Gospel adds understanding to the meaning of Christmas

I was baptized on Dec. 18, 1954. During the Christmas holidays that year, about 18 missionaries in our area came to our home. On Christmas Eve, we went Christmas caroling to the members' homes nearby, and then we came back and had a dinner.

On Christmas day, we gathered for a testimony meeting. That was one of the most impressive testimony meetings I have ever attended. After the testimony meeting, the missionaries went out to visit their contacts, and then they came back and had Christmas dinner at my home. It was the most marvelous Christmas I have ever had - to hear those missionaries talk about the things they had done for Christmas at home in the past.After I was baptized, I knew what Christmas really meant. I recall that one night before I joined the Church, I stood for half an hour in a park for a street meeting during which a minister spoke on "After death, what?" At the end of the half hour I was still waiting to find out - "After Death, What?" The minister couldn't tell us.

But the LDS Church could tell me.

I learned that Christ really did live; that He was a real person. There was a purpose. Death wasn't the end; we would be with Him one day. There was a meaning to life, to the Christmas story.

I was the first one in our family to be baptized. The following May my two daughters decided to join the Church. I said to them, "You don't know enough about it."

They said, "Yes we do. We've been listening to your lessons with the missionaries when we should have been doing our homework."

A year later my husband joined the Church, and a year after that he died. Having the missionaries in our home that Christmas of 1954 made all the difference for my husband.

Since I came to the United States, we've had sealing ordinances done for the family. I have three children, 19 grandchildren and 21 great-grandchildren. Today, I'm 77 years old. Two weeks ago I was called to be a Relief Society counselor. You're never out of work in this Church.

The changes in my life in December 1954 gave my life meaning. We will have a life after; I will have my whole family together if we're worthy.

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