A few months ago I had the privilege of hearing you speak. I was moved by your insights into the Savior and took copious notes as you spoke. You talked about how Michelangelo signed his work and you had us imagine the Savior writing His name across our Heart, transforming us.
You told us, "God doesn't want us to stay how we are, He wants us to become Heavenly." You talked about a person you know or rather someone we all know who has at one point or another said, "God loves me just the way I am" when trying to justify their choices. I have heard it before; it rang true to my experiences. But then you made the beautiful illustration of a young child who hasn't learned everything yet. We love them just the way they are. You then said , "Of course He does (love me just the way I am), but it doesn't mean He doesn't want you to learn to talk and learn to read. We can be so thankful that God loves us enough to not leave us like this."
You went on to say that we are His work and His Glory, so on days when we don't feel so queenly, when we feel far from that, remember He is not done with us yet.
Your presentation was beautiful, insightful, and touching. You spoke about many of Christ's names, but you said something rather flippantly about one of Christ's names that caused my heart to suddenly hurt. I was surprised by my response, because I had never considered the impressions the Spirit was teaching my soul and am thus penning this letter. As you were naming some of Christ's names and talking about how beautiful and meaningful they were, you stopped and said that you didn't feel like the title the "carpenter's son" was worthy enough of Christ. Now compared to some of His other names I can see where someone would feel that way, but suddenly at that moment, and on throughout that day and months, I knew something different.
Perhaps it's because I am an adoptive parent and I have watched my husband love our adopted sons and daughter in the same beautiful and tender ways as our biological daughters. I know Christ knew who his "real" father was, but when Christ was a young baby, was Joseph not the tender parent who helped during those sleepless nights? Now I'm sure you might say, that in that time it was customary for the woman to only care for the children, but I don't see a man who would protect, love, and marry Mary in her pregnant state as someone who would not be tenderly involved in the development of their son.
For Christ was also Joseph's son.
Joseph must have been there for His first steps, His first words... did Christ say "dada" first, like all my children, in reference to Joseph, his father. Joseph must have participated in the potty training, or teaching Christ how to read and write. We know he taught Christ his trade as a carpenter. Now I don't say these things to disparage God's role in Jesus' development, because I know that He was present, but I don't think we consider all that Joseph did for Christ and the love he must have had for his adopted son.
I look at my husband as he tenderly holds the biological child of another father; cherishing, loving, and protecting with his own life if necessary. I watch as he reads to them every night when there are hundreds of other things he could do with this time. I see him devote all that he has and is to children who do not have his blood running through their veins. His sacrifice and love is no different than Joseph's.
Being a carpenter was looked down on, being Joseph's son was viewed as a disadvantage or viewed as an unworthy title as you said in your presentation. However Christ loved the lowly, he preached and succored the poor and meek. He must have learned not only from his Heavenly Father, but his earthly father to treat those down trodden with love and respect. He must have watched Joseph care for others using his carpentry skills to bless their lives. This humble beginning was part of His path as Savior of the world. It teaches invaluable lessons about who we are and how we should treat those who lead and serve.
I see these same things in my husband and our children. He knows he is not their biological father and it doesn't matter, he loves them. They love and respect him. Joseph must have loved Christ and I know Christ loved and respected him. So the next time that you think upon this title, I hope you will reconsider the meaning of the "Carpenter's son" and find great worth and love in all that it represents. I know I am just beginning to understand it myself.