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The chapters in this week’s podcast are familiar to us because we have recited them so many times at Christmas. The surprise is that there are hidden gems and ideas in these chapters we might not have seen before. The Joseph Smith Translation (JST) also adds new dimensions to the old story we love so well.

Scriptures and references referred to in the podcast other than Luke 2 and Matthew 2 are listed below.


Elder Jeffrey R. Holland

“One impression which has persisted with me recently is that this is a story—in profound paradox with our own times—that this is a story of intense poverty. I wonder if Luke did not have some special meaning when he wrote not “there was no room in the inn” but specifically that “there was no room for them in the inn.” (Luke 2:7; italics added.) We cannot be certain, but it is my guess that money could talk in those days as well as in our own. I think if Joseph and Mary had been people of influence or means, they would have found lodging even at that busy time of year. 

I have wondered if the Inspired Version also was suggesting they did not know the “right people” in saying, “There was none to give room for them in the inns.” (JST, Luke 2:7.)

Jeffrey R. Holland “Maybe Christmas Doesn’t Come from a Store.”  Dec. 1977


Luke 9:58

“And Jesus said unto him, Foxes have holes, and birds of the air have nests; but the Son of man hath not where to lay his head.” (See also Matt. 8:20)

Isaiah 63:3

“I have trodden the winepress alone; and of the people there was none with me.”

Alma 7: 10-12

And behold, he shall be born of Mary, at Jerusalem which is the land of our forefathers, she being a virgin, a precious and chosen vessel, who shall be overshadowed and conceive by the power of the Holy Ghost, and bring forth a son, yea, even the Son of God.

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.”

Job 38: 4,7

“Where wast thou when I laid the foundations of the earth?

“When the morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy?”

Elder Jeffrey R. Holland quoting Scottish cleric George MacDonald

“Is every Christian expected to bear witness?” asked MacDonald. And then he answered his own question:

A man content to bear no witness to the truth is not of the kingdom of heaven. One who believes must bear witness. One who sees the truth, must live witnessing to it. Is our life, then, a witnessing to the truth? Do we carry ourselves in [the] bank, on [the] farm, in [the] house or shop, in [the] study or chamber or workshop, as the Lord would, or as the Lord would not?

Are we careful to be true? … When contempt is cast on the truth, do we smile? Wronged in our presence, do we make no sign that we hold by it? I do not say we are called upon to dispute, and defend with logic and argument, but we are called upon to show that we are on the other side. …

The soul that loves the truth and tries to be true, will know when to speak and when to be silent; but the true man [or woman] will never look as if he [or she] did not care. We are not bound to say all we think, but we are bound not even to look [like] what we do not think. https://meridianmag.wpengine.com/elder-holland-gives-apostolic-charge-to-be-disciple-scholars/ 

 Words of Mary’s Lullaby

All mine in your loveliness, Baby, all mine;
All mine in your holiness, Baby Divine.
Sing on, herald angels, in chorus sublime;
Sing on and adore, for tonight you are mine.

Away, spectered future of sorrow and plight.
Away to the years that must follow tonight.
The pangs of Gethsemane, let them be dim;
The red drops on Calvary, not, Lord, for him!

Oh, let me enfold thee, my baby, tonight;
While legions are singing in joyous delight.
A new star has risen to hail thee divine,
For you are a king, but tonight you are mine.

Example of Ancient King Calling for Wise Men

Daniel 2:1-2

“And in the second year of the reign of Nebuchadnezzar Nebuchadnezzar dreamed dreams, wherewith his spirit was troubled, and his sleep brake from him.

“Then the king commanded to call the magicians, and the astrologers.”

Deuteronomy 6:4,5

“Hear, O Israel:  The Lord our God is one Lord:

“And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might.”

Hosea 11:1

“When Israel was a child, then I loved him, and called my son out of Egypt.”

JST Matthew 3:24-26

“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 needed not that any man should teach him. 

“And after many years, the hour of his ministry drew nigh.”

JST Luke 2:46

“And it came to pass, after three days they found him in the temple, sitting in the midst of the doctors, and they were hearing him, and asking him questions.

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