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Thursday, December 19, 2013

It Came Upon The Midnight Clear

The Angel Moroni appears to the
prophet Joseph Smith
"It Came upon the Midnight Clear." Whenever I hear this favorite Christmas song, I always have in my mind the painting of the angel Moroni appearing to Joseph Smith. It came upon the midnight clear. What came? The restored gospel of Jesus Christ! I would like to take this hymn apart and give it to you from my perspective, just as I did previously with the hymn "Do What Is Right."

1. 
It came upon the midnight clear,
That glorious song of old,From angels bending near the earth
To touch their harps of gold:

Peace on the earth, good will to men
From heav’n’s all-gracious King.
The world in solemn stillness lay
To hear the angels sing.

"It came upon the midnight clear,
That 
glorious song of old,"

In the prophet Joseph's own words, he says, "While I was thus in the act of calling upon God, I discovered a light appearing in my room, which continued to increase until the room was lighter than at noonday, when immediately a personage appeared at my bedside, standing in the air, for his feet did not touch the floor."

The "glorious song" is none other than the message of the restored gospel of Jesus Christ. How long the earth has been waiting for the gospel to return! In every dispensation of time, the gospel of Jesus Christ had been taken off the earth after apostasy; this time, however, the "song of old" will never leave the earth again.

"
From angels bending near the earth
To touch their harps of gold:"

The glorified and resurrected ancient Book of Mormon prophet Moroni appeared to Joseph:

He called me by name, and said unto me that he was a messenger sent from the presence of God to me, and that his name was Moroni; that God had a work for me to do; and that my name should be had for good and evil among all nations, kindreds, and tongues, or that it should be both good and evil spoken of among all people."

"“
Peace on the earth, good will to men
Merry Christmas!
From heav’n’s all-gracious King.”
The world in solemn stillness lay
To hear the angels sing."

In Luke 2:10-11 it reads:

10 And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.

11 For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.

From the introduction of the Book of Mormon:
Concerning this record the Prophet Joseph Smith said: “I told the brethren that the Book of Mormon was the most correct of any book on earth, and the keystone of our religion, and a man would get nearer to God by abiding by its precepts, than by any other book.”

Sounds like peace on earth and good will to me. Millions of people have read the Book of Mormon and their lives have been changed as a result of it. Millions have asked of God through prayer if this book is true.

In D&C 25:12 if says, "For my soul delighteth in the song of the heart; yea, the song of the righteous is a prayer unto me, and it shall be answered with a blessing upon their heads."

Those angels' songs will be and have been answered!


2. Still thru the cloven skies they come

The Angel Moroni delivering the
gold plates to Joseph
With peaceful wings unfurled,
And still their heav’nly music floats
O’er all the weary world.
Above its sad and lowly plains
They bend on hov’ring wing,
And ever o’er its babel sounds
The blessed angels sing.

Revelation 14:6-7
6 And I saw another angel fly in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach unto them that dwell on the earth, and to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people,

7 Saying with a loud voice, Fear God, and give glory to him; for the hour of his judgment is come: and worship him that made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and the fountains of waters.

Moroni is the angel referred to in this passage. He brought forth the Book of Mormon to the inhabitants of the earth, "the sad and lowly plains." The gospel today is preached to everyone, in their own tongue.



3. For lo! the days are hast’ning on,

"He said there was a book deposited,
written upon gold plates"
By prophets seen of old,
When with the ever-circling years
Shall come the time foretold,
When the new heav’n and earth shall own
The Prince of Peace their King,
And the whole world send back the song
Which now the angels sing.

"
For lo! the days are hast’ning on,
By prophets seen of old,
When with the ever-circling years
Shall come the time foretold,,"

"He said there was a book deposited, written upon gold plates, giving an account of the former inhabitants of this continent, and the source from whence they sprang. He also said that the fulness of the everlasting Gospel was contained in it, as delivered by the Savior to the ancient inhabitants;"

Moroni told Joseph of the ancient record he was to translate. This event had been long foretold by prophets, by both Bible and Book of Mormon prophets. What a wonderful time the people of the earth were living in in the early 1830's, to witness the restoration of the gospel of Jesus Christ!

"
When the new heav’n and earth shall own
The Second Coming of the Messiah
The Prince of Peace their King,
And the whole world send back the song
Which now the angels sing."

"Those who gain this 
divine witness from the Holy Spirit will also come to know by the same power that Jesus Christ is the Savior of the world, that Joseph Smith is His revelator and prophet in these last days, and that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is the Lord’s kingdom once again established on the earth, preparatory to the Second Coming of the Messiah."

Moroni was a powerful Book of Mormon prophet with a powerful message. As part of his final few words, Moroni left his testimony of the Book of Mormon. In Moroni 10:3-5 it reads:

3 Behold, I would exhort you that when ye shall read these things, if it be wisdom in God that ye should read them, that ye would remember how merciful the Lord hath been unto the children of men, from the creation of Adam even down until the time that ye shall receive these things, and ponder it in your hearts.

4 And when ye shall receive these things, I would exhort you that ye would ask God, the Eternal Father, in the name of Christ, if these things are not true; and if ye shall ask with a sincere heart, with real intent, having faith in Christ, he will manifest the truth of it unto you, by the power of the Holy Ghost.

5 And by the power of the Holy Ghost ye may know the truth of all things.

Ask and ye shall receive. Knock and it shall be opened unto you.

I did. Will you?

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