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The LDS Daily WOOL© Archive - Christmas

"What does Christmas really mean?" Christmas means "giving." The Father gave His Son and the Son gave His life. Without giving there is no true Christmas, and without sacrifice there is no true worship. There is more to this day than neckties, cuff links, engagement rings, and all the tinselled stuff of which we make so much. Let me repeat something that I heard the other day at a stake conference in Idaho. A member of the stake presidency told it. He runs a building supply business. A farm family in that community had contacted for the installation of a bathroom in their home. They had never had one before. Then the father came to the building supply dealer and said, "Will it be all right with you if we cancel that contract? The bishop talked with John about a mission last night, and so we will go outside for another two years." Then the building supply man said, "The young man will go on his mission, and he will find a bathroom in the house when he returns." Here is the spirit of Christmas—the family which sends a boy into the world to teach the gospel, and friends who come to lift the family out of their problems. What then shall you do with Jesus which is called Christ? Christmas means "giving," and the gift without the giver is bare. Give of yourselves; give of your substance; give of your heart and mind and strength to bring to pass His eternal purposes and to spread the cause of His eternal truth.—Gordon B. Hinckley, BYU Speeches, December 14, 1960

As I read the account of the birth of my Savior, I long to have the experience the Wise Men had—to be led by a star; or to experience what the shepherds did—to be invited to Bethlehem, invited by a choir of angels. I want to kneel at the manger and smell the clean straw and see that tiny baby with His earthly mother, to witness for myself this miracle. I believe that in every mortal there is an instinctive desire to come unto Christ. Perhaps we have a basic human need, because each of us is a child of God, to make that commitment to the spiritual part of our being. We each try to meet this need according to what we know. As members of His true Church, perhaps we do not need to be taught new things as much as we need to be reminded of what we already know. This is what pondering the birth of our Savior does for all of us. I believe it reminds our mortal minds of things our spirits already know.—Sister Betty Jo N. Jepsen, General Conference, October 1992

I visited a southern stake of Zion, just recently, in connection with our Church work, and met a poor widow there, who had raised to manhood and womanhood a splendid family, and when she was speaking to me, she said that the remark of one of her boys had been worth all her efforts. "Last Christmas," she said, "I did not have the means to distribute the tokens to my children that I would like, and to my youngest son, who was married, I said, 'My boy, O my heart aches that I cannot give to you and to the rest of my children some substantial token at Christmas time of my love for you. And the young man stood there looking his mother in the eyes, and said, 'Why, mother, you have given unto me something more than all the Christmas gifts that I could possibly obtain. You have given me a good training, a good education, and more than all, a clean body—and, mother, I thank you for that precious gift that has come unto me, and I want to live to be worthy of such a mother.'"—Benjamin F. Goddard, Conference Report, October 1917, p.137

Christmas means the Christ child, the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes lying in a manger while angels sang and wise men traveled far to bring gifts. It is a beautiful and timeless story, and I hope that you will read it again this season.—Gordon B. Hinckley, BYU Speeches, December 14, 1960

Christmas means "eternity." As certainly as Christ came into the world, lived among men, laid down his life, and became the first fruits of them that slept, so shall all men live eternally. Death may and will come, but death has been robbed of its sting, and the grave of its victory. "I am the resurrection and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live: And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die." (John 11:25-26.)—Gordon B. Hinckley, BYU Speeches, December 14, 1960

Christmas means "compassion and love" and, most of all "forgiveness." "Behold, the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world." (John 1:29. ) How poor indeed would be our lives without the influence of His teachings and His matchless example. The lessons of the turning of the other cheek, going the second mile, the return of the prodigal, and scores of others have somehow filtered down to become the catalyst to bring kindness and mercy out of man's natural inhumanity to man.—Gordon B. Hinckley, BYU Speeches, December 14, 1960

Christmas means peace. Four years ago this month, I was in Switzerland. At that time Russian tanks were rolling down the streets of Budapest, Hungary, and students were being slaughtered with machine-gun fire. I stood that December day in the railroad station in Berne, Switzerland. At eleven o'clock in the morning, every church bell in Switzerland began to ring, and at the conclusion of that ringing every vehicle stopped—every car on the highway, every bus, every railroad train. That great, cavernous station became deathly still. I looked out the front door across the plaza. Men working on the hotel across the street stood on the scaffolding with bared heads. Every bicycle stopped, and every man and woman and child dismounted and stood with bared, bowed head. Then, after three minutes of reverent pause, trucks, great convoys of them, began to roll from Geneva and Berne and Basle and Zurich toward the Austrian border, and across Austria to the Hungarian border, laden with supplies—food, clothing and bedding. The gates of Switzerland were thrown open to refugees. As I stood there that December morning, I could not help marveling at the miraculous contrast: the devil incarnate as represented by the oppressive power of the Communists mowing down students on the streets of Budapest in contrast with the spirit of a Christian people in the land of Switzerland who bowed their heads in reverence, then rolled up their sleeves to provide succor and salvation.—Gordon B. Hinckley, BYU Speeches, December 14, 1960

And now, my beloved brothers and sisters, what must we do this Christmas season—and always? Why, we must do the same as the Wise Men of old. They sought out the Christ and found Him. And so must we. Those who are wise still seek Him today. "I would commend you," urged Moroni, "to seek this Jesus of whom the prophets and apostles have written." (Ether 12:41) And God has provided the means—the holy scriptures, particularly the Book of Mormon—that all who seek may know that Jesus is the Christ.... What a gift it would be to receive at Christmastime a greater knowledge of the Lord. What a gift it would be to share that knowledge with others. To that end may I encourage you not only to read the biblical account of Christ's birth, but to read and share with a nonmember acquaintance the Book of Mormon account of Christmas Eve in America and Christ's personal manifestation following His resurrection.—Pres. Ezra Taft Benson, Ensign, December 1993, pp. 4-5

Why Bethlehem? Is there symbolic significance in the meaning of the name Bethlehem, which in Hebrew means "house of bread"? The Great Provider declared Himself to be the "bread of life." (John 6:48) How appropriate it was that He, the "bread of life," was to come from the "house of bread."—Russell M. Nelson, Ensign, December 1989, p. 14

But why among the animals? He, whom John declared to be the "Lamb of God" (John 1:29), was born during the season of Passover amongst the animals, as were other lambs being prepared for Paschal sacrifice.—Russell M. Nelson, Ensign, December 1989, p. 14

At the birth of Him who is called the "good shepherd" (John 10:14), shepherds were the first to receive the announcement of His holy birth (Luke 2:8-16).—Russell M. Nelson, Ensign, December 1989, p. 14

At the birth of Him who once identified Himself as the "bright and morning star" (Rev. 22:16), a new star appeared in the heavens (Matt: 2:2, 3 Ne. 1:21). Shining brightly over Bethlehem, that star had been placed in orbit far in advance of the foretold event in order that its light could coincide in time and place with His blessed birth.—Russell M. Nelson, Ensign, December 1989, p. 14

"At the arrival of Him who is called 'the light of the world' (John 8:12), darkness was banished as a sign of His holy birth (3 Ne. 1:15, 19). He was born the Son of God and the son of a virgin mother, as foretold by Isaiah (Isaiah 7:14) and other prophets. (1 Ne. 11:13-21, Alma 7:9-10.)"—Russell M. Nelson, Ensign, December 1989, p. 14

At Christmastime, young people in all the world celebrate the birth and life of our Savior, Jesus Christ. They do this in many different ways. Some hang glowing lights on beautiful green Christmas trees; some display manger scenes; some send cards or gifts to family and friends; some draw colorful pictures of how they think it might have been in the stable in Bethlehem, so long ago. Something nearly all children seem to enjoy at this season of the year is the singing of wonderful Christmas songs. The carols of Christmas are sweet echoes of the angel's "tidings of great joy" which were sung to the shepherds who tended their flocks by night in the fields near Bethlehem (Luke 2:10). One of the most beautiful Christmas hymns proclaims, "Joy to the world, the Lord is come; Let earth receive her King!" (Hymns, no. 201) Even at this busy holiday time, this hymn reminds us that the reason Jesus Christ came to earth was to bring us joy and happiness. By following His teachings, we find joy. The Book of Mormon prophet Lehi said, "Men are that they might have joy" (2 Ne. 2:25). Everything that Heavenly Father does for us is to help us find peace and joy in our lives. The most special gift He has given us is His Son, Jesus Christ. This was the greatest of all gifts ever given. It includes the gift of the Atonement and the gift of His commandments as taught by the prophets. With the gift of the Atonement, Jesus paid the price for our sins. If we will repent of our sins, and do them no more, and are baptized in His name and keep His commandments, we can return to Heavenly Father. This wonderful gift and promise can make every morning seem like Christmas morning! Jesus said, "If ye love me, keep my commandments" (John 14:15). As we learn of Him at church and in our families, we learn to love Him and we want to be like Him. May the joy of this Christmas season be with us all.—The First Presidency, The Friend, December 1995, p. 3

I believe in Christ; he is my King!
With all my heart to him I'll sing;
I'll raise my voice in praise and joy,
In grand amens my tongue employ.
I believe in Christ; he is God's Son.
On earth to dwell his soul did come.
He healed the sick; the dead he raised.
Good works were his; his name be praised.

I believe in Christ; oh, blessed name!
As Mary's Son he came to reign
'Mid mortal men, his earthly kin,
To save them from the woes of sin.
I believe in Christ, who marked the path,
Who did gain all his Father hath,
Who said to men: "Come, follow me,
That ye, my friends, with God may be."

I believe in Christ—my Lord, my God!
My feet he plants on gospel sod.
I'll worship him with all my might;
He is the source of truth and light.
I believe in Christ; he ransoms me.
From Satan's grasp he sets me free,
And I shall live with joy and love
In his eternal courts above.

I believe in Christ; he stands supreme!
From him I'll gain my fondest dream;
And while I strive through grief and pain,
His voice is heard: "Ye shall obtain."
I believe in Christ; so come what may,
With him I'll stand in that great day
When on this earth he comes again
To rule among the sons of men.

Bruce R. McConkie, Hymns no. 134

"As we approach this Christmas season our thoughts turn to the lowly stable in Bethlehem where there was born on that sacred night of long ago, 'The Prince of Peace' (Isaiah 9:6), the 'light of the world' who promised: 'he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life' (John 8:12). In this season of celebration of the Savior's life and mission, and as we reflect upon the events of this historic Sesquicentennial year, may we carry forward that which was established by our pioneer forebears as we turn about and face the future, more fully committing ourselves to walk with faith in every footstep. May we grasp the opportunities that are ours, living in order that we might gain the peace and light so willingly offered to us by Him who is our Savior. We bear witness of the life and divinity of Jesus Christ, who is the Son of God, the Redeemer of mankind. We pray that you will be blessed at this wonderful season and throughout the coming year.—First Presidency's Christmas Message — 1997

"Let Joseph Smith's birth be as humble as it will, it cannot be more lowly than that of Jesus Christ. The fortunes of the mother of the Prophet were not more fallen than those of Mary, the mother of Jesus. A log house in Sharon, Vermont, was not a more humble birthplace than a stable in Bethlehem. The rude cradle of Joseph Smith, made by his father's hands, though rough hewn, was at least equal to the ruder manger of the stable at Bethlehem; and the occupation of husbandman, which the father of Joseph followed, and in which the Prophet in boyhood assisted him, is not more humble as an occupation than that of a carpenter which the supposed father of Jesus followed, and in which Jesus doubtless assisted him, before entering upon his public ministry. Indeed, I may say that neither Joseph Smith nor any other prophet has been permitted to start from a more lowly station in life than the Son of God; for it is fitting that he who is to ascend above all things—all heights, principalities and powers, should also descend below all things, that he might in all things touch all points of human experience so that whatever the experience of man might be, however lowly his station, however distressing his misfortunes; however poor, forsaken, desolate; however ridiculed, despised, hated, persecuted; however tempted—looking down from his exalted throne at the right hand of God, with his soul swelling with compassion, Jesus might say—'The Son of Man hath descended below them all.'"—B. H. Roberts, New Witnesses for God, Vol.1, p.204

"'Glory to God in the highest, peace on earth, good will toward men!' How simple the words! How deep, how comprehensive their significance! At Christmas we celebrate his birth in whose mission on earth (1) God is glorified; (2) earth is promised peace; (3) all men given the assurance of God's good will toward them!"—David O. McKay, Gospel Ideals, p.36

"See, the idea of Christmas is to give us a glimpse of what the world could be. In 'A Christmas Carol,' Scrooge gets a look. But the point is that it should be Christmas every day."—Hugh Nibley, Teachings of the Book of Mormon, p.460

"Christmas is a fitting time to renew our desires and to strengthen our determination to do all that lies within our power to make real among men the message heralded by the angels when the Savior was born. Let us glorify God by seeking the good, the true, the beautiful! Let us strive to establish peace on earth by exercising that same good will toward one another which God has shown toward us!"—David O. McKay, Gospel Ideals, p.36

"When Jesus lay in the manger, a helpless infant, he knew not that he was the Son of God, and that formerly he created the earth. When the edict of Herod was issued, he knew nothing of it; he had not the power to save himself; and his father and mother had to take him and fly into Egypt to preserve him from the effects of that edict. Well, he grew up to manhood, and during this process it was revealed unto him who he was, and for what purpose he was in the world. The glory and power he possessed before he came into the world was made known unto him."—President Lorenzo Snow, Conference Report, April 1901, p 3

"Yes, we still wish Christmas were more deeply felt and lasted longer, but the visibly increased goodwill nevertheless reminds us, if only briefly, of what could be everlastingly. For a few days, the first and second commandments are more pondered and observed."—Elder Neal A. Maxwell, The Christmas Scene, p. 2

"Our celebration of the Christmastide should be so ordered that holy angels can approve and in spirit participate with us; then shall our joys and festivities be acceptable to Him whose birth we honor." — Christmas Pastoral Epistle, 20 December 1930, "Messages of the First Presidency", p. 287

"Five years before the birth of Christ, Samuel the Lamanite stood upon the walls of the city of Zarahemla and predicted the signs of the birth and of the death of Jesus. He asserted that, at his birth, there should be a day and a night and a day of continuous light as if it were one day, and a new star should appear. Since Jesus Christ is the light and the life of the world, no more appropriate sign or symbol of his birth into mortality could have been given." — Milton R. Hunter, "General Conference Reports", p. 50, 1 April 1961

"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." — Heber J. Grant, "General Conference Reports", p. 13, April 1926

"Whether or not the 25th day of December is the proper date of the birth of Christ, our Lord, matters little. We join with other Christian people in celebrating it as such and if we observe it in the true spirit of the Master, renewing the covenant which we have made that we are willing to take upon us his name, and keep the commandments which he has given, our offering will be accepted." — Heber J. Grant, "General Conference Reports", p. 13, April 1926

"The mercy, the grace, the love, the condescension that is involved in the fact of the birth of Christ into the world is something that is beyond our comprehension. Yet it had to be, and it had to occur in the very manner in which it did occur, so that there would be a Personage here among men who on the one hand could lay down his life and on the other hand could take it up again. He could lay it down because Mary was his mother, and he could take it up again because God was his Father." — Bruce R. McConkie, "BYU Speeches of the Year", 15 August 1967

Whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life. — (John 4:14)

"As the Savior offered living water to the woman of Samaria, likewise does He extend to us the salvation He alone can give. This incomparable blessing which we contemplate throughout the Christmas season is an offering of hope, a gift of peace, and a bestowal of love. It is our solemn witness that He lives! We reverence Him as the Savior of the world. We honor Him as the Prince of Peace. We testify that He is the Son of God, our Redeemer, our Advocate, and Friend. We invite people everywhere to drink deeply from the waters of life which He so freely imparts. May our lives reflect His example of kindness, love, and virtue."

First Presidency Christmas Message 1998

"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. Born in a stable, cradled in a manger, He came forth from heaven to live on earth as mortal man and to establish the kingdom of God. During His earthly ministry, He taught men the higher law. His glorious gospel reshaped the thinking of the world. He blessed the sick. He caused the lame to walk, the blind to see, the deaf to hear. He even raised the dead to life." — Thomas S. Monson, "They Showed the Way," Ensign, May 1997, p. 52

"In each of us there is at Christmastime something of our childhood. We all revel in the fun of Christmas—of giving and receiving tinseled presents, of singing favorite carols, of feasting on goodies we never miss at other seasons, of gathering together as family and friends, all having a wonderful time. But there is something else, something better, and that is to sit together as families and read again the fascinating story of the birth of Jesus, who was born in Bethlehem of Judea. It is a wondrous story told in language ever so simple and beautiful by the writers of the Gospels of Matthew and Luke." — Gordon B. Hinckley, "To Do Good Always," Ensign, Dec. 1994, p. 2

"Christmas gifts? There were none at that time. The Wise Men came later with their offerings. But God now gave His gift to the world—that of His Only Begotten Son. And this divine Son by His very birth on earth gave Himself as the greatest Gift of all time. He would provide the plan for our salvation. He would give His life that we might rise from the grave and have a happy life in the eternities, forever. Who could give more? What a gift this was! Think what it means to us! We can learn patience, devotion, and faithfulness such as Mary had. And like her Son we can follow the true gospel principles, being in the world but not of the world." — Mark E. Petersen, "The Gifts of Christmas," New Era, Dec. 1983, p. 4

"I humbly pray that each and every one of us will realize just who we are and what sacrifice Jesus made for us. And as we go on through life, let us live each day so that we may be worthy of that great sacrifice which he made. May we have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. May the full meaning of the spirit of Christmas go with us throughout the year..." — N. Eldon Tanner, "Our Greatest Gift—To Be about Our Father’s Business," Tambuli, Dec. 1980, p. 5

"The most important gift we received--although we may not have realized it then--was a true understanding of the oft-repeated story about the birth of our Lord and Savior. That knowledge and testimony has been the basis for every Christmas observance I have participated in since my youth. Through the years all of my own children and grandchildren who can gather in their own little family groups, wherever they may be, reenact the story of the Baby Jesus and emphasize the importance of this event and its effect on the lives of all mankind." — N. Eldon Tanner, "Christmas Remembrances of the First Presidency", "Friend," Dec. 1976, p. 4

"Certainly Christ might have been born under circumstances so overwhelming and miraculous that all who lived at the time of his birth could not have questioned his supernatural origin. But he came more quietly than that, a light that 'shineth in the darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not.... But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name.' (John 1:5, 11-12)" — Bruce C. Hafen, "Is Yours a Believing Heart?", "Ensign," Sept. 1974, p. 55

"This is a glorious time of the year, simple in origin, deep in meaning, beautiful in tradition and custom, rich in memories, and charitable in spirit. It has an attraction to which our hearts are readily drawn. This joyful season brings to each of us a measure of happiness that corresponds to the degree in which we have turned our mind, feelings, and actions to the spirit of Christmas." — Thomas S. Monson, "What Is Christmas?", "Ensign," Dec. 1998, p. 2

"Even though events and circumstances in the world at times become discouraging, our task, not alone in the Christmas season but always, is to be of good cheer. The Lord so often counsels us to have cheerfulness in our lives." — Spencer W. Kimball, "A Gift of Gratitude", "Tambuli," Dec. 1977, p. 2

"Our Savior teaches in many places in the scriptures the value of giving. At this Christmas season it is interesting to contemplate that for everyone who gives there must also be a receiver. Is the receiver any less a Christian or any less Christlike because circumstances may have put him in a position where he cannot give but must be prepared to receive? Many others who do not need to receive will also have the blessing of receiving. To give or to receive in a Christlike way demands gratitude--gratitude for great blessings if a person be the giver and gratitude to the giver if one is the receiver." — Vaughn J. Featherstone, "To Give and to Receive", "New Era", Dec. 1975, p. 4

"I hope that each of us this Christmas season will be touched by the feelings of others and give freely, without compulsion or expectation of gain. I hope we experience the joy of sacrifice, of giving something of ourselves. If we do so, we will learn this final lesson about giving--that those gifts are truly great which are given simply for the joy they bring to another heart." — Henry B. Eyring, "Giving with Joy", "Ensign," Dec. 1982, p. 11

"Christmas is more than trees and twinkling lights, more than toys and gifts and baubles of a hundred varieties. It is love. It is the love of the Son of God for all mankind. It reaches out beyond our power to comprehend. It is magnificent and beautiful." — Gordon B. Hinckley, "A Season for Gratitude", "Ensign," Dec. 1997, p. 4

"The desire and the effort to give to the Lord, born of the surrender of man to the plan of salvation, stamp every Christmas gift with genuine value. They who identify themselves with the plan, who do not resist it, who earnestly seek to tread the path of the plan, are true givers to the Lord, and their gifts to men come with the flavor of heaven. The Lord and his plan must have place in our Christmas celebration." — John A. Widtsoe, "The Gifts of Christmas", "Ensign," Dec. 1972, p. 4

"I firmly believe that the only way to make Christmas real is to imitate the Master. We need to form living links with people everywhere whose loneliness needs brothering or sistering, whose hurts, physical and emotional, need healing, whose poverty cries out for bread and understanding. Jesus spent his life rescuing us all from ourselves. Shouldn't we rescue others from loneliness and discouragement?" — Hugh W. Pinnock, "Who Needs Christmas?", "New Era," Dec. 1987, p. 6

"We need the continuing faith to declare to the world that Jesus lives today, that He is our Savior, our friend, the Son of God, and that His church and kingdom are available to all today. God does live. Jesus is one with the Father. It takes self-discipline not only to know but also to declare these truths. With God's love and help all of these things are possible, and they will bring peace and joy to each of us as we know and understand the real meaning of Christmas. An attitude of 'come and see' makes it possible for cherished memories and mountains to overshadow losses and valleys in our quest for the joyous." — Marvin J. Ashton, "Come and See", "New Era," Dec. 1989, p. 7

"Jesus was in very deed the great Jehovah of the Old Testament, who left His Father's royal courts on high and condescended to come to earth as a babe born in the most humble of circumstances. His birth was foretold centuries earlier by Isaiah, who declared prophetically, "For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace" (Isa. 9:6). This Jesus Christ of whom we solemnly testify is, as John the Revelator declared, "the faithful witness, and the first begotten of the dead, and the prince of the kings of the earth." He "loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood, and hath made us kings and priests unto God and his Father; to him be glory and dominion for ever and ever" (Rev. 1:5-6)." - Gordon B. Hinckley, "A Testimony of the Son of God," Ensign, December 2002

"We all enjoy giving and receiving presents. But there is a difference between presents and gifts. The true gifts may be part of ourselves-giving of the riches of the heart and mind-and therefore more enduring and of far greater worth than presents bought at the store.... The message of this season that is applicable throughout the year lies not in the receiving of earthly presents and treasures but in the forsaking of selfishness and greed and in going forward, seeking and enjoying the gifts of the Spirit, which Paul said are 'love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance: against such there is no law' (Gal. 5:22-23)." - James E. Faust, "A Christmas with No Presents," Ensign, December 2001

"When all is said and done, when all of history is examined, when the deepest depths of the human mind have been explored, nothing is so wonderful, so majestic, so tremendous as this act of grace when the Son of the Almighty, the Prince of His Father's royal household, He who had once spoken as Jehovah, He who had condescended to come to earth as a babe born in Bethlehem, gave His life in ignominy and pain so that all of the sons and daughters of God of all generations of time, every one of whom must die, might walk again and live eternally. He did for us what none of us could do for ourselves." - Gordon B. Hinckley, "The Wondrous and True Story of Christmas," Ensign, December 2000

"At the heart of the message of the Savior of the world is a single, glorious, wonderful, still largely untried concept. In its simplest terms the message is that we should seek to overcome the selfishness we all seem to be born with, that we should overcome human nature and think of others before self. We should think of God and serve Him, and think of others and serve them." - James E. Faust, "A Pattern of Love," Ensign, December 1999

At this sacred season, we reaffirm the reality of the birth of Jesus Christ, the Son of God. We testify that He was the only perfect man ever to walk the earth. He "went about doing good" (Acts 10:38) and beckons to all, "Come, follow me" (Luke 18:22). It is His holy influence that stirs mankind to acts of mercy and kindness. He who has "borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows" (Isaiah 53:4) inspires each of us to reach out with love to the poor, the lonely, and the downtrodden. May Christmastime remind us that the Prince of Peace, who stilled the tempest on the Sea of Galilee, has the power to calm the storms in our personal lives. May His peace fill our hearts and homes throughout the coming year as we strive to walk in His ways. Sincerely yours, The First Presidency (from the LDS Church News, 6 December 2003)

"There is a season when tokens of affection and esteem are offered in Christmas gifts. This is a pleasing and commendable custom, but the mere present bestowed is not so much worth as is the loving look and kindly words that should accompany them. Costly gifts beyond the means of the giver are unwise, and wisdom and discretion should be exercised concerning them. It is not prudent to vie with one another in rich and costly presents involving liabilities difficult to meet, for, after all, it is the loving remembrance and the spirit in which gifts are made that commend them to the recipients, and it should be kept in mind that the mere annual gift or birthday present will not fill the void that may have been caused by careless neglect or thoughtless inattention during the other parts of the year. The poor should be remembered particularly at this festive season. No one should be left without the comforts of life while we are rejoicing over the advent into the world of Him who taught love and charity and peace to be extended even to our enemies. The poor ought always to receive our aid and at Christmas time especially they should be supplied with comforts suitable to the occasion." - "Messages of the First Presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints," 6 vols. (Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1965-75), 4:96

"We honor His birth. But without His death that birth would have been but one more birth. It was the redemption which He worked out in the Garden of Gethsemane and upon the cross of Calvary which made His gift immortal, universal, and everlasting. His was a great Atonement for the sins of all mankind. He was the resurrection and the life, 'the firstfruits of them that slept' (1 Cor. 15:20). Because of Him all men will be raised from the grave.... We love Him. We honor Him. We thank Him. We worship Him. He has done for each of us and for all mankind that which none other could have done. God be thanked for the gift of His Beloved Son, our Savior, the Redeemer of the world, the Lamb without blemish who was offered as a sacrifice for all mankind." - Gordon B. Hinckley, "A Season for Gratitude," Ensign, Dec. 1997, p. 4

"What a glad season this is when we remember the coming of the Christ child. There are only a few lines of scripture that tell us of this event, but their simple words carry with them 'the hopes and fears of all the years' for people everywhere. ("O Little Town of Bethlehem," Hymns, 1985, no. 208.)" - Gordon B. Hinckley, "Do Ye Even So to Them," Ensign, Dec. 1991, p. 2

"We rejoice with you in this glorious season commemorating the birth of our Savior, the Prince of Peace. As His servants, we testify that Jesus Christ is the Son of the Almighty. He left His Father's royal courts on high and condescended to come to earth as a babe born in the most humble of circumstances. Angels announced His birth, bringing 'good tidings of great joy' (Luke 2:10). After His incomparable mortal ministry and Atonement, angels again declared good tidings: 'He is not here, but is risen' (Luke 24:6).

"We testify that as we follow His divine example and teachings, our lives will be blessed and we will find that peace that 'passeth all understanding' (Philippians 4:7).

"May you and your loved ones experience the true joy of this special season."

The First Presidency

"At this glorious time of year, we bear witness of Jesus Christ, the Son of God. He is indeed 'the way, the truth, and the life' (John 14:6). He is our Exemplar, our Teacher, and our Redeemer.

"In this year commemorating the 200th anniversary of the birth of the Prophet Joseph Smith, we gratefully acknowledge the Prophet's unparalleled role as the great testifier of the Father and His Son, Jesus Christ. As he boldly declared, 'And now, after the many testimonies which have been given of him, this is the testimony, last of all, which we give of him: That he lives! For we saw him, even on the right hand of God; and we heard the voice bearing record that he is the Only Begotten of the Father — That by him, and through him, and of him, the worlds are and were created, and the inhabitants thereof are begotten sons and daughters unto God' (Doctrine and Covenants 76:22-24).

"God be thanked for the gift of His Beloved Son. We add our testimonies that He lives and guides His people today. May His peace be with you and your loved ones this Christmas season and throughout the coming year." - The First Presidency, Christmas 2005

       In remembrance of the birth of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, we express our heartfelt Christmas greetings at this festive season of the year.
      We rejoice in the Savior's loving invitation: "Yea, verily I say unto you, if ye will come unto me ye shall have eternal life. Behold, mine arm of mercy is extended towards you, and whosoever will come, him will I receive; and blessed are those who come unto me" (
3 Nephi 9:14).
      Jesus Christ is the Savior and Redeemer. We testify that He lives and that He loves our Heavenly Father's children. It is our sincere prayer that this knowledge will be a source of comfort and peace to one and all, and that each of us will seek His invitation to come unto Him.
      May the spirit of Christmas, which is the spirit of Christ, bless and sustain each of us. - The First Presidency, Christmas 2007

"And so we approach the Christmas season when we think about the simple life of the Master and how he came to the sinners, not to the righteous. Let us remember that we are our brothers' keepers and that we do have great problems, and that there are ways of reaching the hearts of those that need us. Maybe I'm not the right one to do it, but if I'm not the right one, somewhere there is someone who can touch the lives of these men." - Matthew Cowley, "Matthew Cowley Speaks," p.155

"At this joyous Christmas season men and women of faith turn their thoughts to our dear Savior who came forth from heaven to live on earth as a mortal man and to establish the kingdom of God. His glorious gospel reshaped the thinking of the world. He blessed the sick. He caused the lame to walk, the blind to see, the deaf to hear. He even raised the dead to life. To us He has said, 'Come, follow me.'

"We testify of the living reality of Jesus Christ as the Savior of mankind. As we seek Christ and as we follow Him, we shall have the Christmas spirit, not for one fleeting day each year, but as a companion always." - The First Presidency

"I rejoice this Christmas season with my brethren and sisters that 'God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.' (John 3:16.) And under that inspiration he established his Church that mankind might have peace through obedience to the gospel. There is no other way. Men everywhere strive for peace, but as they attain it, they do so only to the extent that they apply the principles of the gospel. The gospel of Christ is the true philosophy of life; it is the science of living; and its essence was heralded by the angels two thousand years ago." - David O. McKay, "Man May Know for Himself: Teachings of President David O. McKay," compiled by Clare Middlemiss, p.446

“Christmas is a glorious time, simple in origin and deep in meaning. It is rich in memories, charitable in spirit, and beautiful in tradition and custom. It has an attraction to which our hearts are readily drawn.

“At this season of the year, we remember that our Heavenly Father gave us His Son, Jesus Christ. We also remember that His precious Son gave us His life, the Atonement, and victory over the grave.

“Therefore, let us give to our Lord and Savior the gift of gratitude by living His teachings and following in His footsteps. During His mortal ministry, He ‘went about doing good’ (Acts 10:38). As we do likewise, the Christmas spirit will fill our hearts.” – First Presidency Christmas Message, December 2009

No worry or anxiety over the choosing and giving of gifts; no enjoyment of holiday feasts; no decorations however modern or attractive; no social parties however jovial, should ever overshadow the fact that Christmas is the celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ who came to give life, light, and peace to all mankind, and who marked the way by which these eternal blessings may be obtained. Let us ever remember that ". . . God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life." (John 3:16.) - David O. McKay, "Man May Know for Himself: Teachings of President David O. McKay," compiled by Clare Middlemiss, p.434

At the Christmas time we pay homage to the birth of Jesus Christ, Savior of the world. Many, many thousands will, in one way or another, attempt to do him honor and pay tribute to him. All over the land carols and anthems of praise will be sung; sacred pageants will be performed; reverential sermons will be preached; cities will be decorated and festivities carried forward to honor the birth of Christ. What is even more important than these material expressions of adoration is the almost universal effort to bring something more of the traditional spirit of the Savior into the hearts and minds of men, women, and children. As he is acclaimed to be the Exemplar of giving, having given more than any other for the welfare of mankind, so largely in his honor we give to each other, not only presents as material manifestation of goodwill, and which incidentally, owing in part to the stimulation of commercial interests, has become something of a burden and a source of embarrassment to some people; but more importantly, and I think more in harmony with the true spirit of the occasion, there is a conscious effort to generate within ourselves a more generous thinking about others, and a deeper and more heartfelt concern for friends, neighbors, and family. This is the aspect of Christmas I like best, and I think he, whom we honor, likes it too. - Stephen L Richards, "Where Is Wisdom?," p.25

On this Christmas I send my love to every missionary, every man or woman in the military, every student, and every employee and traveler who won’t “be home for Christmas,” as the carol says. Keep your faith. Look for the good in your situation. Do something kind for someone. Seek Christ devoid of wrapping and tinsel. You will find that despite external circumstances, Christmas—like the kingdom of God—is “within you” (Luke 17:21). - Jeffrey R. Holland, "Christmas Within You," Ensign December 2012

The Spirit of Christmas creates in our hearts a desire to give joy to others and to serve them. At this time of year we feel a spirit of giving and of gratitude for what we have been given. The celebration of Christmas helps us keep our promise to always remember the Savior and His gifts to us and, in turn, to serve others.

Each act of kindness to anyone becomes a kindness to the Savior because He loves all of Heavenly Father's children. And because that brings joy to Him it also brings joy to His Father, to whom we owe thanks beyond measure.

Jesus Christ taught us that there is a way to give an even more priceless and lasting gift. He said: "I am the bread of life; he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst" (John 6:35). With all the kindnesses we give for Him, the greatest we can offer is to point those we love and serve toward Him, the only source of Eternal Life.

We bear witness of the living reality of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. May the peace and joy that come through Him be present in the lives and hearts of God's children throughout the world this Christmas season.

The First Presidency

We celebrate the birth of the Lord Jesus Christ at this season of the year. How grateful we are that the baby Jesus was born. His birth and life and death were the greatest of all. He died a propitiation for our sins to open the way for our resurrection, to point the way to our perfection of life, to show the way to exaltation. He died purposefully, voluntarily. His birth was humble, his life was perfect, his example was compelling; his death opened doors, and man was offered every good gift and blessing. - Spencer W. Kimball, "Jesus of Nazareth," Ensign December 1984

My brothers and sisters, true love is a reflection of the Savior’s love. In December of each year we call it the Christmas spirit. You can hear it. You can see it. You can feel it. - Thomas S. Monson, "Christmas Is Love," Ensign December 2012

As we celebrate this Christmas season, our thoughts turn to that sacred event long ago when the Prince of Peace and the Light of the World was born (see Isaiah 9:6). Jesus Christ is our Savior and Redeemer, who was “wounded for our transgressions, ... and with his stripes we are healed” (Isaiah 53:5). He promised: “He that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life” (John 8:12).

We sincerely pray this Christmastime that the light and testimony of the Savior will come into our hearts, that our lives will reflect His life and attributes, and that people everywhere will accept the blessings of His mercy and grace that are made possible through His atoning sacrifice.

May each of us be blessed during this joyous time of the year, and may we acknowledge with gratitude our Heavenly Father’s incomparable gift to us — His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ.

The First Presidency

Thomas S. Monson

Henry B. Eyring

Dieter F. Uchtdorf

Why is the story A Christmas Carol so popular? Why is it ever new? I personally feel it is inspired of God. It brings out the best within human nature. It gives hope. It motivates change. We can turn from the paths which would lead us down and, with a song in our hearts, follow a star and walk toward the light. - Thomas S. Monson, “Now is the Time,” Ensign (CR) October 2001

How pleasant it is to dwell upon the scenes connected with the first advent of Christ! How grand and sublime is the contemplation of the momentous events that are at our doors, presaging the glorious second coming of our Savior. - Messages of the First Presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 6 vols. (Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1965-75), 4:31

If you desire to find the true spirit of Christmas and partake of the sweetness of it, let me make this suggestion to you. During the hurry of the festive occasion of this Christmas season, find time to turn your heart to God. Perhaps in the quiet hours, and in a quiet place, and on your knees--alone or with loved ones--give thanks for the good things that have come to you, and ask that his Spirit might dwell in you as you earnestly strive to serve him and keep his commandments. He will take you by the hand and his promises will be kept. - "The Teachings of Howard W. Hunter," edited by Clyde J. Williams, p.271

Christmas means the Christ child, the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes lying in a manger while angels sang and wise men traveled far to bring gifts. It is a beautiful and timeless story, and I hope that you will read it again this season. - Gordon B. Hinckley, December 14, 1960, "BYU Speeches of the Year," 1960, p.3

Poor misguided creatures are we if on Christmas day our voices do not mingle in that heavenly chorus which, at his birth, shouted "Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men." Impoverished are the souls of men who on Christmas day and all days do not rejoice and give thanks for the birth, the life, and the atoning sacrifices of the Son of God. Blind are the eyes which see but which do not perceive the many evidences of his love for all mankind. Deaf are the ears that hear but which do not admit to the consciousness of man the words of life and salvation which have lived through the centuries since Mary bent over her baby boy "wrapped in swaddling clothes.” - “Glory to God in the Highest,” Improvement Era, November 1944

Christmas season with gifts of self, love, time, service, means, and the gift of all. I pray with all my heart that every member of this kingdom will feel the warmth of the Lord's loving arms, that every soul will feel the protection of his love. I pray that we will be endowed with his Spirit. Please God, bless all those who are heavy hearted and despairing, those who have been abused or hurt, to feel the safety of the gospel net. - Vaughn J. Featherstone, "More Purity Give Me," p.170

We find the real joy of Christmas when we make the Savior the focus of the season. We can keep Him in our thoughts and in our lives as we go about the work He would have us perform here on earth. At this time, particularly, let us follow His example as we love and serve our fellowmen.

Christmas is the spirit of giving without a thought of getting. It is happiness because we see joy in people. It is forgetting self and finding time for others. It is peace because we have found peace in the Savior’s teachings. It is the time we realize most deeply that the more love is expended, the more there is of it for others.

As the Christmas season envelops us with all its glory, may we, as did the Wise Men, seek a bright, particular star to guide us to our Christmas opportunity in service to our fellowman. May we all make the journey to Bethlehem in spirit, taking with us a tender, caring heart as our gift to the Savior. And may one and all have a joy-filled Christmas.

Thomas S. Monson

Henry B. Eyring

Dieter F. Ucthdorf

It was Christ who in the premortal state presented Himself to become the Savior of men, saying, “Here am I, send me. And another answered and said: Here am I, send me. And the Lord said: I will send the first” (Abr. 3:27). From that time forth it was proclaimed that the Son of Man would come to earth to sacrifice Himself as an atonement for the sins of all men (see Mosiah 3).

As the day of His mortal birth approached, Nephi heard the voice saying, “Lift up your head and be of good cheer; for behold, … on the morrow come I into the world” (3 Ne. 1:13).

Thus, on the next day in Bethlehem of Judea, a tiny babe lay in a manger while an attentive mother gloried in the presence of her newborn son, the Only Begotten of the Father in the flesh, a God come to earth. – F. Melvin Hammond, “Trying to Be Like Jesus,” Ensign (CR) May 1994

As we celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ this Christmas, we think of that sacred time when “The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace” (Isaiah 9:6) came to earth as a newborn babe. Like the Wise Men, who sought the Christ child and offered Him gifts, we too should seek Jesus and lay before Him our most precious gifts — a broken heart and a contrite spirit, our love, and our willingness to take upon ourselves His name and walk the path of discipleship.

“I am the light of the world,” the Savior declared during His mortal ministry, and “he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life” (John 8:12). We follow Him as we remember Him always, emulate His example, and go about doing good.

At this Christmas season, may our faith be strengthened as we follow Jesus Christ.Truly, He is our Savior and Redeemer, who was “wounded for our transgressions, ... and with his stripes we are healed” (Isaiah 53:5). We solemnly testify that He lives and that because of His love and atoning sacrifice, He offers the gift of salvation to all of God’s children.

Thomas S. Monson

Henry B. Eyring

Dieter F. Uchtdorf

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