Elder Ronald A. Rasband: ‘Share and celebrate the life of Christ’

“How will we worship Him this season?”

That was the question posed by Elder Ronald A. Rasband of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles during the BYU Management Society Salt Lake Chapter’s Christmas luncheon held in the Little America Hotel in downtown Salt Lake City on Dec. 13.

“Each year at Christmas we add our witness to that of the shepherds — that Jesus Christ, the literal son of the living God, came to a corner of the earth in what we now call the Holy Land,” he said. “The shepherds went to the stable to worship the King of kings. How will we worship Him this season? Endlessly shopping? Hustling about our homes decorating [and] wrapping?”

The annual event, sponsored by the BYU Management Society Salt Lake Chapter, brings business professionals and community leaders together to “grow moral and ethical leadership.”

Elder Rasband began by briefly sharing two thoughts from President Thomas S. Monson.

“I am with President Monson often and I would be remiss if I didn’t … [share] two things he would do if he were here today,” Elder Rasband said. “Number one is he would tell all of you that he loves you, because he truly does.”

Second, the apostle said, is the prophet would say, “Thank you.”

“Thank you for all that you do, not only in your Church assignments which you all do so well, but also as a father and a mother raising your family,” he said. “Thank you for representing the Church so wonderfully well in everything else you do.”

Sharing a Christmas message and personal experiences, the LDS leader encouraged listeners to share the message of Christ in their various responsibilities and capacities.

“Share and celebrate the life of Christ,” he said. “We come to know Him by doing what He did.”

Elder Rasband shared experiences and simple acts of service — from his own life as well as Church History — that “bear witness of [the Savior].”

He told of faithful men worshiping in Bethlehem, just yards away from “manger square” — the place believed to be the manger site of the Christchild — who pass the sacrament to a small group of people gathering together.

He told of a mother serving her family at Christmas, despite difficult times. Her hard work through the night with little means helped her children to wake up to a happy Christmas day.

And he spoke of John Menzies Macfarlane, a man who was gifted in music, and his journey to produce a beautiful Christmas hymn, “Far, Far Away on Judea’s Plains,” during a time of trial for the early Latter-day Saints in Southern Utah.

Elder Rasband said it is often through simple acts that a person is able to serve the Lord and bear witness of Him. Just as these examples testify of Christ, so can people today as they contribute in their own spheres and responsibilities.

A simple way to contribute is by participating in the Church’s Christmas “Light the World” campaign, the leader taught.

“For the past couple of years the Church has created a social media initiative to try to focus the saints and the world on the Savior,” he said. “This year, another global effort to celebrate the birth of Christ and encourage people to serve others during Christmas.”

The initiative, meant to share and celebrate the light of Christ, provides many ways for members to “share the light of Christmas.”

Most important, serving others helps individuals bring souls closer to Jesus Christ, he said.

Whenever Church members’ actions align with the will of the Lord, they are “doing His bidding, lifting those around us. We are bearing witness that He lives, and that He loves us no matter our temporal challenges,” he said.

During the event, Keith B. McMullin, CEO of Deseret Management Corporation and a former member of the Presiding Bishopric, introduced Elder Rasband. Kurt and Michelle Olaveson provided musical selections. Michael Thompson, associate dean of BYU’s Marriott School, and Lt. Governor Spencer J. Cox provided prayers.

The BYU Management Society was founded in 1977 by Merrill J. Bateman, former BYU president and an emeritus General Authority Seventy, as an organization to strengthen leaders around the world. There are currently chapters in more than 30 countries and more than 50 U.S. cities.

[email protected] @marianne_holman