Sunday, December 13, 2009

The True Meaning of Christmas

I, like many others, love the Christmas season. I love giving a getting gifts, snow, hot chocolate, candy canes, ice skating, and everything else that makes me think of Christmas. During the Christmas season I like to try and reflect on what the true meaning of Christmas is, and I wanted to write something about it.

We all know, even many non-Christians know, that Christmas commemorates the birth of the Lord Jesus Christ. When I think of the Risen Lord, one of the first things that comes to mind is service. He lived His life serving others, He died serving others, His resurrection makes ours possible, and He lives now and still serves us. We ought to reach out to each other all of the time, but the Christmas season is the perfect excuse to do a little more, to love a little more, and to care a little more.

The prophet of our Church, President Thomas S. Monson, is a great example of a life of service. In his addresses to the Church, President Monson frequently speaks of serving others, and how his life has been blessed by serving. He would like nothing more than for all people to serve one another. A little more than a year ago President Monson was asked what gift members of the Church could give him for his birthday, and President Monson said:

Do something for someone else on that day to make his or her life better. Find someone who is having a hard time or is ill or lonely, and do something for them. That's all I would ask
I feel blessed to have the example of a Prophet of the Lord. I know serving others will help us all keep the real meaning of Christmas in our minds throughout the season.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

A Change of Heart

The Gospel of Jesus Christ can do many different things for a person, but one that is most important and precious is the ability to change someone. I don't mean trivial changes; I mean really changing.

Real change is one of the most difficult things, but I know that angry people can become calm, and arrogance can make way for humility. It is not easy, but it is possible. From Ezekiel 11:19

And I will give them one heart, and I will put a new spirit within you; and I will take the stony heart out of their flesh, and will give them an heart of flesh.

The Savior overcame every difficulty as part of His perfect sacrifice. He has the ability to help us change. I am by no means a perfect man, but I know that through the Gospel it is possible to overcome the desire to sin, not just the sin itself. It is hard to put this into words, but I know from personal experience that we can be changed.

One cannot earn the Savior's help or His mercy. We all rely on His sacrifice, because without it we cannot be saved. I am just a man, but I have felt this change from time to time. I try to retain it in my heart. Merry Christmas.