“Friend to Friend: Christmas Message to Children of the Church in Every Land,” Friend, Dec. 1971, 2
You are all children of our Heavenly Father. Your precious souls and youthful spirits are like shining, sparkling jewels in the crown of the Church, which is the earthly kingdom of God. It has not been long since your choice spirits came from the holy presence of our Savior Jesus Christ, whose birth we remember and celebrate at this joyous Christmas season.
Almost two thousand years ago shepherds, watching their flocks by night on the hillside near Bethlehem, heard heavenly hosts tell of the birth of the Savior. The shepherds hurried through the night and found the Holy Child wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.
In time this child grew and waxed strong in spirit and was filled with wisdom, and the grace of God was upon him.
When Jesus grew to be a man, he drew children close about him. He wanted to show his great love for all that which is pure and holy, and he found such qualities in the trusting lives of these little ones. He taught, “Suffer little children, and forbid them not, to come unto me: for of such is the kingdom of heaven.” Jesus meant that those who want to return to his presence must be as clean and free of sin, as honest and trusting, and as humble and faithful as a child.
As Jesus drew children near to him, they could not doubt the sincere love of his caress. They felt secure in the strength of his comforting gentle arms. They felt good in his presence and were joyful. To them his love was real—something they could feel. It made them very happy!
In this season of giving, the very best wish we could have for you is that you will know and understand the true worth of the gospel and that you will try to live as Jesus lived. In order to live such a life, you must know as much as possible about his life and teachings. You may learn this by reading the scriptures, attending Church classes, and learning in your homes through the teachings and examples of loving, faithful parents and brothers and sisters.
You should always try to follow the example of the Savior. When you have a problem and need to make a choice, make it by asking yourself, “What would Jesus do?” Then do as he would.
You can feel the joy of his presence and have his inspiration to guide you each day of your lives if you will seek it and live worthy of it. Jesus’ love and the comforting strength of his Holy Spirit can be just as real to you as they were to the children he drew close to him when he lived on the earth.
We sincerely pray that you will surely know that the best way to live is to keep close to the Lord through prayer and by being faithful to his commandments.
Joseph Fielding Smith
Harold B. Lee
N. Eldon Tanner