Paper 125, Section 3

Departure of Joseph and Mary

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125:3.1It had been arranged that the Nazareth party should gather inthe region of the temple at midforenoon on the first day of the week afterthe Passover festival had ended. This they did and started out on the returnjourney to Nazareth. Jesus had gone into the temple to listen to the discussionswhile his parents awaited the assembly of their fellow travelers. Presentlythe company prepared to depart, the men going in one group and the womenin another as was their custom in journeying to and from the Jerusalemfestivals. Jesus had gone up to Jerusalem in company with his mother andthe women. Being now a young man of the consecration, he was supposed tojourney back to Nazareth in company with his father and the men. But asthe Nazareth party moved on toward Bethany, Jesus was completely absorbedin the discussion of angels, in the temple, being wholly unmindful of thepassing of the time for the departure of his parents. And he did not realizethat he had been left behind until the noontime adjournment of the templeconferences.

125:3.2 The Nazarethtravelers did not miss Jesus because Mary surmised he journeyed with themen, while Joseph thought he traveled with the women since he had goneup to Jerusalem with the women, leading Mary's donkey. They did not discoverhis absence until they reached Jericho and prepared to tarry for the night.After making inquiry of the last of the party to reach Jericho and learningthat none of them had seen their son, they spent a sleepless night, turningover in their minds what might have happened to him, recounting many ofhis unusual reactions to the events of Passover week, and mildlychidingeach other for not seeing to it that he was in the group before they leftJerusalem.

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