The Light before Christmas
December 2008

“The Light before Christmas,” New Era, Dec. 2008, 11

The Light before Christmas

A 2,000-year-old message is still true today.

It was the last day of school before the lengthy holiday break, so the students at my high school attended a special seminary session at a chapel right across the street. At the end of the session, a few kids were asked to bear testimonies before we concluded the program.

One senior boy told us about his tradition of reading 3 Nephi 11 early on Christmas morning, before anybody else in his family woke up and tore into presents. His testimony of the understanding it gave him of everything the Savior means in his life inspired me to do the same thing. I decided to read the chapter the night before, on Christmas Eve, before I went to bed.

I knew that this chapter was about Christ appearing to the people in the Americas, and Heavenly Father testifying of His Son. What I didn’t know or understand was the impact the Spirit would have on my heart that night as I felt a simple but completely powerful feeling of love.

This feeling came through well-known scriptures. In verse 7 I read, “Behold my Beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased, in whom I have glorified my name—hear ye him.”

And in verses 10 and 11 I read: “Behold, I am Jesus Christ, whom the prophets testified shall come into this world. … I am the light and the life of the world; and I have drunk out of that bitter cup which the Father hath given me, and have glorified the Father in taking upon me the sins of the world, in the which I have suffered the will of the Father in all things from the beginning.”

Indeed, these are very simple verses, but I felt an incredible feeling of love that night. I understood that I am important as an individual to Him, just as each one of us is. There may be billions of us on earth, but the Father and Jesus Christ are infinitely concerned about each one of us. We can all realize this because of the Savior’s Atonement.

Illustration by Dilleen Marsh