Thursday, April 24, 2014

Joseph and Mary

 I am taking New Testament class online, and for our weekly student choice assignments I've decided to pick a given topic and share it on my blog. I'm going to talk a little bit about Mary and her role as the mother of Jesus. Just to clarify to those not of my faith, as a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, we do not worship Mary, but love and respect her as the mortal mother of Jesus

In Luke 1:28 Mary is referred to as being "favored" of the Lord. Mary had to have had so many amazing qualities in order be chosen as the Mother of Jesus- the Savior of the world. In Luke 1:26-56, we find out that Mary is:
-favored of the Lord
-blessed among women
-a virgin
-her soul magnifies the Lord
-her spirit rejoices in her God

I feel like I need to work on having my spirit rejoicing in God. Yes I keep the commandments. Yes I pray, read the scriptures, go to church, and all in all feel like I am pretty good person. But does my spirit always rejoice in God? Am I pre occupied with other things that my heart and soul is not always as devoted as it should be? Do I murmur and complain about my circumstances, rather than rejoice for the many blessings I have. I think about Mary and how she was told by an angel that she would bear the Son of God, even though she was a virgin. She had no husband. So although she was to be pregnant before "knowing" Joseph, she spirit still rejoiced in her God. I want to be more like Mary and be believing and faithful, and rejoice for the many blessings the Lord has given me. Even though we are in the middle of some pretty stressful times, (Thomas recently graduated, having to move out of our home, staying with family, being rejected by several job opportunities) I know that I need to increase my faith and be grateful for what I do have. Having a rejoicing spirit in my God would allow me to see the good. Thomas has an education. We had to move, but at least we have family to stay with and a roof over our heads. We have food to eat. We do not have a job yet, but maybe it's in preparation for something better.  He has a plan for us and I have so many reasons to rejoice in my loving, understanding Heavenly Father.

What did Joseph initially want to do when he found out Mary was with Child?
Joseph wanted to privately “break up” with Mary, when he found out about her pregnancy.  He got the espousal annulled. Back in those days you had two options under these circumstances. According the New Testament institute manual, “(1) he could demand that Mary submit to a public trial and judgment, which even at that late point in Jewish history may have resulted in Mary’s death; or (2) he could privately sever the espousal contract before witnesses. Joseph obviously chose the most merciful of the two alternatives. He could have reacted selfishly and with bitterness when he learned that Mary was expecting, and it is a profound witness to Joseph’s character that he chose to annul the espousal privately.”
What did Joseph decide to do after the visit of the angel in his dream? What does this suggest about Joseph’s character?
The New Testament Institute Manual also sates, “It may be that the Lord designed such an experience to test Joseph, and if that be the case, Joseph proved faithful. After Joseph had made his decision, then the angel visited him and directed that he should proceed and take Mary as his wife. Mary’s high station was known before she was born (Mosiah 3:8; Alma 7:10; 1 Nephi 11:15, 18–21; Isaiah 7:14), and Joseph no doubt was foreordained to the honored station that he held, for the Prophet Joseph Smith taught that “every man who has a calling to minister to the inhabitants of the world was ordained to that very purpose in the Grand Council of heaven before this world was.” (Teachings, p. 365. Italics added.) Surely Joseph was a noble soul in premortality to be blessed with the signal honor of coming to earth and acting as the legal guardian of the Son of the Eternal Father in the flesh.
Although Jospeh was not the literal father of Jesus, he wa a righteous man entrusted by Heavenly Father to be a guardian to His Son in mortality. Write about at least two qualities Joseph demonstrated that you think could develop to help you prepare to be a good parent.
Joseph was compassionate. This is found in the way that he treated Mary. He could have put her before judges, which could have resulted in her death. But he severed the espousal privately. Despite his own hurt, he did not want to make a public of Mary. That is a quality I can develop to be a better parent.
Joseph was also faithful. After being visited by the angel, he took marry to wife and had faith in what he had been told and that he would be the father of the Son of God. I need to have more faith like Joseph.

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