There is no particular order to the women I choose each week. Every week I have chosen someone totally at random! Today I am thinking of one of the MOST important women in all of history: the mother of Jesus Christ.
Foreordained to bear the Son of God, Mary was chosen to fulfill the role of Jesus’ mother in His mortal mission to bring about the monumental, fundamental, and pivotal purpose of the Plan of Salvation: the Atonement. Nephi saw Mary’s great mission in vision six hundred years before the birth of Christ in 1 Nephi 11
And it came to pass that I looked and beheld the great city of Jerusalem, and also other cities. And I beheld the city of Nazareth; and in the city of aNazareth I beheld a bvirgin, and she was exceedingly fair and white. And it came to pass that I saw the aheavens open; and an angel came down and stood before me; and he said unto me: Nephi, what beholdest thou? And I said unto him: A virgin, most beautiful and fair above all other virgins. And he said unto me: Knowest thou the acondescension of God? And I said unto him: I know that he loveth his children; nevertheless, I do not know the meaning of all things. And he said unto me: Behold, the avirgin whom thou seest is the bmother of the Son of God, after the manner of the flesh. And it came to pass that I beheld that she was carried away in the Spirit; and after she had been carried away in the aSpirit for the space of a time the angel spake unto me, saying: Look! And I looked and beheld the virgin again, bearing a achild in her arms. And the angel said unto me: Behold the aLamb of God, yea, even the bSon of the Eternal cFather! Knowest thou the meaning of the dtree which thy father saw? And I answered him, saying: Yea, it is the alove of God, which bsheddeth itself abroad in the hearts of the children of men; wherefore, it is the cmost desirable above all things.
It was CRUCIAL that Jesus condescend to take upon himself flesh that He would fulfill His mission to the fullest. The prophets of the Book of Mormon foretold of His purpose for becoming mortal and what it would mean to us. In each prophecy, Mary is mentioned by name as the mother of the Son of God – the chosen vessel that who would fulfill this infinitely important mission:
And behold, he shall be aborn of Mary, at bJerusalem which is the cland of our forefathers, she being a dvirgin, a precious and chosen vessel, who shall be overshadowed and econceive by the power of the Holy Ghost, and bring forth a son, yea, even the Son of God. And he shall go forth, suffering pains and aafflictions and btemptations of every kind; and this that the word might be fulfilled which saith he will ctake upon him the pains and the sicknesses of his people. And he will take upon him adeath, that he may bloose the bands of death which bind his people; and he will take upon him their infirmities, that his bowels may be filled with mercy, according to the flesh, that he may know according to the flesh how to csuccor his people according to their infirmities. Now the Spirit aknoweth all things; nevertheless the Son of God suffereth according to the bflesh that he might ctake upon him the sins of his people, that he might blot out their transgressions according to the power of his deliverance; and now behold, this is the testimony which is in me” (Alma 7:10-13; 83 B.C.).
“For behold, the time cometh, and is not far distant, that with power, the aLord bOmnipotent who creigneth, who was, and is from all deternity to all eternity, shall come down from heaven among the children of men, and shall dwell in a etabernacle of clay, and shall go forth amongst men, working mighty fmiracles, such as healing the sick, raising the dead, causing the lame to walk, the gblind to receive their sight, and the deaf to hear, and curing all manner of diseases. And he shall cast out adevils, or the bevil spirits which dwell in the hearts of the children of men. And lo, he shall asuffer btemptations, and pain of body, chunger, thirst, and fatigue, even more than man can dsuffer, except it be unto death; for behold, eblood cometh from every pore, so great shall be his fanguish for the wickedness and the abominations of his people. And he shall be called aJesus bChrist, the cSon of God, the dFather of heaven and earth, the eCreator of all things from the beginning; and his fmother shall be called Mary” (Mosiah 3:5-8; 124 B.C.).
Mary, who was addressed by an angel of God as “highly favored” and “blessed…among women” (Luke 1:28) and when the angel explained her mission, her response showed immense faith: “Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it unto me according to thy word” (Luke 1:38) despite knowing that she might be condemned in her culture for conceiving before marriage. She understood the magnitude of her mission and what it would mean to her people. She said,
My soul doth bmagnify the Lord, And my spirit hath arejoiced in God my bSaviour. For he hath regarded the low estate of his ahandmaiden: for, behold, from henceforth all generations shall call me bblessed. For he that is mighty hath done to me great athings; and bholy is his name. And his mercy is on them that fear him from generation to generation. He hath shewed strength with his arm; he hath scattered the aproud in the imagination of their hearts. He hath put down the mighty from their seats, and exalted them of alow degree. He hath filled the hungry with good things; and the rich he hath sent empty away. He hath aholpen his servant Israel, in remembrance of his mercy” (Luke 1:46-54).
Mary understood that her mission was to bring about the prophecy of the condescension of Jehovah to bring about the salvation of her people – and the world. Although Mary and Joseph were technically of the lineage of David – king of Israel, Mary considered herself of “low estate” and acknowledged the strength and mercy of God in her mission. She was humble and submissive, and accepted her important mission to give glory to God.