“Finding the real joy of the season comes not in the hurrying and the scurrying to get more done or in the purchasing of obligatory gifts. Real joy comes as we show the love and compassion inspired by the Savior of the World, who said, ‘Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these…ye have done it unto me'” (Matthew 25:40).
So declared President Thomas S. Monson during the First Presidency Christmas Devotional, which was held in the Conference Center in downtown Salt Lake City Sunday evening, Dec. 6.
Joining President Monson in delivering Christmas messages were his counselors in the First Presidency, President Henry B. Eyring, first counselor, and President Dieter F. Uchtdorf, second counselor.
While the Conference Center was filled to near capacity, hundreds of thousands of members watched the program as it was carried live by the Church satellite system; in some parts of the world — especially in those areas where there is a great difference in time zones — the program was recorded for viewing by congregations at a later date. The program was carried also by BYUTV and on KBYU in Utah.
President Eyring conducted the meeting, during which Elder Kenneth Johnson of the Seventy and Sister Cheryl C. Lant, general Primary president, offered the invocation and benediction, respectively.
The Mormon Tabernacle Choir and the Orchestra at Temple Square provided music for the program, under direction of Mack Wilberg. Musical selections included “The First Noel” (sung by the choir and congregation), “For Unto Us a Child Is Born,” “O Holy Night,” “How Far Is It to Bethlehem?” and Silent Night (during which the congregation joined the choir on the final verse).
The Conference Center, was adorned with Christmas lights, trees and poinsettias.