“Contents,” Ensign, Dec. 1996, 1EnsignDecember 1996Volume 26 Number 12ContentsFirst Presidency Message: Gratitude As a Saving PrinciplePresident James E. FaustChristmas Gift for HungaryJeffrey S. McClellanA Vision of ServiceElder V. Dallas MerrellLunch Bag LovePaula J. LewisAlone for the HolidaysKellene Ricks AdamsCrisis Christmas in ColombiaBlair L. LaBargeCosta Rica: Rising in Majesty and StrengthLaRene Porter GauntThe Restoration of the Aaronic and Melchizedek PriesthoodsLarry C. PorterMormon JournalOur Not-Quite Tabernacle Choir Jeanne P. LawlerI Received the Better Gift Vicki TynerWhy Was Choka Here? Valerie DeCora GuimarãesStranded in a Small Town Frank W. Olsen, as told to Kathleen OlsenThree Small Headstones Carla ParsonsPortraitsSpeaking Today: “When Shall These Things Be?”Elder M. Russell BallardRandom SamplerThe Visiting Teacher: The Rock of Our RedeemerNews of the ChurchAnnual Index[photo, illustration] On the cover: Front: Photo by Welden Andersen. Back: The Nativity, by Robert T. Barrett, oil on canvas, 24″ x 36″, 1986. Original is in the artist’s collection.Inside front cover: Christmas on Temple Square, by Larry C. Winborg, oil on canvas, 24″ x 36″, 1994. Warming the hearts of viewers during the crisp holiday season, the lights at Temple Square reflect the Savior’s words “I am … the light and the life of the world—a light that shineth in darkness” (D&C 45:7).Inside back cover: “Go … into the Wilderness,” by Robert T. Barrett, acrylic on illustration board, 37″ x 102″, 1985. In October 1830, through the Prophet Joseph Smith, the Lord instructed Oliver Cowdery, Peter Whitmer Jr., Parley P. Pratt, and Ziba Peterson to “declare my gospel” and go “into the wilderness among the Lamanites” (D&C 32:1, 2). Thus began the first known preaching of the restored Church in a non-English language. En route to America’s western frontier, a destination 1,500 miles from their starting point in New York, the brethren trekked heroically though many miles of deep snow.