Now Elisabeth’s full time came that she should be delivered; and she brought forth a son.
58 And her neighbours and her cousins heard how the Lord had shewed great mercy upon her; and they rejoiced with her.
59 And it came to pass, that on the eighth day they came to circumcise the child; and they called him Zacharias, after the name of his father.
60 And his mother answered and said, Not so; but he shall be called John.
61 And they said unto her, There is none of thy kindred that is called by this name.
62 And they made signs to his father, how he would have him called.
63 And he asked for a writing table, and wrote, saying, His name is John. And they marvelled all.
64 And his mouth was opened immediately, and his tongue loosed, and he spake, and praised God.
We are told in Luke 1:6 that Zacharias and Elisabeth ‘were both righteous before God, walking in all the commandments and ordinances of the Lord blameless.’ We see in this passage that they were faithful to the instruction given by the angel that their son was to be called John.
John was born six months before Jesus and was under the same threat of death from Herod as Jesus was. How did he escape this threat? Joseph Smith tells us:
“We will commence with John the Baptist. When Herod’s edict went forth to destroy 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.” (See Matthew 23:35)
These righteous parents, Zacharias and Elizabeth, faithfully protected their son and thus ensured that he was able to fufil his mission as prophesied by the angel.