1. Wow! How very neat.

    It’s interesting, we just had a youth fireside at the bishop’s house where the subject was the nativity, and that same question of who the sheperds were was asked, to which bishop pretty much responded that there must have been something special about them for them to have heard it out of all the others.

    Special indeed, if that commentator is right!

  2. Jim White

    Loved it. Great article. I shared with my family too. Keep up the great work! Merry Christmas and Hosanna to the Highest!

  3. Bryan Hansen

    I don’t know if this is true or not, but it is interesting and does make sense. Incidentally there is LDS mythology that some of the wise men were Nephites. I do not konw what I think about that idea either. There is a book about translated beings, etc. which discusses this idea as the specific Nephites were translated beings.

  4. Chris - Oregon

    Wow! Very interesting! It really makes a lot of sense. I shared this with my family members, who were equally as impressed. Great research! We loved it! Merry Christmas!

  5. I believe its Bruce R. McConkie’s “The Mortal Messiah” Vol 1, where he says this same thing about the shepherds. Now perhaps he was just reading other sources like those you quoted, but he did write and publish while an Apostle. So I definitely think that adds some weight to the idea within LDS theology. And it makes a lot of sense. If its not true, then there must’ve been something else that was special about these shepherds.

    Bryan Hansen mentions the identity of the “wise men.” From what studying I’ve done, I think its far more likely that they were mortals, like the shepherds, but also very special in their beliefs and role. There are several options, but one very likely one is that they were Bedouin tribal leaders, or other Arab, Median, or Persian leaders. As such they might have been of the same Abrahamic tradition as Jethro, holding Priesthood and knowing of the prophecies of the coming Messiah.

  6. Frederick Smith

    Possibly the most important component of the shepherd’s visit to the Christ child is that these men were the designated witness as to who could be a sacrifice in Israel. They were the ones trusted to verify that the sacrifice was a first born male without blemish.

  7. JL

    Bryce, in his trilogy, The Kingdom and the Crown, Gerald Lund uses the shepherds’ experience to lay the foundation of believers who decades later are watching and waiting for the Messiah’s mission to begin. It brought clarity to why these shepherds received the visitation, and pointed out that there were witnesses of his birth who recognized Him in His ministry.

  8. So in essence what the commentator is saying is that the Levites and those who held the priesthood authority to over see the Temple and its rites received the revelation of the birth of the messiah? Very interesting observation

  9. Sarah

    From The East: A Book of Mormon Perspective on The Three Wise Men by Jeffrey Holt is a very interesting read. If you are looking for theories on the identity of the Wise men. Once again the Lord does not do anything if not symbolically. And if you are going to send someone to teach the Messiah aren’t you going to be very careful who you choose?

  10. Frederick Smith

    Another sign was that Jesus was a first born son and male lambs that were first born without blemish would be sacrificed at the annual passover for the sin offering in the temple. These shepherds were the only ones authorized to say which lambs were worthy of such an offering. They were the authorized witnesses that Jesus is the Lamb of God, the only worthy sacrifice for the sins of the world and of mankind. The wisemen came much later to the party to bear witnesses that Jesus is the Christ, the King.

  11. Nel

    This type of study is all new to me. I am astounded by the proposed “background check” of the shepherds. If this is an accurate account regarding the shepherds it is certainly most interesting. It makes sense they would be of highest herding ranking if the sheep they cared for were of ultimate breeding. It would be refreshing to know our Saviour was born in a clean, well cared for stable. However, a cow, and other animals would not be present. Perhaps the donkey due to the ride from Jerusalem and later the camels of the kings.

  12. Gloria Kieler

    Lifting the shepherds to some special class takes away from the fact that the LORD comes to all of us from the lowest to the highest. The shepherds had the most humbles jobs yet were chosen to be the first to be told of God’s great gift

  13. Corey

    While I know I am years late to this discussion, I would like to challenge the idea that Christ was born in the Migdal Edar. Specifically, wouldn’t the blood shed in giving birth have made the tower ritually unclean according to Leviticus and Jewish law? Would that even have been allowed?

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