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President Ballard Shares Sweet Story About Christmas Gifts

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President M. Russell Ballard, Acting President of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, shared a heart-warming story on social media this week about a sweater set he bought as a missionary and what it can teach us about the gifts of Christmas.

Sometimes at Christmas, we have trouble finding the right gift for a loved one. As a missionary, I had the opposite problem. I had the perfect gift—I just wasn’t sure who I was going to give it to.

When I was in Edinburgh, Scotland, near the end of my mission, I saw a beautiful pink cashmere sweater set—a Scottish specialty—in a shop window. There was no one I had in mind for it, I just knew I wanted to buy it. So I did.

When I got home and was unpacking, I showed the sweater set to my mom who asked, “What in the world are you going to do with this?”

Very confidently, I answered, “I’m going to find the girl who fits it, and I’m going to marry her!”

I gave that sweater set to Barbara Bowen for Christmas in 1950. It was a bold move considering we weren’t even steadily dating at the time!

I was pleased to see that she adored the sweater set. A short time later, we were engaged. That was more than 70 years ago.

During this Christmas season, I give thanks to God our Father for sending His Son, Jesus Christ, to the earth. The Savior overcame death and sin. If we follow Him, we can experience everlasting joy.

Although my sweetheart and eternal companion has passed from this earth life, I know that because of Jesus Christ’s willingness to come to earth to fulfill God’s plan, we all can return to our heavenly home to live with our Heavenly Parents, our Savior, and our loved ones once again.

He accompanied the post with this photograph of himself and Sister Ballard.

May be a black-and-white image of 2 people, people standing, tree and outdoors

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Aleah Ingram
Aleah Ingram
Aleah is a graduate of Southern Virginia University, where she studied English, Creative Writing, and Dance. She now works full time as a marketing and product manager, writer, and editor. Aleah served a mission in California and loves baking, Lang Leav poetry, Gaynor Minden pointe shoes, and Bollywood movies.

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