Friday Forum: John 12:46: “I am come a light into the world” : Happy Hannukah

discuss: John 12:46

I am come a light into the world, that whosoever believeth on me should not abide in darkness.

Hannukah 2008

Jie Jie and I  ( Jie Jie is the girl in the middle, with glasses, my dark head is leaning over her), lighting our family’s menorah at the messanic synagogue last year.

Tonight at sundown, the Benson household will begin the “Eights Days of Hanukkah” celebration.

We will say,

“Blessed are you, LORD, our GOD, sovereign of the universe

WHO has sanctified us with HIS commandments and commanded us

to light the lights of Hanukkah. Amen

and then on the first night only:

Blessed  are you, LORD, our GOD, sovereign of the universe

who has kept us alive, sustained, and enabled us to reach this season. Amen

We will light the shamus, or helper candle, the central candle of the Menorah.  With the shamus we will light the other candle(s).  Christ is the  symbol of the shamus. HE is the light of the world ; we look to. As HE shares HIS light with us, we in turn share it with the world.

Let your light shine for all. Happy Hanukkah!

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About JA Benson

Joanna entered the world as a BYU baby. Continuing family tradition, she graduated BYU with a degree in Elementary Education and taught for several years. Growing up in Salt Lake County, her favorite childhood hobbies were visiting cemeteries and eavesdropping on adult conversations. Her ancestral DNA is multi-ethnic and she is Mormon pioneer stock on every familial line. Joanna resides in the Southeastern USA with her five children ranging in age from 8 to 24. Her husband passed away in 2009. She is an avid reader and a student of history. Her current intellectual obsession is Sephardic Jewish history, influence and genealogy. She served as a board member for her local chapter of Families with Children from China. She is the author of “DNA Mormons?” Summer Sunstone 2007 http://www.bycommonconsent.com/2007/04/dna-mormons/ and “Becoming Hong Mei`s Mother” in the Winter Sunstone 2009 http://theredbrickstore.com/sunstone/becoming-hong-meis-mother/.

12 thoughts on “Friday Forum: John 12:46: “I am come a light into the world” : Happy Hannukah

  1. I love Hannukah and I love the fusion of the tribes of Judah/Benjamin and Ephraim/Manasah that take place in Mormonism. I just wish that Passover or another Jewish holiday took place in December. I think the gentile world’s celebration of Christmas has taken a relatively obscure event (which is not in the Torah) and magnified its importance way beyond what it would/should be in traditional Judaism. Do you agree, Joanna?

  2. Yeah, but I love Christmas. The Jewish holidays in the Fall are like Christmas is for us. You are right Hanukkah is a minor holiday in Judaism. I think we LDS are a kind of Messianic Jew without the celebrations and rituals. I love celebrations and rituals. so I vote to reinstate the Jewish holidays.

    In our family we took away 12 days of Christmas and replaced it with 8 days of Hanukkah. It is doable. We have a small Hanukkah bush (tree) with blue lights and stars and the menorah. We eat jelly donuts ( I betcha didn’t know jelly donuts were Hanukkah food), pomegranates, the number of seeds is 613, which represents the laws of the Torah. We tell the story of the Maccabees. We are going to watch “Fiddler on the Roof” this year.

  3. I had a mission companion who loved the scripture D&C 88:49 “The light shineth in darkness, and the darkness comprehendeth it not; nevertheless, the day shall come when you shall comprehend even God, being quickened in him and by him.” The Light is Christ and that is apparent from other times that phrase is used in the D&C. In light of this post I couldn’t help but think about how many among the Jews and at times the Nephites did not understand what the law was pointing to but in time all will know.

  4. Ok, this sounds like so much fun. When I get my act together, we will do this. Not this year, I just managed to get the Halloween stuff (all two of it) down on Monday. So behind the times this holiday.

  5. Oh dear! Oh dear! Oh dear! I suppose Geoff you tell little kids there is no Rudolf the Red nosed Reindeer.

    Well as always, the Jews are a complicated and God works with imperfect dysfunctional beings. It is a wonder God gets anything done.

    I have embraced my Jewish ancestors, as I do not have to be buttoned down or rational anymore, after all I am not English.

  6. My daughter is in the MTC. I made her a Hanukkah celebration that revolves around the light of the restoration.

    I sent her a paper menorah to put up. The shamash is labelled “Light of the Restoration”. Each day she opens an envelope with a different theme of the restoration. For example, the first day is “The First Vision”. The envelope for this day contains a paper candle labelled “The 1st Vision” and readings about the first vision. The readings are approved materials for missionaries, such as Preach My Gospel, the scriptures, conference addresses, etc. Then there is a section on “Missionary Application and Personal Dedication”. After all Hanukkah is the festival of dedication. On the first day the reader is asked to “consider your testimony. What should you be doing to strengthen it? What do you need to do to better maintain it? How can you best share it?”

    The candles are:
    1. The First Vision
    2. The Book of Mormon
    3. Restoration of the Priesthood
    4. Restoration of Christ’s Church
    5. The Creation
    6. The Fall
    7. The Atonement
    8. The Temple Ordinances

    Of course there are gifts. And we’ve sent enough for her whole district. The first day they will get the traditional dredels and gelt. I was concerned that they get presents that wouldn’t be a problem to transport to their mission and would be semi-useful to missionaries. One day is blank cards on a ring for vocabulary words. The last day is Plan of Salvation cut-outs.

    I also sent a tiny Hanukkah bush with silver and blue ornaments and a star of David on top.

  7. Floyd the Wonderdog- What a beautiful thing you did. May we borrow your idea for next year? May I ask where you got the Star of David for the top of the tree? I looked for that all over the internet and did not find one. Jie Jie made a lovely blue and silver angel out of sparkly pipe cleaners. It came out very nicely.

    Geoff- I am sorry I need to remember to emoicon (?) my comments. :) I hope you understand I am sarcastic and a tease. I know you do not know a lot of the time I am not completely serious. My mistake.

    As for the article, it is interesting how we human beings have a tendency to white wash history. This tendency can be also a LDS one too.

  8. Floyd, I love that, too. We are lighting the candles and saying the blessings in Hebrew this year, to go along with the Hebrew class we are taking. I would love to keep up the tradition and especially to link it with the Restoration as you have done. Would you share your scripture references with me?
    bored.in.vernal at gmail

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