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Latter-day Saints in Asia come together for Christmas devotional with music and testimonies

The 50-minute devotional features the rich cultures, languages and testimonies of Asia with video presentations from nine locations

CM_1.png

A female vocal duet featuring traditional costumes perform a Primary song during the Asia Area Christmas Devotional, which premiered Dec. 17, 2022.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints


Latter-day Saints in Asia come together for Christmas devotional with music and testimonies

The 50-minute devotional features the rich cultures, languages and testimonies of Asia with video presentations from nine locations

CM_1.png

A female vocal duet featuring traditional costumes perform a Primary song during the Asia Area Christmas Devotional, which premiered Dec. 17, 2022.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

Although Christmas is a beloved and celebrated season around the world, in Asia it is often perceived more as a commercial holiday. 

To teach people about the birth of Christ — the true reason for celebrating Christmas — and motivate them to think about ways to follow His example, the Asia Area of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints premiered its first ever online Christmas devotional on Saturday, Dec. 17. 

The 50-minute devotional features the rich cultures, languages and testimonies of Asia with video presentations from nine locations: Singapore, Hong Kong, Cambodia, Vietnam, India, Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand and Taiwan. 

With a medley of Christmas music and performances, the devotional includes Nativity re-enactments, dramatizations and dance in native costume on decorated sets. Interspersed throughout the broadcast are scripture references and questions to ponder.

“As you take time to watch this devotional, listen with your heart, ponder the verses and questions shared therein, and reflect on what Christ and Christmas mean to you,” a narrator says at the beginning. “You will be blessed to feel the true spirit of Christmas and have experiences that enable you to be a light to others in this world.”

A news release from the Church’s Hong Kong Newsroom listed highlights from the nine presentations:

  • Singapore — Filmed at a colonial bungalow which is the site of the current Pasir Panjang chapel and will become the future Singapore Temple, Singapore’s performance is presented by a choir with soloists and a local music arrangement.
  • Hong Kong — Featuring a classical duet by concert pianists, Hong Kong’s performance is the only instrumental piece in the devotional.
  • Cambodia — A female vocal duet featuring traditional costumes in a transformed indoor chapel set perform a Primary song.
  • Vietnam — A beloved Christmas hymn is sung by a member and missionary choir.
  • India — An indoor chapel set is completely transformed into an elaborate manger scene in this full Nativity re-enactment by India focusing on the baby Jesus. The music is also locally arranged and synthesized.
  • Malaysia — A compilation of Nativity re-enactment, dramatizations and brief interviews on the meaning of Christmas, Malaysia’s performance features native Dayak costumes and shares the culture of Sarawak and reflections of faith. Parts of the presentation were filmed at the scenic Kampong Panchor Dayak.
  • Indonesia — Shot in the majestic outdoors of Goa Lalay, a local music arrangement using traditional instruments offsets a trio of singers in traditional costumes and a pair of modern dancers. Indonesia’s video also blends animation and family scenes with computer-generated imagery.
  • Thailand — A heartwarming Christmas hymn is scored with traditional instruments and backed by a choir in an indoor chapel set transformed with fairy lights and Christmas trees.
  • Taiwan — A dramatization unfolds while a female vocal duet reinterprets a song from For the Strength of Youth in an outdoor night scene.

“This experience brought so much joy because that is what Christmas is about,” said a woman in a video about Malaysian Latter-day Saints participating in the devotional. “It is to share the light of Christ and get closer to Him by sharing it with others”

A young man added: “No matter how busy we are, we can always open our hearts and make room for Him.”

The Asia Area Christmas devotional can currently be viewed at the following Church YouTube channels by language: English, Cantonese, Indonesian, Khmer, Malay, Mandarin Chinese, Thai and Vietnamese.

Units across Asia can also request a high-resolution version from their respective Area Seventies to broadcast in-person at meetinghouses.

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