Joseph, Joseph

Friday, December 23, 2016

I'll admit...I'm not one of those crazy good cross-referencing, notebook-keeping, topic-exhausting scripture readers. Sheesh...most days I spend an entire half hour on five verses, TBH.

Hey, it works, ok;)

Honestly, the moments in reading where I get those warm-fuzzy sit-back-and-smile moments don't usually come through the medium of concrete content or lengthy lectures. 

I'll just throw this out there: I have an obsession with so-called "background" characters

Lucky for me, the scriptures are chock full of them.

Naaman's servant, the boy who gave his loaves and fishes, Zoram, the fathers of the Sons of Helaman, and  Gideon...(just to name a few)...totally fascinate me.

What were there full stories? How did they get to where they were? What did things look like through their eyes? And how did they find the strength and courage to do what they did? 

A professor once told me you'll earn as much from the black words on the white page as you will from the missing words on the white between the lines. And while we may never have all the stories or answers...hey, it's fun to imagine


Recently, though, with the budding holiday season, one character in particular has stood out to me.

His story is simple and often unsung in the scriptures.
He doesn't have chapters written about him.
He doesn't have books named after him.
Heck, he doesn't even have a single quoted line.
But he's, in my opinion, one of the most incredible men to ever live.


Yep...even then, he's known as "Joseph, the husband of Mary," or "Joseph, the father of Jesus Christ."

He's a silent character that everyone knows, but rarely takes time to consider.

And Christmas wouldn't be the same without him.

He risked his status and social dignity to marry a pregnant girl.
He was a rightful king, demeaned to a carpenters career.
He was likely very young and very poor when he wed Mary.
He heeded an angel's counsel without question.
He put Mary's honor above his own.

He was given the full responsibility of raising and caring for a child that was not his own,
not to mention the Savior of the world..
He was asked to leave friends, family, and home to preserve that child's life, risking his own
in the process.


Can you imagine overnight accepting that everything you imagined in a life with your future spouse, would drastically change, not to mention that a child was already on it's way into the family?

Can you imagine the weight on the shoulders of this young father when he couldn't even secure a public room for his suffering wife?

Can you imagine the night of Mary's labor, realizing that the delivery of this precious baby was entirely in his inexperienced hands?

Or once the baby was born, and Mary had most likely fallen asleep with the exhaustion of labor, holding that tiny child in his arms, contemplating the magnitude of his life?

Or watching as visitors came in awe of the child, reinforcing the reality that the responsibility of raising this child was his own?

Or packing up his shop, closing the door to his home, and under cover of night fleeing for the life of his small son?

The list could go on and on.

I'm absolutely amazed by the love this simple, kind, and powerful man had for the Lord, his son, and for his role in the life of the Savior. He's unsung, unpraised, and often unnoticed.

...But again...
>> Christmas would not be the same without him <<

And it leaves me to wonder, how many people are accomplishing the impossible, working miracles, and sacrificing daily all around us, who's works are never acknowledged? And in the cases when we feel our efforts are going unnoticed or unappreciated...Joseph's example is a resounding reminder that the most powerful moments and characters are not made from raving headlines or trumpeted from the roofs....

but in rude stables were a quiet father held the Son of God in his rough hands,
and then spent the rest of his life in living "Yea, Lord; thou knowest that I love thee."

((this has got to be one of my FAVORITE Mormon Messages ever you should defs watch it..aaaannndddd try not to cry...that too;))

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