First Presidency Christmas message

Once again it is the time of year when solemn and sacred feelings are blended with an air of joyful celebration. At the dawning of this holy season, we extend our love and a special greeting to members of the Church and people everywhere.

While merchandising and social activities have become part of Christmastime in many lands, it is important that we look beyond the commercialism of the season and focus on Him whose birth it commemorates - the Son of God, the Redeemer, the promised Messiah.Perhaps more than in any other season, feelings and emotions are generally warmer during the Christmas holidays. Where such feelings prevail, it is due to the spirit of the Savior, who came to earth as Jesus Christ, the Son of God.

No message is more significant than the one He brought. Nor is any event of greater importance than His atoning sacrifice and subsequent resurrection.

We are aware that even during this happy season there are those in the world who are in sorrow, who mourn, who yearn for peace, who are lonely, and who are burdened with guilt. To such especially we extend our love and compassion.

Peace may be found through adhering to the teachings of the Prince of Peace.

Comfort will come to those who mourn through their understanding of the purpose of life as taught by the Savior, who is well acquainted with grief.

Renewal is available to those who are burdened and sorrowing with guilt. The Lord's own suffering was for all of us who will truly repent, though our sins "be as scarlet." (Isa. 1:18)

We extend the hand of friendship and fellowship to those who are lonely, discouraged, or feeling abandoned. We invite them to become one with us in worship and in the service of the master.

We are persuaded that most men and women long for peace and where there is a strong enough desire to bring it about, it may be achieved. The application of the Golden Rule as taught by the Savior of mankind will bring a resolution of almost any disagreement, whether in the home, the neighborhood, the marketplace, the state, the nation or the world.

We pray for the true spirit of Christmas to rest upon the people and nations of the earth. May we each demonstrate our concern for others, not merely with gifts or messages, but with love and kindness and daily deeds of good will.

The First Presidency

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