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Christmas Music & Memories

Outer Brightness /
The Truth Network Radio
December 20, 2020 12:01 am

Christmas Music & Memories

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December 20, 2020 12:01 am

In this episode the sons of light discuss some of their favorite Christmas music and memories of celebrating Christmas as young latter-day saints. Because this is The Outer Brightness Podcast, they discuss their journeys related to Christmas, and what new traditions they enjoy now as Christians. We hope you enjoy this episode and may the peace of Christ be with you in this wonderful season!

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As things were made through him. It was made in him was life, the light shines in the darkness is coming when they saw the star they rejoice exceedingly with great joy going into the house, they saw the child with Mary his mother and they fell down and worshiped him.

Then opening the treasures they offered him gifts, gold, frankincense and myrrh.//The special edition of the brightest podcast to go easy this week for the Christmas holiday. Talk about some of the memories that we have as of Christmas is children because this is the outer brightest podcast the argument talk about our journeys out of Latter Day Saints faith and into Christianity and how our Christmas traditions in our practices around Christmas holiday. I have either remained the same or changed order to get off a little bit of fun talking about our favorite Christmas songs. So a first will will over to Michael to talk a little bit about one of his face songs and so Michael one just a little bit about what is what is the song for the first song on your list and why is there why is your favorite if you have a favorite version of it by a particular artist tells about that as well. Okay, no. If this is in any particular order.

As far as me having a favorite Christmas song. Only one of the most iconic songs for Christmas that I liked for a very long time is the first Noel really Christmas songs write out all the words she went really Christmas caroling with an enjoy seeing it with a group of people and some really nice if the choir is I think that's the reason things.

One of my favorite songs did you have a version of it, or artist that you really care for a long time said that it was probably the Mormon Tabernacle choir because that's what I grew up listening to them singing Christmas songs around Christmas time. Now I'm saying there's no denying that they have talent. The name of the choir anymore I guess doesn't exist now but no I don't favorite artist when it comes to that one. So many repetitions of that I just like the song. In this case shepherds out, an angel of the Lord glory of the Lord shone around the first but you like, well, you know. Once again Michael get a stole my thunder, my doctor thunder if you will, but also chose the first all I just enjoy. I know I like I like the note. Like the loud, boisterous songs of exit exultation you known glorying in the Lord, but I like the first Noel just because it's it's simple and just the fact that it's kind of puts a picture in your mind what that Lisa does for me.

When we sing that it kinda makes you think you know you see these shepherds in the fields and then they look up and they see the star or or or the overlapping planets you know are not quite sure you guys afraid about that that's happening soon I were Saturn and Jupiter going the overlapping they think will make maybe that was the star that they saw which I mean to say that that would be contradictory to Scripture. I guess at the possibility right. They saw some kind of astronomical phenomenon in the sky. So whatever the siding on a side in the neural kind of drawn towards it and it and I just like that, just that imagery that evokes in the song where unite, of course not.

There's debate as to when it actually happened. You know, I guess I could nitpick the accuracy would like, well, it was a cold winter night because first of all, it might've taken place in the spring and let you know it's and I just like the imagery that Academy evokes real accuracy whether it's accurate or not but yeah so it's always just one I've enjoyed.

That kinda makes you ponder about the birth of Christ and makes me kind of know, think about what that night or not enough that first the first day when when Christ is born without a been like.

I don't really I don't really have a particular artist either with with Molly Sims. I not for different conditions like Mormon Tabernacle choir or don't really have a favorite in terms of who performed it is kind of just I these are songs I just enjoyed singing in the sacrament meetings or wherever.

Just hearing it on yeah just hearing it being song like if there is a sacrament meeting that was specifically geared towards a Christmas program so that's kind of what that's just one of three songs. I also enjoyed all know and what you were being all all when I will know all oh all all will and all all will will will so my first O holy night. It's one that I don't know if I can remember singing it. Growing up as Latter Day Saints. We might have, but I didn't.

I didn't really become aware of it as a favor until I was an adult and and really kind of questioning my LDS faith and it was it was in listening to a Christmas CD by Jule that I heard her version of it and the part of the song where the lyrics say fall on your knees hear the angel voices. It's really kind of a powerful moment when you're thinking about falling on your knees and worshiping the Christ child and you know what what what makes a baby worthy of worship and when you start asking kind of those doctrinal questions.

It really did stick pretty quickly without song and I remember just having some very powerful moments with that without song in the Christmas season the Pauly your 2004, 2005 timeframe having that really had me so yes that's kind of my first spec jewel didn't run edition about song check that out later. This is really good at and then my guess is that that part of fall on your knees part. She does absolutely beautiful. Michael and just on this one really can't stand, I'm sorry if my guess is next favorite song this category but secular Christian Christmas like crazy. It's just like working retail and having to listen to it over and over again just beyond happiness to my compass songs are nothing just trying to great companies like notice. I like songs opposite of that and I really like you can know being used in Christmas songs or deep scriptural meeting and to be Christ glorifying and to be really serious and thoughtful.

So the song is my number two saw is that is one that I didn't like originally and it is grown on me and that is Christmas trees by Alabama. If you're familiar with that one. And one of these I like about as you know they were talking in church/something about how Christmas is actually a lot of people really depressing time as well as people going through a lot of things and so the song was just really thoughtful about this boy's mom was thinking maybe going to meet Jesus and you know we can rethink and beat Christ honoring even when things are going well and I really like that song so differently. Check out it's worth a listen. I like Alabama's largest. So take a look. Christmas is James my mom even in the Matthew was remember to pick II can't think of any Christmas songs in a popular Christmas songs really bother me, but I do kind of share with Michael sentiment where a lot of the seem to be focused on the primary focus of Christmas, focusing on the presence in the snow in winter and things like that you know this all will know not bad things and spend time with family and enjoy the tunes sing again became the key pumps if they would be his like first Aryans. Now modern secular Christian Christmas music composers and performers. We discussed everyone a consciousness is a everybody. I got a knuckle sandwich for you. Your name on it. Okay, uncle Mick Liana. I mean I enjoy all that there's I don't think there's anyone that I really hate or prefer in terms of that kinda music over another, but in terms of what we are talk about staff kind of motor focus on hymns and you know growing up in the church and ones are particularly I enjoyed so my second choice was O come all ye faithful and just always enjoyed that because it's it's inviting and arming right from the first verse says, oh come all ye faithful, joyful and triumphant coming to Bethlehem come and behold him so I mean I know it's kind of more speaking historically. You know it's with the star and everybody coming to worship and adore the birth of the Lord.

It's also an invitation to us to also to come at his feet and to worship him. And I also like so I like outcome of the first verses come speaking more to people on earth.

You know whether you right now or at the time of his birth like a second verse moves existing choirs of angels sing and exultation sing all the citizens of heaven above, glory to God glory in the highest, so it moves to the more the help heavenly realm where all the heavenly beings, and in the creations of God or are worshiping him and and they're all also sharing this joy in this glory of the birth of the Lord and then verse three. It's kind of more prayer directly to the Lord said UTA Lord, we greet the forms. Happy morning Jesus DB all the glory.

Given son of the Father now in flesh appearing. So that's it. I like it.

If you really just think about the lyrics there's very few words there but is very it has a very high Christology in their where it's there calling him Lord there praying to him also recognizing that he is the son of God.

And so there is just a lot of time with Michael wearing where I really do enjoy the hymns have kind of a lot of theology there elevates you, and I think hymns and singing are supposed elevate you, edify you in the and it's also an act of praise and worship so I that's just some of the reasons I enjoy that. I just enjoy the melody also actual music. It's it's it's various kind of it's another one of those hymns is, calm and inviting its trying to buy ever want to come and worship the Lord beautiful and all all all will all will will will will will so my second, come, Emmanuel's. This is another one that I was not aware of as a young latter-day St. became aware of as a teenager and when I first became aware of it. I did not know that it was Christmas him because my first introduction to it was on a CD that I got of the local Utah kind of electronic a group called Agnes poetry. I think they were Catholic and it was not a Christmas album.

It was just on one of their when the regular album releases and it was on there and that they have this kind of electronic version that's very it fits with that with the whole feel of the song which is, it kinda starts out in a mournful way because he knows the lyrics say O'Connell, Manuel and Ransom captive Israel then mourns in lonely exile here until the son of God appear so I recognize as it is a Mormon teenager that it was of course speaking of Christ. But I do know that it was a Christmas him until I was running around in my car with my dad and I had that CD on and he was like oh I know the song we used to sing messily as blueprints Christmas time I found out that it was a Christmas him and ever since then it's been one of my favorites because it goes from that mournful kind of feel in the verse to the very exultant and amazing, rejoice, rejoice.

Manuel shall conceal Israel and the chorus and there is a local church here that does a Christmas you said your Christmas show live like us to do some some stop for yourself.

We would go each year as a free Christmas show and the church put a lot of money into producing that it was it was very well done dancing and costumes all that kind of stuff but they come up, Manuel is a theme throughout that show that I reprises at various points and they just do a fabulous job with this, so probably the Agnes poetry electronic version and then that version that's on the Crossroads Church show CD is really good there shows call weighted because it's all about Christ being the way to save your self.

Number two pick that song. So yeah, I totally agree with you and you and him.

Third 1%. The rendition of Michael anyways is any Christmas song and tectonics is pretty cool. I introduced my son tonight actually watching some videos on YouTube. I will mention the song Mary did you know I think that's a pretty cool song. It's contemplative and it's not my number one pick.

But I had to throw it in there is an honorable mention. Even though spoiler alert.

I'm pretty sure Mary knew Angel said as much to her even if she wasn't paying attention like she was with child is a virgin so I'm pretty sure she knew something special was coming up, you save son then you know all make you my number one so was growing up as a young child. My mom was an enormous Amy Grant fan and you fall so was I but I'd only ever heard her secular stuff until I was on my mission and teachings and even jungle Christians and we heard his music in the background and it sounded a little familiar to me.

So I said who is this rat and I was pretty ticked off because he knows latter-day St., you're very proud of the famous people in the church that was a pretty big feather in their Ensembles is pretty upset. I think actually lost sleep over and she was one of those crazy evangelicals like how the anyways things come full circle and I'm a Christian. I have to say that my number one pick his breath of heaven by Amy Grant.

It's another similar to you know this sounds like from the perspective of Mary just kind you know is also really contemplative like you. Why did Jesus need to do this you know God really like that sound of the artist and that just the sincerity element really calling and sleeping really beautiful sounding.

That's my plastic use awesome. I was asking what is interesting is all debate about aggressors other groups of men when they did they debate whether Mary did you know is a good song or if it's terrible is there's there's like a group of people that really hate that's all because I like yes of course you knew she wasn't stupid, but there's some things in the song that she wouldn't have known exactly like did you know that he was going to walk on water will know she didn't know that this allotment details that she didn't know exactly but it's a good song annoys me to think about a lot of the how lucky would you make Mary an idol to and and there's a concern there. Overall, I do think glorifies Christ even though it's interesting, Mary, and the song you know I like him because unlike the king of all creation is totally true. I get some people can be, not liking the song I really do see what I can come from, but I like it and I'm not apologizing and ask if you have a favorite rendition of that just because it's one of your runners-up. I don't I've heard of a lot of renditions of it, but I can even name one had a more song person typically artist first so I don't remember really connect the artist's half the time I am to a lot of the times yeah I really love that song, this is my third my top choice, but my last choice but to be worth mentioning because yeah there are there is a lot of heated discussion about like well I mean of course you know it's insulting. She knew all this, but I agree with you that as you know his Glock and watered.

Did I mean it. If you think about it.

Christ had 12 men that followed him everywhere he went right and they even kinda struggled to understand what he what he was doing what he is teaching you know sometimes I imagine the probably their mind they still had this idea that a lot of the Jews had that he would somehow free them socially or politically. You know from from the Roman rule over them and so like you slowly opening their eyes that he's there to free the captives spiritually not to free the captives you know in terms of freeing them from little jail in opening the site to the blind was the noise. It's a physical reality this point to his spiritual mission and work. So I think you and with them they struggle to really understand until Pentecost. You know, in the spirit was poured out on the church and that's when they really were empowered and understood. And God is working through them and when Christ promised he said you know you will do greater works than these. I think that's what he was speaking of you wasn't saying that you can do more than God because of me let you know obviously God is God, but I was reading a commentary about that. They're saying that it's it's not greater in magnitude were greater in scope in terms of you know when Christ would perform miracles. It was and limited kind of settings and so and in the gospel being spread in a very small, relatively small geographical area into a smaller group and then once you open the gospel to the whole world and it would just spread like wildfire from the world so that since there were greater as I think even that you know even if during his ministry. When he was performing his miracles all think they really understood very well, such as test to criticize and say well Mary knew all this; I don't think she really did you know I don't think the she really understood that Yahweh was going to come down into the the child that she would give birth to you know what that really meant so II think it's a really I enjoy it too. Just like you when I think it's really theologically kind of feel contemplative to think about all these things and it reminds us that yet.

Really we we can't take it for granted sometimes in a sense you know Michael God took on flesh and United Kingdom Savior but it's like to them to Jews at that time of such a revolutionary idea that God could bridge the gap between creator and the created and he could take on flesh. Those are so revolutionary. Yeah. And honestly I mean just looking at masses that is out there just because it is doctrinally talking about who Christ is close most Christian Christmas music water just because of that, you know, so obviously isn't Mary because Mary cannot even alive when the song was written as an gospel message. And I yeah I guess I had but I will because that is when my favorites also. But our let's see I got a few tabs open so the one actually chose in terms I like my for my third favorite hymn that want to talk about was Angels we have heard in hot heard on high and like you said. Also, a lot of this has to do with personal experience in my childhood attending sacrament meetings and you know we would sing that quite a lot goes.

I much prefer the two other ones were kind of more there a lot more mellow and slower this one is kind of like just bursting out into exultation and praise of God. The first versus Angels we have heard on high, sweetly singing o'er the plains in the mountains and reply echoing their joyous strains and so it's just seeing of how even the heavens opening up and in the heavenly host are worshiping and praising God for what's happening in Bethlehem and the second verse says shepherds why this Jubilee why your why your joyous strains prolong what the Gladstone Tydings B, which inspire your heavenly song so discover interesting, I forget which song was outside my performance. Like the opposite where the first verse was kind of talking about might be the first Noel know wasn't it was a come all you faithful where the first first talked about. Oh, only faithfulness. Speaking of humans and then sucking the second verse busting listing inquires of angels in Angels we have her in high sky opposite starts with the first first document, the Angels, praising God and in opening and enjoys strains over Christ's advent and in the second verse. It talks about the shepherds why are they singing is interesting. I never really thought about as much for the second verse is like it doesn't tell you what, why there praising her wider singing is just question so says shepherds why this Jubilee why your joyous strains prolong what the Gladstone Tydings B, which inspire your heavenly song, so I kind of if you czars are thinking about these lyrics, it kinda makes me think you why. Why do we celebrate Christmas. Why is this so important, why do we sing in a why have Christians celebrated it for so long it kinda makes you makes me at least step back and think okay yeah we we talk so much about Christ's redemption on the cross, which is definitely you know that's that's the focal point of salvation, but sometimes I think we can take the incarnation of the entirety of the incarnation of Christ for granted. Not just his ministry. Even, you know, like, just his entire life just just his existence is coming into taking taking on human flesh, why, why should we. Why do we praise God for that and that's it's kind of a more reflective kind of thing, but at the same time. So this kind of very upbeat, very charged melodic song and on the first verse is kind of similar to the other him that I mentioned is it just come to Bethlehem and see him his birth the angels sing, a door on bended knee, Christ the Lord, the newborn King.

I just love that phraseology there. Christ the Lord, the newborn King and just inviting everyone to come to worship Christ and to bend the knee to him and we know you know, such as the eldest temple, but we know that for Philippians things will be in chapter 2, or says that you know all will bend the knee to Christ all will recognize him as Lord. So you know it at the final day, so now it's kind like inviting you come now come to him come in and worship him, so I just really enjoyed all these three hymns for some reasons, I guess, but just just for very I like the fact that it's his money is what how we should probably celebrate Christmas. We should bend the knee and think God for Christ in his incarnation, we should thank him for the gospel, the good news. The good tidings of his coming to the world is now in beautiful so I will do a couple honorable mentions as well and hope that I don't trigger mister. In doing so, this is some of my favorites are our secular songs. I really enjoy the kind of jazzy version of jingle bells that Frank Sinatra has been no he now will be the he he go about doing well go all the way all know our way we go all in one night.

All will be in G.

The all white Christmas, but being Crosby is classic better than him crooning Neptune and no really, really, really enjoy the instrumental Charlie Brown's Christmas album, love that one and I I can't go Christmas season, without listening to transcend an orchestra so yeah those are some my honorable mentions like like you guys are stuck with hymns for my three to discuss my third is silent night, and this is one that I do remember singing quite often. As a young latter-day St. one because it was one of my mom's favorite street.

She served her LDS mission in Germany and so the fact that it was written there. She studied all about the history of who wrote it so that was that was a big reason why I was a big reason why highly. I enjoyed the song but also remember I do remember singing it as a child in primary and and actually in public school, so it is definitely one that was given to me early my favorite version of it is probably version expired a group called low enough, you guys are familiar with them or not, but they do know our type music starker than their Christmas album is is in that vein I made your version of Silent Night that's that's perfectly in line with with what that hymn is very quiet, kind understated guitar playing.

You can hear the fingers sliding on the on the strings of the change cords kinda quiet approaching recording and just beautifully, but I love similar to what you were saying Matthew about the incarnation I love what kind of the closing lyrics of about him say you know Jesus mortified birth you have things lyrics like that, really, really got me thinking. As a young person you know about the doctrine that's that's portrayed there. How how is how is Jesus Lord at his birth, and then thinking driving through that as a as a Mormon, could you do run into some issues since all a C you think you can ask an offense derailing the conversation but wanted to ask you both when you hear these hymns and dimensions Christ as Lord, are you like me and you see tonight kind of a much different light than he did as latter-day St. efforts are holding back all serious thoughts about this so I can't find my phone but Brigham Young said something along the lines of the birth of Christ being natural.

If he is remember this quote that it was just as natural as the births of bar children and so like these. I have recently is standing in Mormonism Christ really isn't that special because it's really just part of progression. Jesus was going to comment and be born, and have a physical body, regardless of whether we needed him to not because he still needed to do it for himself.

But now you as a new meaning to it because I understand that God is a totally different species then asked he did not need to commentate on/in order to exalted and so what that tells me is that Jesus came to earth only to rescue us so that puts a whole new meaning on earth. To me it makes it much more miraculous than it was before, so it's something that a lot more excited about Christmas now just realizing that one Christ as Lord different now than when I was LDS for sure and I think the view of the Lord that I have as latter-day St. traffic how to how to phrase this without being too offensive. But it was more of a taskmaster type of you he's he's he's your Lord because he's the one you okay and and that's true of the way Christians view Jesus as Lord, but it it also has to do with why he's Lord, more so is Isaac is a Christian then that I thought as latter-day St. macros into what you were saying Matthew about the incarnation and the Magnificat magnificence of that and yeah so we don't can give that we can shortchange.

What that means that Yahweh Emmanuelle God with us was here on earth it's it's amazing what you sent to Paul because section 2 is a latter-day St., was that no God was sort of guide along the path path that was eternal that always been there and he just walked in first and so he was there to lead the way, wasn't allowed to take that path interim but ultimately it was the pass itself, the ordinances and covenants that I made along that path that were going to save me. Even God was subservient to this law and if he wasn't following it. He could cease to be God. And so now I think about him being Laura right I understand he is the ultimate being in the universe that he is not subservient anything at all that he really has a name that is above all other names about how I would like a more cocky I and he was on a really emphasizing his Messiah series that Jesus had not yet attained completion. You know he was that he was perfect and since he was sinless, but did not achieve perfection in the sense of exaltation as you explained it, and so he needed like he said he needed to come to receive his body to be glorified in his body and to achieve exaltation truly is glorified physical body and so you like you said it, it seems, like when you when you really understand for the Christian perspective, there is nothing forcing God to come down and to save us. He had no ulterior motives had no had no vested interest for himself is completely a gracious decision. A gracious act that he determined that he that he let the father ascend the sun to earth to take on flesh and to suffer temptation into two to redeem mankind that would that was something completely that he did all by grace wasn't there is no self-serving aspect to it and when you think one thing I wanted to add to is that when you think about how an LDS mindset released in the traditional LDS teachings because you know nowadays it's really hard to say what a lot of LDS are being taught nowadays, but traditionally you know you were taught that this is something it's happened before that you know there been other universes, other creations where a God or a father sent his son into that world to redeem that creation and so heavenly father here sent Christ only redeem this creation and it will be something that we will propagate in the future, potentially in new creation. So something is a process is costly happening over and over again and then when you think about the Christian perspective, this is the only time this is ever happened or ever will happen.

It's a completely unique circumstance like those 33-ish years the crisis on earth you know performing all he did following the will of the father being empowered by the spirit being led by the Spirit in everything he did you know that's unique things most those 33 1/2 years 34 years, whatever that will never happen again. Is that unique. There is that completely unique point in time in the Marine of time where where Chrysler got came down and did all those things and and we even week to today to fix everything and I will be people trying to change ADD to BC BC to BCE before common era and a deed to CEU. A common era, but it's still referencing the same timeline the same point in time approximately right, it still starts at the advent of Christ.

So everything in all of history is focused been the focal point is Christ in his coming to the world and so it's just it's just so amazing to to to really ponder all these things now that you know they know this is not processes can happen over and over again. This is a one time deal and all of it is to the glory of God. And it's and it's really, I mean of course it's it demonstrates God's condescension and his love for us, but really the focus is on father.

The father you know glorifying himself and sending his son to the earth, so it's really about the glory of God, whereas as latter-day St. I was kind of war focusing on just how much Jesus loves me, which is still true, but you know it's more like we should be so humiliated so so humbled by this by this thought that she just push us should drive us to our knees and praising God for everything and remembering it's all about him stories about us, it's about him.

Just some thoughts that had beautiful I'm glad you brought this up and flows into the next part of our discussion, at least for the first anecdote that I'll share from my life sober will do here listeners from here on his will, discuss some things we remember about celebrating Christmas as latter-day Saints. When we were younger and my first one is that we we had a family tradition that we would go to Temple Sq. in Salt Lake City to see lights because they put up thousands upon thousands of Christmas lights each year in the trees and around the grounds of Temple square and it's absolutely beautiful as it is, did you go anywhere that the thousands of Christmas lights, but it was a yearly tractor we made from the suburbs to downtown and would pick up my grandma on the way and you push her around in a wheelchair because she used a walker to get around that point and was much easier for pushing a wheelchair all around the grounds that we would kind of the first thing we did we would enter in through the West gate of Temple square to the west side of right arm and on the west side of the tabernacle, back corner of the tabernacle has the baptistery where I was baptized and then we would walk around to the to the north side of the tabernacle and there was a large lawn there that had no in the summertime and spring inside China has several flowerbeds unit and in the wintertime. It was usually covered with snow. At that point and the church and put out a very large major scene with with the Christ child and Mary and Joseph and large I don't know what they were made of plastic or waxy ghost camels with wise men traveling on the far end of the lawn to see the Christ child and shepherds of each were lit by floodlights that made it just kind of a beautiful and serene side to see this as a young child that imagery of of Christ in the manger is a baby juxtaposed against the north visitor center second-story windows which had the large Christie statue overlooking that whole scene. It was again something that made me think I know was explained to me how you know that is glorified once he's completed his his progression right with them yelled yes you, but again it was it was that beauty of the juxtaposition that made me kinda think on the news on why why is he icy Lord is a baby.

You know what I will, why should we worship him as a baby if he wasn't yet.aboveboard where you see the Christie statue and so my first my first memory that all share and like a set of flows out of the very beautiful discussion that you just shared Matthew so any thoughts on that before dawn. I like your question, you kind of brought up a couple of times now Paul about why worship as a baby I think especially just with the LDS minds that were the same species and as a baby here. You should be not as far down the path as others, especially leaders receive the priesthood or receive their endowment in the temple you know and yet yeah people are falling on their knees and worshiping Christ baby so that is an interesting thought you brought up and is not one that I thought of a lot until we start talking about it so thanks for that journey thoughts on that first memory in terms of is a letter to St. I kind of also thought this order Christians what we believe Jesus is God in flesh, so I mean he deserves worship right because anything he's done, but the same time. Yeah, I guess you're right, in the sense that if you think about it really like you said it. It's interesting because he is God in flesh but when you're latter-day St. you're thinking things in terms of progression.

As we talked about this whole discussion and at this point. When you think about just when Christ was first born. Why, why does he deserve worship and its and it's in a nominal maybe. Maybe I was convinced myself. It's like well that he deserves because he's already God. But then that would conflict with my ideas about well he still he still not perfected. God is not completed God, like the father is and so maybe it was more of like what were commanded to worship him. So that's why we do it in turn instead of being like, and I've never run out into that problem a lot with latter-day Saints to it's like why do you worship know whether you whether you claim to worship God the father in Jesus, or all three persons of the Godhead which allow letter just latter-day Saints will disagree on you on that point we know which of the persons do they worship will ask.

So why is the father worthy of worship and not his God or the God above him on the God above him know. Why don't you worship them what you only worship the father and a lot of the consistent answers I got for that people answer simply were commanded to worship the father you know so it's it's fulfilling a command.

There's nothing inherently worthy of worship in the father and what and what those responses were not really kind of my mind, but then also there were some that said, was the other one out there, was there saying it's because he's our father. He gave birth to us.

He literally decrees our spiritual progenitor and so that, but then I was like well but his God was his spiritual progenitor and also if you're going by bloodline or spirit.

Why would everyone call it when why worship just the one in mealy above so that one kind of fell apart for me in terms of logic, but then suddenly only really found one is because there commanded to worship him because like you said were all were all old species of God seal were God's embryo so there's a lot of others like to think about, but when when you think about from a Christian perspective. He is, we are not God. We're not in the same species of God. He's completely different from us.

So the fact that he took on flesh to bridge that gap to condescend and you know, in his condescension to come down to take flesh, you know he's we we worship him because he is God is the single knees the unique God is he's got in flesh and so it's just it is a much different perspective. So I don't I come around in circles, but something out of there makes all the sense what we could just as you Matthew this is that moment where our lighthearted Christmas episode turn into deep theological because we just can't help ourselves as were all super nerds and embryo and some of us are further along in progression. Why don't latter-day Saints worship the apostles and the prophet because there's so far down the path you know what is the difference really between them and when we all be God's you know, in some sense you know if you want to get technical about things. So yeah, I do like the new Christian perspective, where is just simpler.

You have always always holes in theology.

It's just Jesus is God and/and that's it and were not in this way we worship back to my comments about holy night, and that that fall on your knees line in my own journey that questionable case of why worship him as a baby. It was a simple, simple question I was asking of a child thinking about and met my own journey eventually brought me to where I knew Christ as Savior right across the focal point as you brought up earlier Matthew and at that point, then yes, of course you fall on your knees and you worship but but even then your your your worshiping the Christ of the cross. So the question kinda still remains why why worship the baby and that that then brings questions of you know just what qualified Jesus to save by dying on the cross and what is my relationship to him and to God that necessitates that embedding that that kind of brings you to that line and 00 holy night you fall on your knees will hear the angel voices. Why are the Angels think they're not saved by the cross, but yet they are praising and rejoicing at the birth of Jesus into the world and it brings you, full circle to what you were just describing Michael that that we worship him because he is God and I don't think I don't think you get there on Mormon theology. I never did that as latter-day St. Ann and the fact to.

I think that's kind of that make does make sense to me now looking back is we follow in on the Bible.

Christ gave the the injunction he gave the pattern of praying he would say to pray to the father and his name and it certainly primarily what we do in in in in our Christian churches. But there is a power and there's there's no end in terms of me. It's it's like there's a connection you can make when you can literally when you can address your prayers to the sun and a lot of times in our prayers and worship you know they'll start with praising the father and then will and then he'll address the sun and then you know even if the Holy Spirit to actually not just think the father for sending the sun but thanking the sun directly for what he's done for us. We can communicate to the sun and say thank you Lord for taking on flesh for submitting to the father for accomplishing this on our behalf because we couldn't another. Some there's a power there. I think being ill, to pray to the Lord Jesus. Remember how powerful it was the first time in a Christian church that I heard someone pray with the Trinitarian formula where they addressed each member of the Trinity and thanked them and address them for certain blessings and certain things that they have provided is very powerfully about just just incarnation itself.

Just the birth of Jesus, you know, we see we see the angels in heaven, you know, praising and worshiping God. We see the sign in the manger and we see in of the spirit. There was the working of the Spirit and married to bring about the birth of Jesus. It's a very Trinitarian act. Just the act of Jesus coming to the world, we focus so much of the sun, but really it's all three members working in unison and is a know it's it's kind like I can push the Calvinism thing but it's kind like you know when you want it.

When I understood the doctrines of grace right you start seeing them everywhere you know. And now I can see it so that is a similar kind of thing. Once you understand the Trinity news understand the unity of God and the three persons complete unified and you see that all all over Scripture and so I see in the incarnation as well. You have a memory from when you were younger, but lecture I mean I don't I don't have a specific memory, but I do have similar memories of walking at Temple Square to and seeing the light. Send just contemplating you know everybody's all kind of in that same that same mood of you know that were all similarly you know or believing in the same things were.

Think about Jesus and I kind of like that environment.

But I also but there's so there's like a Christmas village. They put up downtown Ogden every year and I think in and I was just me and said there is a friend I was with last week you said agreed with me, or is it same that the lights in Ogden Square are just so much more elaborate and also we got the other slice everywhere. There's millions of lights that put up and have a little village there would have come like little buildings all boxes we can look inside and there's there's kind like glass and you can look inside, there's like little scenes in there and in each individual one and most were kind like based on my Christmas traditions in terms like Santa and elves and reindeer and stuff like that but that's a lot of really fun memories of going there with my family around Christmas time and just spend time with them in and seeing all the lights send you a like bring out the cold, brisk air and just enjoying the kind of the season but terms of terms like specifically Christian, you know, focus things we didn't know never really were super into the Greek Scriptures together the night before anything like that so but but I just really remember.

Have a fond memory of growing up and just being in that time. Of course, Enoch locates love presence right so you can looking forward to that. My birthdays in December 2 so so so just like that that time of year in and unites it. Even if you're not really religious because there are times when I wasn't very and I wasn't. I was neither really super active LDS church and I was a Christian, yet aware you know you use you, and generally just think more about others may think more about how to help others are year less conservator self general so I just liked just kinda atmosphere it you know how Kalakaua Mondays, you can feel what a Monday feels like, and you know it feels different for Friday. You know just the December time.

This feels different, and you know sometimes it uplifts you from all the worries and the cares of school or work or whatever to just have something I have always people sitting up lights and just enjoying themselves. Spend time with family. Just have a different atmosphere that I've always enjoyed so let's get a little lighthearted here what what were some of the favorite Christmas gifts he received as a child in favorite Christmas gifts well yeah thing about this so I was a huge Power Rangers kid. I love Power Rangers I think is like six or seven, I came up yeah the red Ranger Michael what color you are, and I know may we can have two black rangers while it wouldn't fight it out. You know it's so like there is one Christmas I remember where you know like there was a couple years in a row or ask for, you know that the swords I love the sores on the other like Voltron. You know they will fit together make a giant robot and there is one Christmas where I even ask for my mom knew I liked it. There's one season Power Rangers where one of the gold Ranger. He had a giant pyramid as his sword Tony missing is like 2 feet wide is like the base was like a foot and 1/2 back a foot and 1/2. This thing was huge as I can foot have to terms of height.

The boxes huge eunuchs. It also had the packing materials was like there's got to buy 2 x 3' box or something like that like what is this thing starts to member opening that up and being no surprise like allows Connie but but but probably the most memorable was the Nintendo 64. Like, you know that was a year Zelda was out there was a good time. Zelda goldeneye nice goldeneye was a great day might even as an adult I played that a lot in 64 that's a good one to get to them. 64 of my sons room in place more from those like you know overtime little joysticks get all messed up so hopefully have a good controller still Michael would buy you the favorite just to see his grown-up and I really don't remember a whole lot also. December baby as well so it always blends together like was that my birthday was that Christmas is resisting words like I know you guys are like splitting the budget between my birthday and Christmas think the same is from the same pool number like this is computer videogame that my dad got me and it was one that we are not playing together quite a bit like the schemer we were both thinking and like these giant robots and we went to that and I just totally thrashes like Olivia so you sound like a lot of a lot of time playing that game.

Yeah, we gained a lot when I was growing up, and I'm I got this made recollection what reasons that I would totally be going to hell if it wasn't for for Jesus Christ. Eventually we created super old and the graphics are so cheesy getting out Dreamcast you know what was the big thing and we got game soul caliber so we wouldn't drool that all the time.

You know that one is and just completely the best.

Three.

I would wager my chores on you if I when you wash my dishes tonight and he loses that we speak and then double or nothing. Okay this time.

If I when you can make me a milkshake tonight and all this stuff for me.

One day that my brother got stranded my brother Daniel handed on the highway in his car and he called her dad to come to my dad would always like let's play to see who has to take big tournament and is like playing this whole other game to figure out like a tiebreaker who was going to go get my brother eventually he called yeah my mom asked the following cheeselike right like you told me later that she like started crying because he looks like in a ditch somewhere you know he's he's like stuck in a big Yunnan and a big and an encampment of snow and he's like I'm only got 12 minutes of oxygen left is a determiner of what he was just on the side of the highway. You know, normal brain debris was like 20 minute drive just to get out to where he was found out that we can laugh you know back in my mouth but I feel kinda guilty about it. Do you like and that was just really brother Daniel and he still messed up because of that understanding, though, you know, Michael. There was this moment you walked right in the my crosshairs not when you said you can't really remember gifts that you got for Christmas. Yeah, I could've gone with an old joke, but I didn't. I hell backfired double edge sword. I know I is now a start talking about my favorite just like one of those from the 1950s were you talking rotary phone so some of my favorites were constructs remember what those were downloads I love constructs.

I love giving Legos always wanted G.I. Joe's when I was a kid, is G.I. Joe and Voltron were like the coolest things to lost allows one to judge a visible terms. But probably the favorite my favorite Christmas gift you got was a family gift that my dad got for us maybe 1983. It was an apple to be home computer and you know was it was the first home computer. We had in play games on it, you know, really bad graphics ski game or you just like this asked coming down this quite well and there's just like a bunch of elves going back and forth across the screen as you slalom but there was a game called the Bard's tail if he has ever heard of that are not like his role-playing game play one of I think it's either five or six characters and you just kind of go on these adventures through the city trying to remember what the what the ultimate goal was, but you you wander through dungeons and into taverns and to complete tasks for like Zelda. Please all the kind of thing but yet so it's, favorite thing you guys have any like particularly humorous memories of Christmas time with your family, though this is this is exactly humorous but my mom would pretty much force us to go Christmas caroling every year was her big thing and none of us really wanted to do a kinda awkward you know your teenager like really have to go knock on random people's doors, like me, take down a specific list of people that knew our family seemed to go adorably same about me platters, no cookies, things given out. It was always what will his head pass along cards attached like if you want the book of Mormon peers is be the phone number for this we put in wicked DVD that the church put out like Joy to the world 19 mile or wheelies.

The electric meter Scripture instantly love the book of Mormon and turned out according to take a passage you know about Christ and all the rest of us would still be singing softly somebody read that passage about Christ and then we stranded about the book of Mormon one-time. Specifically, I think we going to like my English teacher's house and she was Catholic and she refused.

Mormon was like this, and pushing it back and my mom had this look like I can't believe you're not taking this gasket. You know how rude you know and meet the same mindset like some people I can't even believe that you know so this is something the tennis sticks on my mind. I can still survive on space as if it was yesterday.if the shoe were on the other foot, and the Catholic woman was trying to give her like a like a really trims very funny. I think she did on the exact same thing politely questioned back yeah where is the more you know I don't like to spend people so I can see myself maybe just being like you, I want to have a conversation with you about it later or if I didn't know much about it see me. Just you know putting it somewhere or discarding it or something like that. Not trying to get it back because it does actually try to give you a gift and it's important to them so I probably would've taken it so you think of that experience last about humorous anecdote because of your ability. Michael sorry mother crosshairs pass the time. I see it, for its work. All okay with you humorous memories.)

Think of something and not nothing National Lampoon's Christmas vacation during the early, I just remember one sorry Matthew you needed one anyways. Right now you're getting dad is crazy, but I'm around Christmas Eve used to always like the fireplace on fire. They just be like Sam is not getting them. This time, we know will will you also did he also eat the cookies and milk right in front of the Alexi go that far. Surprisingly, but yeah if you thought of it. I'm sure so live Christmas trees were artificial Christmas trees growing up official is a real humanity more minor minor artificial to know was one of my favorite things to do as a kid was to go with the family to the tree lot and pick out a tree. Of those, kinda magical to go running through the rows of Christmas trees and try to find the exact right one that wasn't leading to my head and eyes full full you said needles to member one year.

This is my humerus to remember when you're my dad got this kit I don't know if you guys need is a flock Christmas tree is right so like white looks to look like you have snow on it okay and does not like with artificial trees, not just like the artificial needles are white but it actually has some some coding on it to make it look like snow we had. We got a live tree in my dad got a hold of this blocking kit to know where he got at the mall or some such. I don't know, but he brought it home and it was it was one of those things where you would hook it up to canister vacuum and pour in. You know whatever the flocking material was and then put the vacuum on the setting from below and you blow it on to the tree and she really was excited about doing doing that this year and we end up doing it inside and it was just hilarious because we had flocking material all over our living room. It was everywhere. You know that I can just push it everywhere. I do not any of the got on the tree but the tree was completely white. We had we were planning flocking material off the windows and furniture vacuuming it up off the floor. It was everywhere.

So that's kind of my my humerus memory.

That was the one and only time that we flocked archery status on Micah Christmas vacation and he was he was so excited to do it to you thought of the subgrade net I don't think he was happy at the end of the process, but fighting is a dude, did you did you set up milk and cookies for Santa as a kid will be good. My stand I think was lactose intolerant. For some reason, so we just your ally problem drinking other kids. Well I was thinking yes it was like he can only drink so much milk right at people's houses before and starts making really sick so that's like a gallon milk challenge yeah just start losing it right then she comes up.

My mom's cookies every year and we would set them out and think about Michael my my dad made similar jokes. We had a wood burning stove fireplace was like a wood burning stove in the corner of our living room and she would like that up and make the joke that you know all house and now to come down with down the pipe and so this little site you were trying to like stay up and catch Sam like the house when I was younger my older sister and I did and love times in the in the fall asleep. There was a wall heater that if you opened the door from my bedroom.

It was set on the wall right behind the door and I think waiting up trying to wait on Santa and falling asleep by that heater is probably some type kinda sleeping but I heater a lot after that.

Something that probably started off the trend for some reason my sister claimed to have eyewitness accounts of seeing Sarah her seeing reindeer on the room I think she is crazy imagination member.

One Christmas Eve, she like locally solve like looking out the window. I did that instead. My mom was like she had really had me convinced that Santa knew everything I was doing everything I was thinking so she's like if your eye is still open even feeling down in bed and your eyes picked up and he's knocking to come is going to go to the next house. So you got before sleep or he will never come. Yeah, I was almost like I want to go to sleep earlier you get there and give me the most presence. You know celebrity else would get the leftovers masses? United we talked little bit about secular Christmas music and ends little bit about Santa now and ends. Of course there's the secular bear the secular aspects to Christmas in American society, especially Santa and reindeer and elves and all about. And then there's the commercialism of it and I've I've worked retail at Christmas time. As a teenager, so I know what kind of hell that is ends and how that can make you a little bit jaded, which I wrote a poem about my senior year of high school how to share that tonight is you know, I could probably pull off the bookshelf and share but I want asked the question, is there anything you can think of from when you when you were a kid that experience to help you cut through all of that and kind of understand the cry of Christ coming in the world is is God's gift to us right and and that's the kind of lies behind the celebration of Christmas and and the reason for the giving of gifts.

Is there any experiences you had growing up that you remember that can help you cut through all that commercialism and realize what the real importance of Christmases while you share think about and Cheryl look for the poem first on this one and I'm struggling I'm struggling to Matthew really struggling with this.

I think growing up. Ellie asks you they just go right along with that, I mean I can't think of anything that ever there was ever happening until a couple days ago I realized Jesus did, because it wasn't a natural progression so that was until I became a Christian that of his knee came in, consume Bocchino like you and I enjoyed watching all the Christmas themed films, you know, but they were really Christ themes films are Just like seasonal films and they would say you know the reason for the season is giving and caring about others and things like that so you know watching those cameras come to me think yeah nuts it should be about, so should be about helping people and I don't really think I ever had an like an epiphany, either as a child where you know the focus is non-commercialism in the gifts and things like that but it's more about Christ on the oncoming similar yeah there's one I always think of and appreciative of my my God for giving us this this lesson we were what year was maybe 8889 somewhere in there and my dad was out of work and had been laid off and hadn't yet found another job and so was it was a very sparse Christmas for us and we were all feeling pretty rotten about that because we were selfish little kids you know and we wanted wanted gifts and the he found out about a family who had been evicted from the home. They were renting and they were staying with one of our neighbors couple houses down and while we were having a sparse Christmas.

They had nothing that year and we didn't have any extra that that my God could give there was nothing in our budget, but he could possibly work with to try to help this family, but you kinda gathered us around the families notices. This is what what Christmas is all about and where to find a way to help his family so he got me. My sister and pelvis from our sister palace in the car and said we are to go and talk to the managers at local stores and tell him of the situation is see if we can get this family Christmas dinner and some gifts for each member of the family. So we went and talked to the manager Albertson's grocery store and they pitched in a full Christmas dinner turkey all the fixings and then when talk to the manager at my dinner later on. This seems like I was working at ShopKo at the time flew into when talk to the manager ShopKo which is a place that I was working now.

Maybe I wasn't working there yet. My sister might've been, but they they agreed to give each of the children. Just so you pick out just for each of the children. The family and then we went to the dollar store that was around that some friends of ours, owned and operated an MA agreed to also pension some things so dust more gifts for the kids and this is one of those things and I'm really thankful I had that experience acute. Help me to realize you know that you don't always have to have, to be able to try to make a difference for people and that just just think of experiences that you did that showed us what the what Christmas is about thank you for sharing us great eyes so the mistletoe home and then will go with one final question which will be our favorite new tradition as a as a Christian post C Christian price of this poem is called mistletoe written in 1996 boxes line the shelves in perfect order.

The smell of dust permeates the air and seems to reach out not to choke the to annoy time passes slowly allowed voice blasts over the sound system causing spitting idle noise, green and red Garland circles store and on the floor to customers fight over the last artificial Christmas tree.

The loud sound of the cardboard Baylor screeches to a controlled laughing fury drowned out things still sings his notes aisles filled to capacity bumper-to-bumper loud noisy annoying like rush-hour traffic, Rudolph has slipped and Santa has fallen and no longer a child or some mad bars are at their worst. You're well on your way to your like coffee shop poet yeah we see Mike Joe my deniers Mike Myers and the primary next murder whoa man whoa man that's what Adam said when when God brought even said look what I made me sit well though I so it's close favorite favorite new tradition as a post-latter-day St., Christian minds, not really that elaborate. I usually try to in I'm going to the Bible very slowly from the beginning Saddam in the Psalter from the Psalms, so that I do like to read like reading the loop. The Lucan account of Zechariah and Elizabeth and you know the angel Gabriel visiting Mary. I like I like rereading all that and yes something, you know, maybe one of the other accounts but I just really like rereading that account. The mean of the birth of Christ and from Scripture and just kept thinking about it, really huge into my own listening to Christmas music. Like a lot of other people are. You know you'll hear it when you're out in the stores and on the bouts. I don't really do that but yet strata to read Scripture related to it and just think about it.

Good Michael so were pretty interesting situation right now because same for four years and a new family. To some, this is only our second Christmas together and so were the drawing board. We've been talking about it like we need to actually decide what our traditions are going to be a lot of fun because you know were there trying to decide what were going to make our traditions for the rest of our lives. But one thing that we have started doing that I really like that. I never did is K state was going to be like a Christmasy service.

I really like it but we go to make me do the candlelit service where they actually give you a candle to hold and I think that whole thing is really beautiful and I like that worship service scared me a little bit last time because they gave Mike my care candle and it's a real fire you most dislike the church. They don't know what they're doing, but he drops everything all the time.

Even the TV remote like he just got butter fingers like world stress me out a little bit, being all good. I'm looking forward to doing it again this year. Every year from now on Mike my favorite as well is the candlelight service at our church. The first time experiencing that going in the candlelit little on the future so the little plastic cup around it so that the wax doesn't drip on your hand and that comes to that point in the service where they like the first one at the front and everybody shares my stairs in HQ as it goes back through the whole sanctuary and lights are out and the sanctuary is like completely by candlelight and the missing Christmas and it's just so very beautiful experience in. I remember how powerful what was the first time. It's something that I enjoy. This year I'm hoping that I don't know what it will be like this year with COBIT II do listening to our online service a couple weeks ago and they were announcing that they are doing in person Christmas Eve services.

I don't know if W. Campbell candlelight because mustard I want everybody to use the candles between services so I don't know the one array touching those like in the reusing them, but hopefully hopeful that they'll have it be candlelit in some way and I'm sure there will but that we had to put in for free tickets because of the restrictions on the number of people looking can be there but looking for that and hoping it will be beautiful is that it is in past years, so you will want my First Christian Church as I went to they do like service that they used like your cell phone like everybody will get her cell phone out all I'll say is I cannot even compare to using candles. Candles so much better that it's a lot more reverent than just you know your phone out there, and I can totally relate to the fear with the candle. We started going a Christian church 10 years ago and ends in our two youngest Carly was five and ends hope was just barely 3, even three yet so I just barely 3 of the candlelight service that first year. So yeah, when made when they had a number.

Carly was like all I figured you would've been worried about the church bring down when you walk through the door. Special churches that you know the depraved sinners, so yeah, remember we went.

This was elderly lady came in and handed me a candle you don't have like yet is because right there is a reason there but of course he ends up with the candle light just imagining how to clean out like hard and wax all over his pants are in our it makes me wonder if there's ever been like churches burned down from like handing in these candles. I am sure that I'm sure it's probably happened at least once so I'll close out a little fun here tonight as I appreciate being together with you again after a few weeks off really have enjoyed our conversation and to our fireflies listening in a very Merry Christmas to you, may the peace of Christ be with you and yours. S.

Merry Christmas. Thank you church burning down right at the end of the episode did not marry Christmas to all and Mr. Paiva. Good night when they saw the star they were joysticks going into the house, they saw the child with Mary his mother and they fell down and worshiped him.

Then opening the treasures they offered him gifts, gold, frankincense and myrrh


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