Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas

In our Sacrament Meeting Program last week there was a quote from a talk by Elder Hugh W. Pinnock, New Era, December 1987, "Who Needs Christmas". We need to take some time this Christmas day to remember who and why we celebrate this day.
"Christmas can bring us closer to the Savior, and he is the only source of lasting joy. We need Christmas because every December millions of people open the Bible to Luke's account of one of the greatest events in history, and we hear again what the shepherds heard; "For unto you is born this day in the City of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord" (Luke 2:11).
The world was never the same again after the angel spoke those words. How could it be? Christ was born, fulfilling centuries of prophecy. And much of that prophecy was to his brothers and sisters in the Americas.
Because we need Christmas we had better understand what it is and what it isn't. Gifts, holly, mistletoe, and red ‘nosed reindeer are fun as traditions, but they are not what Christmas is really all about. Christmas pertains to that glorious moment when the Son of our Father joined his divinity to our imperfect humanity. It is about his 33 year ministry of teaching mankind how to live, and his journey to the garden and then to the thorns and the cross. It is about a rocky hill where he died that we might live with joy.
It is about a garden tomb promising a new world in which death has no dominion. It is about his ascension and subsequent visit to the Nephites and Lamanites, his other sheep. It is about a new life for those who will accept his gift. Christmas is not just about a baby in a manger. It is about a loving older Brother who came down to be with his brothers and sisters in the world. It is about the eternal difference that his ministry has made. It is about all the manifestations of his love since that day, including the glorious visions in the Sacred Grove and the Kirtland Temple."