred, or the closest in your heart that you're asking for help or understanding and's not something that you would share with just anyone ,you would only share with your closest friends, or only maybe just to the Savior and the Lord.

Tammy 1:10:53

When you just said that, that was what it meant for me. When I ponder things and keep them in my heart, it's things I don't talk about with anyone. Like I don't dare utter them. I don't even dare to broach the subject. I go to the temple, and that's it. Like, even my spouse, like I tell him everything, but that there are some things that I just keep in my heart that I ponder on that are personal, right? Do either of you have that?

Jenny Reeder 1:11:20

Yeah, absolutely.

Cherie Clark 1:11:23

Sure. I do find, though, that sometimes as I ponder and think on things, and I get an answer, it's, it helps me to share with a trusted friend, to give utterance to that answer. Then it sinks deeper into my heart as I share that witness, or, you know, the answer that I got to my prayer.

Jenny Reeder 1:11:51

So I also think that when Gabriel came to Mary, I think she also kept it to herself, because it was so weird. Like, it just seemed so impossible. And I think she just, like, I mean, that's the practical, mortal, secular side of me, whatever, who like I'm not gonna go telling people that because they're gonna think I'm nuts.

Cherie Clark 1:12:21

Kind of like Joseph Smith in the First Vision.

Tammy 1:12:23

That's fair.

Jenny Reeder 1:12:24

Well, he learned; he did tell people and they thought he was nuts.

Cherie Clark 1:12:27

I know. But that I think it's just is at the same level,

Jenny Reeder 1:12:33

Right, and you just kind of learn to keep it and to hold on to it. And to kind of wait and see what it all means.

Tammy 1:12:45

I havea quote, this is a great quote. It's from Elder Scott D. Whiting of the 70. And I found this; he spoke to Ensign college or LDS Business College on November of 2014. And here's what he has to say about pondering and I'm thinking about Mary. I'll read this.

Tammy 1:13:02

"As you learn to ponder over sacred things, you will have your heart and mind open to greater truths of the gospel. It will take practice and patience, but I can bear personal witness that pondering will lead to revelation."

Tammy 1:13:15

And so I'm wondering, Jenny, is there anything that you have in your life that you have kept in your heart, that you have pondered over that has been an experience, a witness to you of Christ?

Jenny Reeder 1:13:28


Tammy 1:13:30

Can you share it with us?

Jenny Reeder 1:13:31

I'd rather not. It's actually really sacred, and it's something that I am going to keep in my heart. But I know how real it is. But one thing I learned when I was,when I had leukemia, in the hospital, I felt like every day I was measured. And my life was, my identity was was reduced to a number. I was weighed, every day, they measured how much output and how much input, and my temperature and, you know, all of these were such exact measurements. And it was, it was taxing to really realize that I was more than a number. But I also remembered that I needed to keep "Be still and know that I am God". And that was a thing. I had to separate myself from those numbers, and really feel God's love and knowledge and identity of me. So that was, that was something that was a powerful lesson, being still.

Tammy 1:14:01

Wow. And to keep that in your heart and ponder on that while you're going through that experience? That sustained you. And that's pretty powerful. Wow. Thank you, Jenny. Thank you. Cherie. Do you have an experience about pondering and keeping things in your heart?

Unknown Speaker 1:15:02

I think that it probably would have been when I was diagnosed with breast cancer, and I was given some personal revelation about what to expect, and what would happen. And I kept that in my heart for for a long, long time. And would go back to those, that answer that, wasn't really even an answer. It was more of, you know, revelation to me on what to expect. And so as people would tell me different things that I needed to worry about, or what to expect with my cancer or whatever, I would always go back to that time and that voice that I heard and the things that I was told, and it brought peace, and I had peace through all of that. And in the end, it just taught me that God knows who I am, He was there first, for something that was really personal and hard for me. And He knew how best to help me and that I could just trust Him no matter what. Even though all these other people and voices are telling me a lot of different things, don't listen to that. When you have been given that answer, I just knew to completely go back to that. And as soon as I would, I would just feel peace. So I think that's, that's what I learned.

Tammy 1:16:41

Both of your stories that you shared, in this brief moment, gave me insight into Mary. I think that if she were here today, she would say what you both said. That she went back to those early experiences, that when things probably weren't going the way she thought or when she was confused about things, that she took all those things, she kept them and pondered them and kept them in her heart and remembered who she was, what her son was called to do. And I think that there will be more moments of like that, for her, throughout her whole life with her Savior, and with her son Jesus. Like she's just going to continue to ponder these things and keep them in her heart. And that sustained her as it did for both of you. So thank you, thank you for sharing those experiences, and for sharing this time with me. This was awesome. That's the end of our discussion. I have loved the spirit and just the good feeling we've had as we've talked about these truths. Boy, I love you both. Awesome, awesome. Okay, so gather your thoughts. And just one takeaway, what's something that you learned from our discussion today?

Jenny Reeder 1:17:41

I love the timing of everything. I love that quote from Elder Maxwell that I'm not going to remember, where he says something about a star created millennia before it happened. And that there's an order in the universe, and God is aware of us and He'll, He will put things, make things happen in the right time. And I just love that. I love that the location of where Jesus was born, and then that He was a Nazarene and that's where He was from. All these prophecies. I love that it was all set in place by a God who orchestrates all of those things.

Tammy 1:18:24

Excellent takeaway, Jenny. That is so good. Awesome, awesome. Okay, Cherie.

Cherie Clark 1:18:29

I think mine was about Anna, and just that she was literally the second witness of Christ. What, she had to have been forordained for that, you know, to have that opportunity in that mission in her life. And that here she was as old as she was, to have the opportunity to be that witness. And so, blessings will never be denied to us. Sometimes it's all about timing and patience. And if that, I feel like that's something I really learned as I studied, and Anna and and who she was, and her life was not easy, right? And it was, but she didn't blame God. Instead, she turned to Him and worshipped Him and served Him. And look at the incredible blessings she got in the end. So just, she just taught me again how important it is to just trust in our Savior and know that He knows you and the timing will always be perfect for you. Because He wants us, He wants us to return back to Him. That's what it's all about. He's anxious to see us again, just like we are to Him.

Tammy 1:19:50

So great, Cherie. I like that idea. That was powerful. My takeaway is our discussion on the condescension of God. That was so cool when, I wrote in my scriptures that "this is the condescension of God, a cave". It was lowely and that He condescended below all things beginning at His birth. And then when you said He, knows our caves, like He's been in the cave with us, and He will go to our caves to be with us. Like he's familiar with caves, He's not afraid of 'em. And He will be in our cave. So that was a great discussion. I really appreciated that. So, thanks, ladies. Wow, I love you.

Cherie Clark 1:20:28

I love Jenny and Tammy, I learn so much from both of you all the time. I am so grateful. So thank you for being part of my life.

Tammy 1:20:36

Well we would love to hear what your big takeaway is from this episode. So if you haven't already joined our discussion group on Facebook or followed us on Instagram, you should. It's a great place to ask questions as you study, and I try to answer anything I can during the week. And then at the end of the week, on a Saturday, we post a call asking for your big takeaway. So comment on the post that relates to this lesson, and let us know what you've learned. You can get to both our Facebook and Instagram by going to our show notes for this episode on LDS On Monday, and it's not a bad idea to go there anyway, because that's where we're gonna have the links to all the references that we used today as well as a transcript of this whole discussion. So go check it out.

Tammy 1:21:11

The Sunday on Monday Study Group is a Deseret Bookshelf Plus original brought to you by LDS Living. It's written and hosted by me Tammy Uzelac Hall, and today our awesome study group participants were Cherie Clark and Jenny Reeder, and you can find more information about these friends and about their books at LDS on Monday. Our podcast is produced by Cole Wisssinger and me; it is edited by Hailey Higham, and recorded and mixed by Mix at Six Studios. And our executive producer is Erin Hallstrom. Thanks for being here. We will see you next week.

Tammy 1:21:40

And please remember, that in your caves, you are God's favorite.

Tammy 1:21:46

Jim's coming in to get socks.

Jenny Reeder 1:21:48

Hi, Jim.

Jim Hall 1:21:49

Oh, hello, Jenny Reeder! (laughter)

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