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Welcome again to Meridian’s new “Come Follow Me” podcast, which today addresses those chapters in the New Testament that lead up to the birth of Christ, including His genealogy.

Editor’s note: The young actress playing the part of Mary on our cover was born and raised in Nazareth. She is 14 years old. Photograph by Scot Facer Proctor

The podcast explores Matthew’s often hidden meaning in beginning with the genealogy, as well as the audiences each gospel writer was addressing. We will look at implications of being barren in that time, the identity and stewardship of Gabriel, as well as details of the story that are significant and often missed. It is just fun exploring these important stories together.  Come study with us!

Below are some of the references we discuss in addition to Matt. 1 and Luke 1, so you can explore them for yourself.

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References to being barren.

Sarai was barren, Gen. 11:30
Isaac entreated the Lord for his wife, because she was barren, Gen. 25:21
Rachel was barren, Gen. 29:31
There shall be nothing…be barren, in thy land. Ex. 23:26
Hannah had no children, 1 Sam. 1:2

Noah

Noah was ordained to the priesthood when he was ten years old by Methuselah, Doctrine and Covenants 107:52.

Gabriel as Noah, History of the Church, 3:386

While speaking in 1830 to members of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles and some Seventies prior to their leaving for missionary service, the Prophet Joseph Smith said, “Noah, who is Gabriel…stands next in authority to Adam in the Priesthood; he was called of God to this office, and was the father of all living in his day, and to him was given the dominion. These men held keys first on earth, and then in heaven.

Others Who were Struck Dumb

  Mosiah 27:19 (Story of Alma the Younger)

And not the astonishment of Alma was so great that he became dumb, that he could not open his mouth; yea, and he became weak, even that he could not move his hands;  therefore he was taken by those that were with him, and carried helpless, even until he was laid before his father.

Alma 30:49 (Story of Korihor)

Now Alma said unto him: This will I give unto thee for a sign, that thou shall be struck dumb, according to my words, and I say, that in the name of God, ye shall be struck dumb, that ye shall no more have utterance.

Jesus Had Brothers and Sisters, Children of Joseph and Mary, Mark 6:3, Matthew 13:55-56

Is not this the carpenter, the son of Mary, the brother of James, and Joses, and of Juda, and Simon? And are not his sisters here with us?”

Five Promises from the Prophets as You Read the Scriptures

From President Howard W. Hunter:

“We hope you are reading and studying the scriptures on a daily basis as individuals and as families. We should not take lightly the command of the Lord, “Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me” (John 5:39). The Spirit will come into your homes and your lives as you read the revealed word.”

–Howard W. Hunter 

From President Brigham Young:

“Do you read the Scriptures, my brethren and sisters, as though you were writing them a thousand, two thousand, or five thousand years ago? Do you read them as though you stood in the place of the men who wrote them? If you do not feel thus, it is your privilege to do so, that you may be as familiar with the spirit and meaning of the written word of God as you are with your daily walk and conversation, or as you are with your workmen or with your households” (DBY, 128).

From President Spencer W. Kimball:

The years have taught me that if we will energetically pursue this worthy personal goal [to study the scriptures] in a determined and conscientious manner, we shall indeed find answers to our problems and peace in our hearts. We shall experience the Holy Ghost broadening our understanding, find new insights, witness an unfolding pattern of all scripture; and the doctrines of the Lord shall come to have more meaning to us than we ever thought possible. As a consequence, we shall have greater wisdom with which to guide ourselves and our families.  I ask all to begin now to study the scriptures in earnest, if you have not already done so.

From President Henry B. Eyring:

“Reading, studying, and pondering are not the same. We read words and we may get ideas. We study and we may discover patterns and connections in scripture. But when we ponder, we invite revelation by the Spirit. Pondering, to me, is the thinking and the praying I do after reading and studying in the scriptures carefully” (Henry B. Eyring, “Serve with the Spirit,” Ensign or Liahona, Nov. 2010, 60).

From President Russell M. Nelson:I learned long ago that a period of uninterrupted scriptural study in the morning brings enduring enrichment. I feel as did Jeremiah: “Thy word was unto me the joy and rejoicing of mine heart” (Jer. 15:16). Sacred scriptures have been repeatedly described as “glad tidings of great joy” (Hel. 16:14; Mosiah 3:3; Alma 13:22; see also Luke 2:10). As we learn and abide their teachings, that joy becomes part of our lives. (Joy Cometh in the Morning, October 1986)