The best way for me to keep Christ in my mind and heart is to include Him in my daily activities. There are some things that have helped me do that:
- Make Jesus a real part of my personal prayers. I know that without Jesus and His atoning sacrifice, the door could not be opened and I would not be able to return to live with Heavenly Father.- Make Jesus a part of my every-day decisions. Long ago in Primary, I was taught to make decisions by asking myself what Jesus would do in similar circumstances. I have to make decisions every day. Choosing what He would do not only helps me make the right decisions, but also affords me daily opportunities to include Him in my life.
- Share Jesus with others each day. This is easily done as we verbally give Him credit for our happiness and blessings. Instead of telling my friends, "I'm sure glad that . . . , " I like to say, "My Savior sure has blessed me with . . . ."
- Pray and study to understand the atonement. This makes Jesus a partner when partaking of the sacrament, attending temple sessions, participating in other priesthood ordinances or attending Church meetings.
- Remember Jesus as you look at His creations. I see Jesus as I walk outdoors, as I look at my children and my eternal wife and even as I look in the mirror. Jesus created everything that is good, even me.
- Serve others. As we serve others, we are serving our God.
- Remember Jesus as we strive for perfection. The only way to reach perfection, as the scriptures command us to do, is in Jesus Christ. He is the only way to Father. Our exaltation depends on keeping Christ in our heart and mind at all times. - Michael W. Fritchen, Fort Leavenworth, Kan.
What we did:
Gift of life
One Christmas I received a little keepsake from a lesson in Church. On this card was written a beautiful message that I will never forget and have used many times in my life. The message was this: "Your life is a gift from God; what you do with that life is your gift to God."
When special people in our lives give us gifts, we like to thank them. How can we thank our Savior for all He has given us? By giving our lives to Him, by serving and loving others, trying our best to live the commandments each day, following Christ's example in all we do. We need to give each day to the Lord, just as He has given us each new day.
Don't let a day pass without remembering the great gifts our Savior has given us, and most of all don't let a day pass without showing your gratitude for those gifts. If we remember to do this, Christ will always be in our thoughts and hearts. - Sherrie Robinson, Sao Lourenco, Curitiba, Parana, Brazil
The key for me has been the words of Moroni in chapter seven. He says in verse 47: "But charity is the pure love of Christ, and it endureth forever." We can be assured of the Savior's love forever as one who has served us, redeemed us and purchased us with His blood.
Verse 48 says: "Wherefore, my beloved brethren, pray unto the Father with all the energy of heart, that ye may be filled with this love, which he hath bestowed upon all who are true followers of his Son, Jesus Christ."
The pure love of Christ is a gift for which we can ask in prayer with all energy of heart and we can receive when we are true disciples. This love will bless our lives with peace, comfort and a great sense of well-being. This love will then bless the lives of those with whom we come in contact because we will be able to see others as the Savior sees them.
It is a challenge to seek this gift of love that will bring abundant spiritual blessings and joy throughout the year. - Ann Kartchner-Hauley, Salt Lake City, Utah
`Peace of God'
The three ways I use are the following:
- Reading the scriptures. I study and ponder them often. Even only a verse gives a spiritual thought for the day and something to ponder at night should sleep be elusive.
- Praying. This is our most vital link with our Heavenly Father and His Son Jesus Christ. (See D&C 42:16 and John 17:3.)
- Listening to music and talks. Christmas music, tapes, videos and other media that pertain to Christmas renew the feelings enjoyed during the holidays and draw me closer to our Savior.
All of these strengthen my testimony and bring me joy - "the peace of God, which passeth all understanding." (Philip. 4:7.) - Virginia A. Terribilini, Penngrove, Calif.
Daily scripture study
To keep Christ in our hearts and minds all year, not just during the holidays, we must study the scriptures daily, not just one but all of them. Christ is in every sacred book.
We must attend our meetings. Here we learn more of Christ and receive spiritual uplift for the week.
Listen to inspirational music. Watch the glories of God's world - the birds, the animals, growing things, the glistening snow and the towering mountains.
Above all, pray daily to your Father in Heaven in the name of Jesus Christ and thank Him for His goodness and mercy. He will listen and be with you every day. - Gilda Sims, Evanston, Wyo.
Christmas in July
Having been married only a few weeks, I followed my new husband to a small town where he was attending the university. I went to work immediately in a local hospital where I met a most incredible woman. She taught me a great lesson in regard to the Christmas spirit.
It was a hot July morning, and I was feeling especially lonely for family and friends. There in the corner of Mary's hospital room was the most beautiful Christmas tree that I had ever seen. Mary explained to me that this year she would not be around to enjoy the Christmas season. She had simply decided that she would have her Christmas in July.
That was 23 years ago, but a July never passes that I do not think of Mary and that wonderful Christmas feeling that she shared with me during a very lonely time. I have learned that the Christmas spirit can be felt any time of the year. It is a feeling that we nurture in our hearts and then cannot help but share with those around us. - Constance E. Stull, Milwaukie, Ore.
Warmth of His love
Feeling the warmth of my Savior's love on a regular basis comes from developing a close relationship with Him via keeping His commandments, praying and studying the scriptures, attending Church faithfully and committing and being willing to do all He asks of me as far as in my power. As the Lord thus begins to teach us spirit-to-spirit and we marvel at what we learn and how He is working in our lives, we feel His love and know that it is indeed the most pure and delicious fruit there is. This love of Him and feeling His love for us can keep us warm and "Christmasy" all year round. - Hollye Holmquist, Lancaster, Calif.
How to checklist:
1 Involve Christ in your daily life; live the gospel.
2 Develop charity, the pure love of Christ; serve others.
3 Express, show daily your gratitude for God-given gifts.
4 Remember the Savior as you look at, enjoy His creations.
WRITE TO US:
Dec. 23 "How to feel peace and contentment today, rather than always looking to the future for happiness."
Dec. 30 "How to apply the two great commandments (love of God, love of fellowman) in your life."
Jan. 6 "How to increase gospel knowledge through daily study of the Book of Mormon."
Jan 13 "How to help yourself or a loved one break the cycle of compulsive behavior."
Jan. 20 "How to help young people want to dress modestly and with dignity."
Jan. 27 "How to be more effective in your occupation."
Had any good experiences or practical success in any of the above subjects? Share them with our readers in about 100-150 words. Write the "How-to" editor, Church News, P.O. Box 1257, Salt Lake City, Utah 84110, send fax to (801) 237-2121 or use internet E-mail: [email protected] Please include a name and phone number. Contributions may be edited or excerpted and will not be returned. Due to limited space, some contributions may not be used; those used should not be regarded as official Church doctrine or policy. Material must be received at least 12 days before publication date.