I belong to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I know who I am. I know God's plan. I'll follow him in faith. I believe in the Savior, Jesus Christ. I'll honor his name. I'll do what is right; I'll follow his light. His truth I will proclaim.

I Know that My Redeemer Lives!

I Know that My Redeemer Lives!

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Gospel Message Day 97

Christmas Scripture Advent Calendar, Part 30

Day 30 scripture - Helaman 5:12
And now, my sons, remember, remember that it is upon the rock of our Redeemer, who is Christ, the Son of God, that ye must build your foundation; that when the devil shall send forth his mighty winds, yea, his shafts in the whirlwind, yea, when all his hail and his mighty storm shall beat upon you, it shall have no power over you to drag you down to the gulf of misery and endless wo, because of the rock upon which ye are built, which is a sure foundation, a foundation whereon if men build they cannot fall.

The Savior came. He atoned for our sins. He died and was resurrected so we could live again. But we still have to do our part. Our part is to believe in Christ--make Him the foundation of our lives--and follow Him. If we do so, then nothing can shake us. I find that to be quite comforting and reassuring. Because every day I am buffeted by the winds of the adversary. Some days are worse than others. Some times I feel I am not strong enough to withstand the storm. But I have the Savior on my side. If I hold to Him, He'll hold to me. And I can and shall withstand all the ill winds that come my way.

This song is new to me. But I wanted something about building our foundation on Christ and His Gospel and how that helps us.

Monday, December 29, 2014

Gospel Message Day 96

Christmas Scripture Advent Calendar, Part 29

Day 29 scripture - 3 Nephi 11:10-11
Behold, I am Jesus Christ, whom the prophets testified shall come into the world.
And behold, I am the light and the life of the world; and I have drunk out of that bitter cup which the Father hath given me, and have glorified the Father in taking upon me the sins of the world, in the which I have suffered the will of the Father in all things from the beginning.
3 Nephi is my favorite book in the Book of Mormon because it not only tells the Christmas story in the ancient Americas, but then we have the wonderful chapters telling of Christ's visit there after He was resurrected. These verses are the first things Jesus said to the ancient Americans when He appeared to them. As He did in the old world, He announced who He was and what His mission was. But before He was born, the words were about what He would do. By the time he visited the Americas, He had already done them.

So these words aren't just a "This is what I'm going to do." These words were a declaration, reassurance, proclamation, and explanation of very recent memories for the Savior as He atoned for each of us. If I were among the crowd that heard that declaration, just a few weeks after His sacrifice had occurred, I'm not even sure I could approach my Savior for the awe and wonderment and gratitude that would overwhelm me. Especially to know that He had done so great a thing, and yet didn't forget His other sheep in another part of the world. I love how much the Savior loves each one of His eternal siblings.

(Note: His introduction is very much how our full-time missionaries go about sharing the Gospel. They always introduce themselves as missionaries of the Church, and then they declare what their mission is--that they have a message to share.)

I love the pictures used for this music video, but I'm not the biggest fan of the singing style. So here you go for the story painted:

And here you go for the musical version:

Sunday, December 28, 2014

Gospel Message Day 95

Christmas Scripture Advent Calendar, Part 28

Day 28 scripture - Mosiah 3: 7-8
And lo, he shall suffer temptations, and pain of body, hunger, thirst, and fatigue, even more than man can suffer, except it be unto death; for behold, blood cometh from every pore, so great shall be his anguish for the wickedness and the abominations of his people.

And he shall be called Jesus Christ, the Son of God, the Father of heaven and earth, the Creator of all things from the beginning; and his mother shall be called Mary.

This gives a few more details about the suffering the Savior endured as part of the Atonement, as well as His life. As I've been stating in other days, He suffered every kind of affliction so that He would know when we suffer. The times when I couldn't afford groceries and am living off the bare minimum of food. I have been hungry. Not nearly as hungry as others are, or as often, but I know the pain of that. And I certainly know the pain of being exhausted. My "protein lows" aren't as much painful as they are scary and debilitating. But He knows those, too. He knows how it feels to not think you can get up out of bed that day. And He knows what it is to be lonely--even moreso than me. He knows what it is to be sick. He knows what it is to be discouraged. He knows how it feels to have a broken heart.

This is what can make Him the master healer, because He knows the affliction better than any physician, and He knows how to heal it because He is the cure. I will be forever grateful that the Savior paid the price for my sins and gives me the chance to repent and try to return to my Heavenly Father. I have to use that part of the Atonement frequently and I do not discredit it or lessen it. But overall for me, the trials of this life seem more daily present to my mind and emotions. So that part of the Atonement means a very great deal to me, as I feel I am constantly using it.

I often post my own music video of this song, but I thought I would use someone else's version. See the things that they have tied in as this song has helped them heal and hold fast to the Atonement and its power. And it has the lyrics.

But I want to post mine, too, because I'm pretty attached to it.

Gospel Message Day 94

Christmas Scripture Advent Calendar, Part 27

Day 27 scripture - Alma 7:11, to which I have to add 12 & 13, since this is one of my favorite passages in all of scripture:
And he shall go forth, suffering pains and afflictions and temptations of every kind; and this that the word might be fulfilled which saith he will take upon him the pains and the sicknesses of his people.

And he will take upon him 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.

Now the Spirit knoweth all things; nevertheless the Son of God suffereth according to the flesh that he might take upon him the sins of his people, that he might blot out their transgressions according to the power of his deliverance; and now behold, this is the testimony which is in me.

All month I have been referring to the things that Jesus did for us while He was on earth, and continues to do for us. These verses sum up the Savior's missions, His reasons for coming. Usually people think of the Savior's sacrifice and Atonement as for our sins. But that wasn't all it covered. These verses tell us that He also took on all the pains we had from everything besides sin. We have pain from health problems, from from financial issues, from cruelty in this world. All kinds of trials are part of this life, and they afflict us in some way, to some degree. The Savior experienced and suffered through every pain and anguish so that at least one person would truly and fully understand what we each individually suffer in this life. Because He knows this, He can show mercy towards us. Because He knows this, He can run to our aid--and be there as soon as we need Him, in the ways that we need Him. Because He knows this, He can better be our advocate when we stand before the judgement bar of God after this life.

Because He knows, we have hope and joy.

They are not really Christmas songs, though I suppose any song about Christ applies for Christmas...and every day. And I know I share them frequently. But there is a reason I love them. They both come from the Joseph Smith oratorio by Rob Gardner, but they are the perfect songs about our Savior.

First, He will never leave us alone and comfortless.

And second, He has redeemed every single one of us.

Friday, December 26, 2014

Gospel Message Day 93

Christmas Scripture Advent Calendar, Part 26

Day 26 scripture - 2 Nephi 25:26
And we talk of Christ, we rejoice in Christ, we preach of Christ, we prophesy of Christ, and we write according to our prophecies, that our children may know to what source they may look for a remission of their sins.

I LOVE this scripture verse! This is why we keep Christmas all throughout the year: so that we keep Christ with us all year, every day--in our thoughts, hearts, words, deeds. He is our focal point. Our beacon. He is who (and what, I suppose) gives us light, hope, love, grace, mercy, understanding, kindness, and more--whether through the Spirit or through another person. He is the source of all that is good.

I rejoice in my Savior, Jesus Christ. And every day I thank Heavenly Father for sending His Beloved Son, and allowing Him to live and die for each one of us. All in my life is well, good, and joyful because I believe in Christ and I know He has redeemed me.


Thursday, December 25, 2014

Gospel Message Day 92

Christmas Scripture Advent Calendar, Part 25

Day 25 scripture - Matthew 2:1-14

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

Saying, Where is he that is born King of the Jews? for we have seen his star in the east, and are come to worship him.

When Herod the king had heard these things, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him.

And when he had gathered all the chief priests and scribes of the people together, he demanded of them where Christ should be born.

And they said unto him, In Bethlehem of Judæa: for thus it is written by the prophet,

And thou Bethlehem, in the land of Juda, art not the least among the princes of Juda: for out of thee shall come a Governor, that shall rule my people Israel.

Then Herod, when he had privily called the wise men, inquired of them diligently what time the star appeared.

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.

When they had heard the king, they departed; and, lo, the star, which they saw in the east, went before them, till it came and stood over where the young child was.

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

And when they were come into the house, they saw the young child with Mary his mother, and fell down, and worshipped him: and when they had opened their treasures, they presented unto him gifts; gold, and frankincense, and myrrh.

And being warned of God in a dream that they should not return to Herod, they departed into their own country another way.

And when they were departed, behold, the angel of the Lord appeareth to Joseph in a dream, saying, Arise, and take the young child and his mother, and flee into Egypt, and be thou there until I bring thee word: for Herod will seek the young child to destroy him.

When he arose, he took the young child and his mother by night, and departed into Egypt

I know. Advent usually leads up to the 25th. I've never seen one go beyond. But it is right that it should. For one as you can tell by the scripture, because the wise men hadn't come, yet. Now starts the 12 days of Christmas which is related to the wise men (even though it actually took the wise men 2 or 3 years to get to the baby, or, as is stated, the young child). Plus, we want to keep Christmas throughout the year. So these Christmas scriptures can go for a few days more.

In recent years, I have often heard a phrase that I love very much: Wise Men Still Seek Him.

Possibly why this song (which sums up all the scriptures we've had in this advent calendar) by Hilary Weeks is on my highest ranked playlist and gets played throughout the year:

Following the Savior each day of our lives--that is the gift we give to the first Gift of Christmas.

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Gospel Message Day 91

Christmas Scripture Advent Calendar, Part 24

Day 24 scripture: Luke:2:12-14
And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.

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

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

Well, I already mentioned about the swaddling clothes a couple of days ago. So neat. But the other part of this scripture is something that very much resonates with me: the multitude. I can't imagine them praising in any way except through singing. As my Sterling Singers choir director says, only in singing can one praise with loud volume and still be reverent. :-)

Aside from that, I also find singing the most uplifting way to praise both for the one who gives the praise as well as to those who hear the praise. Singing praises to our Savior involves the giver(s), the hearer(s), and the One Who is praised about. All are renewed, uplifted, and comforted by it. The silent listener can join their heart in resonating and agreeing with what they hear sung. And they are able to praise together.

This scripture also puts me in mind of my favorite part of the Forgotten Carols. I have yet to see them live. I have seen part of a recording, but not the whole thing. I have listened to my friend's cassette tape of them. I'm sure I would like them more if I had more of a chance to immerse myself in them and really enjoy them. But I love the story of Handel in that.

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Gospel Message Day 90

Christmas Scripture Advent Calendar, Part 23

Day 23 scripture - Luke 2:8-11
And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night.

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

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

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

I always hear Linus telling this story.

Because Christmas is all about Son of God coming to save us. Everything else good and wonderful about Christmas stems from its origin. Service. Kindness. Love. Patience. Teaching. Sacrifice. Because those are all things that Christ did for us.

So today's song will relate to the angels mentioned in this scripture. And I'm going to post by the two a cappella groups that I've been recently listening to and loving.

Different for me, but still pretty awesome.

And to close, here is another beautifully amazing and recently created version of Angels from the Realms of Glory, recorded by some LDS artists and combined with the largest live nativity yet. (I had to work and couldn't make it that day, but my brother is in there!) It's the familiar tune of Angels We Have Heard On High, but the lyrics in the verses are different--with that one about Him coming to the temple that I absolutely adore. And this arrangement is quite similar to Wilberg's arrangement which MoTab sings at the end of every Christmas concert. So I love it in many ways.

Monday, December 22, 2014

Gospel Message Day 89

Christmas Scripture Advent Calendar, Part 22

Day 22 scripture - Luke 2:4-7

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

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

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

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

I learned the neatest things about the history of swaddling clothes yesterday at church. When a couple was married, strips of cloth were wrapped around their hands (which is where "tying the know" comes from). The wife embroidered the family lineage on the swaddling bands. When the baby was born, those are the bands she wrapped the baby in.

Also, Bethlehem was where they raised the sheep to be sacrificed at the temple in Jerusalem. Those lambs that were intended for the sacrifice needed to be without blemish, but they were rocks about that could scuff them up. So their legs were wrapped in swaddling wraps to keep from getting any blemishes.

I adore the symbolism that we see everywhere relating to the Savior. We see it in stories from the Old Testament. And here we see it in how the Israelites already practiced. The Lamb of God as a baby was wrapped in swaddling bands just as the their sacrificial lambs were; and one day this Lamb--who was without blemish--would be sacrificed for us. The symbolism is amazing to me.

And the song I'm sharing goes with the last verse, in which we need to remember that it is up to us to make room for the Savior in our lives.

"Do You Have Room" Lyrics

They journeyed far, a weary pair
They sought for shelter from the cold night air
Some place where she could lay her head
Where she could give her babe a quiet bed

Was there no room? No corner there?
In all the town a spot someone could spare?
Was there no soul come to their aid?
A stable bare was where the family stayed.

Do you have room for the Savior?
And do you seek Him anew?
Have you a place for the one who lived and died for you?
Are you as humble as a shepherd boy
Or as wise as men of old?
Would you have come that night?
Would you have sought the light?
Do you have room?

A star arose, a wondrous light
A sign from God -- this was the holy night.
And yet so few would go to see
The babe who came to rescue you and me.

This child divine is now a King;
The gift of life to all the world He brings
And all mankind He saves from doom,
But on that night, for Him, there was no room


Will you come tonight?
Will you seek the light?
Do you have room?

Lyrics and Music by Shawna Belt Edwards. Performed by April Meservy

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Gospel Message Day 88

Christmas Scripture Advent Calendar, Part 21

Day 21 Scripture - 3 Nephi 1:19
And it came to pass that there was no darkness in all that night, but it was as light as though it was mid-day. And it came to pass that the sun did rise in the morning again, according to its proper order; and they knew that it was the day that the Lord should be born, because of the sign which had been given.

This continues on the story I summed up yesterday, and refers to when the sign did actually come about. A new star also appeared, which is mentioned in verse 21. Not sure what else to say about either sign, since they have been mentioned in previous scriptures on this calendar. I love the connection of Christ being the light of the world, and signs of His birth coming in the forms of light. His death brought signs of darkness, showing how the Light of the World had gone out. But He was resurrected, and light was restored.

Love and light are often used interchangeably, or at least are connected. It makes sense to me. The Savior is our Light; the Savior is love.

"Son of God; Love's pure light."

Gospel Message Day 87

Christmas Scripture Advent Calendar, Part 20

Day 20 scripture - 3 Nephi 1:13
Lift up your head and be of good cheer; for behold, the time is at hand, and on this night shall the sign be given, and on the morrow come I into the world, to show unto the world that I will fulfil all that which I have caused to be spoken by the mouth of my holy prophets.

This is by far my favorite part of all the parts of the Christmas story. If you are unfamiliar with the story from the other side of the world, here is a little synopsis:

Samuel, a prophet in the ancient Americas, had prophesied of Christ's birth about 5 years before He came. There was turmoil in those years, but as the five drew to a close, there were basically two groups--those who believed Christ would come, and those who did not. The believers looked for the sign Samuel prophesied of (referenced two days ago). But the unbelievers would have none of it. They set a day and told the believers that if the sign had not occurred by then, they would kill them.

The last day came before the one the unbelievers had appointed. And the believers were understandably scared. So Nephi prayed for help, comfort, reassurance, and the like. And his prayer was answered. By Jesus himself. And the scripture above is what He said.

I can only imagine the great peace and joy they felt to hear the Savior Himself reassure that He was coming, coming for each of us. That they would be saved not just from the evil that might have befallen them the next day, but that all would be saved from the evils of this world.

I'm sharing this version of this song because it makes me cry every time I hear MoTab sing it, because I've sung it before, and because my ward choir will sing it in our Christmas program tomorrow. The 3rd verse (or in the lyrics listed below, the last verse), which is rarely sung, is what makes this version one of my favorite Christmas songs.

The First Noel, the Angels did say
Was to certain poor shepherds in fields as they lay
In fields where they lay keeping their sheep
On a cold winter's night that was so deep.
Noel, Noel, Noel, Noel
Born is the King of Israel!

They looked up and saw a star
Shining in the East beyond them far
And to the earth it gave great light
And so it continued both day and night.
Noel, Noel, Noel, Noel
Born is the King of Israel!

And by the light of that same star
Three Wise men came from country far
To seek for a King was their intent
And to follow the star wherever it went.
Noel, Noel, Noel, Noel
Born is the King of Israel!

This star drew nigh to the northwest
O'er Bethlehem it took its rest
And there it did both Pause and stay
Right o'er the place where Jesus lay.
Noel, Noel, Noel, Noel
Born is the King of Israel!

Then entered in those Wise men three
Full reverently upon their knee
And offered there in His presence
Their gold and myrrh and frankincense.
Noel, Noel, Noel, Noel
Born is the King of Israel!

Then let us all with one accord
Sing praises to our heavenly Lord
That hath made Heaven and earth of nought
And with his blood mankind has bought.
Born is the King of Israel!
Noel, Noel, Noel, Noel

Friday, December 19, 2014

Gospel Message Day 86

Christmas Scripture Advent Calendar, Part 19

Day 19 scripture - Luke 1:30-31
And the angel said unto her, Fear not, Mary: for thou hast found favour with God.
And, behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name JESUS.

Forgive me for being brief today. Migraine accompanied with nausea. It's another scripture about Mary. What must it have been like to raise your son, knowing He was meant for the world?

Here's a song I've never heard before but simple and pretty. I like it. Love the pictures going with it.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Gospel Message Day 85

Christmas Scripture Advent Calendar, Part 18

Day 18 scripture - Helaman 14: 5-6

And behold, there shall a new star arise, such an one as ye never have beheld; and this also shall be a sign unto you.
And behold this is not all, there shall be many signs and wonders in heaven.

I would love to have seen the star that the world saw that night. Like what I said yesterday, the star is symbolic of the Savior shining through the night. Just like the star guided the shepherds and later the wise men, He guides us in our lives--but it is our choice if we will follow.

The scripture puts me in mind of a song the BYU choirs sang in their Christmas concert in 2002. Our concert is often aired on BYUtv, but I can't find a showing for it this year. This was the only recording I found of the version we sang.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Gospel Message Day 84

Christmas Scripture Advent Calendar, Part 17

Day 17 scripture - Helaman 14:3
And behold, this will I give unto you for a sign at the time of his coming; for behold, there shall be great lights in heaven, insomuch that in the night before he cometh there shall be no darkness, insomuch that it shall appear unto man as if it was day.

I love the story of the Savior's coming as seen in the Americas (which is what this prophecy is concerning). Could you imagine being there at that time? That would be the most undeniable thing--the sun went down and it is still light outside! And how beautifully symbolic. Jesus is the Light that shines through the darkness. That darkness can be our own personal one(s), but it can also be that in the world where ignorance or misunderstanding or cruelty or hatred might be. Jesus is full of Love, and that is the Light that can drive away the darkness.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Gospel Message Day 83

Christmas Scripture Advent Calendar, Part 16

Day 16 scripture - 1 Nephi 11:27, to which I also add verse 28-33:
And I looked and beheld the Redeemer of the world, of whom my father had spoken; and I also beheld the prophet who should prepare the way before him. And the Lamb of God went forth and was baptized of him; and after he was baptized, I beheld the heavens open, and the Holy Ghost come down out of heaven and abide upon him in the form of a dove.

And I beheld that he went forth ministering unto the people, in power and great glory; and the multitudes were gathered together to hear him; and I beheld that they cast him out from among them.

And I also beheld twelve others following him. And it came to pass that they were carried away in the Spirit from before my face, and I saw them not.

And it came to pass that the angel spake unto me again, saying: Look! And I looked, and I beheld the heavens open again, and I saw angels descending upon the children of men; and they did minister unto them.

And he spake unto me again, saying: Look! And I looked, and I beheld the Lamb of God going forth among the children of men. And I beheld multitudes of people who were sick, and who were afflicted with all manner of diseases, and with devils and unclean spirits; and the angel spake and showed all these things unto me. And they were healed by the power of the Lamb of God; and the devils and the unclean spirits were cast out.

And it came to pass that the angel spake unto me again, saying: Look! And I looked and beheld the Lamb of God, that he was taken by the people; yea, the Son of the everlasting God was judged of the world; and I saw and bear record.

And I, Nephi, saw that he was lifted up upon the cross and slain for the sins of the world.

These verses prophesied of what the Savior would do in and for this world. Though He was perfect, He was baptized to fulfill all righteousness (since it is a requirement for exaltation) and to set an example for us. And He went about teaching (many blog posts about that a few weeks ago). He ministered unto others. He served them. He blessed them. He healed them. And He died for our sins. Every thing He did was because He selflessly and sincerely loved each one of us.

And that is the example for us to follow every day: peace on earth, good will toward men--because that's what the first gift of Christmas brought to us. And we need to continue to give it to others.

Monday, December 15, 2014

Gospel Message Day 82

Christmas Scripture Advent Calendar, Part 15

Day 15 scripture - 1 Nephi 11:20-24

And I looked and beheld the virgin again, bearing a child in her arms.

And the angel said unto me: Behold the Lamb of God, yea, even the Son of the Eternal Father! Knowest thou the meaning of the tree which thy father saw?

And I answered him, saying: Yea, it is the love of God, which sheddeth itself abroad in the hearts of the children of men; wherefore, it is the most desirable above all things.

And he spake unto me, saying: Yea, and the most joyous to the soul.

And after he had said these words, he said unto me: Look! And I looked, and I beheld the Son of God going forth among the children of men; and I saw many fall down at his feet and worship him.

How I wish I could link to a sound clip of the Nephi musical, With Mine Own Hand. This is one of my favorite songs, especially v. 22 & 23. (I can share the trailer for it.) The music for "most joyous to the soul" conveys the utmost joy. As it should.

For the love of God was made manifest to us through Heavenly Father's beloved Son, who came to teach us how to live, then allowed himself to be sacrificed for our sins, and then was resurrected which opened up the door for our being resurrected one day after we die. But that wasn't it. He is still there for us every day to give us continued guidance and comfort. He is the greatest reason that we have to rejoice.

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Gospel Message Day 81

Christmas Scripture Advent Calendar, Part 14

Day 14 scripture - 1 Nephi 11:18
And he said unto me: Behold, the virgin whom thou seest is the mother of the Son of God, after the manner of the flesh.

The mother of the Son of God. Today I was in a small group that sang Mary's Lullaby (linked to on Part 1 of this Gospel topic). It's a song I've heard often, and been a part of at least two other times. I love the harmonies. But I also love how one sister pointed out to me later: it is the mother's perspective. Baby Jesus was born for all the world, but the night He was born, He was hers. Her firstborn child.

Our family once had a Christmas sampler cassette tape. And there was a song on there that I adored. I think it was called "My Child, My Love." I have spent two decades looking for a recording of that song. And sheet music for it. I have been unsuccessful. So the best I can do is share the lyrics here, which I memorized all those years ago. If there are flaws, they result from my hearing and my memory.

I cradled you in my arms
To give you to the world.
But they could not keep you,
They didn't know how.
And oh how I've missed you
And longed to see your face.
But I had to let you go
Back to His embrace.

My child. My love.
My life. My Son.
Baby of mine.
A king divine.
Back to your Father's arms.

For years you led the people,
Though some did turn on you.
But you loved them always
Like God loving you.
They day they took your life my son
I wish they'd taken me
I felt your pain
Looking on to Calvary.

My child. My love.
My life. My Son.
Baby of Mine.
A King divine.
Back to your father's arms.

Baby of Mine.
A King divine.
Back in your Father's arms.

But as I feel a song must be shared, here's another Mary one I love set to scenes from one of my favorite versions of the nativity story:

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Gospel Message Day 80

Christmas Scripture Advent Calendar, Part 13

Day 13 scripture - 1 Nephi 10: 4
Yea, even six hundred years from the time that my father left Jerusalem, a prophet would the Lord God raise up among the Jews—even a Messiah, or, in other words, a Savior of the world.

One of my favorite phrases ever: Savior of the world. Because He came to save each and every single person who will ever live on this earth. The. Whole. World. Is saved.

The dictionary defines a messiah as "a professed or accepted leader of some hope or cause." His cause? Our salvation. The hope? Eternal life.

This version shared because it's beautiful.

This version shared because of the pictures.

And this version because we sang it in our concert with an 11-year old soloist. And I get to sing it one more time tomorrow.

Song shared today because of the 3rd verse--I love it so much:
Away in a manger, no crib for a bed,
The little Lord Jesus laid down his sweet head.

The stars in the sky looked down where he lay,
The little Lord Jesus asleep in the hay.

The cattle are lowing, the baby awakes,
But little Lord Jesus no crying he makes.

I love Thee, Lord Jesus, look down from the sky
And stay by my cradle til morning is nigh.

Be near me, Lord Jesus, I ask Thee to stay
Close by me forever, and love me, I pray.

Bless all the dear children in thy tender care,
And take us to heaven, to live with Thee there.

Gospel Message Day 79

Christmas Scripture Advent Calendar, Part 12

Day 12 scripture - Jacob 7:11-12
 11 And I said unto him: Then ye do not understand them; for they truly testify of Christ. Behold, I say unto you that none of the prophets have written, nor prophesied, save they have spoken concerning this Christ.
 12 And this is not all—it has been made manifest unto me, for I have heard and seen; and it also has been made manifest unto me by the power of the Holy Ghost; wherefore, I know if there should be no atonement made all mankind must be lost.
It's true. When one looks back over the scriptures, prophets foretold of Christ coming and all He would do for mankind. That was their mission. (Since then, prophets have testified that Christ has come, and foretell of His coming again.) What a wonderful mission: to testify of Christ and foretell of the hope He brings to us all!

I'm posting Josh, because it's Josh. Gorgeous, of course.

But he doesn't sing about the prophets! So I'm also sharing MoTab as well.

And here are the lyrics, with a verse that I have never heard before. But look how it is so full of hope that the Savior can lift us and give us peace and rest.

It came upon the midnight clear,
That glorious song of old,
From angels bending near the earth,
To touch their harps of gold:
"Peace on the earth, goodwill to men
From heavens all gracious King!"
The world in solemn stillness lay
To hear the angels sing.

Still through the cloven skies they come,
With peaceful wings unfurled;
And still their heavenly music floats
O'er all the weary world:
Above its sad and lowly plains
They bend on hovering wing,
And ever o'er its Babel sounds
The blessed angels sing.

O ye beneath life's crushing load,
Whose forms are bending low,
Who toil along the climbing way
With painful steps and slow;
Look now, for glad and golden hours
Come swiftly on the wing;
Oh rest beside the weary road
And hear the angels sing.

For lo! the days are hastening on,
By prophets seen of old,
When with the ever-circling years
Shall come the time foretold,
When the new heaven and earth shall own
The Prince of Peace, their King,
And the whole world send back the song
Which now the angels sing.

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Gospel Message Day 78

Christmas Scripture Advent Calendar Part 11

Day 11 scripture - Malachi 3:1
Behold, I will send my messenger, and he shall prepare the way before me: and the Lord, whom ye seek, shall suddenly come to his temple, even the messenger of the covenant, whom ye delight in: behold, he shall come, saith the Lord of hosts.

I believe the beginning of this verse is referring to the Savior's cousin, John the Baptist. Wasn't positive, because the second reference to the messenger confused me. So I looked up in the Institute manual to get some help with this verse.

Who Was the Messenger Sent to Prepare the Way of the Lord, and Who Was the Messenger of the Covenant?

One of the messengers sent to prepare the way of the Lord at His first coming was John the Baptist. John’s mission was performed in the spirit and power of the priesthood of Elias (see Luke 1:17). Elias is a name for a forerunner, one who goes before or prepares the way for someone or something greater. In that sense the Aaronic Priesthood is the priesthood of Elias because it prepares and qualifies individuals for greater blessings. Joseph Smith explained: “The spirit of Elias is to prepare the way for a greater revelation of God, which is the Priesthood of Elias, or the Priesthood that Aaron was ordained unto. And when God sends a man into the world to prepare for a greater work, holding the keys of the power of Elias, it was called the doctrine of Elias, even from the early ages of the world.” (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, pp. 335–36.)

I don't if I'm much the wiser. Is it saying that Jesus is an Elias of the covenant? (I assume the covenant or covenants we make in the Temple.) I'm not positive.

What I do know is the phrase "whom ye delight in." For that is quite true. I delight in my Savior and the hope, mercy, forgiveness, and love He gives me.

We sang this in our concert this week. I think it conveys the excitement and anticipation for what the Lord has brought us:

1. O come, divine Messiah!
The world in silence waits the day
When hope shall sing its triumph,
And sadness flee away.

Dear Savior haste;
Come, come to earth,
Dispel the night and show your face,
And bid us hail the dawn of grace.
O come, divine Messiah!
The world in silence waits the day
When hope shall sing its triumph,
And sadness flee away.

2. O Christ, whom nations sigh for,
Whom priest and prophet long foretold,
Come break the captive fetters; 
Redeem the long-lost fold.


3. You come in peace and meekness,
And lowly will your cradle be;
All clothed in human weakness
Shall we your Godhood* see. [we changed]


Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Gospel Message Day 77

Christmas Scripture Advent Calendar, Part 10

Day 10 Scripture - Isaiah 11:1 
"And there shall come forth a rod out of the stem of Jesse, and a Branch shall grow out of his roots"

I have no idea what to say about this, because I feel I've already talked about it. I'm starting to not be impressed with this calendar. So many other scriptures talking about our Savior, even in only prophesying His birth.

I think I'm going to add on the 2nd verse, because I can say a little bit more with it.
"And the spirit of the Lord shall rest upon him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the Lord"

He didn't just come to save us. He came to learn how He could best succor us. He was blessed with wisdom and understanding to better comprehend what we go through in this life. And He knows better than any one how to lead and guide us. Which makes me think of the rarely sung 2nd verse of O Holy Night. So here you go for today's daily Christmas song:

1. O holy night, the stars are brightly shining,
It is the night of the dear Saviour’s birth;
Long lay the world in sin and error pining,
'Till he appeared and the soul felt its worth.
A thrill of hope the weary world rejoices,
For yonder breaks a new and glorious morn;
Fall on your knees, Oh hear the angel voices!
O night divine! O night when Christ was born.
O night, O holy night, O night divine.
2. Led by the light of Faith serenely beaming;
With glowing hearts by his cradle we stand:
So, led by light of a star sweetly gleaming,
Here come the wise men from Orient land,
The King of Kings lay thus in lowly manger,
In all our trials born to be our friend;
He knows our need, To our weakness no stranger!
Behold your King! Before Him lowly bend!
Behold your King! your King! before him bend!
3. Truly He taught us to love one another;
His law is Love and His gospel is Peace;
Chains shall he break, for the slave is our brother,
And in his name all oppression shall cease,
Sweet hymns of joy in grateful Chorus raise we;
Let all within us praise his Holy name!

Christ is the Lord, then ever! ever praise we!
His pow'r and glory, evermore proclaim!
His pow'r and glory, evermore proclaim!

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Gospel Message Day 76

Christmas Scripture Advent Calendar, Part 9

Day 9 Scripture - Psalm 24:
 The earth is the Lord’s, and the fulness thereof; the world, and they that dwell therein.
 For he hath founded it upon the seas, and established it upon the floods.
 Who shall ascend into the hill of the Lord? or who shall stand in his holy place?
 He that hath clean hands, and a pure heart; who hath not lifted up his soul unto vanity, nor sworn deceitfully.
 He shall receive the blessing from the Lord, and righteousness from the God of his salvation.
 This is the generation of them that seek him, that seek thy face, O Jacob. Selah.
 Lift up your heads, O ye gates; and be ye lift up, ye everlasting doors; and the King of glory shall come in.
 Who is this King of glory? The Lord strong and mighty, the Lord mighty in battle.
 Lift up your heads, O ye gates; even lift them up, ye everlasting doors; and the King of glory shall come in.
 10 Who is this King of glory? The Lord of hosts, he is the King of glory. Selah.

Some repetition in this chapter to help the people then and those of us now: Jesus is the King of Glory, and it is up to us to let Him in.

The two songs that immediately come to mind, I have already shared ("O Little Town" and "Hallelujah Chorus"). Because they sing about our Savior's glory, as well as our part to let Him in. through Christ. But the scripture also talks about the promised blessings that come through our Savior. So I'm going to share one of my favorite songs from my concert tonight. However, I'm going to share the other version that MoTab sings at the end of every Christmas concert--which is how I first heard the song.


Dan Forrest arrangement:

And the lyrics--last verse is my favorite:
Angels from the realms of glory,
Wing your flight o'er all the earth;
Ye who sang creation's story,
Now proclaim Messiah's birth:
Come and worship,
Come and worship,
Worship Christ, the newborn King!

Shepherds, in the fields abiding,
Watching o'er your flocks by night,
God with man is now residing,
Yonder shines the infant Light;
Come and worship,
Come and worship,
Worship Christ, the newborn King!

Sages, leave your contemplations,
Brighter visions beam afar;
Seek the great desire of nations,
Ye have seen His natal star;
Come and worship,
Come and worship,
Worship Christ, the newborn King!

Saints before the altar bending,
Watching long in hope and fear,
Suddenly the Lord, descending,
In His temple shall appear:
Come and worship,
Come and worship,
Worship Christ, the newborn King!