First Presidency Focuses on the Savior at Devotional
February 2007

“First Presidency Focuses on the Savior at Devotional,” Ensign, Feb. 2007, 74–75

First Presidency Focuses on the Savior at Devotional

“Of all the seasons of the year, there is none so beautiful as Christmas,” said President Gordon B. Hinckley during the annual First Presidency Christmas Devotional held in the Conference Center in Salt Lake City and broadcast around the world.

“Our hearts reach out to those in need. Love overcomes hate. … Love grows a little stronger, hearts are a little more generous. We are more inclined to strengthen feeble knees and lift up the hands that hang down. Children’s hearts are made glad. There comes an added magic in the air. There is a deep underlying current of happiness.”

After recounting the loss of his mother shortly before Christmas in 1930 and the difficult loss of his wife in 2004, President Hinckley said: “Shining through all of the darkness is the sublime figure of the Son of God, who gave His life that we might live. This is the true meaning of Christmas, the reality of the Atonement wrought by the Redeemer of the world.”

President Hinckley testified that Christ offers the hope of salvation to all men, even in these times of war, conflict, and difficult problems.

President Thomas S. Monson, First Counselor in the First Presidency, said Christmas is “a time for families, it is a time for remembering, it is a time for gratitude.

“The spirit of Christmas is the spirit of love and of generosity and of goodness. … The spirit of Christmas is something I hope all of us would have within our hearts and within our lives, not only at this particular season but throughout the year.”

President Monson said that when we keep the spirit of Christmas, we keep the Spirit of Christ.

“The salutation ‘no room’ was not only heard by Joseph and Mary before the birth of Jesus, but was also endured by Him on frequent occasions in His ministry,” President Monson said.

“In our homes today we have rooms for eating, rooms for sleeping, rooms for recreation. Do we have room for Christ? We have time for … activities that are part of our daily lives. Do we have time for Christ?”

President James E. Faust, Second Counselor in the First Presidency, taught that “at this time of year when we commemorate His birth, we should also take time to contemplate with deep reverence His death and transcending sanctification of the Resurrection.”

In his remarks, President Faust focused on one of the Savior’s “great and profound teachings … to do for others that which they cannot do for themselves.”

Anonymous giving reflects the Savior’s love, said President Faust. “I wish to express appreciation and thanks to all who open their hearts and give to others.

“Those of us who contribute anonymously have sweet inner feelings of the Spirit that swell inside when we do something for others that cannot be traced back to ourselves. Anonymous giving gives the gift a higher form of sanctification.”

The First Presidency, bottom right, listens as the Mormon Tabernacle Choir and Orchestra on Temple Square perform during the 2006 First Presidency Christmas Devotional. (Photograph by Craig Dimond.)