Bible Stories, Symbolism, and Abortion Facts

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Dinner Topics for Thursday Bible Stories: Shiphrah, Ancient Activist on Infanticide Prevention And the king of Egypt spake to the Hebrew midwives, of which the name of the one was Shiphrah, and the name of the other Puah: And he … Continue reading

Gospel Teachings: Symbolism of Eagle Wings

Gospel Teachings:

Symbolism of Eagle Wings

eagles-wings-revisedWings of Eagles “They that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.”

Isaiah 40:31

Eagles’ Wings

Wing type: Broad and long, with long, slotted feathers.

Wingspan: Between 6 feet (1.8 meters) and 9 feet (2.7 meters).

Eagles’ wings are built for soaring and gliding on updrafts of warm air (thermals). The long feathers are slotted and can separate to allow air to flow smoothly and to prevent the eagles from stalling when flying at slower speeds.

The outermost wing feathers display gradual narrowing (emarginations) or abrupt narrowing (notches) toward the tip of the feathers to create greater lift during flight.

Eagles and other soaring birds have been seen at heights of over 20,000 feet (6,100 meters).

Eagles’ bones, while strong, are hollow, making up less than 10 percent of their total body weight. This, of course, makes it easier for them to fly.

The slow gliding and soaring facilitated by eagles’ wings enable eagles to spot prey from afar with their keen eyes.

Bible Facts

The generic Hebrew word for eagle used in the Old Testament (nesher) could refer to a number of different soaring birds, including the golden eagle, the imperial eagle, or the griffon vulture.

The figure of eagles’ wings was also used in the Old Testament to represent the strength and loving-kindness of the Lord in delivering His covenant people (see Exodus 19:4; Deuteronomy 32:11).

Anciently there was a popular (though erroneous) belief that eagles would molt and replace their feathers in old age, receiving renewed strength.

What We Can Learn

Having “wings as eagles” helps us:

quote-Isaiah-eagles-wingsRise toward the heavens. When we “wait upon the Lord” by patiently trusting in Him and keeping our covenants, He blesses us with His divine help. In His strength we are lifted up so that we can receive “peace in this world, and eternal life in the world to come” (D&C 59:23).

Move away from the earth. When we turn to the Lord, obey His commandments, and keep our covenants with Him, we separate ourselves from the world. We are less weighed down or heavy laden and are able to obtain a higher and more advantageous perspective—an eternal perspective. God blesses us with the Holy Ghost, and we feel our spirits rise above the trifling concerns of worldly living.

Find nourishment. Just as eagles’ ability to soar on their wings can help them use their eyesight to receive their nourishment, we receive spiritual nourishment as we keep our covenants and stay alert to the things of the Spirit. We see this truth particularly in the ordinance of the sacrament as we partake of bread and water and renew the baptismal covenant.

Sanctifying Renewal

“I know that in times of fear or fatigue, ‘they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint’ [Isaiah 40:31].

We receive the gift of such majestic might and sanctifying renewal through the redeeming grace of the Lord Jesus Christ. He has overcome the world, and if we will take upon us His name and ‘walk in His paths’ [Isaiah 2:3] and keep our covenants with Him, we shall, ere long, have peace. Such a reward is not only possible; it is certain.”

Jeffrey R. Holland

Traditions, Unique Gifts, and Symbolism

Dinner Topics for Friday

nativityclipartAs you revel in the gifts of this season, it’s powerful to remember the first gifts given long ago.Though He was born in a lowly stable, with no crib for his bed, wise men had been watching for the signs of his birth, eager to worship and bring him their gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh. One might ask, “Why these gifts? What was their significance?”Please enjoy this gift from me, a video “The Three Gifts” to learn more about their importance and symbolism, for with these gifts, all the gifts of Christmas began.

Gold. Chemical Element Au, atomic #79 The symbol of Au is from the Latin: Aurum, which means “Shining Dawn”. Gold is the most malleable and ductile of all metals. A single ounce of gold can be beaten into a sheet of 300 square feet. Gold is the most universal monetary valuable. Most of the Earth’s gold lies at it’s core, because of it’s high density most of it sank there in the planet’s youth.Gold was an honorable gift to give to Kings. The wise men were displaying their recognition to Christ as the true rightful heir to the throne instead of King Herod. Gold would have given the means to Joseph and Mary to flee from Herod and buy a home and settle their family.

Frankincense  Frankincense essential oil comes from Oman Jordan where it has grown indigenously for centuries. It’s steam distilled from the gum or resin of the tree.  Around 3,000 BC Frankincense was more valuable than gold and was referred to at times as “liquid gold”. Frankincense was often given to kings and was considered one of the most sacred and special gifts anyone could receive. Second only to Myrrh, it is the most referenced oil in the Bible. Frankincense was burned in Jewish temples as incense and symbolized a mediator or a path to carry prayers to heaven. It has been burned in Catholic churches for centuries and still is today. Egyptian tradition considered Frankincense to be the “cure all.” In one of the oldest medical documents dating back to 1500 BC, Frankincense oil is recorded for the treatment of disease and illness. Anciently only royalty or the extremely wealthy had access to Frankincense. At the time of Christ’s birth, Frankincense was associated with both Heaven and God.Today, studies have found frankincense to be therapeutic for asthma, bronchitis, depression, inflammation, ulcers, skin ailments, and even cancer. This oil may help with aging, allergies, bites (insect and snake), bronchitis, carbuncles, catarrh, colds, diarrhea, diphtheria, gonorrhea, headaches, healing, hemorrhaging, herpes, high blood pressure, jaundice, laryngitis, meningitis, nervous conditions, prostate problems, pneumonia, respiratory problems, sciatic paoin, sores, spiritual awareness, staph, strep, stress, syphilis, T.B., tension, tonsillitis, typhoid and wounds. It contains sesquiterpenes, enabling it to go beyond the blood-brain barrier. It may also help oxygenate the pineal and pituitary glands. It increases the activity of leukocytes, defending the body against infection. Frankincense may also help a person have a better attitude, which may help to strengthen the immune system. The primary body systems affected by Frankincense are: Emotional Balance, Immune and Nervous Systems and the Skin.The Aromatic influence of Frankincense may help to focus energy, minimize distractions, and improve concentration. It may ease Hyperactivity, impatience, irritability, and restlesseness and can help enhance spiritual awareness and mediatation.Frankincense oil is in general approved by the FDA (21CFR172.510) for use as a food additive. Dilute one drop of oil in 1 tsp. of honey or in 4 oz of beverage. Not for use by children under 6-years-old, and use with caution and in greater dilution for children 6-years old and over.

Myrrh. Myrrh essential oil is also steam distilled from the gum or resin of the tree.  Myrrh is an oil associated with mortality, perhaps an odd gift to give at birth because of its association with death and embalming. However, Myrrh was also used for many healing purposes. From birth, Myrrh was used as an antiseptic on umbilical chords to avoid infections. Myrrh was also associated with mothers and is very useful in healing for the skin and could heal scars and stretch marks. Myrrh was found in the Balm of Gilead and was used for pain, suffering, wounds, bruises, and cuts.Myrrh was also extremely valuable. It’s estimated that the value of myrrh used on Christ’s feet by the sinful woman was equivalent of an average year’s salary, around $1,500. Perhaps this is why Jesus was advised to use the money that could be obtained by selling the oil to give to the poor.  Joseph of Arimathea spent between $150,000 and $200,000 on Myrrh to embalm Christ at his death, literally a small fortune.Myrrh is also an analgesic, or dulls pain. It was mixed with wine to dull Christ’s pain on the Cross, but he denied this remedy. Some believe that the crown of thorns he bore was made from myrrh tree branches, notorious for their long thorns. At the time of Christ’s birth, myrrh was associated with mortality and mothers.Myrrh oil has been traditionally used and may help with bronchitis, diarrhea, dysentrery, hyperthyroidism, stretch marks, thrush, ulcers, vaginal thrush, viral hepatitis. It may also help increase appetite, asthma, athlete’s foot, candida, catarrh (mucus), coughs, eczema, digestion, dyspepsia (impaired digestion), flatulence (gas), fungal infection, gingivitis, hemorrhoids, mouth ulcers, decongesting the prostate gland, ringworm, sore throats, skin conditions (chapped, cracked, and inflamed), wounds, and wrinkles. Myrrh particularly affects the hormonal, immune, nervous systems, and the skin of the body. The Aromatic influence of Myrrh may help to promote awareness and can be uplifting.Gold, Frankincense, and Myrrh were presented to Christ as a child. Their symbolism and healing potential is as strong and potent as it was during the time of Christ.