To my wonderful family and friends---
I just wanted to take a quick minute and wish y'all a Merry Christmas! Truly, 'tis the season to rejoice---not because of all the presents or fun trinkets, but because we're celebrating the birth of our Savior and Redeemer, Jesus Christ. That's what Christmas is all about. I know that this isn't new news to any of you; it wasn't to me either. But getting to spend my first Christmas on a mission has really emphasized that point for me.
I've loved reading all the prophecies of the birth of Christ in the scriptures; from Isaiah---"For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace."---to Micah,---"But thou, Beth-lehem Ephratah, though thou be little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of thee shall he come forth unto me that is to be ruler in Israel; whose goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting."---from Nephi, the son of Lehi---"And it came to pass that I looked and beheld the great city of Jerusalem, and also other cities. And I beheld the city of Nazareth; and in the city of Nazareth I beheld a virgin, and she was exceedingly fair and white...And I looked and beheld the virgin again, bearing a child in her arms. And the angel said unto me: Behold the Lamb of God, yea, even the Son of the Eternal Father!"---to Nephi, the son of Helaman---"Our father Lehi was driven out of Jerusalem because he testified of these things. Nephi also testified of these things, and also almost all of our fathers, even down to this time; yea, they have testified of the coming of Christ, and have looked forward, and have rejoiced in his day which is to come."---and also to Samuel the Lamanite---"And behold, there shall a new star arise, such an one as ye never have beheld; and this also shall be a sign unto you. And behold this is not all, there shall be many signs and wonders in heaven. And it shall come to pass that ye shall all be amazed, and wonder, insomuch that ye shall fall to the earth. And it shall come to pass that whosoever shall believe on the Son of God, the same shall have everlasting life."
And then, in Matthew and Luke, we read of His birth. "Now the birth of Jesus Christ was on this wise: When as his mother Mary was espoused to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Ghost...And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his aname JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins. Now all this was done, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying, Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us."
"And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn...And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid. And the angel said unto them, 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. And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger. And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men."
Truly, what greater reason have we to rejoice? Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the Living God. He descended below all things to prepare the way for us. He invites all mankind to follow Him. He atoned for our sins and our sorrows. "For behold, I, God, have suffered these things for all, that they might not suffer if they would repent..." He has restored His Church, that we may draw closer to Him. I am so grateful for these "good tidings of great joy," and I'm doing my best to bring them to all people! I am so grateful to be on a mission, to have the chance to share this joy I have with others. I love you all. May you feel of our Father in Heaven's love in great abundance this Christmas season. God the Father gave the first Christmas gift. "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting ilife. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved." And because of the Father's gift, Jesus Christ gave us the Greatest Gift of All---The Gift of Eternal Life.
How can we not rejoice?
Merry Christmas everyone!
P.S. Here are the scriptures I used:
1 Nephi 11:13, 20-21
Matthew 1:18, 21-23
2 Corinthians 4:5
For we preach not ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord; and ourselves your servants for Jesus' sake.