January 2

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On the Eighth Day of Christmas

By Tresta Neil

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On the eighth day of Christmas my true love gave to me . . .
eight maids a milking. The number eight in tradition was to help remember the eight beatitudes. They are eight consecutive steps to perfection. Each step represents a new level. Just like the octave. There are seven different keys with eighth being the first again only higher, repeating at a new level.

The eighth constellation is Aries, the Ram. The Ram’s leg is extended to the bands holding the fishes and represents breaking the bands of death. He also has one foot on the head of the Sea Monster meaning he is defeating the enemy. He is an adult ram with a gold fleece that represents Christ’s resurrected glory.  Joseph Smith describe it as, “whose brightness and glory defy all description.”
Chet is the number eight in Hebrew. The number eight represents rebirth, a new beginning and resurrection.  Anciently chet was written as a fence. a barrier between our old life and our new life.

There are many examples of eight in the scriptures, but I’m only going to show you my favorites. First, there were eight survivors in the Ark, The brother of Jared created eight barges to ride to the promised land and it took eight days for Alma to take his people from King Noah’s reach. Notice that each of these examples have the number eight, a new change and water. Baptism is a change and takes us to a new level through immersion in water at the age of eight. Baptism is the symbol for the death and resurrection of Christ. Cool?

In architecture a square (4) base and octagon (8) center leads to a spherical (1) dome and point symbolizing the transition (8) between earth (4) and heaven (1). Check out the steeples around you, most of them follow this same pattern
The number eight, beatitudes and the constellation of the ram all celebrate the resurrection of Christ. They each represent reaching a new level, a change, transcendence. What will you change today?

On the eight day of Christmas My Father gave to me 
eight new levels,
seven complete cycles,
​six celebrations,
five things of power,
four family members,
three great desires, 
​two directions …

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