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(C) Copyright by Massimo Franceschini all rights reserved

The best start is always from the beginning, remember Genesis:"In the beginning".

In the quiz of the week I asked a question about the three wise men. Before I discuss the answer to this question, I'd like to quote the Bible dictionary as contained in our Bible. Under the heading of "Wise men of the east" it reads: "Matthew 2:1-12 states that wise men (how many is not recorded), guided by a new star, came to Bethlehem to worship Jesus sometime after his birth. Who these men were we are not told, but it is certain they were not ordinary men. That they were privileged to search out the Son of God and give Him gifts, and that they were spiritually sensitive and knowledgeable, suggest that they were actually prophets on a divine errand. The customary identification of them as astrologers is a gross misrepresentation. They evidently were holy men from a land east of Palestine" (emphasis added). Although we don't know for sure how many "wise men" there were, the number of the gifts they brought is an important clue. Concerning the new star, it is interesting to note that the Bible doesn't tell us anything about it except that it led the wise men to the place where Jesus was.

However, the Book of Mormon, in Helaman 14:5 and 3 Nephi 1:21, reveals: "And behold, there shall a new star arise, such an one as ye never have beheld; and this also shall be a sign unto you." "...And it came to pass also that a new star did appear, according to the word" (emphasis added). It should be noted that this scripture tells us that the "star did appear according to the word." That means there was a previous prophecy concerning this star. We know that Helaman 14:5 refers to this prophecy, then why isn't there any mention of it in the Old Testament? Because, if you read the final part of Helaman 14:5, you will understand that this sign was only for the people on this continent So, with this understanding, let's look at the account found in Matthew 2:7-16: "Then Herod, when he had privately called the wise men, enquired of them diligently what time the star appeared and he sent them to Bethlehem and said, Go and search diligently for the young child; and when ye have found him, bring me word again, that I may come and worship him also. When they had heard the king, they departed; and, lo, the star, which they saw in the east, went before them, till it came and stood over where the young child was. When they saw the star, they rejoiced with exceeding great joy. And when they were into the house, they saw the young child with Mary his mother, and fell down, and worshipped him: and they had opened their treasure, they presented unto him gifts; gold, and frankincense, and myrrh. And being warned of God in a dream that they should not return to Herod, they departed into their own country another way. Then Herod, when He saw that he was mocked of the wise men, was exceeding wroth, and sent forth, and slew all the children that were in Bethlehem, and in all the coasts thereof, from two years old and under, according to the time which he had diligently enquired of the wise men" (emphasis added).

There are some good clues in these verses. First, there can be no doubt that these wise men were guided by God. As such, that means they were prophets, which means they had to have received revelations about the coming Savior. And it was from these revelations, they knew a special star would guide them. Secondly, their trip took two years from the time they started their journey to the time they found the Jesus. Thirdly, we know they came from EAST. Notice also, there is no mention that these wise men found Jesus laying in a manger, or even in Bethlehem. The Biblical account refers to Jesus, not as a baby, but as a "young child" when the wise men arrived. Furthermore, they came "into the house," not a stable or inn. This seems to suggest that the wise men arrived at their destination a considerable time after Jesus had been born. Perhaps as much as two years after His birth. With that information, we can ask ourselves, what country is so far away that it takes two years to travel to Palestine? They could have traveled by horses or other animals, or it's possible they could have walked the entire distance, but either way, two years is a long time. I have an opinion about this, based on what we read in Helaman and 3 Nephi. If only the people on this continent saw the star, and the wise men had to travel by sea to get to Palestine, then the problem is solved! But there are a couple of other important question we should ask ourselves. Why did God use a new, moving star to guide them? And why did they travel for such a long distance just to bring three gifts? It doesn't make a lot sense, unless there is a special significance between Jesus and the gifts. Let's analyze the gifts and see if maybe we can find a clue to these questions.

Frankincense: (From the Bible dictionary) "The fragrant resinous exudation of various species of Boswelia; it was imported into Judea from Arabia (Isa 60:6 Jeremy 6:20.) It was an ingredient in the holy incense sacrificial purpose (Exodus 30:34) and was highly valued as a perfume (Matthew 2:11)." In Revelation we read: "and golden vials full of odorous, which are the prayers of saints."(5:8). "and another angel came and stood at the altar, having a golden censer; and there was given unto him much incense, that he should offer it with the prayers of all saints upon the Golden Altar which was before the throne" (8:3-4). So we can say that frankincense could represent "the prayers of saints." Also notice that the Golden Altar is related or linked to the use of frankincense. (For more on this read Luke 1:9)

Gold: Usually we we think about gold we associate it with it's precious value, and that is true, but in this case it represents something very sacred and spiritual. Think about it. Most spiritual things are precious. Quoting from the Bible dictionary again: "In the holy Place, before the veil and the Mercy seat (Exo. 30:6) was the Altar of incense, similar in construction to the Altar of burnt offering, but smaller and overlaid with gold On it, incense was burned morning and evening (no animal sacrifices): and on its horns was put once a year, on the day of Atonement, the blood of the sin-offering, (Exo. 30:10). In the Holy of Holies stood the Ark of the covenant, and over it the mercy seat..... the altar of incense was of cedarwood overlaid of gold."

Myrrh: (from the Bible dictionary) "Used in preparation of the holy ointment (Exo. 30:23) What does all of this tell us? For one thing there was a significance to the moving star. God doesn't move a star only to astonish people. The star represented the new born "star" (Jesus) who would likewise give guidance and direction to those who will follow Him. Furthermore, only inspired people saw it and this is also the same for those who find Jesus. Only those who sincerely want to have God in their lives will see Jesus for who He really is. Also, the three wise men had a mission to fulfill. Their mission was to anoint Jesus in preparation to be the Savior of the world; the Lamb of God who was to be slain to atone for our sins. He came because of the prayers of the saints Frankincense). He was anointed to be the Lamb of God (Myrrh) who was to be put on the Golden Altar of God and perform the perfect Atonement to save all the people (gold). Make sense?

wisemen

So who were these wise men? They were called "magi" in the Eastern version of the Bible. (The Lamsa translation from the Aramaic of the "Peshitta") The World Book Encyclopedia says "magi" were the priests of the ancient Medes and Persians, of the Zoroastrian religion, or astrologers. The Bible forbids these pagan religions and the worship of stars in many places. So why would God send these men to worship Jesus? Why would they even want to come to worship the King of the Jews, if they were astrologers of a pagan religion?

The Book of Mormon gives us hints to this question. It is only tradition that these men came from an Eastern country or that they were astrologers. It is my belief that they came from the New World.

In Helaman the 3rd and 5th chapters, it tells us that Samuel the Lamanite prophecied that Jesus was soon to be born, and then he disappears from the
pages of the Book of Mormon. According to tradition, one of the wise men had dark skin. Nephi, the son of Helaman, and his brother Lehi, also disappear. (See Helaman 5:120 and 3rd Nephi 1:2 and 1:3.) They disappear at the same time the following scripture is given: "And angels did appear unto men, wise men, and did declare unto them glad tidings of great joy; thus in this year the scriptures began to be fulfilled." Helaman 5:126. (The words "wise men" are only mentioned 2 times in the entire Book of Mormon!)

Who were these "wise men" the Book of Mormon mentions? Did they return across the ocean to see and visit their God and King? Are they the same
"wise men" the Bible mentions? To me this is the only logical answer. God is a God of miracles. The birth of God in the flesh, our Savior Jesus Christ, was the greatest miracle of all.

He was born in Bethlehem, also called Ephrath. The meaning in Hebrew is: House of bread. Think about Jesus like the bread of the life and we can better appreciate Why he was born there.

He went in the Temple when he was 12 years old, the perfect age for a deacon.maybe it was for that reason that he discussed with the priests in the Temple, at that point he knew already who was His Real Father.

At 30 years old he begun to preach the Gospel, he went in a Synagogue and   Luke 4:16-19

"16 He went to Nazareth, where he had been brought up, and on the Sabbath day he went into the synagogue, as was his custom. And he stood up to read.
17 The scroll of the prophet Isaiah was handed to him. Unrolling it, he found the place where it is written:
18 The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to release the oppressed,
19 to proclaim the year of the Lord's favor." [1]

Preach good news to the poor : Preach the Gospel

recovery of sight for the blind, to release the oppressed: Perfect the saints

proclaim freedom for the prisoners: redeem the deads

If you read  Isaiah 61:1-2 "

The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me; because the LORD hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound;

To proclaim the acceptable year of the LORD, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all that mourn; It seems to me that the mission of the church proclaimed from president Kimball it was already known in all ages.If you read Matthew 25:31-46 It is  like a music, the Lord is explaining what kind of works are necessary to be saved: Preach, perfect and redeem, and if you read the verse 46 you can see the difference between the people.

Thanks a lot dear sister for you intriguing question, this prove once more how much the book of Mormon  is inspired.


When He gave the sermon of the mount he was giving the Constitution of the Gospel. For my personal opinion it is an heavy discourse about Works, specially from Matthew 5:13-16

Ye are the salt of the earth: but if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be salted? it is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men.
14 Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid.
15 Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house.
16 Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.
and more clear in the next verses Matthew 5:19-20

Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.
20 For I say unto you, That except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven.

It is interesting because He is speaking  in future tense to people different from scribes and Pharisees and He is saying there is no way to get in without obey the commandments. Also if you read all the verses until the end of the chapter you will see that the way is becoming more narrow and at the end in the verse 48 "Be perfect, like your Father in Heaven is perfect."
No one  word about salvation by faith instead a ton about works.

In the Book of Mormon there is a very interesting doctrine regarding the time of the death of Jesus that it is not contained in the Bible. Helaman 14:21-22

"Yea, at the time that he shall yield up the ghost there shall be thunderings and lightnings for the space of many hours, and the earth shall shake and tremble; and the rocks which are upon the face of this earth, which are both above and beneath which ye know at this time are solid, or the more part of it is one solid mass, shall be broken up;

Yea, they shall be rent in twain and shall ever after be found in seams and in cracks, and in broken fragments upon the face of the whole earth, yea both above the earth and beneath."

For me this section is very interesting: when the writer is saying "Which ye know" It means it was a doctrine known to those people. We know from the scriptures that the heart of Mary the Jesus' mother it would be broken from a sword for the pain and sadness. we know from several scriptures, specially lds, that the earth is the mother of all living and that it has feelings about us. The earth was baptized by the flood and it will be purified at the end by the fire and it will be renew to guest the righteousness, maybe sometimes I will put togheter all the scriptures about this but now it is enough to say that like Mary was broken her heart when Jesus died the same pain was for the earth and its heart was broken too see 1 Nephi 19:12

"And all these things must surely come, saith the prophet Zenos, and the rocks of the earth must rend; and because of the groanings of the earth, many of the kings of the isles of the sea shall be wrought upon by the spirit of God to exclaim: The God of nature suffers."

Betty did a very interesting question about one singular occasion in the Book of Mormon, I had the same thought about 13 years ago. In this case the Lord was giving a beautiful teaching regarding the law of  delegation, but before  I want you read her thoughts because those are right, everybody would think the same, I did.

In 3rd Nephi 19 : 18 the disciples were praying to Jesus and not the Heavenly Father. I have often thought about this too. If you were to put your self in their situation. If  Jesus the Christ was in your home right now would you not speak to Him?? Would you not kneel down before Him and worship Him. Would not your heart not melt with gladness to see him, the Christ who suffered and died for your sins!!??

The key to answer the question is contained in the same chapter and Jesus Himself answer  at the end of the verse 22:" And they pray unto me because I am with them" there was not a  reason to ask the Father in his name, because he had the delegation from the Father, like when a counselor from the stake presidency go in a branch, it would make any sense to say I will find out to the stake president it would mean you don't trust in his faithful servant.

However, the Book of Mormon, in Helaman 14:5 and 3 Nephi 1:21, reveals: "And behold, there shall a new star arise, such an one as ye never have beheld; and this also shall be a sign unto you." "...And it came to pass also that a new star did appear, according to the word" (emphasis added). It should be noted that this scripture tells us that the "star did appear according to the word." That means there was a previous prophecy concerning this star. We know that Helaman 14:5 refers to this prophecy, then why isn't there any mention of it in the Old Testament? Because, if you read the final part of Helaman 14:5, you will understand that this sign was only for the people on this continent So, with this understanding, let's look at the account found in Matthew 2:7-16: "Then Herod, when he had privately called the wise men, enquired of them diligently what time the star appeared and he sent them to Bethlehem and said, Go and search diligently for the young child; and when ye have found him, bring me word again, that I may come and worship him also. When they had heard the king, they departed; and, lo, the star, which they saw in the east, went before them, till it came and stood over where the young child was. When they saw the star, they rejoiced with exceeding great joy. And when they were into the house, they saw the young child with Mary his mother, and fell down, and worshipped him: and they had opened their treasure, they presented unto him gifts; gold, and frankincense, and myrrh. And being warned of God in a dream that they should not return to Herod, they departed into their own country another way. Then Herod, when He saw that he was mocked of the wise men, was exceeding wroth, and sent forth, and slew all the children that were in Bethlehem, and in all the coasts thereof, from two years old and under, according to the time which he had diligently enquired of the wise men" (emphasis added).

There are some good clues in these verses. First, there can be no doubt that these wise men were guided by God. As such, that means they were prophets, which means they had to have received revelations about the coming Savior. And it was from these revelations, they knew a special star would guide them. Secondly, their trip took two years from the time they started their journey to the time they found the Jesus. Thirdly, we know they came from EAST. Notice also, there is no mention that these wise men found Jesus laying in a manger, or even in Bethlehem. The Biblical account refers to Jesus, not as a baby, but as a "young child" when the wise men arrived. Furthermore, they came "into the house," not a stable or inn. This seems to suggest that the wise men arrived at their destination a considerable time after Jesus had been born. Perhaps as much as two years after His birth. With that information, we can ask ourselves, what country is so far away that it takes two years to travel to Palestine? They could have traveled by horses or other animals, or it's possible they could have walked the entire distance, but either way, two years is a long time. I have an opinion about this, based on what we read in Helaman and 3 Nephi. If only the people on this continent saw the star, and the wise men had to travel by sea to get to Palestine, then the problem is solved! But there are a couple of other important question we should ask ourselves. Why did God use a new, moving star to guide them? And why did they travel for such a long distance just to bring three gifts? It doesn't make a lot sense, unless there is a special significance between Jesus and the gifts. Let's analyze the gifts and see if maybe we can find a clue to these questions.

Frankincense: (From the Bible dictionary) "The fragrant resinous exudation of various species of Boswelia; it was imported into Judea from Arabia (Isa 60:6 Jeremy 6:20.) It was an ingredient in the holy incense sacrificial purpose (Exodus 30:34) and was highly valued as a perfume (Matthew 2:11)." In Revelation we read: "and golden vials full of odorous, which are the prayers of saints."(5:8). "and another angel came and stood at the altar, having a golden censer; and there was given unto him much incense, that he should offer it with the prayers of all saints upon the Golden Altar which was before the throne" (8:3-4). So we can say that frankincense could represent "the prayers of saints." Also notice that the Golden Altar is related or linked to the use of frankincense. (For more on this read Luke 1:9)

Gold: Usually we we think about gold we associate it with it's precious value, and that is true, but in this case it represents something very sacred and spiritual. Think about it. Most spiritual things are precious. Quoting from the Bible dictionary again: "In the holy Place, before the veil and the Mercy seat (Exo. 30:6) was the Altar of incense, similar in construction to the Altar of burnt offering, but smaller and overlaid with gold On it, incense was burned morning and evening (no animal sacrifices): and on its horns was put once a year, on the day of Atonement, the blood of the sin-offering, (Exo. 30:10). In the Holy of Holies stood the Ark of the covenant, and over it the mercy seat..... the altar of incense was of cedarwood overlaid of gold."

Myrrh: (from the Bible dictionary) "Used in preparation of the holy ointment (Exo. 30:23) What does all of this tell us? For one thing there was a significance to the moving star. God doesn't move a star only to astonish people. The star represented the new born "star" (Jesus) who would likewise give guidance and direction to those who will follow Him. Furthermore, only inspired people saw it and this is also the same for those who find Jesus. Only those who sincerely want to have God in their lives will see Jesus for who He really is. Also, the three wise men had a mission to fulfill. Their mission was to anoint Jesus in preparation to be the Savior of the world; the Lamb of God who was to be slain to atone for our sins. He came because of the prayers of the saints Frankincense). He was anointed to be the Lamb of God (Myrrh) who was to be put on the Golden Altar of God and perform the perfect Atonement to save all the people (gold). Make sense?
Last Updated on Thursday, 20 September 2012 10:50  

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