Four Gifts from the Savior
    Footnotes

    “Four Gifts from the Savior,” Liahona, December 2019

    Four Gifts from the Savior

    From the 2018 First Presidency Christmas devotional.

    Jesus teaching

    Illustration by Kathleen Peterson

    My beloved brothers and sisters, what a treasured season this is! Let us consider together the blessings that come to us as we focus on the life, mission, doctrine, and Atonement of the Lord Jesus Christ.

    During this season I invite you to consider your own desires. Do you really want to become more and more like Jesus Christ? Do you really want to live with Heavenly Father and with your family forever and live as He lives? If you do, you will want to accept many gifts offered by the Lord to help you during your mortal probation. Let us focus on four of the gifts Jesus Christ gave to all who are willing to receive them (see Doctrine and Covenants 88:33).

    First, He gave you and me an unlimited capacity to love. That includes the capacity to love the unlovable and those who not only do not love you but presently persecute and despitefully use you (see Matthew 5:44–45).

    With the Savior’s help, we can learn to love as He loved. It may require a change of heart—most certainly a softening of our hearts—as we are tutored by the Savior how to really take care of each other. My dear brothers and sisters, we can truly minister in the Lord’s way as we accept His gift of love.

    A second gift the Savior offers you is the ability to forgive. Through His infinite Atonement, you can forgive those who have hurt you and who may never accept responsibility for their cruelty to you. The Savior will grant you the ability to forgive anyone who has mistreated you in any way.

    A third gift from the Savior is that of repentance. The Lord invites us to change our minds, our knowledge, our spirit, even our breathing. For example, when we repent, we breathe with gratitude to God, who lends us breath from day to day (see Mosiah 2:21). And we desire to use that breath in serving Him and His children. Repentance is a resplendent gift. It is a process never to be feared. It is a gift for us to receive with joy and to use—even embrace—day after day as we seek to become more like our Savior.

    A fourth gift from our Savior is actually a promise—a promise of life everlasting. Everyone will be resurrected and experience immortality. But eternal life is so much more than a designation of time. Eternal life is the kind and quality of life that Heavenly Father and His Beloved Son live. When the Father offers us everlasting life, He is saying in essence, “If you choose to follow my Son—if your desire is really to become more like Him—then in time you may live as we live and preside over worlds and kingdoms as we do.”

    These four unique gifts will bring us more and more joy as we accept them. They were made possible because Jehovah condescended to come to earth as the baby Jesus. He was born of an immortal Father and a mortal mother. He was born in Bethlehem under the most humble of circumstances. Jesus Christ is God’s transcendent gift—the gift of the Father to all of His children (see John 3:16).

    With our thoughts and feelings so focused on the Savior of the world, what, then, do we need to do to receive these gifts offered to us so willingly by Jesus Christ? What is the key to loving as He loves, forgiving as He forgives, repenting to become more like Him, and ultimately living with Him and our Heavenly Father?

    The key is to make and keep sacred covenants. We choose to live and progress on the Lord’s covenant path and to stay on it. It is not a complicated way. It is the way to true joy in this life and eternal life beyond.

    My dear brothers and sisters, my deepest desires are for all of Heavenly Father’s children to have the opportunity to hear the gospel of Jesus Christ and to heed His teachings. And I desire that we will believe and receive the love the Savior has for each of us. His infinite and perfect love moved Him to atone for you and me. That gift—His Atonement—allows all of His other gifts to become ours.