As we study the Christmas story in the lesson, I wanted to take a different angle on it than most. There are many lessons than can be learned from studying the Christmas story. Some includes, “Is there room in your life for Jesus?”, Adding piece of straw to a manger for each service you have done, “Wise Men Still Seek Him,” etc.
Today we are going to look at the teachings of The Family: A Proclamation to the World, and find them exemplified in the lives of Mary, Joseph and the Savior.
In my opinion, the central focus of the proclamation is this: The family is ordained of God. Ordained means to set apart, consecrate, make sacred. God set up families as a way for us to be able to come back to live with Him.
How do you see the principle, “The family is ordained of God”, exemplified in the Christmas story?
God had an ideal setting for his Son, the Savior, to be born. He made sure that his Son was born to family with a father and a mother. “Marriage between man and woman is essential to His eternal plan.” (The Family: A Proclamation to the World)
If God thought there was a better way for a child to be raised, he would have used that way with his own son.
From the family proclamation:
“HUSBAND AND WIFE have a solemn responsibility to love and care for each other and for their children. “Children are an heritage of the Lord” (Psalm 127:3). Parents have a sacred duty to rear their children in love and righteousness, to provide for their physical and spiritual needs, and to teach them to love and serve one another, observe the commandments of God, and be law-abiding citizens wherever they live. Husbands and wives—mothers and fathers—will be held accountable before God for the discharge of these obligations.”
As you read through Luke 2:1-7, find principles from the above paragraph in these verses.
Here are some questions for you ponder:
• How did Mary and Joseph provide for His physical needs? spiritual needs?
• How were Mary and Joseph law-abiding citizens?
• Why did they want to teach the Savior to love and serve others?
• Why was it important for Mary to wrap the Savior in swaddling bands? Who would be looking for Him and needed to identify Him by what he was wearing?
It is important to note that the shepherds were going to find the child 1) wrapped in swaddling clothes, and 2) lying in a manger. Would we be easily identified as follower of Christ by 1) what we are wearing and 2) where we are found?
From the Proclamation: Happiness in family life is most likely to be achieved when founded upon the teachings of the Lord Jesus Christ. Successful marriages and families are established and maintained on principles of faith, prayer, repentance, forgiveness, respect, love, compassion, work, and wholesome recreational activities.
In Luke 2:22, Soon, after his birth, Mary and Joseph present the Savior to the Lord at the temple. They also brought turtledoves as a sacrifice.
How soon do we introduce our children to spiritual things? Do we take them to the temple to walk on the grounds and feel the spirit? How soon do we start reading the scriptures to them? Do we underestimate their spirituality and therefore don’t expose them to spiritual things soon enough?
How can you see the principles of the proclamation in Luke 2:40 and Luke 2:52?
Because their family was “founded upon the teachings of the Lord Jesus Christ”, the Savior was balanced and he grew strong in the spirit.
What do these phrases mean? What would this look like in your life or the lives of your children?
• increased in wisdom
• increased in stature
• increased in favour with God
• increased in favour with man
THE LORD’S INSTRUCTION MANUAL
If Mary and Joseph followed the teachings of the The Family: A Proclamation to the World as they raised the Savior, then we can follow the same teachings as we raise the future Gods with which we have been entrusted.
Many parents often wish that their children came with instruction manuals. Well they do. It is called The Family: A Proclamation to the World.
By divine design, fathers are to preside over their families in love and righteousness and are responsible to provide the necessities of life and protection for their families. Mothers are primarily responsible for the nurture of their children. In these sacred responsibilities, fathers and mothers are obligated to help one another as equal partners.
THE FAMILY IS OF GOD
As you watch this video, ponder what you can do to parent more like Mary and Joseph as you raise the future Gods he has given you or how you can influence those who God will send your way.
It doesn’t matter if you are a family of 12, a family of 5 or even a family of 1. Your family is ordained of God and you can follow the guidelines He has given to help ensure that your family is eternal.
What does a family ordained of God do? They have FHE, read the scriptures, say their prayers, etc. Even me, as a family of 1, still holds FHE on Monday nights with just myself because that is what a family ordained of God does.
I encourage you to find more ways in your life to pattern your family after the ultimate Holy Family.