“Glad Tidings from the First Presidency,” Friend, Dec. 1984, 2
What a glad season this is when we remember the coming of the Christ Child! There are only a few lines of scripture that tell us of this event, but their simple words carry with them hope for people everywhere.
“Now the birth of Jesus Christ was on this wise” (Matt. 1:18). So begins the narrative of Matthew.
Mark opens his writing with a bold declaration of testimony: “The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God” (Mark 1:1).
Luke’s is the wonderful story of the shepherds in the field tending their sheep, and of the birth in a stable “because there was no room … in the inn.” And of the angel who declared, “Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.
“For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.” (Luke 2:7, 10–11.)
John begins his narrative with a declaration of the premortal existence of the Savior and of His place as Creator:
“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. …
“All things were made by him.” (John 1:1, 3.)
These are the testimonies of those who walked with Him. Their words have become “The New Testament of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.”
There is another gospel, the testament of the New World, where the voice of the Eternal Father introduced the resurrected Lord to the faithful people of the Western Hemisphere:
“Behold my Beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased, in whom I have glorified my name—hear ye him” (3 Ne. 11:7).
Following this divine introduction, the resurrected Lord descended and stood in the midst of the people and said:
“I am Jesus Christ, whom the prophets testified shall come into the world.
“… I am the light and the life of the world.” (3 Ne. 11:10–11.)
Added to these various declarations is the witness of the first prophet of our dispensation, Joseph Smith, whose birth we also remember this month:
“And now, after the many testimonies which have been given of him, this is the testimony, last of all, which we give of him: That he lives!
“For we saw him, even on the right hand of God; and we heard the voice bearing record that he is the Only Begotten of the Father.” (D&C 76:22–23.)
To all of these testimonies we add our own: Jesus of Nazareth is the Christ, the Firstborn of the Father, and the Savior of the world. He created the heavens and the earth, was born and lived in humble circumstances, healed the sick, taught us the way to love and to serve each other, and died so that we can live eternally through his sacrifice and our obedience.
At this Christmas season, our young friends, we urge you to add your testimony by obeying the commandments, by helping others even before you are asked, and by loving one another as Jesus loves you. If you do this, we promise that you will enjoy a happy holiday season. May each of you be blessed with a joyous Christmas!