“Our Best Christmas Present Ever,” Ensign, December 2014, 78
It was Christmas Eve, and our family had gathered as we do every year to celebrate. The clock was about to strike midnight when Dad called us together, saying that he had something to show us.
With all the preparation and excitement that accompany Christmas Eve, my sisters, mother, and I had not noticed what Dad had prepared for the occasion. As soon as we were all comfortably gathered together, he began to show us some slides.
In his slide show, which featured a painting of the Savior, Christmas scenes, and carefully crafted words, Dad expressed his love for us. His presentation also reminded us of the true meaning of Christmas and the happiness and gratitude we should feel for the Savior’s birth. One slide of a colorful Christmas tree also featured the words, “This Christmas the love of Jesus Christ will bring me a new life.”
The most special part of Dad’s presentation followed when he used a slide of a painting of the Savior to give us some news. It wasn’t just any news; it was the best news ever. Above the Savior appeared the words “I have decided to get baptized in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.”
Our father had finally decided to join the Church! Such a decision may be easy for some people, but it wasn’t for our father. He had been studying the gospel and learning about the Church for 25 years. Despite our best efforts and many missionary discussions, he still had not been baptized. We never understood why, but we knew he wasn’t ready.
I admit there were times when I felt that my father would never be baptized. Deep inside, however, I never lost hope, and we all continued to pray for him. On Christmas Eve, the Lord answered our prayers.
When Dad made his announcement, at first all we could do was weep for joy. We felt a mixture of feelings—excitement, surprise, and above all else, an enormous happiness that is difficult to describe.
Dad’s announcement didn’t just change Christmas Eve—it changed life for our entire family. We still have progress to make as individuals and as a family, but I know moving ahead will be better now that we’re together in the Church.
I am so grateful to the Lord for this blessing. In a few months we will be sealed as a family in the temple. Dad’s announcement was definitely the best Christmas present ever.