The Reality of Christmas
The Reality of Christmas by Bishop Gary E. Stevenson is absolutely phenomenal! As I was winding down and wrapping up this special day, I stumbled across this talk and found that it encompassed my feelings perfectly! I just want to quickly share a part that especially stood out to me.
"President Benson said that one of the greatest things about Christmastime is that it increases our sensitivity to things of God: It causes us to contemplate our relationship with our Father and the degree of devotion we have for God. It prompts us to be more tolerant and giving, more conscious of others, more generous and genuine, more filled with hope and charity and love—all Christlike attributes. No wonder the spirit of Christmas touches the hearts of people the world over. … For at least a time, increased attention and devotion are turned toward our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ."
This Christmas, as the spirit of the season permeates our hearts, let us do something that expresses our feelings in an outward way, showing that we understand that the babe born in Bethlehem is the real Redeemer. President Howard W. Hunter (1907–95) gave some practical advice that helps us do that:
“This Christmas, mend a quarrel. Seek out a forgotten friend. Dismiss suspicion and replace it with trust. Write a letter. Give a soft answer. Encourage youth. Manifest your loyalty in word and deed. Keep a promise. Forgo a grudge. Forgive an enemy. Apologize. Try to understand. Examine your demands on others. Think first of someone else. Be kind. Be gentle. Laugh a little more. Express your gratitude. Welcome a stranger. Gladden the heart of a child. Take pleasure in the beauty and wonder of the earth. Speak your love and then speak it again.”
Without Christ, there would be no Christmas. Without Christ, there can be no fulness of joy. Without His birth and His Atonement, we would have no Intercessor, no Advocate with the Father, and no Mediator who makes it possible for us to return to the presence of our loving Heavenly Father and live together as eternal families.
I celebrate with you the beautiful and miraculous reality of the birth and mission of the Son of God, and I bear my testimony that Jesus Christ is our Savior and Redeemer—the promised Messiah."
Joy filled my heart and tears spilled from my eyes as I read Bishop Stevenson's talk. I am incredibly grateful for this Christmas season and the understanding and peacefulness it brings into my life. I too know, without a doubt, that with Christ our joy can be full and we can return to live with our Father in Heaven.
President Dieter F. Uchtdorf said it best when he said, “I promise that if we unclutter our lives a little bit and in sincerity and humility seek the pure and gentle Christ with our hearts, we will see Him, we will find Him—on Christmas and throughout the year.”
I hope you had a very merry Christmas!