Jesus and His Family
and Anna, His Grandparents
Zacharias, and John His Cousin
Norman L Heap
All rights to the reproduction in whole or part in any form of the observations, paraphrases, and conclusions drawn from the quoted scriptures and the related writings cited, are reserved to Dr. Norman L Heap
Published by Family History Publications
Manufactured in the
Jesus and His Family
The Choices That Adam and Eve Faced
The Price of Death and the Blessings
of Temporary Life That Death Brings
Prophecies of a Savior to Come
Behold a virgin shall conceive and bear a son,
And shall call his name Immanuel
Mary is Born and Taken to the Temple to be
Reared in Righteousness
Temple High Priests Choose Joseph, to be Mary’s Husband
Jesus Is Born
As reported in the Protevangelion
About the writer/author
Other works by the Writer/Author
References, quotations and paraphrases
Mary His Mother
Joachim and Anna His Grandparents
Elizabeth His Cousin and Zacharias her husband,
and John His Cousin*
Norman L Heap**
*The writer takes full responsibility for all observations, paraphrases of scriptures, related writings, and conclusions he drew throughout this work. They are his alone.
However, he gladly acknowledges his membership in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and shares with readers his belief that this story contains common ground his Church has with more than one and one-half billion Roman and Eastern Orthodox Catholics concerning Mary’s conception of Christ Jesus and her giving birth to him.
It is a miracle of transcendent proportions!
Thanks to Roman and Eastern
Orthodox Catholic Leaders the
writings of James the Lesser,
acknowledged Apostle and Bishop of
He believes what James wrote about Mary’s parents Joachim and Anna, about Mary’s experiences before and after giving birth to Jesus, about Joseph’s selection as Mary’s husband and his role before and after Jesus’ birth, about his Cousin Elizabeth and her husband Zacharias and the birth of their son John, were told to him by Mary and Joseph at a time when they were serving as parents in same household with Jesus and James as young adult children.
This notion adds credibility to James’s record.
**Written from the perspective of a Latter-day Saint.
After searching the scriptures and related writings for more than six decades the writer concludes that Jehovah, Christ Jesus and Messiah are names for the same person. These names relate to the roles He played in His pre-mortal state as Jehovah, in His mortal state as Christ Jesus and in His post mortal state as Messiah.
He is the first born spiritual son of God the Father and an unnamed Mother in Heaven. Both His Father and Mother in Heaven have physical bodies of flesh and bone as tangible as man’s, in which their spiritual selves are permanently housed, making each of them a living soul...
. But Jehovah born, before the foundation of Planet Earth, had a spiritual body, only, at that stage of development, and would continue to be without a physical body until He was born in the flesh of Mary, His earthly mother some forty centuries later. In the flesh Jehovah was known as Christ Jesus or Jesus Christ.
Our Heavenly Parents are one in purpose as husband and wife, as husbands and wives on earth are counseled to be. Our Mother in Heaven, no doubt, took her husbands name, as was and is the custom in many parts of Planet Earth.
His name is Eloheim or Elohim.
However, we refer to Him as “Our Heavenly Father” or “Our Father in Heaven” in our prayers.
We, like Jehovah, were born as spiritual children, sons and daughters of God the Father and an unnamed Mother in Heaven. Thus all human beings on earth are spiritual brothers and sisters, children of Heavenly Parents.
The writer also concludes that all earthly human beings are the spiritual children of one Heavenly Father, but all are not necessarily born the children of the same Heavenly Mother.
Our Heavenly Parents named their first born spiritual son, Jehovah, before the formation of Planet Earth and delegated to him great power and authority to form plants, animals and other life, spiritually, with seeds within themselves, before they were made physically or naturally upon planet earth.
The spiritual creation preceded the physical creation, so when the spiritual body and physical body unite, in human beings for example, the product is the formation of a temporary living human soul, in the express image of our Heavenly Father, spiritually and physically for men, and in the express image of our Heavenly Mother spiritually and physically for women.
. The same is true for mammals and other forms of life. ,
It is clear from the words of the prophets, past and present, that we are like our Heavenly Parents in many ways, such as, we are living souls, body and spirit united,. But, we are significantly different from them in many other ways, because we are temporary living souls, spirit and body being subject to separation at physical death while they are permanent living souls, body and spirit inseverebly connected.
Our Heavenly Parents spiritual selves housed in permanent physical bodies as tangible as man’s can do many things we cannot do, such as exercising great power and authority in organizing, creating, and controlling heavens and earths and making it possible to people those earths with their own spiritual off spring housed in physical bodies made out of the elements of that earth, and other things that we cannot yet do.
It is their desire that we have all the advantages, blessings, powers, authorities and privileges that they have. They want us to be fully sanctified, holy, made perfect and exalted as they are in every way.
But we are different from them because our spiritual bodies are housed in temporary physical bodies from which we will be separated at death, when our physical bodies eventually return to dust. This is true for all other life on Planet Earth. Death separates that entity’s physical self from its spiritual self. The physical self returns to dust from which it was taken, but the human’s spirit self lives on with its unique characteristics, intelligence, memories, knowledge, and understanding, learned on Planet Earth, which is not lost, but is retained by that spirit and will rise with him or her in the resurrection.
The writer believes with Joseph Smith “that there is no such thing as immaterial matter. All spirit is matter, but is more fine and pure and can only be discerned by purer eyes. We cannot see it but when our bodies are purified we shall see that it is all matter” He also believes with Abraham that Kolob is the heavenly body where the Lord God resides and that that globe governs, controls and influences Planet Earth to some degree; that the Lord God chose Planet Earth to be the place where His spirit children receive their physical bodies, where their temporary souls are tried, tested, and proved worthy and ready to return to His presence in His Celestial world or one like it.
Implicit in the command to multiply, replenish and subdue the earth was the need for us to learn about our new physical environment, learning to master or control the physical elements and building blocks on earth just as we did with the finer and purer spiritual elements and building blocks in the spiritual sphere of our existence with God prior to our mortality. Subduing the earth is an individual and aggregate responsibility of mankind which transcends all generations of human time prior to planet earth’s anticipated upgrade to a globe akin to Kolob.
He also concludes that the human spirit made in the express image of God’s spirit is transportable, transmissible, expandable and contractible to microscopic size, if necessary, without changing its basic characteristics. This notion enables him to believe that a person’s spirit may enter his or her physical body as early as at the moment of conception, up through embryo, fetus and baby. A person’s spirit body continues to be housed physically in that person’s body through childhood, puberty and adulthood. When the physical body dies the spirit self may well contract even to microscopic size, as necessary, for transport or transmission without altering its characteristics.
Resurrection then, the reuniting of the physical with the spiritual never again to be separated is inextricably connected with the blessings our Heavenly Parents would like for all of us children to have, namely to become full fledged souls, as they are, with the powers, authorities and blessings that they have. In short, when we die, we will need our physical bodies back, if we are to be complete, and if we are to fulfill the full measure of our creation, including a return to the abode of our Heavenly Parents worthy to inherit all that the Father has.
But we cannot be so, unless what Adam and Eve did in the Garden of Eden is fully reconciled with the plans Our Heavenly Parents have for them and for us as their children.
Adam was given a commandment to multiply and replenish the earth and to subdue it. The other living organisms were given a similar commandment to multiply and replenish their kind, but nothing was said to them about subduing the earth. That function is fully the responsibility of man.
But at this stage of Planet Earth’s development the Lord was speaking solely to and about Adam.
“And I the Lord God, planted
a garden eastward in
“And I, the Lord God took the man, and put him in the Garden of Eden, to dress it and to keep it. And I, the Lord God, commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden, thou mayest freely eat, But of the tree of knowledge and of good and evil thou shalt not eat of it, nevertheless, thou mayest choose for thy self, for it is given unto thee, but remember that I forbid it, for in the day thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.
At this point the Lord God introduced Eve; by saying it was not good for man to be alone, for many reasons no doubt. The most important reason may have been that without Eve, Adam could not fulfill the first commandment to multiply, replenish and subdue the earth. And when the Lord God introduced Eve He did so in conversation with His first born spiritual son Jehovah, whom He called ‘mine Only Begotten’ even though it would be forty centuries before His Only Begotten in the flesh would be born on Planet Earth.
“And I, the Lord God, said unto mine Only Begotten, that it was not good for man to be alone; wherefore I shall make a help meet for him…And I caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam; and he slept, and I took one of his ribs and closed up the flesh in the stead thereof; and the rib which I, the Lord God, had taken from man, made I a woman, and brought her unto the man. And Adam said: This I know now is bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called Woman because she was taken out of man. “Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife, and they shall be one flesh”
Note that, given the status
of stem cell,
But they had untold numbers of spiritual brothers and sisters up in Kolob who also wanted to come down and experience earth life, and the Lord God wanted them to have physical bodies too, and He wanted them to have an earth life experience as well, so He commanded Adam and Eve to multiply, replenish and subdue the earth and to make room for all of His spiritual children on Planet Earth. How were they going to do it?
If every creature including humans begot posterity and none of them die, the earth would soon be full and brimming over with physical life, without room for more.
There could be room for more physical life if each physical human and other organisms became temporary rather than permanent living souls, subject to temporary death before becoming a permanent living soul through resurrection.
Who knows how long the command to multiply and replenish went unheeded and unfulfilled by Adam and Eve and all of the other creatures? Each had been programmed with seeds of life within them but these seeds lay dormant. It seemed as though they didn’t have enough knowledge and information to solve the problem, knowledge and information they knew their Heavenly Parents had.
How could they get more knowledge and information?
Adam and Eve had all the equipment to bring children into the world, and so did all the other mammals there, but this equipment lay dormant and unused.. They were naked and not ashamed, perhaps because they did not know how their equipment was to be used to beget children.
They had partaken of the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil and had become aware of much knowledge and intelligence including awareness of their potential to become as God is. However, they would have to give up their physical temporarily in the process if they were ever to become as God is.
of Temporary Life That Death Brings
Based on his understanding of what took place in the pre-mortal world before the foundation of Planet Earth the writer concludes that all human spirits made in the express image of God wanted to come to earth and receive a body, and that that decision was an outgrowth of a grand council in Heaven when and where all of Heavenly Father’s spiritual children, billions of them, were assembled along with two prominent sons, Jehovah and Lucifer,
Eloheim presented a plan of action which included a pillar principle from which He has never wavered. This principle guides Him, and us, as we transition from spiritual child to temporary living soul in mortality, where we live for a season, die, and the results of our lives on earth are then judged. Enunciated by a latter-day prophet, David O McKay, the principle is: “Next to life itself the greatest gift of God to man is the right to direct that life.”
Agency or the right to choose was the inalienable right of every spirit son and spirit daughter in that council as each considered coming to earth to receive a physical body. Eloheim wanted His children to be free to choose His plan for sending them to Earth to receive a body. After coming to earth, if they chose not to obey Him, His plans, or teachings, they would not receive the blessings connected with obedience when they leave mortality. If they choose to voluntarily obey Him and His commands, fully and completely, and repent when they did not, and they eventually become perfect as His is, then they would eventually receive all that the Father has.
Jehovah sided with Eloheim, saying the glory would be His Father’s, and that He Jehovah, would obey, and keep the provisions of His plan or covenant, and that He would help carry it out, if asked; and He would do whatever His Father wanted Him to do that was needed to be done, to implement it, even to sacrifice His life if necessary. He also promised to return to His Father all of those souls, who chose to obey and who had voluntarily kept the provisions of His covenant with them.
Lucifer wanted to compel every one to be good. The focus of his plan was on himself and not others. He wanted complete control over the agencies of all other spiritual sons and daughters of our God, even the spirits of his, Lucifer’s, own spiritual brothers and sisters.
Under Eloheim’s plan, carried out through Jehovah, upon receipt of their physical bodies, each spirit became a temporary living soul, sent to earth to be tried, tested and proved through voluntary obedience to God’s commands.
Under Lucifer’s plan, compulsory means would be used, individual agency would be suborned to Lucifer, all individual risk would be eliminated, no soul would be lost and all would be returned to that God who gave them life.
. In exchange, however, Lucifer would get all the glory, no glory would accrue to his brothers and sisters for the good they may have done while on earth, and no credit would accrue to his and our Heavenly Father, and Lucifer would eventually replace our Heavenly Father as our God.
. Under Lucifer’s plan the rest of us would not learn good from evil, would not progress, would not benefit appreciably from our mortal experience. Instead our future would always be controlled by Lucifer doing whatever he demands or commands, more like robots, and our individual agency would cease to exist.
Two thirds of those assembled chose to come to earth, and to voluntarily be obedient to the Lord God and to Jehovah whom the Father had put in charge.
Lucifer got angry, rebelled made war with Eloheim, so Eloheim cast Lucifer down to earth but denied him a physical body. A third of the hosts of heaven exercising their agency and followed Lucifer, served him, and they continue to serve him and his cause to this day.
Without a physical body of his own, Lucifer seeking to frustrate Heavenly Father’s plan entered into the body of a serpent and influenced Eve through that serpent. .
The price of death, a consequence of eating the fruit of the Tree of Knowledge of good and evil, included death for all other organisms living there, as well as themselves.
. They learned that their actions also brought temporary life to all the posterity of these same organisms, including themselves, that otherwise would have remained in the garden forever without posterity.
All organisms were programmed to procreate but none had the power to activate the dormant seeds within themselves to set the process of procreation in motion.
Apparently what they did in partaking of the fruit activated the dormant seeds of life within themselves and in all other living organisms, and what they did also unleashed the powers of procreation for all future temporary living organisms on earth, that would be born physically, live for a season and then die, because the seeds of temporary physical life and death were passed on to the next generations of their posterity, before they died.
Their actions brought and continue to bring temporary physical life and death to billions upon billions of other human beings and trillions upon trillions of other organisms with delicately interrelated temporary life cycles before death eventually overtakes them.
Eve, to whom the appellation
Unknown to Adam and Eve the Lord God had already anticipated the possibility that Eve, using her agency, would yield to the serpent acting in behalf of Satan. Satan told Eve a truth and a whopping lie. He told her if she ate the delicious fruit she could become as God knowing good and evil. But he also told her that she would not die, a lie with dire consequences...
Now Adam was in trouble. Eve would die and he would be left alone with no possibility of her long term companionship or the possibility of posterity. If he joined Eve in partaking of the fruit he would continue to be with her for an interval before death, but together they would be able to fulfill the first command to multiply and replenish the earth before succumbing to death..
Would they be condemned forever for what they had done? Was there no possibility they could get their physical bodies back and become as God is and as their Heavenly Parents are?
Yes, there was and is a way, but the demands of justice would have to be satisfied before redemption could take place.
In our pre-mortal world Jehovah volunteered to be an infinite proxy, a proxy necessary to overcome each individual’s physical death, an infinite proxy necessary to pay for the individual and aggregate sins of all mankind, an infinite proxy necessary to satisfy the demands of the Lord God’s justice before redemption of all of His temporary living souls could take place.
Eloheim accepted His son Jehovah’s initiative and began to refer to Jehovah as, mine Only Begotten Son more than forty centuries before He was born in the flesh.
Was the plan decided upon kept a secret from all those coming to earth or did our Heavenly Father take steps to spread the plan’s word and who the central figure in that plan is who would carry it out.
A review of canons of
scripture, of apocryphal records, of
Old Testament pseudepigraphical
records, and of latter-day records
accepted as scripture by millions,
reveals that all six persons
designated as prophets of
dispensations of time Adam, Enoch,
Noah, Abraham, Moses and Joseph
Smith each testified of the Lord
God’s plan to send His Only Begotten
son to earth to take body and live
among men. At least six other Old
Testament prophets Isaiah, Jeremiah,
Ezekiel, Hosea, Micah, and Zechariah
joined them in similar testimonies.
least eight of the twelve sons of
In a volume subtitled Another
Testament of Jesus Christ, also
known as the Book of Mormon prophets
Lehi, Nephi, Abinadi, King Benjamin,
Alma, Aaron son of Alma, Helaman,
Other Book of Mormon prophets join New Testament prophets in testifying that a Savior of the world, and all of its people, did actually come as testified, by those prophets of old who never lived long enough to see their prophecies validated.
Jehovah was to come as Eloheim’s Only Begotten Son in the flesh, in part because he would inherit immortality from His father and mortality from His mortal mother. He would be the only one on planet earth capable of atoning for the transgression of Adam and Eve in the Garden which brought death into the world, and He would be the only one good enough, with powers enough, delegated to Him by His Father, and faith enough to take upon Himself the individual and aggregate sins of all mankind, past, present and future
That is where Jehovah’s role in mortality comes into play. He, as well as we, needed a physical body, and would continue to need it to fulfill the full measure of His creation, to do all that the Lord God had commanded Him to do, to become what the Father is and to inherit all that the Father has.
He, Jehovah, soon to be Christ Jesus, also needed to be fully tried, tested, proved and accepted by His Father in the flesh through obedience, sacrifice, service, sanctification and consecration of self to our Father’s higher cause,. before receiving all that the Father has, just as the rest of us are promised, if we will enter the new and everlasting covenant, keep its provisions and reach acceptance by our Father. At some future time we too may inherit all that Eloheim conferred upon His Only Begotten Son even Jehovah/Christ/Messiah.
Jehovah was to become and did become the Father’s Only Begotten Son in the flesh, thereby enabling Him (the Christ) with capacity to live forever inheriting it from His Father and capacity to die inheriting it from His mortal mother Mary.
He, too, had a choice to make as did Adam and Eve. He could fulfill the mission He had been called to perform or He could abort it. The same is true for all us as His brothers and sisters, we can fulfill the mission in life we have been called upon to do or we can abort it.
For forty centuries Jehovah had served as our Heavenly Father’s chief deputy from before the foundation of Planet Earth, through the planting of the Garden of Eden and furnishing it, through the Fall of Adam and Eve, Jehovah had led His covenant people, under the direction of Eloheim, come what may, using His chosen prophets Adam, Seth, Enos, Cainan, Mahalaleel, Jared, Enoch, Methuselah Lamech, Noah Shem, Eber, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, Moses and others.
At long last, God our Father, even Eloheim, concluded it was time for His first born spiritual son, Jehovah, to be enveloped in flesh, and time for Him to set the example for all mankind showing us how to live in a physical world, how to behave, treat one another and how to die as we depart this world, required for the privilege of returning home to Him.
All who would follow Him in every way could become heirs and joint heirs with Him, Christ Jesus, as the Apostle Paul taught. The Apostle Paul also taught: “For since man came death by man came also the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.”
From the days of Adam and Eve the Lord God has always worked through a covenant people, whom He termed His people with whom He had covenanted and through whom He would work to achieve His purposes, which are: “To being to pass the immortality and eternal life of man”
He referred to them as my People Israel, the name He had conferred upon Jacob, son of Isaac, son of Abraham with whom He had previously covenanted that through his (Abraham’s) posterity all the families of the earth would be and are to be blessed.
Over the centuries it had become clear that the Lord’s covenant people had two great enemies that they were powerless to conquer namely death and sin, death being the consequence of Adam and Eve’s action of partaking a fruit with seeds of physical life and death within them.
Separating us from our physical bodies separates us from our Heavenly Parents who do have physical bodies in which their spiritual bodies are housed. Sin separates our spiritual selves from our Heavenly Parents because our Heavenly Parents cannot look upon sin with any degree of allowance. Full and complete repentance is required if we are to be fully reconciled with Our Heavenly Parents. But we cannot fully repent until we embrace and fully comply with the provisions of His new and everlasting covenant
Adam and Eve knew about the new and everlasting covenant and the need for full and complete repentance.
In Enoch’s record we read that
“Because that Adam fell we are, and by his fall came death; and we are made partakers of misery and woe. Behold Satan hath come among the children of men, and tempted them to worship him; and men have become carnal, sensual and devilish, and are shut out from the presence of God.
“But God had made known unto our fathers that all men must repent. And he called upon our father Adam by his own voice saying, I am God; I made the world and men before they were in the flesh. And he also said unto him, If thou wilt turn unto me and hearken unto my voice, and believe and repent of all thy transgressions, and be baptized , even in water, in the name of mine Only Begotten Son, who is full of grace and truth, which is Jesus Christ, the only name which shall be given under heaven, whereby salvation shall come unto the children of men, ye shall receive the Holy Ghost, asking all things in his name, and whatsoever ye shall ask, it shall be given you
So how could these two great enemies, death and sin be overcome? By the most powerful warrior the world has ever known coming equipped with sword, shield and great physical strength? Many of the Lord’s covenant people thought so.
To their surprise Jehovah’s first appearance in the flesh was not as a powerful and great warrior who would subdue their enemies (death and sin). Instead, He came as a babe first seen wrapped in swaddling clothes lying in a manger.
He, when grown up, became a humble servant of the people. He used powers delegated to Him by His Father to heal the sick, cause the blind to see, the deaf to hear, the dumb to speak, the lame, and the bedridden, to walk, to leap and to run.
He came to reintroduce the higher law of obedience, sacrifice, sanctification, service and consecration of self to His Father’s higher cause, the law under which Abraham, Isaac and Jacob had lived, is best exemplified in His (Christ’s) Sermon on the Mount messages, and which, when lived, will qualify us to eventually inherit all that the Father has..
What woman would our Heavenly Father select to be the mortal mother of His Only Begotten Son in the flesh? What would her origins be and what would be her upbringing?
That brings us to Isaiah’s declaration
And shall call his name Immanuel
A Christmas Story of Christ Jesus and His Extended Family
Jesus, Mary, Joachim, Anna, Zacharias, Elizabeth and John
Joachim and Anna are the parents of Mary, and the grandparents of Jesus Christ, according to the Gospel of Mary, allegedly written by Mathew of Four Gospel Fame, according to James the Lesser Apostle and Bishop of Jerusalem and according to Eastern Orthodox sources.
These sources report that
Joachim was of the tribe of
Matthan had three daughters: Mary(1), Zoia, and Anna, making their respective children Salome, Elizabeth and Mary(2) first cousins [One wonders whether this Matthan is the same Matthan as the Matthan in Matthew’s Genealogy of Joseph, who was betrothed to Mary. If so, Mary and Joseph shared a common grandfather in Matthan, and. Mary and Joseph would thereby be first cousins, since Joseph was the son of Jacob the son of Matthan the priest, and this would make Jacob a brother to Mary (1), Zoia and Anna, and would make Joseph’s Genealogy, Mary’s and Jesus’s also. see Matt 1:15-16]
Mary(1) was married in
Joachim and Anna had been
married for fifty years and were
barren. They lived quietly and
unobtrusively. Joachim had made a
decision when he was but fifteen
years old to freely give a third of
his income to the
By the time Joachim married,
God had multiplied his flocks and
herds and, they as a couple were
well provided for, even rich. They
longed for a child but remained
childless into their old age. They
let the Lord know in their prayers
that it did not matter if the child
were a boy or a girl. Whatever the
result of conception, they would
dedicate him or her to the Lord,
they said, following a custom among
their people. This custom included
turning the child over to the
Presiding High Priest in the
They attended feasts,
festivals and sacrifices about three
times a year held on the
Joachim did not challenge the High Priest’s assessment of him as being unworthy to offer sacrifice to God, nor did he quarrel with his peers who thrust him back as being unworthy.
Instead he reviewed the
genealogical records of the tribes
They prayed together much for a child, having faith that the Lord God would answer them, even though they knew at their age it might require a miracle for Anna to conceive.
upset was Joachim that he left Anna
and their home in
Speaking with her maid Anna referred to herself as a barren widow. Joachim told his shepherds when they questioned him about his fasting, that fasting and prayer were his meat and drink.
In his petition before the
Lord, Joachim asked what he and Anna
had done wrong which had caused her
barrenness. They wanted to repent
and be forgiven so they could be in
the good graces of God again, be the
parents of a child in
An angel visited Joachim while he was with his sheep and shepherds and declared that he and Anna had done nothing wrong to cause her barrenness. Instead it was the Lord’s doing. He had been testing their faithfulness just as He had tested the faithfulness of Abraham and Sarah. He said Joachim’s prayer had been heard by the Lord, referred to himself as Gabriel and that he had come from the presence of God to answer Joachim’s prayer.
Among other things he reiterated to Joachim that Sarah had given birth to Isaac in her old age at a time set by the Lord, because Isaac was to be their (Abraham and Sarah’s) covenant son through whom all the families of the earth would be blessed, and He, the Lord God, wanted Abraham and Sarah to know that Isaac was a pure gift from Him, God, and not the result of the heat of passion between a man and a woman.
Further Gabriel reminded Joachim that the same was true for Rebekah, and for Rachel. Only after much prayer and fasting did Rachel conceive through Jacob. Joseph was the result. Joseph, later not only saved the house of Jacob/Israel from a famine of bread, he had also saved many nations from that same famine.
Thus Joseph was a special
child, a covenant child, through
whom many thousands of families of
And as Gabriel continued his messages to Joachim he declared that the Lord God had been testing him and Anna too, and that Anna had been barren all these years, because the Lord wanted them to know that their firstborn would also be a pure gift from Him, God, even a miracle, and not the result of the heat of passion between them.
Unlike Sarah, Rebekah and
Rachel, the pure gift from God to
Joachim and Anna would not be a male
as in Isaac, Jacob/Israel and
Joseph, their gift of a child would
be a female, a girl, who would grow
up to become the mother of the Son
of God, conceived through the Holy
Ghost, becoming God the Father’s
Only Begotten Son in the flesh here
on Planet Earth. After Gabriel
closed his declarations and messages
to Joachim he left him and appeared
to Anna at her home in
Gabriel shared with Anna essentially the same messages saying her prayers too had been heard, that he came to answer them, too and that she would conceive through her husband and that they were to name their girl child born to them, Mary.
that she should go to the golden
gate of the
So happy was she to hear the news they were going to have a child, and so happy was she to meet Joachim at the golden gate that when she did greet him there she “hung upon his neck” for a good while
Showing his faith in what Gabriel had told him, Joachim instructed his shepherds to make ready ten she-lambs without spot or blemish for the Lord, and the High Priests serving in the Temple, twelve calves without blemish or spot for the Priests and other Temple workers, and a hundred goats for the people at large who were coming to the festival. All of these animals were to be slaughtered and eaten at this grand sacrifice.
When the presiding High Priest saw all of this and had heard Joachim’s report of Gabriel’s visit, he declared there was no sin in Joachim and Anna, even though their promised child had not yet been born. They rejoiced and participated fully along with the rest of the festival goers and then returned home.
Reared in Righteousness
Anna conceived as promised and gave birth to a girl. They named her Mary as commanded of God through His angel Gabriel.
The cited sources report
Mary’s development from a baby,
saying she increased in strength
every day, to age three when she was
weaned and taken to the
There with mixed emotions
Joachim and Anna released her to the
care of the High Priests and other
They thought Mary might be
crushed at their departure. But
Joachim and Anna went away filled
with wonder and gratitude, and
praising God, because Mary did not
rush back to them as they thought
she might. Instead Mary left the
presence of her parents with her new
guardians from the
Among other things we are
told that Mary was visited by angels
there and on occasion was even fed
by them. (remember manna in the
wilderness). She was also taught to
sew and to perform other household
duties related to the
We learn she also became acquainted with the Holy of Holies and with the breastplate of judgment and other sacred things and places there.
When she and other virgins
her age working in the Temple
reached puberty and beyond, the
They were unanimous in a decision that Mary should marry, but to whom?
They agreed the new presiding High Priest Zacharias should go to the Holy of Holies and consult the Lord concerning the matter.
Zacharias “entered into the Holy of Holies, and taking away the breastplate of judgment made prayers concerning her (Mary)”
“And behold, the angel of the Lord came to him and said, Zacharias, Zacharias
Go forth and call together all the widowers among the people, and let every one of them bring his rod, and he by whom the Lord shall show a sign shall be the husband of Mary”
Joseph was among those who
responded to the Criers. He left his
home building business temporarily,
and with rod in hand reported to the
Zacharias received their rods
and went into the
“Behold a dove proceeded out of the rod and flew upon the head of Joseph.”
When Joseph was informed of
his selection he refused saying, “I
am an old man and have children, but
she is young, and I fear that I
shall appear ridiculous in
They upbraided him for his refusal. But afterwards Joseph consented, took Mary into his house and went to mind his trade of building.
While spinning a true purple
veil for the
“And behold the angel of the Lord stood by her and said, Fear not Mary for thou has found favour with God; which when she heard, she reasoned within herself what that sort of salutation meant.
“And the angel said unto her, The Lord is with thee, and thou shalt conceive’ to which she replied, What! Shall I conceive by the living God, and bring forth as other women do?
“But the angel returned answer, Not so, O Mary, but the Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Most High shall overshadow thee;
“Wherefore that which shall be born of thee shall be holy, and shall be called the Son of the Living God, and thou shalt call his name Jesus; for he shall save his people from their sins.
“And thy cousin Elizabeth, she also hath conceived a son in her old age. And this now is the sixth month with her, who was called barren; for nothing is impossible with God.
“And Mary said, behold the handmaid of the Lord, let it be unto me according to thy word.
When she finished her true purple veil assignment Mary took it to the high priest, Samuel, and probably told him of the angel’s visit with her and what he had said.
A few months before, Samuel
had taken an high priest’s place,
“until the dumb Zacharias spoke
again.” This is consonant with what
happened to the father of John the
Baptist named Zacharias who was
struck dumb until his and
In response to what Mary has said to Samuel, this high priest blessed her, saying
“Mary, the Lord God hath
magnified thy name, and thou shalt
be blessed in all the ages of the
world. Then Mary filled with joy,
went away to her cousin Elizabeth,
and knocked at the door, Which when
“Whence is this to me that the mother of my Lord should come unto me? For lo! As soon as the voice of thy salutation reached my ears, that which is in me leaped and blessed thee.
“But Mary, being ignorant of all those mysterious things which the archangel Gabriel had spoken to her, lifted up her eyes to heaven and said, Lord! What am I that all the generations of the earth shall call me blessed?
“But perceiving herself,
daily to grow big, and being afraid,
she went home and hid herself from
the children of
During Mary’s sixth month Joseph returned home from building houses, which was his trade, and entered his own house. He found Mary had grown big. He lamented her condition which was embarrassing to him. What would people think?
They will think I am responsible for her being big and I am not. How could she do this to me, being big by some other man, this young woman having been in the presence of angels, fed by them and aware of the sacred nature of the Temple and all that takes place there, a place where she had been reared. How awful is my situation, thought Joseph.
“What therefore shall I do? I will privately dismiss her” said Joseph to himself
“Then the night was come upon him, when an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, “Be not afraid to take that young woman, for that which is within her of the Holy Ghost; And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name Jesus, for he shall save his people from their sins.
“Then Joseph arose from his sleep, and glorified the God of Israel who had shown him such favour, and preserved the Virgin”(Mary)
But Joseph and Mary’s troubles were not over. Joseph was accused of sleeping with her before marrying her or before getting the approval of the Elders of Israel for marriage,. if they were married.
Annas the scribe had visited Joseph and Mary unexpectedly and reported to the Elders he has seen with his own eyes that Mary had grown big with child. They suspected she conceived by way of fornication or marriage without authority. A trial was held. Both Joseph and Mary were accused of doing something they did not do, to which Mary responded “with a flood of tears she answered, As the Lord my God liveth, I am innocent in his sight, seeing I know no man.”
Joseph likewise denied he was the father of the child about to emerge from Mary’s womb. Joseph was put through a procedure designed to determine his innocence. He was found innocent and the two of them were let go.
“Then Joseph took Mary and went to his house, rejoicing and praising the God of Israel.
As reported in the Protevangelion
to James the Lesser, Apostle and
: “And it came to pass,
that there went forth a decree from
Emperor Augustus that all of the
Jews should be taxed, who were in
Bethlehem in Judaea: And Joseph
said, I will take care that my
children be taxed; but what shall I
do with the young woman? To have her
taxed as my wife I am ashamed; and
if I tax her as my daughter, all
“And he saddled his ass, and
put her upon it, and Joseph and
Simon (one of Joseph’s sons)
followed after her, and arrived at
“And Mary replied to him, I see two people with mine eyes, the one weeping and mourning, and the other laughing and rejoicing.
[Given the birth pains women feel as the time approaches, perhaps Mary wept and mourned as the birth pains increased and laughed and rejoiced when the pains subsided and she thought of what was about to happen]
“And he went again across the way, and Mary said to Joseph, Take me down from the ass, for that which is in me presses to come forth. But Joseph replied Whither shall I take thee? For the place is desert. Then said Mary again to Joseph, take me down, for that which is within me mightily presses me.
“And Joseph took her down. And he found there a cave, and let her into it.
“And leaving her and his ass
in the cave, Joseph went forth to
seek a Hebrew midwife in the
“Then I beheld a woman coming down from the mountain, and she said unto me, ‘Where art thou going O man?’ And I said unto her, ‘I go to inquire for a Hebrew midwife.’ She replied to me, ‘where is the woman that is to be delivered?’ And I answered: ‘In the cave, and she is betrothed to me. Then said the midwife: ‘Is she not thy wife?’ Joseph answered,: ‘It is Mary who was educated in the Holy of Holies, in the house of the Lord, and she fell to my lot, and is not my wife, but has conceived by the Holy Ghost.’ The midwife said ‘Is this true?’ He answered, ‘Come and see.’
“And the midwife went
along with him, and stood in the
cave. Then a bright cloud
overshadowed the cave, and the
midwife said: ‘This day my soul is
magnified, for mine eyes had seen
surprising things, and salvation is
brought forth to
“But on a sudden the cloud became a great light in the cave, so that their eyes could not bear it. But the light gradually decreased, until the infant appeared and sucked the breast of his mother Mary.
“Then the midwife cried out and said, ‘How glorious a day is this, wherein mine eyes have seen this extraordinary sight! And the midwife went out from the cave and Salome met her. And the midwife said to her: ‘Salome, Salome, I will tell you a most surprising thing which I saw. A virgin has brought forth, which is contrary to nature.’
“To which Salome replied, ‘As the Lord my God liveth, unless I receive particular proof of this matter, I will not believe that a virgin has brought forth.’ Then Salome (Mary’s first cousin) went in and the midwife said, ‘Mary, shew thy self, for a great controversy is arisen concerning you.’ And Salome received satisfaction.”
The events surrounding the birth of Jesus in the cave, the cloud formations, the animals seemingly frozen in time and place, the great light that enveloped the cave and the experiences of the midwife and of Salome were just some of the things going on just prior to and after Jesus birth.
As Joseph and Mary prepared
to leave the cave, they learned of a
great disorder in
“Then they say unto him: ‘In
“And having sent away the chief priests, he inquired of the wise men in the town hall, and said unto them, ’What sign was it ye saw concerning the king that is born?’ They answered him We saw an extraordinary large star shining among the stars of heaven, and so outshined all the others, as that they became not visible, and we knew thereby that a great king was born in Israel, and therefore we are come to worship him.’
“Then Herod said to them, ‘Go and make diligent inquiry; and if ye find the child, bring me word again, that I may came and worship him also.’”
“So the wise men went forth,
and behold, the star which they saw
in the east went before them, till
it came and stood over the cave
where the young child was with Mary
his mother. Then they brought forth
out their treasures and offered unto
him gold and frankincense and myrrh.
And being warned in a dream by an
angel that they should not return to
“Then Herod perceiving that
he was mocked by the wise men, and
being very angry, commanded certain
men to go and kill all the children
that were in
“ Elizabeth also hearing that
her son John was about to be
searched for, took him and went up
unto the mountains and looked for a
place to hide him; and there was no
place to be found. Then she groaned
within herself, and said, O mountain
of the Lord, receive the mother with
the child, For
“But Herod made search after John and sent servants to Zacharias when he was (ministering) at the altar and said, Where hast thou hid thy son? He replied to them
I am a
minister of God, and a servant at
the altar; how should I know where
my son is? So the servants went back
and told Herod the whole at which he
was incensed, and said, Is not this
son of his like to be a king in
“He sent therefore again his
servants to Zacharias saying, Tell
us the truth, where is thy son, for
you know that your life is in my
hand. So the servants went and told
him all this. But Zacharias replied
to them, I am a martyr for God, and
if ye shed my blood, the Lord will
receive my soul. Besides know that
ye shed innocent blood. However
Zacharias was murdered in the
entrance of the temple and altar
about the partition, But the
“And they went away, and told
the people that Zacharias was
murdered, and all the tribes of
Other apocryphal records
continue the story of Jesus as Mary
and Joseph returned from
In 1830 twenty five year old Joseph Smith added two verses to the King James Version of Matthews’s account of Jesus birth:
“And it came to pass that Jesus grew up with his brethren, and waxed strong, and waited upon the Lord, for the time of his ministry to come. And he served under his father, [[Joseph being not only a carpenter, but a builder of houses knew well the consequences of houses being built upon rock rather than sand]] and he (Jesus) spake not as other men, neither could he be taught, for he needed not that any man should teach him. And after many years the hour of his ministry drew nigh”
The record of Christ’s
ministry, of His taking upon Himself
the sins of all mankind while in the
His testimony and that of His prophets, is that He will come again, not as a babe cradled in a manger but as the King of Kings and Lord of Lords, as the Mighty God, the Everlasting Father, and as the Prince of Peace as Isaiah foretold. It is an event yet to come.
His mother Mary lived out her
life under the tender care of John,
Christ’s beloved Apostle. Mary’s
history and mission, like her son
Jesus,’ is unique in all human
history. No other woman besides
her has conceived by and through
the Holy Ghost and has brought
forth a son like hers, the Only
Begotten Son of God in the flesh. As
Zachariah, he died as a martyr in
the Lord’s cause while serving in
His Temple. Of
John likely grew up in the desert wilderness as implied in these verses: “John was clothed with camel’s hair and with a girdle of a skin about his loins and he did eat locusts and wild honey.”
Just as Zachariah died as a marytr at the hands of Herod the king, so did his son John die as a martyr at the hands of Herod, the son of King Herod who had John beheaded.
The good news is that John the Baptist (with his head intact) was resurrected and has returned to earth in our day to confer the priesthood of Aaron upon Joseph Smith, a Priesthood which holds “the keys of the ministering of angels, and of the gospel of repentance and of baptism by immersion for the remission of sins, and this shall never again be taken from the earth, until the sons of Levi do offer again an offering unto the Lord in righteousness”
And the best of the good news is that the resurrected, ascended, accepted of the Father, Jehovah/Christ is now exalted as Messiah, and it is He, Messiah, whom Eloheim will send to usher in the Millennium, as King of Kings and Lord of Lords to rule and reign over the house of Israel forever, and over all of Planet Earth. He will judge its people in behalf of His and our Heavenly Father.
He will also return to earth as our brother, our friend, our counselor, our confidant, as well as our Lord and our God.
Norman L Heap
1. King James Version of the Bible (KJV)
2. Masoretic Text of the Holy Scriptures (MT)
Joseph Smith Translation of the Holy
Scriptures, a part of the Church of
JESUS CHRIST of Latter-day Saint
scriptures known as the Pearl of
Great Price. References therein are
from modifications to KJVGenesis
which are titled (
Book of Abraham translated by Joseph
Smith, believed to be part of
Abraham’s autobiography now
contained in the Pearl of Great
Price see # 3 above (
5. Selections from the Doctrine and Covenants of the Church of JESUS CHRIST of Latter-day Saints (D&C)
6 Quotations and paraphrases from The Gospel of Mary and the Protevangelion, published as part of The Lost Books of the Bible initially translated into many languages before 1880 when it was translated into English and then published in 1926 by the World Book Company
7. Important observations made by Richard F Taylor, long time personal friend and associate of the writer, have made their away into this text. Rick’s help is gratefully acknowledged.
8. Final Note: The writer believes that James, Apostle and Bishop of Jerusalem, was the younger biological brother of Jesus through Mary and Joseph, or James was Jesus’ older step brother through Joseph and his deceased first wife. Either way Jesus and James were brothers in the same blended family, domiciled with Joseph and Mary as parents.
These parents likely shared with James considerable detail about grandparents Joachim and Anna’s, long desire for a child, of their experiences on the Jerusalem Temple grounds, of the answers to their prayers, of their interactions with angels and what their messages were, about their mother Mary’s upbringing in the Temple, of Mary’s interactions with angels just prior to her conception through the Holy Ghost and just after giving birth to God’s Only Begotten Son in the flesh and their messages.
Since the Temple was the place where Joseph was chosen as the man to be espoused to Mary, and it was Zacharias serving as the presiding high priest who selected him, Joseph, for that role, James later likely learned from his father in the flesh, Joseph, Cousin Elizabeth and her husband, Zacharias and their interactions with angels and their messages, happening just prior to and after Elizabeth’s conception and giving birth to John.
All of these interrelationships add credibility to James’ report as contained in his Historical Account of the Birth of Christ.
In his eighty-sixth year of life on earth the writer takes word processor in hand to summarize where we came from, why we are here and where we are going after we die, if we follow the plans our Heavenly Parents have for us. He is the writer/author of a seven book series, covering the Lord God’s covenant people from the days of Adam and Eve to the onset of the Millennium.
His intent is to remind us of the critical role Jehovah/Christ/Messiah played and continues to play in our Heavenly Parents’ plans for us, after we die. and the essential roles Mary, Christ/Jesus’ earthly mother, His earthly stepfather Joseph, His grandfather Joachim, His grandmother Anna, His Cousin Elizabeth and her husband Zacharias and their son John, played in implementing our Heavenly Parents plans for us.
The writer is a retired
professional educator having
served as Vice President of two
Adam, Enoch and Noah ISBN 0-945905-01-7
Abraham, Isaac and Jacob ISBN 0-945905-02-5
The Twelve Sons of
Moses Aaron and Joshua ISBN 0-945905-05-X
The Scattering of
The Redeemer of
The Gathering, Perfection
and Redemption of
Available through Amazon.com and others
Joseph Smith D&C 130:22-23
 Joseph Smith, D & C 131:6-8
The writer believes that while we were in our Heavenly Parents’ spiritual sphere we were taught and learned to master, or control, finer and purer spiritual elements. These spiritual elements form spiritual building blocks we needed to qualify for our move into mortality.
 April 1950 Conference Report Improvement Era
 See writer’s book the Redeemer of Israel p xxxii – xlix ISBN 0-945905-07-6
 KJV I Corinthians
 The Gospel of the Birth of Mary Chapters I-VIII, p 17-24, The Protevangelion An Historical Account ot the Birth of Christ Chapters I-XVI, p 24-37. from The Lost Books of the Bible World Publishing Company
 The Protevangelion IX:7-17
 ibid IX:18-23
 ibid X:1-20
 ibid XI:1-22
 ibid XXII 1-14; XXIII:1-10, XIV:1-31
 ibid XV:1-11
 ibid XVI:1-28
 KJV Mark 1L4-6
 Joseph Smith D&C 13:1