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3 Essential Gospel Lessons from the Nativity Story

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The Nativity story as found in Luke 2 is one of the most treasured passages of scriptures of all time. Recited and recreated each Christmas season, it tells of the miraculous birth of Jesus Christ and those who witnessed and worshipped Him. 

The Nativity story, however, is more than just a pageant to be performed by children in towel robes on Christmas Eve. When we look more closely, we can see eternal and important gospel principles exemplified by Mary and Joseph, the Shepherds, and the Wise Men. 

These three essential lessons from the Nativity story can help add meaning to our Christmas and our daily walks as disciples of Jesus Christ. 

1. God is with us in overwhelming circumstances. 

When Christ was born, it was in less-than-ideal circumstances. His family was far from home and in the humblest of settings. The Savior of the world was laid in a manger, with no crib for His bed. Certainly, Mary and Joseph did not anticipate the birth of God’s precious Son like this

Have you ever felt like the circumstances of your life were less than ideal? That things aren’t just different from what you expected, but it seems like everything is going horribly wrong?

We learn from that first silent night that we can find peace and calm, no matter our circumstances, if we focus on the Savior. 

Sharing the Christmas Gift

President Bonnie H. Cordon taught, “Like Mary and Joseph, we can trust in Him even amid sometimes overwhelming circumstances. The guidance—even miracles—that come into our lives will probably not be in the hustle and bustle, nor on stages or in stadiums, but in the quiet places where we live and work―where we go for help. Wherever our humble needs arise, we can and will receive answers to our whispered prayers.” 

Like God supported Mary and Joseph through their overwhelming Nativity journey, He will support us, comfort us, and ultimately grant us miracles. He will entrust us with His will even though we may feel undeserving.

We can access this strength and compassion by deepening our understanding for our covenants, looking for God’s hand in our life, and learning more about God and how He works. 

2. God’s revelation can come on ordinary days. 

The shepherds were doing what they did best—shepherding. Little did they know that they were precisely where they needed to be  in order to receive a miraculous visitation. 

When the heavenly hosts arrived, these shepherds were prepared to heed the call, becoming the first witnesses to the extraordinary events of Christ’s birth.

Similar to the shepherds, the promptings and power of God may come unexpectedly as we go about doing what may feel is normal or even mundane. Are our lives in harmony with the principles of the gospel of Jesus Christ, ensuring that we are prepared to receive divine guidance when it presents itself?

Good Tidings of Great Joy (The Angel Appears to the Shepherds)

As we strive to love God and keep our covenants, we can find both comfort and courage in knowing the Holy Ghost will be with us; we can trust the Lord will guide us and reveal important things to us as we need.

We may feel like our daily tasks are becoming ordinary or uninspired, but we never know when these small acts of discipleship will lead to extraordinary revelation. 

3. Look for light on your journey to Christ. 

On long roads, Wise Men journeyed, hoping for the fulfillment of a promise. They followed a single star, believing it would lead them to something far greater. We too may find ourselves, on the long path of discipleship, looking for something to guide us.

The dedication and trust of the Wise Men can inspire us to keep going! We don’t know exactly how long it took for them to find the Christ Child, but it can’t have been a quick or easy journey. 

Likewise, the covenant path isn’t easy or quick. It is a path filled with sacrifice and will stretch into eternity. When the road gets hard or the journey feels fruitless, let us seek light, even if it’s just a pin-prick in the darkness.

The Nativity

We can do this by taking courage, keeping our promises to God, asking our questions, and taking a few more steps on our journey until our own metaphorical star appears. 

President Thomas S. Monson said, “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 in our celebration of the Savior’s birth. May we all make the journey to Bethlehem in spirit, taking with us a tender, caring heart as our gift to the Savior.”

What principles have you learned from the Nativity story?

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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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