This coming December 8th, the First Presidency of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints will hold their annual Christmas Devotional. To help further bring a little Christmas cheer to your day, here are 10 quotes from past and present Church leaders to help brighten your day with beautiful reminders of the Christmas season.
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.
Of course, among the greatest of gifts is the gift of love….
Some, like Ebenezer Scrooge in Dickens’s A Christmas Carol, have a hard time loving anyone, even themselves, because of their selfishness. Love seeks to give rather than to get. Charity towards and compassion for others is a way to overcome too much self-love.
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. To us He has said, ‘Come, follow me.’
As we seek Christ, as we find Him, as we follow Him, we shall have the Christmas spirit, not for one fleeting day each year, but as a companion always. We shall learn to forget ourselves. We shall turn our thoughts to the greater benefit of others.
There is a magic in Christmas. Hearts are opened to a new measure of kindness. Love speaks with increased power. Tensions are eased…
Of all things of heaven and earth of which we bear testimony, none is so important as our witness that Jesus, the Christmas child, condescended to come to earth from the realms of His Eternal Father, here to work among men as healer and teacher, our Great Exemplar. And further, and most important, He suffered on Calvary’s cross as an atoning sacrifice for all mankind.
At this time of Christmas, this season when gifts are given, let us not forget that God gave His Son, and His Son gave His life, that each of us might have the gift of eternal life.
The real Christmas comes to him who has taken Christ into his life as a moving, dynamic, vitalizing force. The real spirit of Christmas lies in the life and mission of the Master….
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.
It is easy to give to our own, those whom we love. Their gladness becomes our joy. We are not quite so ready to give to others, even if they are in need, for their happiness does not seem so necessary to our happiness. It appears yet more difficult to give to the Lord, for we are prone to believe that he must give and ask nothing in return.
We have foolishly reversed the proper order. Our first gift at Christmas should be to the Lord; next to the friend or stranger by our gate; then, surcharged with the effulgence from such giving, we would enhance the value of our gifts to our very own. A selfish gift leaves a scar upon the soul, and it is but half a gift.
Part of the purpose for telling the story of Christmas is to remind us that Christmas doesn’t come from a store. Indeed, however delightful we feel about it, even as children, each year it ‘means a little bit more.’ And no matter how many times we read the biblical account of that evening in Bethlehem, we always come away with a thought—or two—we haven’t had before….
I, like you, need to remember the very plain scene, even the poverty, of a night devoid of tinsel or wrapping or goods of this world. Only when we see that sacred, unadorned child of our devotion—the Babe of Bethlehem—will we know why… the giving of gifts is so appropriate.
The shepherds were invited to come and see. They saw. They trembled. They testified. They rejoiced. They saw Him wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger, the Prince of Peace….
At this Christmas season I extend to you the gift of determination to come and see…
A young man in deep trouble and despair said to me recently, ‘It’s all right for others to have a merry Christmas, but not me. It’s no use. It’s too late.’
…We can stay away and complain. We can stay away and nurse our sorrows. We can stay away and pity ourselves. We can stay away and find fault. We can stay away and become bitter.
Or we can come and see! We can come and see and know!
If you think about the words you sing this season, you will find a divine message tailored especially for you that will lift you and comfort you. Here is one that found me this Christmas season. I’ve been fretting about all the people our humanitarian aid can’t reach and how the nations sometimes make it difficult for us to reach our brother and sisters who suffer. And then just this morning in Relief Society, I paid attention to the song that we sang: “Bless all the dear children in thy tender care, and fit us for heaven to live with there.”
Let us focus on four gifts Jesus Christ gave to all who are willing to receive them. First, He gave you and me an unlimited capacity to love. A second gift the Savior offers you is the ability to forgive. A third gift from the Savior is that of repentance. A fourth gift from our Savior is actually a promise–a promise of life everlasting.
This is a season of rejoicing! A season of celebration! A wonderful time when we acknowledge that our almighty God sent His Only Begotten Son, Jesus Christ, to redeem the world! To redeem us! It is a season of charitable acts of kindness and brotherly love. It is a season of being more reflective about our own lives and about the many blessings that are ours. It is a season of forgiving and being forgiven. But perhaps most of all, let it be a season of seeking the Lamb of God, the King of Glory, the Everlasting Light of the World, the Great Hope of Mankind, the Savior and Redeemer of our souls.
Click here to learn more about the 2019 Christmas Devotional and how to watch it on December 8th at 6 PM MST.
With the Christmas season in full swing, click here to view our Gift Guide to find the perfect uplifting and inspiring gifts for your loved ones.
Devin is a graduate of Brigham Young University where he studied English and Business Management. He is a writer, photographer, movie-fanatic, and a lover of street tacos. He served his mission in Tokyo, Japan.