“He Came, But Not As Expected, President Hinckley Testifies,” Ensign, Feb. 1992, 75
Through the years, Jesus Christ has become the mightiest figure of all mankind, said President Gordon B. Hinckley, First Counselor in the First Presidency, during the annual First Presidency Christmas Devotional.
The December 1 devotional, held at the Tabernacle on Temple Square and broadcast to stake centers throughout the United States, Canada, and Puerto Rico, was conducted by President Thomas S. Monson, Second Counselor in the First Presidency, who also spoke briefly.
Citing the words of Isaiah, President Hinckley said, “‘Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.’ (Isa. 7:14.)
“The word in Hebrew means, ‘God with us,’” pointed out President Hinckley. And the Lord came to us, President Hinckley observed, “but not as expected. He, the Son of the Eternal God, condescended to come to earth as a babe born in a manger in Bethlehem of Judea.
“He was not accepted as Immanuel,” President Hinckley continued. “He was not accepted as the Savior, the Redeemer, the promised Messiah. …
“Somehow, this man Jesus who was born in the humblest of circumstances, who lived without ambition for the things of the world, whose message was the message of the second mile, of submissiveness, of returning good for evil, and who bowed His back to the lash of His persecutors, has become the greatest and mightiest figure of all mankind.”
Noting that at Christmas we remember Christ with a special sense of gratitude, President Hinckley added: “Our efforts are stumbling and awkward and so often result in failure because of our selfishness, our greed, our pride, our arrogance. But we try. And the world is better for our effort. Ten thousand little things of goodness are done by those who follow Him. Yea, tens of thousands because of His influence in our lives.”
President Hinckley urged those listening to “make resolution to help others. There are so many in distress, so many in pain, so many who walk in loneliness whose lives we can bless. This is the hour to make resolution to do so.”
In his remarks, President Monson told the story of a large family growing up in Star Valley, Wyoming, years ago. While the father was away earning money, food got scarce. One December evening, a pitcher of milk was all that was left.
But the mother uttered a humble prayer, overheard by a son. “Please, Father, touch the heart of somebody so that my children will not be hungry in the morning.”
The next morning, the young son was awakened by the sounds of pots and pans and the aroma of cooking food. A kind neighbor, sitting by a warm fireplace, had heard a voice telling him this family had no food. With the support of his wife, he had harnessed up a team and headed out into the winter night with flour, beef, bottled fruit, and bread. God had heard a mother’s prayer.
“Heavenly Father is ever mindful of those who need, who seek, who trust, who pray, and who listen when He speaks,” President Monson concluded.