Each year at Christmas, I marvel to think about a glorious event in the history of humankind that occurred in the city of Bethlehem of Judea more than 2,000 years ago: the birth of Jesus Christ, the Savior and Redeemer of the world. In the scriptures, we learn more fully about the revelations given to the prophets concerning the coming of the Messiah to the world. Isaiah, the Old Testament prophet, joyously proclaimed, "For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace." I add my testimony to the testimonies of this ancient prophet who, for centuries before the birth of Jesus Christ, proclaimed the event that would change the course of all human history. The narrative found in the Gospel of Luke describes the glorious signs that followed the long-awaited birth of the Messiah. He wrote that in the mountains of Judea near Bethlehem, there were shepherds in their fields, watching over their flocks by night. They were just and holy persons, chosen as the first special witnesses of the announcement that had been predicted for so many years. They truly saw the angel of the Lord, who gave them the news of great joy, for in that city, the City of David, had been born the Savior of the World, the Christ, the Lord. Then a multitude of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying, "Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men." These shepherds found a child lying in a manger, and they worshipped Him, and they went out and bore their testimony of the truth concerning the Savior.

We can all join those shepherds and the heavenly host as we daily glorify the Savior, who was born, lived, died, and was resurrected from the dead so that all mankind might have eternal life. The Savior's life was the personification of love and goodwill toward men. He always focused on people. He sought out those who were sick and poor. He gave food to the hungry. He was not below common tasks, even washing the feet of His disciples. Being fatigued after work and travel, He refused to turn away little children, instead welcoming them personally and blessing them. These selfless acts were not limited to a specific season or holiday but were evident in all he did, every day of his life. Even as He went to Gethsemane, endured Golgotha, and triumphed over the tomb, He was not thinking of Himself but of others. His example can help us become more interested in people and think of their needs before we think of our own. As one of his ordained Apostles on earth, I join Jesus Christ in His invitation to the world: "If any man will come after [Him], let him deny himself, and take up his cross and follow [Him]." The invitation to follow Him is an invitation to turn our hearts outward and give of ourselves to people as He did. As we follow Him, may we ever listen for the sound of His sandaled feet and reach out for the Carpenter's steady hand. I promise that we'll find limitless opportunities to experience the real joy and the true meaning of Christmas, which may become a condition of our heart and mind and not just a day or season. In addition to that, we will certainly find peace on earth and goodwill toward men, not only for the afflicted and bitter hearts, but also for ourselves. I bear my solemn testimony that He, Jesus Christ, is in fact the infant born in Bethlehem. He is truly the Savior and Redeemer of the world. He is the greatest being to be born on this earth. I testify that His life was the perfect example of how all mankind should live. I witness that if we follow in His footsteps, we may become like Him, which can only happen through His name and His Atonement. I testify that there is no other name given under heaven whereby man can be saved in the kingdom of God. These words of praise bring light and joy into my soul: glory to God in the highest, peace on earth, and goodwill to men. Of these truths I witness in His name, the Lord of Lords, the King of Kings, the Lord Immanuel, the Messiah, the Great Jehovah, even Jesus Christ, amen.

Special Witnesses of Christ – Elder Ulisses Soares

Elder Ulisses Soares testifies of the greatest selfless example of all, the Savior Jesus Christ.

Related Collections