With all the hustle, bustle, and tussle of Christmas season in our rear view, I believe now is good time to reflect on the true meaning of Christmas.
After all, there are only 362 days left until Christmas 2023.
I felt Russell M. Nelson’s four-minute video message pinpointed the true meaning of Christmas perfectly. The 98-year-old (even though he walks and talks like he is 58) President of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints invited all of us to make room in our hearts for the Savior of mankind.
You can always watch the clip on lds.org, YouTube, or other social media channels, but here it is in good old-fashioned newspaper print:
“Every year regardless of our current circumstances, we can find renewed hope and joy as we remember the blessing that came into the world that first Christmas night. More than 2,000 years ago, the Savior of all humankind humbly came to earth as a precious baby. I marvel at the increased goodwill and human kindness that always emerges during this sacred season.
“As we commemorate the birth of him who is the Light of the World, new light is kindled in each of us. Today, we need His light, the Light of Jesus Christ more than ever. We need men and women who reflect His light by being peacemakers, willing to reason with others rather than to contend with them.
“I rejoice when I see young men and women willing to befriend those who feel excluded. Friends reflect His light when they mourn with those who mourn and bring relief to those who are suffering. We need more wise men and women who seek the Lord, who serve the Lord, who reflect His light
“As we follow Jesus Christ, we can make this a better world. So, this Christmas season, will you let your light shine amid all the hustle and bustle of gifts and gatherings? Will you let your life reflect the light and love of Jesus Christ? With the dawning each day could you identify someone who needs your light?
“Reach out to that person by phone, video chat, or send a text or a note. Perform a quiet act of service to help someone nearby. Bring a new friend into your circle. Help someone turn to the Savior and find enduring peace and divine rest.
“There is no better way to celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ than by lifting, loving, and serving others. The world needs the light of Jesus Christ. And the world needs your light.
“God be thanked for loving us enough to send His Only Begotten Son. Jesus Christ changed the world for each of us with his atoning sacrifice. He is the light of the world. He is the light we need to hold up. He is the light that fills us with goodwill toward all people.
“I love the Lord Jesus Christ and testify that He lives. As we celebrate his birth in Bethlehem, let us emulate his life of loving kindness.
“May you and your loved ones be filled with light and joy, now and always. I express my gratitude for you and offer my best wishes for you to have a very merry Christmas.”
I pray for all of us to strive to bring the light of Jesus Christ into the lives of others throughout all of 2023.
Charlie Roberts is a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints living in Stansbury Park.