December 30


The Fifth Day of Christmas

By Tresta Neil

Called to Learn

Everyone’s favorite is, “Five Gold Rings!” Why are gold rings so popular? Their color? Their value? Their beauty? It is unsure of the reason why they were chosen in this Christmas song, but tradition tells us the reason for the number five.

It represented the first five books in the Old Testament, the books of Moses. The Hebrews call these books the Torah. Why are they so important? Because they give us all the stories from the creation through the exodus, plus all the laws and covenants they made and lived.

There are many examples of five in the scriptures. David picked up five stones, the holy anointing oil was made of five ingredients,  there were five kinds of animals used in the sacrifices, and the tabernacle was measured in measurements of five.  The Hebrew number for five is ‘H’ or Hey, anciently it was written as a man with his hands raised. It represented breath, life, thought, revelation, and choice, all qualities of mankind. It is also the covenant number. Abraham and Sarah had an ‘H’ added to their name when they made a covenant with God. 

The fifth finger is the pinky, the smallest of them all. He is not the last in the line-up but takes the quarterback position. He is the worker, he takes care of the production, the check-ups, and the follow-throughs. He is the “doer of the word” not just the hearers and talkers only (see Sterling W. Sill’s talk called Hold up your Hands). The hand has five fingers all working together. The right hand is the covenant hand, the one that makes covenants, like accepting a calling or the sacrament. The human body can also be seen as a pentagon with outstretched, two legs, two arms, and a head. 

The number five as a pentagon represents life, regeneration, and procreation. As a pentagram, it means excellence and grace and as a spiral, you see balance and cycles. And all of them elude power. God’s power is priesthood (article of faith #5). There are also many words in the scriptures that have five letters like grace and glory. 

I’m reminded of the worker bee, who is small and seems insignificant but the one who produces the honey. Remember “jots and tittles?” they are the commas and apostrophes in the Hebrew language, tiny, but necessary and not forgotten by God. We use fives and stars in our language to describe and to rate things such as the five-star hotels or “stardom” and the Olympics.

Five gold rings, little workers, human life, hands, and grace are all little things. But the number five also has great power. Production Power, Procreation Power, and Priesthood Power. Remember the little things, and be grateful for them for they have great Power! Can you see that in your life?

                 On the fifth day of Christmas, My Father gave to me five things of power.

Read:  The Sixth Day of Christmas

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