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"The birth of Christ our Lord was more than an incident, it was an epoch in the history of the world to which prophets had looked forward, of which poets had sung, and in which angels joined their voices with mortals in praise to God. It was the day decreed and foreordained by our Father who is in heaven when he would manifest himself to his children, who are here upon earth, in the person of his Only Begotten Son." — J. Reuben Clark, Messages of the First Presidency, Vol.5, p.246
"How can anyone read this touching story of the birth of Jesus Christ without wishing to forsake his sins? At this season of the year it is well for one and all — the king in his palace if there are kings in palaces now — the peasant in his humble cottage, the rich and the poor alike, to bow the knee and pay honor to him who was without sin, whose life was spent in sacrifice and sorrow for the benefits of his fellow man; whose blood was shed as a sacrifice for sin, not any sin of his, for he was without sin, but for the sins of all who will repent and obey his voice that they might be redeemed from their transgressions." — Joseph Fielding Smith, The Restoration of All Things, p.278
"Born in a stable, cradled in a manger, He brought to fulfillment the prophecies of the ages. Shepherds came with haste to adore Him. Wise men from the East came bearing for Him precious gifts; the meridian of time had dawned. With the birth of the babe in Bethlehem, there emerged a great endowment, a power stronger than weapons, a wealth more lasting than the coins of Caesar. This child was to be the King of Kings and Lord of Lords, the promised Messiah — even Jesus Christ, the Son of God." — Thomas S. Monson, April Conference 1996
"The birth of the babe in Bethlehem was transcendent in its beauty and singular in its significance. Jesus of Nazareth brought prophecy to fulfillment. He cleansed lepers, He restored sight, He opened ears, He renewed life, He taught truth, He saved all. In so doing, He honored His Father and provided you and me with an example worthy of emulation." — Thomas S. Monson, April Conference 1978
"We remember with gratitude that night of nights which marked the fulfillment of prophecy when a lowly manger cradled a newborn child. With the birth of the babe in Bethlehem, there emerged a great endowment, a power stronger than weapons, a wealth more lasting than the coins of Caesar. This child, born in such primitive circumstances, was to be the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords, the promised Messiah — even Jesus Christ, the Son of God." — Thomas S. Monson, October Conference 1993
"But what of this wonderful story? Have we permitted it to permeate and influence our lives? Have we accepted it in its full meaning without reservations? Do we believe that this babe was in very deed the only begotten Son of God in the flesh? Do we have abiding faith in his mission and are we willing to obediently follow him? If the world had so believed and had sincerely heeded his teachings, then it would not have been torn asunder by strife and wickedness all down through the ages. If the present world had sincerely believed in his mission; if the inhabitants of the earth who have boasted that they were Christians had sincerely followed the Prophet of Galilee, and in the spirit of faith and humility had truly believed in him, then this great and terrible conflict which has brought sorrow, mourning and misery to many thousands of homes never would have been inflicted upon the world. There has been too much lip-service among the professed followers of the Son of God and too little real worship based upon the integrity of his teachings." — Joseph Fielding Smith, The Restoration of All Things, p.281
"At Christmastime, the whole Christian world stands still to celebrate the birth of our Savior, Jesus Christ. Christmas cannot be cut out of the calendar nor out of the heart of the world — it is the supreme festive season of mirth and gladness. Love for God and one another should be the Christmas theme. Such was the divine announcement by the heavenly host that first heralded the good tidings of great joy, 'Glory to God in the highest and on earth peace, good will toward men.'" — Franklin D. Richards, BYU Speeches, December 14, 1965
"I was a student at BYU just finishing my first year of graduate work when our first child, a son, was born. We were very poor, though not so poor as Joseph and Mary....
Nevertheless, when I realized that our own night of nights was coming, I believe I would have done any honorable thing in this world, and mortgaged any future I had, to make sure my wife had the clean sheets, the sterile utensils, the attentive nurses, and the skilled doctors who brought forth our firstborn son. If she or that child had needed special care at the Mayo Clinic, I believe I would have ransomed my very life to get it.
I compare those feelings (which I have had with each succeeding child) with what Joseph must have felt as he moved through the streets of a city not his own, with not a friend or kinsman in sight, nor anyone willing to extend a helping hand. In these very last and most painful hours of her 'confinement,' Mary had ridden or walked approximately 100 miles from Nazareth in Galilee to Bethlehem in Judea. Surely Joseph must have wept at her silent courage. Now, alone and unnoticed, they had to descend from human company to a stable, a grotto full of animals, there to bring forth the Son of God.
I wonder what emotions Joseph might have had as he cleared away the dung and debris. I wonder if he felt the sting of tears as he hurriedly tried to find the cleanest straw and hold the animals back. I wonder if he wondered: 'Could there be a more unhealthy, a more disease-ridden, a more despicable circumstance in which a child could be born? Is this a place fit for a king? Should the mother of the Son of God be asked to enter the valley of the shadow of death in such a foul and unfamiliar place as this? Is it wrong to wish her some comfort? Is it right He should be born here?'
But I am certain Joseph did not mutter and Mary did not wail. They knew a great deal and did the best they could.
I've thought of Mary, too, this most favored mortal woman in the history of the world, who as a mere child received an angel who uttered to her those words that would change the course not only of her own life but also that of all human history: 'Hail, thou virgin, who are highly favoured of the Lord. The Lord is with thee; for thou art chosen and blessed among women.' (Luke 1:28, Inspired Version) The nature of her spirit and depth of her preparation were revealed in a response that shows both innocence and maturity: 'Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it unto me according to thy word.' (Luke 1:38)
I have wondered if this young woman, something of a child herself, here bearing her first baby, might have wished her mother, or an aunt, or her sister, or a friend, to be near her through the labor. Surely the birth of such a son as this should command the aid and attention of every midwife in Judea! We all might wish that someone could have held her hand, cooled her brow, and when the ordeal was over, given her rest in crisp, cool linen.
But it was not to be so. With only Joseph's inexperienced assistance, she herself brought forth her firstborn son, wrapped him in the little clothes she had knowingly brought on her journey, and perhaps laid him on a pillow of hay." — Jeffrey R. Holland, "Maybe Christmas Doesn't Come from a Store", Ensign (December 1977), p. 64-65
"Who shall declare his generation? Whose son is he? Well, now it is perfectly clear. On the one hand he is the son of God, the God who said in messianic vein, 'Thou art my son; this day have I begotten thee' (Psalms 2:7). On the other hand, he is the son of David and the son of Mary. He inherited from his Father the power of immortality and from his mortal ancestors the power of mortality. How do we know this? How can it be established? We are dealing with spiritual things. Matthew says his book is the book of the generation of Jesus Christ, and he records the facts. He says there was a virgin birth; but the whole world — Christians, so-called — contends and is uncertain and has difficult feelings about this passage. Some say, 'Yes, he was born of a virgin,' and others say, 'It was a pious tradition.' Then we read the Book of Mormon account, and we discover what the perfect rendition of the doctrine is. Whose son is he and how do you know it? Paul said a very impressive thing: 'No man can say that Jesus is the Lord, but by the Holy Ghost' (1 Corinthians 12:3). The Prophet improved this by saying: 'No man can know that Jesus is the Lord, but by the Holy Ghost.' — Bruce R. McConkie, BYU Studies, Vol. 16, No. 4, p.558
"The birth of the babe in Bethlehem was transcendent in its beauty and singular in its significance. Jesus of Nazareth brought prophecy to fulfillment. He cleansed lepers, He restored sight, He opened ears, He renewed life, He taught truth, He saved all. In so doing, He honored His Father and provided you and me with an example worthy of emulation." - Thomas S. Monson, "The Prayer of Faith," Ensign (CR), May 1978, p.20
"I think it truly remarkable that the world still remembers that little baby boy born in Bethlehem so long ago. He lived a life that we still try to follow. He showed us the way. He taught truths we still try to live. He willingly suffered for our sins because He loved us so completely. He gave us the right to repent. And He gave His life that we might be resurrected and live again after death." - Margaret D. Nadauld, "Stand as a Witness," Ensign (CR), May 2000, p.93
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