Remember Supreme Gift, First Presidency Urges

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“Remember Supreme Gift, First Presidency Urges,” Ensign, Feb. 1993, 71

Remember Supreme Gift, First Presidency Urges

The supreme gift of eternal life should be remembered during this season of gift giving, urged President Thomas S. Monson during the annual First Presidency Devotional held December 6.

With a background of sparkling lights, red and white poinsettias, and simply decorated evergreen trees, President Monson, Second Counselor in the First Presidency, addressed the audience assembled in the Tabernacle on Temple Square.

“Faith, sacrifice, love, and tears were part of that first Christmas in the Salt Lake Valley,” he noted. “They continue down through the years and find their way to our homes and hearts. Indeed, they are a part of what we call the Christmas spirit. …

“President Hugh B. Brown counseled that the spirit of Christmas illuminates the picture window of the soul, and we look out upon the world’s busy life and become more interested in people than things. To catch the real meaning of the spirit of Christmas, we need only drop the last syllable, and it becomes the Spirit of Christ.

“This is the spirit which marked that first Christmas day—a day foretold by the prophets of old,” President Monson explained. After quoting several scriptures prophesying the birth of Christ, President Monson continued: “One penetrating lesson taught at Christmastime is the lament of the Lord: ‘The foxes have holes, and the birds of the air have nests; but the Son of man hath not where to lay his head.’ (Matt. 8:20.)

“‘No room at the inn’ dogged His footsteps and saddened His heart,” President Monson continued. “Let us remember the supreme gift described by the Apostle Paul: ‘The gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.’ (Rom. 6:23.) His promise is forever valid: ‘Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him.’ (Rev. 3:20.)

“The real spirit of Christmas lies in His assurance: ‘I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live:

“‘And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die.’ (John 11:25–26.)”

President Gordon B. Hinckley, First Counselor in the First Presidency, conducted the devotional. He, too, remarked on the gift Jesus Christ gave to all people.

“His is the gift given to all men to rise from the grave in resurrection. His is the invitation to go on to eternal life.

“We love Him. We honor Him. We thank Him. We worship Him. He has done for each of us and for all mankind that which no other could have done. God be thanked for the gift of His Beloved Son, the Savior and Redeemer of the world, the Lamb without blemish who was offered as a sacrifice for all mankind.

“We testify of His living reality,” President Hinckley concluded. “We testify of His divine love. In our times of grateful meditation, we acknowledge His priceless gift to us and pledge our love and faith. Again at this Christmas season, we bear witness of Him.”

The Mormon Tabernacle Choir, with the sisters attired in red long dresses and the brethren in black tuxedos, provided the music for the devotional. They were joined by the congregation, who sang several well-known Christmas hymns.

Bright trees and poinsettias decorate the Tabernacle for the First Presidency Christmas devotional. (Photography by Melanie Shumway.)

President Monson discusses the Christmas spirit.