Emily Belle Freeman
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THIS IS MY JOY

AND MY GREAT REJOICING

Wise Men

D&C 108:1 - D&C 110:6

Over the weekend we read of wise men.

Wise men from the East who the Lord sent to prepare the way for a great work to commence in Zion.

In the Doctrine and Covenants.

Wise men sent, as God has “from time to time” to “gather up the strength of [His] house” and to “fulfill that which [He] has commanded.” (D&C 105:28)

Sent to do a great work—under His direction.

I was reminded of the wise men we read about in Matthew, wise men who were sent under the same Directing Hand.

In honor of the tradition that there were in those days three kings with three gifts, let’s review three lessons we can learn from these obedient travelers.

Lesson One—The Journey

Despite the camels and decorated figures in our nativity sets, the Gospel of Matthew teaches us that these wise men were not present the night the Savior was born, but rather started traveling soon after they saw the sign of his birth.

How long did it take these faithful men to reach the home in Bethlehem?  How many days did they spend on the backs of beasts, how many nights were spent on the sides of desert paths?  How much planning was involved for such a long trek?  What details were thought through and executed for these men to finally arrive at their blessed destination?

Whatever the answer to these questions may be, there is one common theme.

All of it was worth it. Every mile traveled and every effort made was worth seeing the Christ child.

And so it is with us.

Let’s follow their path and do whatever it takes, and travel as many miles, and endure any inconvenience needed to find ourselves at the feet of the Savior.  Let’s go the distance.

It will all be worth it.

Lesson Two—What will we offer?

What gift is fitting for a King? What gift could truly reflect the honor and love and devotion felt by these humble magi?

The gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh were some of the finer things available in the ancient world.  Naturally, these would be what the wise men would offer.

The greatest treasures of their time. The very best they could procure.

The wise men would bring their finest.

How about today…What will we give to our King?  How golden is our worship?  Is our service as sweet as the savor of royal spices?

Our God deserves our very best. Our sacrifice will sanctify our gifts.

Let us offer our finest.

Lesson Three—God always sends wise men

It is there in Matthew, and again in the Doctrine & Covenants.  I discovered a pattern with the redemption of Zion story in our reading today.  I was taught again, just as I had been taught in Matthew, that God sends wise men to fulfill his commandments and prepare a way for His work.

I was reminded as I read that this was the case in the meridian of time also.

The night after the three men visited Joseph, Mary, and Christ warnings came in dreams.

The wise men were sent home another way and the Holy Family was sent into Egypt to escape the wrath of Herod.

The command to depart came suddenly.  It came without warning and demanded immediate obedience to secure the promised blessings.

How were they possibly going to make this work?

How would they live financially? Where would they work? What would they eat?

They were leaving in the middle of the night to a strange and distant place.  A land with both language and customs that would be foreign to them.

Why were they not paralyzed with fear?

Because God sent wise men. Wise men to prepare the way.

Wise men whose presence not only reaffirmed that God knew who they were, but wise men who brought gifts.

Gifts that would sustain them as they traveled and survived in hiding. Gifts that would allow them to thrive in that unanticipated destination.

Gifts that would remind them that whenever God asks someone to do something beyond their ability, He will always send wise men to prepare the way.

Look back on the moments God asked you to do something hard.

Can you see the wise men God sent?

Did they come bringing counsel?  Did they come by way of an inspired neighbor or family member?  Did they come with an unexpected blessing?

I hope you remember them and continue to expect them.

“…wise men,

to fulfill that which I have commanded…”  (D&C 105:28)

 

Emily Freeman