Role Models From the Early Life of Christ

I drafted this chart based on some of our discussion in Sunday School today.  We studied the birth and early life of Jesus Christ (mostly from Luke 2), and found basic patterns in the lives of those involved in that period, setting clear themes and models for us to follow in our own devotion to the Lord:

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Worshipping Through Prayer, Singing, and Fasting

One topic to which my eye was drawn during a study of the Book of Mormon was how exactly God wants to be worshipped.  As Latter-day Saints, we often say that lives of steady, regular devotion to righteousness and service constitute the ultimate worship, which is all fine and good–no problem there–but in light of the examples set by prophets in the scriptures, it seems incomplete.  Consider:

1 Nephi 1:14-15: Lehi exclaims to God how great God’s power and plan are

1 Nephi 18:16: Prolonged praise and suppression of desire to murmur (see also Ether 6:9)

2 Nephi 4:30-35: Proclaim trust in God while pleading (with firm faith) for help

2 Nephi 9: 8,9,13,17,19,20: Extol the virtues of God

Mosiah 2:3-4: Mosaic sacrifices and offerings explicitly linked with showing gratitude (see also verse 20)

Mosiah 18:30: Praises to be sung to God

Alma 26:8: Again, singing laudatory praises of gratitude

Alma 45:1: Fasting and prayer mentioned in conjunction with grateful worship

3 Nephi 4:31: Again, singing laudatory praises of gratitude (see also Mormon 7:7)

And those eleven citations are just a sampling of what the Book of Mormon shows in its narrative about the nature of worship.  This may be something that we could benefit to learn from our Evangelical friends: while the kind of demonstrative emotion shown in much of their public worship might strike us as overly ecstatic to the point of being irreverent, our own scriptures surely show that it does have a proper place.  I offer three suggestions–which I’ve practiced myself–to try integrating into our own worhsip, and see if they don’t invite the Spirit:

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