BETA

The 12 posts of Christmas that will make you want to grab the tissue box

Church leaders have shared some of their most touching memories of Christmas on social media lately. Reflecting on the birth of the Savior, Church leaders bore their testimonies of eternal families, the Atonement of Jesus Christ and being a light to others this Christmas season.

President Dallin H. Oaks shared a Christmas memory in a recent post on Instagram on Dec. 20. As a boy, President Oaks said he had the opportunity to deliver Christmas baskets to widows in his ward with his bishop in Vernal, Utah. Just as he was going home, the bishop gave a young Dallin H. Oaks a basket to give to his mother.

President Oaks shared how that the concept of his mother being a widow was new to him. That Christmas, he said, was “formative in my understanding of the eternal family and in my appreciation for the faith of my mother. She always taught us that we had a father and she had a husband and that we would always be a family because of their temple marriage.”

Reflecting on Christmases when he was a boy, President Henry B. Eyring said that his family was not able to afford much by way of presents. But his family did have a piano, and singing carols and hymns together left a lasting impression that has taught him about the joy of eternal families.

“I could feel not only the love of my mother and father and two brothers, but of my Heavenly Father and the Savior Jesus Christ,” he said in a Dec. 13 Instagram post. “I sensed that love I felt then was something I had experienced before this life in the spirit world. I wanted more than anything else to feel it someday in a home of my own. And I wanted to live so that I could return with a family of my own to our heavenly home, where I knew Heavenly Father and the Savior would be waiting.”

View this post on Instagram

As a young boy, I would gather with my family around our Winkler piano, now more than a hundred years old. The piano is still a precious heirloom because it was dear to my mother as a gift from her husband when they were poor. My parents had known poverty and were frugal. The Christmas gifts we received were modest. But my mother had a rich soprano voice. She played her piano at Christmas as she led us in singing familiar carols and sacred hymns. . I don’t know if she thought of herself as inviting us to share in a lasting gift. But even as a young boy, I felt inexpressible joy singing those songs. I could feel not only the love of my mother and father and two brothers, but of my Heavenly Father and the Savior Jesus Christ. . I sensed that love I felt then was something I had experienced before this life in the spirit world. I wanted more than anything else to feel it someday in a home of my own. And I wanted to live so that I could return with a family of my own to our heavenly home, where I knew Heavenly Father and the Savior would be waiting. Now when I see that piano, memories of love with my family and love from the Savior flood back over me. . As we sing in choirs, families, and classes, and as we listen together, the carols of Christmas remind us of our shouts of joy when we learned that we could come to this world and be given a Savior to redeem us. Someday we will sing those songs with the hosts of heaven.

A post shared by Henry B. Eyring (@henrybeyring) on

Years ago, Elder David A. Bednar said he met a woman whose husband was killed in Iraq in 2003. After she heard of her husband’s death, she received his Christmas card that gave her the comfort she needed during her time of loss, according to a Dec. 17 post on the Apostle's Instagram page.

“‘The Lord has made it possible for us to be together forever,’” the card read. “‘So even when we are apart, we will still be together as a family.’”

View this post on Instagram

Several years ago, I heard the touching testimony of a young wife and mother of four whose husband was slain in Iraq in December of 2003. This stalwart sister recounted how, after being notified of her husband’s death, she received his Christmas card and message. In the midst of the abrupt reality of a dramatically altered life came to this good sister a timely and tender reminder that indeed families can be together forever. With permission I quote from that Christmas card: . “To the best family in the world! Have a great time together and remember the true meaning of Christmas! The Lord has made it possible for us to be together forever. So even when we are apart, we will still be together as a family. God bless and keep y’all safe and grant this Christmas to be our gift of love from us to Him above!!! All my love, Daddy and your loving husband!” . Clearly, the husband’s reference to being apart in his Christmas greeting referred to the separation caused by his military assignment. But to this sister, as a voice from the dust from a departed eternal companion and father, came a most needed spiritual reassurance and witness. . The Lord’s tender mercies do not occur randomly or merely by coincidence. Faithfulness, obedience, and humility invite tender mercies into our lives, and it is often the Lord’s timing that enables us to recognize and treasure these important blessings.

A post shared by David A. Bednar (@davidabednar) on

In a Dec. 19 Instagram post, Elder Neil L. Andersen said that while he was serving as a mission president in France in 1990, he and his family nearly didn’t make it home for Christmas when their car broke down. But after his daughter suggested the family pray, the Andersens came to an inn where there was an innkeeper who was willing to do whatever it took to make sure the family could make it home in time for Christmas.

“At a time when only He could bring us home, He had heard our prayers,” Elder Andersen testified. “May you feel His love as you celebrate the Savior’s birth this Christmas.”

View this post on Instagram

There are times in our lives when heaven intervenes to answer our prayers that we cannot deny the blessings we have been given. This happened for me on Christmas Eve in 1990. I was serving as a mission president in France. That night, my family was traveling back to Bordeaux after a week of visiting with missionaries around our mission. . Late in the afternoon, our car broke down, still two hours from Bordeaux. Concern and disappointment showed on the faces of our children. Would they not be home for Christmas? . Our daughter knew to whom we could appeal, and she immediately suggested a prayer. We bowed in prayer and humbly asked for help. The van crept forward, and finally we reached a country inn. We determined that this was our best chance for help. . The innkeeper, Mr. Darroze arrived, and I told him of our dilemma. I asked if he would have room in the inn for our family and the four missionaries to spend the night. . Mr. Darroze looked at the disappointed faces of my children. “Mr. Andersen, of course I have rooms here that you can rent. But you do not want to spend Christmas Eve here. Children should be home as they await the excitement of Christmas morning. I will lend you my car, and you can go to Bordeaux tonight.” . I was amazed at his thoughtfulness. I thanked him but explained that there were 10 of us and a small French car would never be sufficient. He hesitated momentarily, but his hesitation was not to diminish the gift, but to expand it. . “At my farm about 10 miles from here I have an old van. It is used for farming. It will travel slowly and I am not certain the heater works well. But if you want it, I will drive you the 10 miles to my farm to get it.” . The children jumped for joy. I reached into my pocket for my cash or credit cards. He shook his head and his finger in disapproval. “No,” he said, “I will take nothing. It is Christmas Eve. Take your family home.” . As we drove the streets leading to our home, Kathy and I thanked our kind Heavenly Father for our own Christmas miracle. At a time when only He could bring us home, He had heard our prayers. May you feel His love as you celebrate the Savior’s birth this Christmas. #LightTheWorld

A post shared by Neil L. Andersen (@neillandersen) on

During Christmastime, Elder Ronald A. Rasband said he especially misses his grandson Paxton, who only lived for three months. In memory of his grandson, Elder Rasband related in a Dec. 12 Instagram post how his sister made a quilt that featured 26 different names of Jesus Christ on the fabric. The quilt was donated and auctioned for a children’s hospital in Paxton’s name.

Since then, Elder Rasband said he has made a study of the names of the Savior — so far, he has discovered more than 200 of them. Those names include, “Alpha and Omega,” “Counselor,” and “Deliverer.”

View this post on Instagram

You may have read about the short, remarkable life of my grandson Paxton on my Instagram recently. During Christmastime, I especially miss him. Born with a rare genetic disorder, Paxton suffered from countless health problems. Heavenly Father taught our family many special and tender lessons during the three short years Paxton blessed our lives. . My sister, Nancy, made a beautiful quilt in honor of Paxton and gave it to be auctioned for a children’s hospital in Paxton’s name. She called it “Name Above All Names.” The quilt features 26 of the names of Jesus Christ—names beginning with the letters A through Z. The quilt reminds me of the glorious future family reunion with Paxton made possible through the Savior’s suffering, sacrifice, and Resurrection. . The quilt inspired me to begin a study of the names of Jesus Christ as revealed in the scriptures. Researching His names has become part of my personal scripture study. So far, I have identified many more than 200 names for the Savior. . At Christmastime, I like to recite the Savior’s different names as I walk to and from my office through the Christmas lights on Temple Square. I start with: . A: “Alpha and Omega” . B: “the babe” of Bethlehem . C: “Counsellor” . D: “the Deliverer” . And so on. . Throughout this Christmas season, I look forward to memorizing more of His names and to looking for opportunities to honor His name. As you strive to make a difference this Christmas season, I hope you will make the Savior the center of your efforts and that you will bring glory to Him as you serve others in His name. #LightTheWorld

A post shared by Ronald A. Rasband (@ronaldarasband) on

Quoting Louisa May Alcott’s “Little Women,” Elder Dale G. Renlund shared on Instagram on Dec. 19 how Christmas just wouldn’t be Christmas without the Savior, and how, as the character Jo March has said, “Families are the most beautiful thing in the world.”

Sharing the story of his parents' conversion to the gospel, Elder Ulisses Soares of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles explained how the light of Christ can be shared from one person to another in an Instagram post on Dec. 19.

In his post, Elder Soares told of his aunt, who was the first in his family to be baptized and who then shared the gospel continually with his parents. Although that same aunt eventually became inactive in the Church, he said it was her goodness and persistence in sharing the light of Christ with his parents that led to their eventual conversion.

"One of the missionaries who baptized my parents recently shared with me that after their baptism, my parents began to invite our neighbors to hear the missionary lessons in our house and that some of them were baptized," he said in the post. "Thus, in similar fashion, my parents repeated what my aunt had done previously — they brought light to the lives of others, sharing the gospel with them."

View this post on Instagram

When I think about the light the Savior brings to the world, I think of those here on the earth who help to spread that light. My father’s older sister was one of these people. . She attended the Church for several years before my parents were baptized. Although she became less active soon after her baptism, she always spoke about the gospel to my parents when we saw each other at family festivities. She kept insisting on the idea that the teachings of the gospel could help my parents raise our family in the principles of righteousness so that we could enjoy God’s blessings. . Although my father personally never showed any interest in knowing more about the gospel at that time, my aunt continued to enlighten our family, sharing her feelings about the gospel. One day, the missionaries knocked on our door and spoke with my parents at some length regarding the gospel. The memory of my aunt’s conversations with my parents certainly stirred their hearts, and when the missionaries found us, my parents realized that there was something special in the message that they wanted to share with us. . Those elders taught the missionary discussions to my parents and helped them convert to the gospel. My aunt never did return to full activity in the Church, but she had turned on a light in the minds and hearts of my parents, preparing them to accept the gospel from the missionaries. . One of the missionaries who baptized my parents recently shared with me that after their baptism, my parents began to invite our neighbors to hear the missionary lessons in our house and that some of them were baptized. Thus, in similar fashion, my parents repeated what my aunt had done previously—they brought light to the lives of others, sharing the gospel with them. #LightTheWorld

A post shared by Ulisses Soares (@ulisses__soares) on

Sister Sharon Eubank, first counselor in the Relief Society general presidency, encouraged members to not be afraid to invite others to Church in a Facebook post on Dec. 18. Sharing the challenge issued by President Nelson to invite a friend to Church, Sister Eubank said that the special one hour, pre-Christmas Sacrament meeting is the perfect opportunity to do so.

"I know many people’s thoughts turn toward Jesus Christ at this time of year. They seek for the sacred feelings they felt as a child or at other times in their lives. Those feelings are about friendship and acceptance and the assurance that God is alive and loves us all. Some hearts long to feel that way again if only they knew what would bring it," Sister Eubank said in the post. "Take heart, take a big breath, and invite a friend or person you admire to Christmas sacrament meeting on December 23. Together we will feel 'the wonders of His love.'"

Who in your neighborhood and among your friends would join you for a Christmas church service, if only you asked them?...

Posted by Sharon Eubank on Tuesday, December 18, 2018

Sister Reyna I. Aburto, second counselor in the Relief Society general presidency, shared a Christmas reminder to "Light your Family" with the gospel of Jesus Christ in a Facebook post on Dec. 20.

"One of the greatest gifts I have ever received was the gift of the gospel of Jesus Christ. The Church and its teachings came at a time in which I needed direction and support from a loving Heavenly Father. My conversion to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints brought me the understanding and gratitude that I have now," Sister Aburto said in the post.

One of the greatest gifts I have ever received was the gift of the gospel of Jesus Christ. The Church and its teachings...

Posted by Reyna I. Aburto on Thursday, December 20, 2018

In a Dec. 17 Facebook post, Sister Michelle D. Craig, first counselor in the Young Women general presidency, shared a reminder to "Light our Families," during the Christmas season. Detailing a family tradition to express love for individual family members during their family dinners, Sister Craig noted that expressing love for one another through words and actions is one of the best ways to "Light our Families."

"I challenge you to find the opportunities to light your family this week by sincerely telling each of them that you love them and WHY," Sister Craig said in the post. "After all, every person, no matter their age, needs to hear that they are loved and valued."

Years ago I was given a bright red plate inscribed with the words “You Are Special.” It instantly made me smile and I...

Posted by Michelle D. Craig on Monday, December 17, 2018

It is easy to get distracted and worn out at Christmastime with everything that goes on during the season, Sister Becky Craven, second counselor in the Young Women general presidency, shared in a Facebook post on Dec. 19. The post was a reminder to refocus on the Savior and invite others to do the same.

What is your favorite part about Christmas? I love the sights, sounds, and family gatherings. There is so much to...

Posted by Becky Craven on Wednesday, December 19, 2018

Reminding all that the Christmas season provides wonderful opportunities to give to others through one's time, talents and resources, the Facebook account of Sister Lisa L. Harkness, first counselor in the Primary general presidency shared details of her recent trip to Guatemala in a Dec. 13 post. In the post, Sister Harkness noted that watching Church members minister to one another has been a reminder of how all can #LightTheWorld in their own communities.

"I am grateful for the examples of these wonderful saints and have reflected on ways I can light my own community," the post read. "What plans do you and your family have to light your community this Christmas season?"

At this Christmas season, we have the wonderful opportunity to #LightTheWorld by giving of our time, talents, and...

Posted by Lisa L. Harkness on Thursday, December 13, 2018

>

Sorry, no more articles available