Zacharias and Elizabeth were:
* very righteous; had great faith and endurance in prayer
* in tune with the Lord and accepted the will of the Lord
* They knew the story of Abraham and Sarah - it was possible to have a child and elderly people
Why were they chosen?
* According to Talmage, had it worked out, Zacharias would have been High Priest
* Alma 13:3-4 - they chose the good; they had soft hearts
* Matt 20 - many are called, but few are chosen.
Are we missing out on foreordained callings because we don't choose the better part? Or because our hearts are hardened?
Annunciation to Mary
How do we know if we've found favor with God?
* We don't have angels visiting us to tell us - how do we find validation?
* Mary did not doubt; she asked how it would be done
After the annunciation, Zacharias and Elizabeth reflected much and sanctified themselves.
Why chose a barren woman?
Our righteous desires will be fulfilled
Why chose an espoused woman?
The Lord comes into our lives at precise times.
What happened in their lives can happen our ours - our righteous prayers will be answered. God will come into our lives at precise times.
Multiple witnesses - Angels bare witness; Mary witnesses to Elizabeth and Joseph
* Angel appears to him in a dream
* He did as the angel bade him
* When he did as the angel bade him, by naming his son John, his tongue was loosed and he prophesied.
* Sent his son with his wife into the wilderness when Herod made his edict to kill all children. He was slain protecting the knowledge of their location.
This last bit of infomaton was new to me. I never knew that about Zacharias. This is from Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith:
"Let us come into New Testament times--so many are ever praising the Lord and His apostles. We will commence with John the Baptist. When Herod's edict went forth to destroy the young children, John was about six months older than Jesus, and came under this hellish edict, and Zacharias caused his mother to take him into the mountains, where he was raised on locusts and wild honey. When his father refused to disclose his hiding place, and being the officiating high priest at the Temple that year, was slain by Herod's order, between the porch and the altar, as Jesus said. John's head was taken to Herod, the son of this infant murderer, in a charger--notwithstanding there was never a greater prophet born of a woman than him!" Section Five 1842-43, p.261