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10 Classic LDS Christmas Talks Full of Joy & Cheer

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The Christmas season is a time of joy, reflection, and celebration for members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Over the years, Church leaders have delivered inspiring and uplifting talks that capture the essence of the holiday spirit. In this compilation, we’ve gathered 10 classic LDS Christmas talks that resonate with messages of joy, love, and the true meaning of Christmas.

Gifts of Love

Henry B. Eyring | December 1980

 

“Well, there it is—a simple theory. When you’re on the receiving end, you will discover three things in great gift givers: (1) they felt what you felt and were touched, (2) they gave freely, and (3) they counted sacrifice a bargain.”

President Eyring begins by recounting a father’s dilemma about giving a Christmas gift to his daughter, a college student without a car, and reflects on the challenges of gift-giving during the holiday season. President Eyring shares the “Eyring Theory of Gift Giving and Receiving,” emphasizing three key elements: understanding and being touched by the recipient’s feelings, giving freely without expecting a specific response, and acknowledging and valuing the sacrifice involved.

He illustrates his theory through a personal story about receiving a simple yet meaningful gift of cherries on the day of his mother’s death. The cherries, given by Uncle Bill and Aunt Catherine, symbolize the essence of a great gift—empathy, freedom of choice, and sacrifice. President Eyring extends the application of his theory to various aspects of life, encouraging listeners to become better gift givers by understanding others, giving early and freely, and recognizing the potential impact of their actions on future generations. The address concludes with a powerful testimony of the ultimate gift—the Atonement of Jesus Christ—and an invitation to emulate the Savior’s generosity by extending love and service to others.

Christmas is Love

Thomas S. Monson | December 2012

 

“Finding the real joy of Christmas comes not in the hurrying and the scurrying to get more done, nor is it found in the purchasing of gifts. We find real joy when we make the Savior the focus of the season.”

In this heartfelt Christmas message, President Thomas S. Monson acknowledged the unique beauty and meaning of the Christmas season, emphasizing its power to evoke tears, renew commitment to God, and bring rest to the weary and peace to the soul. He cautioned against succumbing to the pressures of the season and losing the true spirit of Christmas amidst the hustle and bustle.

Drawing from personal experiences, President Monson highlighted the importance of making the Savior the focal point of Christmas, urging listeners to follow His example by loving and serving others. He particularly emphasized the need for compassion towards the elderly who may be experiencing loneliness, stressing the importance of creating a sense of belonging and assurance of being wanted.

President Monson closed his address with a poignant personal story about visiting an elderly Primary president during Christmas, emphasizing the transformative power of love and the true essence of the Christmas spirit. He encouraged us to make Christmas a season of genuine giving, love, and service, embodying the teachings of Jesus Christ.

The Wondrous and True Story of Christmas

Gordon B. Hinckley | December 2000

“There would be no Christmas if there had not been Easter. The babe Jesus of Bethlehem would be but another baby without the redeeming Christ of Gethsemane and Calvary, and the triumphant fact of the Resurrection.”

President Gordon B. Hinckley encompassed the entirety of Christ’s life in this First Presidency message, connecting the manger with the cross. He shared a personal experience of attending the funeral of a young man who passed away, leaving behind a wife and children. The surety of the Resurrection through Jesus Christ brought President Hinckley comfort. 

He then went on to share a parable about a young school teacher who applied to work at a schoolhouse filled with unruly boys. The teacher and the boys created a list of rules and punishments if they were to be broken. One day, a hungry little boy stole the lunch of a boy called Big Tom. After seeing the boy named Jim had no shirt on and was practically starving, Big Tom offered to take his lashings. 

President Hinckley related this parable of how Jesus Christ takes our lickings for us. He invited us all to mediate on the life and sacrifice of the Savior as a way to commemorate the Christmas season. 

Seeing Christmas through New Eyes

Dieter F. Uchtdorf | December 2010

 

“While it’s true that we can find materialism and anxiety in Christmas, it is also true that if we have eyes to see, we can experience the powerful message of the birth of the Son of God and feel the hope and peace He brings to the world. We, like the Grinch, can see Christmas through new eyes.”

President Dieter F. Uchtdorf helps us know how we can change our perspective at Christmas. He focused on the principles of rejoicing in the birth of the Savior, pondering His influence in our lives today, and looking steadfastly for His coming during the Christmas season.

President Uchtdorf then went on to share his family’s tradition of celebrating the Advent of Christmas and how it helped them look to Christ. How can we do the same? He discussed the principles of finding joy in the Savior’s birth, considering His influence in daily life amidst the busyness, and anticipating His second coming with hope. 

He encouraged a sincere renewal of commitment to Christ’s teachings and a perspective that sees Christmas with new eyes, recognizing its deeper spiritual significance beyond material gifts. 

Christmas is Christlike Love

Bonnie Oscarson | December 2014

Sister Oscarson: Christmas Is about Love, Service, Sacrifice - Church News  and Events

“The spirit of Christmas is Christlike love. The way to increase the Christmas spirit is to reach out generously to those around us and give of ourselves. The best gifts are not material things but gifts of listening, of showing kindness, of remembering, of visiting, of forgiving, of giving time.” 

Sister Bonnie Oscarson shared how the Christmas story is one of love. She told the story of one of a family from 1901 who were struggling after a difficult year. They did not anticipate having any gifts for Christmas. The family tried to have a positive outlook and ate dill pickles as their celebratory meal. One of the sons found a dime and was sure Santa had left it for him. 

The son ran to the local grocer if he could buy some candy for his siblings. The grocer gave the boy much more than a dime’s worth, giving him a large bag filled with scoop after scoop. The family looked at the man’s generosity as a sign of love from God. 

Sister Oscarson used this story to illustrate that Christmas is about being more charitable, thoughtful and kind. 

The Light and the Life of the World

David A. Bednar | December 2015

Christmas Devotional: Jesus Source of All Light, Elder Bednar Says - Church  News and Events

“Many of our memorable and enduring Christmas traditions include different kinds of lights—lights on trees, lights in and on our homes, candles on our tables. May the beautiful lights of every holiday season remind us of Him who is the source of all light.”

Elder David A. Bednar begins with the account of the Savior’s birth in the Book of Mormon, specifically focusing on the prophesies of Samuel the Lamanite. He talks about the anticipation and faith of the people awaiting the sign of Christ’s birth, highlighting their steadfastness despite skepticism and persecution. Elder Bednar then transitions to the miraculous fulfillment of prophesy, where the absence of darkness and the appearance of a new star mark the Savior’s birth.

Elder Bednar pulls lessons from this scripture story to highlight Christ as the eternal light that dispels fear, provides guidance, and brings enduring peace and joy. The analogy of lights in Christmas traditions is used to reinforce the theme of Christ as the source of all light. The overarching principles Elder Bednar highlights include faith in the fulfillment of prophecies, the symbolism of light representing Christ’s presence, and the enduring impact of the Savior’s birth on the lives of believers.

Four Gifts That Jesus Christ Offers to You

Russell M. Nelson | December 2018

Four Gifts That Jesus Christ Offers to You

“These four unique gifts will bring us more and more joy as we accept them. They were made possible because Jehovah condescended to come to earth as the baby Jesus. He was born of an immortal Father and a mortal mother. He was born in Bethlehem under the most humble of circumstances. His was the holy birth foreseen by prophets since the days of Adam. Jesus Christ is God’s transcendent gift—the gift of the Father to all of His children.”

President Russell M. Nelson addresses the significance of the Christmas season and emphasizes the blessings that come from focusing on the life, mission, doctrine, and Atonement of Jesus Christ. Drawing inspiration from a touching encounter with a young girl named Lydia, who is battling brain cancer, President Nelson discusses the profound faith and eternal perspective exemplified by Lydia and her family. He invites listeners to consider their deepest desires and encourages them to accept four gifts offered by the Savior: an unlimited capacity to love, the ability to forgive, the gift of repentance, and the promise of life everlasting. President Nelson underscores the importance of making and keeping sacred covenants as the key to receiving these gifts and finding true joy in this life and the next.

The address highlights the transformative power of these gifts, emphasizing that the Savior’s Atonement enables all other gifts to become accessible. President Nelson’s testimony concludes with a vision of a future day when all will acknowledge Jesus Christ as the Savior, celebrating His reign in a grand chorus. The overarching message encourages a focus on the Savior during the Christmas season, a deeper consideration of personal desires, and a commitment to living on the covenant path for lasting joy and eternal life.

Less Conspicuous Gifts

Michelle D. Craig | December 2021

Sister Michelle D. Craig says 'less conspicuous gifts' can be holy gifts  that bless others this Christmas - Church News

“These quiet gifts do as much to lift God’s children as others that we recognize and celebrate more often—quiet gifts that help us accomplish our most important purposes in life. But, unfortunately, we sometimes hold back and fail to appreciate or share our gifts, fearing that they are not as polished, perfect, or pretty as we would like.”

In Sister Michelle D. Craig’s address, she reminisces about the cherished Christmas tradition of her grandparents visiting with homemade Swedish pancakes. She emphasizes the value of gifts, particularly those of time and talents, and recognizes that everyone possesses spiritual gifts from God. Sister Craig shares Elder Marvin J. Ashton’s insight into “less conspicuous gifts,” such as the ability to ask, listen, avoid contention, and care for others. She encourages individuals to appreciate and utilize these gifts, emphasizing their importance in lifting others and feeling God’s love.

Drawing from personal experiences, Sister Craig uses her grandfather’s violin as an analogy, highlighting the importance of sharing one’s gifts. She encourages listeners not to let self-doubt prevent them from using their gifts and to offer them to God and His children. Sister Craig provides examples of how various gifts, even the seemingly simple ones, can bring joy and build connections. She concludes by reflecting on the ultimate gift of Jesus Christ and urges everyone to receive and rejoice in God’s gifts, fostering true joy in the world.

Maybe Christmas Doesn’t Come from a Store

Jeffrey R. Holland | December 1977

“Shepherds would soon arrive and later, wise men from the East. Later yet the memory of that night would bring Santa Claus and Frosty and Rudolph—and all would be welcome. But first and forever there was just a little family, without toys or trees or tinsel. With a baby—that’s how Christmas began.” 

In this address given to the Religious Instruction faculty at Brigham Young University, Elder Jeffrey R. Holland drew parallels between the Grinch’s realization in Dr. Seuss’s story and the profound meaning of Christmas. Elder Holland emphasizes that Christmas isn’t about material possessions but is a story of intense poverty, represented by the humble circumstances surrounding the birth of Jesus. He reflects on the conditions of the stable, the poverty of Joseph and Mary, and the Savior’s descent beneath every human pain.

Elder Holland contrasts the symbolic elements of Christmas, such as decorations and gifts, with the simple and unadorned manger, where the focus should be on the Babe of Bethlehem. He suggests separating the joyous expressions of love through gifts from personal moments of contemplating the meaning of Christ’s birth. The talk highlights the importance of understanding the poverty and humility associated with the Nativity and encourages individuals to appreciate the true significance of Christmas.

Christ: The Light That Shines in Darkness

Sharon Eubank | April 2019

 

“I testify you are beloved. The Lord knows how hard you are trying. You are making progress. Keep going. He sees all your hidden sacrifices and counts them to your good and the good of those you love. Your work is not in vain. You are not alone. His very name, Emmanuel, means ‘God with us.’ He is surely with you.” 

Though this talk was given in the spring, it uses Christmas lights to offer hope in our darkest times. Sister Sharon Eubank discusses how she can see the Salt Lake Temple from her office window and times when the lights have gone dim. She gave multiple examples of how and why we may feel like we are in darkness, including grief, exhaustion, doubt, and more. 

She gave a few principles about how we can turn our lights back on and the power just one bulb is in the whole of lighted tree. Just like the Christmas lights on Temple Square, we can attract those who need light. 

 

 

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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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