Learning from the Earthly Father of the Savior

The nativity of the Savior

“The Nativity” by Ted Henninger

On Christmas Day, we attended church services. The music was uplifting and the program was unique: a man reading the New Testament scriptures relating directly to the birth of the Savior.

I had heard all of these before. I had read them before. Yet I had never understood something I could learn from this story. I learned more about the character of Joseph—the man the Lord selected to be the earthly father of His only son. Joseph is often overshadowed by Christ and Mary. Little is known about him and his life. But his character became more clear to me listening to the scriptures being read.

Nativity scene where Mary is sleeping and Joseph is watching the Savior

“The Nativity” by Gari Melchers

Joseph was not a procrastinator. He heeded the promptings of the Holy Spirit as they came to him. Also, Joseph was a dutiful citizen. He did not seek “a pass” when his wife was due to bear her first child. Joseph kept the law even though he struggled to transport his wife 90 miles via donkey. Lastly, Joseph didn’t seek to regain what was rightfully his; he wasn’t bitter. If the Jews had been in power with a Jewish king, Joseph would have been their king. Joseph was of the lineage of King David. However, the Jews had lost that right according to the Lord; therefore, Jewish leadership in Israel was never the same after it fell in 587 B.C.E. He lived under a foreign power: the Romans. Yet, Joseph was a good citizen to the current government. He sought to be a good man, husband, and father.

Given what has occurred in the our country this last year, I can learn much from this. I can quickly heed the promptings of the Holy Ghost. And I can be a dutiful citizen. I may not agree with the individuals who are in leadership positions, but I can be a good woman, wife, and hopefully, mother.

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