Sunday, December 22, 2013

Christmas Thoughts

So being in Mongolia for Christmas is pretty hard.  They don't really celebrate Christmas.  Which I guess that makes sense.  But even the members are don't realize how important Christmas is.  And not that one was is more right than the other. But I definitely miss Christmas in the States.  Which has lead me to ponder what celebrating Christmas really is.  

I have read Luke 2 so many times this week to remind me that it's Christmas. I want to share my insight.  
Luke 2:
 8. And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night.
 9 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.
 10 And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.
 11 For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the cLord.
 12 And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.
 13 And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying,
 14 aGlory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.

How special  these verses have always been to me.  Every time I hear them everything becomes still.  The Savior of the word was born. How great must have been the anticipation for Christ's birth, that the angels were singing in the Heavens.  They understood exactly  what Jesus, The Christ, would do for all of mankind.  
I have always wondered why did the humble shepherds receive this Heavenly messenger and witness this glorious crowd of angels singing. Why they were the only ones (on record) who was the Angelic choir praising the Savior?  I think their hearts were hungering after the news of when the Savior of the world would be born.  The humble shepherds were ready to receive this glorious confirmation because of their great faith in him.  And then "with haste" they found the "babe lying in a manger".  

What are great example these shepherds are?! Not only did the make haste but after they saw the babe, "they made known abroad this saying which was told them concerning the child".

For the members of the Church, I know you have seen the Savior in your own way. And now we need to share these glad tidings, "making it known abroad'.

There is no other way in this life and the next to receive  sure and lasting peace and happiness then through our Redeemer, the Lord Jesus Christ. 

Alma 34:10 - For it is expedient that there should be a great and last sacrifice; yea, not a sacrifice of man, neither of beast, neither of any manner of fowl; for it shall not be a human sacrifice; but it must be an infiniteand eternal sacrifice.

Christ cam into the world to fulfill a sacred mission. He was the only one that could perform this great and lasting sacrifice. He living a perfect life, suffered and died for the whole of mankind. We are free from the bands of death because of his willingness to carry out his Father's will.  

His suffering is incomprehensible. I know that Atonement runs deeper than I can possibly imagine. He understands every feeling, of anyone who has every lived on this earth, has felt. 

Alma 7:12
And he will take upon him death, that he may loose the bands of death which bind his people; and he will take upon him their infirmities, that his bowels may be filled with mercy, according to the flesh, that he may know according to the flesh how to succor his people according to their infirmities.

How special it is that we are never alone. No matter what we do, his arms of mercy are always extended toward us. Life is full of pain, either from our's or others' mistakes, sickness, and disease.  But if we rely on Christ's atonement can be healed and strengthened.  "All that is unfair about this life can be made right through the Atonement of Jesus Christ. (PMG)"  That is my favorite line in all of Preach My Gospel.  Christmas is a wonderful reminder of what Christ did for us.  

Let us all be more converted to the Lord.  
Helamen 5:12 And now, my sons, remember, remember that it is upon the rock of our Redeemer, who is Christ, the Son of God, that ye must build your foundation; that when the devil shall send forth his mighty winds, yea, his shafts in the whirlwind, yea, when all his hail and his mighty storm shall beat upon you, it shall have no power over you to drag you down to the gulf of misery and endless wo, because of the rock upon which ye are built, which is a sure foundation, a foundation whereon if men build they cannot fall.

I love this scripture.  We need not fear if we put our trust in Jesus Christ.  
I know that my Redeemer lives. I know he suffered and died on our behalf. We need him in our lives.  We must always seek him and seek his wonderful gift of forgiveness and mercy. This church is His Church, which contains the fullness of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.  I'm so grateful for the fullness of truth we have been given. 

Studying this helped me remember Christmas is more than Christmas songs, and being with family.Christmas is celebrating and sharing the message of Hope of Christ's Atonement.  It is following his example to do as he would do. 

So Merry Christmas and I hope you are enjoying your Holiday!  

Love you Family/Friends! (talk to my family soon!)

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