During the week of Dec. 18 to Dec. 24, President Russell M. Nelson of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints shared Christmas wishes focused on the Savior and spreading light. President Henry B. Eyring, second counselor in the First Presidency, encouraged all to find love, hope and joy in the Promised Messiah this Christmas season. Elder David A. Bednar of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles taught about Christmas symbols and light.
Renderings for four new temples and locations for three new temples were released. The Church announced that Sunday second-hour meetings are to open with a prayer. The Church also announced two new resources to help parents and Primary teachers teach children about the covenant path.
The latest Church News podcast episode focused on Bethlehem during Christ’s birth with Dr. Matthew Grey. Latter-day Saints in Asia came together for a Christmas devotional. The Church published new Gospel Language Symbols to help nonverbal members and others learn about the gospel of Jesus Christ.
Read summaries of these nine articles below.
1. President Nelson shares Christmas wishes: ‘The world needs the light of Jesus Christ. And the world needs your light’
In his message, published on Sunday, Dec. 18, President Nelson thanked Heavenly Father for sending His Only Begotten Son to the earth more than 2,000 years ago. President Nelson said the world needs the light of the Savior today more than ever and encouraged individuals to reflect that light to others around them.
2. President Eyring’s Christmas Liahona article
When President Henry B. Eyring reads prophetic promises of the Savior’s birth — especially during the Christmas season — the Holy Ghost witnesses to him again that Jesus Christ is the Messiah.
“As I study the Savior’s words and His life, I come to know Him and love Him for what He has done for each of us,” President Eyring, second counselor in the First Presidency, wrote in the December 2022 Liahona.
3. Elder Bednar on Christmas symbols, light and the question ‘Are you and I ready for Christ?’
In sharing Christmas messages in recent years, Elder Bednar has asked his listeners and readers to consider the symbolism of Christmas decorations, traditions and celebrations — and to look at them differently and link them with the source of truth, even Christ.
4. See renderings released for 4 new temples and locations for 3 new temples
The First Presidency has released exterior renderings for four new temples — the Singapore Temple, the Kaohsiung Taiwan Temple, the Modesto California Temple and the Knoxville Tennessee Temple.
The First Presidency has also released the locations and site maps for three new temples — Cleveland Ohio Temple, the Austin Texas Temple and the Santiago West Chile Temple.
5. Church announces Sunday second-hour meetings are to open with a prayer
Sunday School classes and Sunday meetings for elders quorums, Relief Society, Aaronic Priesthood quorums and Young Women should begin with a prayer.
A Dec. 21 notice sent from the Priesthood and Family Department to stake, mission and district presidencies; bishoprics and branch presidencies; and stake and ward councils said the practice of opening the second-hour Sunday meetings with prayer should begin immediately.
6. Church announced 2 new resources to help parents and Primary teachers teach about the covenant path
The Church has released two new resources in the 2023 “Come, Follow Me” manuals for parents and Primary teachers in helping children prepare to make and keep covenants.
A notice was sent to local leaders on Thursday, Dec. 22, about these resources, reaffirming the responsibility of parents to guide their children along the covenant path.
7. Church News episode 115 features a historical visit to Bethlehem at the Savior’s birth with BYU Professor Dr. Matthew Grey
This episode of the Church News podcast features Dr. Matthew Grey, a professor of ancient scripture at Brigham Young University.
He shares historical insights and biblical context on the village of Bethlehem, the archaeology and practices of Jewish daily life, and the religious and political atmosphere that existed in this area at the time of the Savior’s birth.
8. Latter-day Saints in Asia come together for Christmas devotional with music and testimonies
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.
9. How new Gospel Language Symbols can help Abby and others learn about the gospel of Jesus Christ
After reading articles in the Church magazines about members with disabilities, Michelle Cangelosi and her husband, Kevin, decided to reach out to Katie Steed, the Church’s disability specialist manager. They voiced their concern, and a process for creating gospel-related picture symbols began.