“Christmas Message to Children of the Church in Every Land from the First Presidency,” Friend, Dec. 1972, 2
Christmas is a time of gladness and rejoicing. Boys and girls throughout the world celebrate this holy season in many different ways, but Christmas everywhere is a special time to remember a Baby who was born long ago near the hills of Judea in the little town of Bethlehem.
Christmas is a time of lights. We light our homes and trees, our streets, and our store windows. Processions of singing families carrying torches wind their way through the snowy Alps of Austria as they go to attend church at Christmastime. On that first Christmas night lights appeared in the heavens, especially one bright star that shone down on the manger where the Baby Jesus lay. Far away in the “new world” bright lights were also seen in the heavens, and a night that did not grow dark announced that Christ had been born just as had been foretold by Book of Mormon prophets.
Christmas is a time of song. The first Christmas was heralded by angels praising God. Today carolers on street corners and at doorsteps sing old familiar Christmas carols. In Church meetings and at programs there is a sparkle and glow in the eyes of children as they sing songs about Christmas and the Baby’s birth.
Christmas is a busy time—a time of haste. That Christmas long ago was a hurried time too for shepherds in the field. Having seen the glory in the heavens they went with haste to see the Babe as soon as the angels had told their glorious message of His birth. In the villages of Mexico, children re-enact that first Christmas. One child is Mary and another is Joseph. Together they visit the village houses, pretending the houses are posadas (inns). Everywhere the people of the inns turn the children away, but finally a friendly posada gives them shelter.
Christmas is a time of loving. This love is expressed by the gifts we give to one another. In Scandinavian countries sheaves of grain are placed on tops of poles, in fields, and on barn roofs for the birds. Everywhere people’s hearts seem especially full of love for their friends and neighbors.
When Jesus was born on that holy night long ago, our Heavenly Father’s love was showered upon the people of the earth. He sent His greatest of all gifts, His Only Begotten and Beloved Son, so that we all may someday return to our heavenly home. The best way we can show our love for Him is to live His teachings and to obey His commandments, for He said, “If ye love me, keep my commandments.”
At this special time of year may you feel the joy of Christmas, remembering Jesus as you see the lights of Christmas, as you sing the music of Christmas, and as you sense the hurry and busyness of Christmas. May love be mirrored in your hearts as you reach out and give of yourself with love to all those around you.
May you truly feel the great love our Heavenly Father and His Son have for you, and also the love we have for you.