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In case you missed it: President Nelson shares Christmas message, President Eyring says ‘The spirit of love is the spirit of Christmas’

Here are 9 stories from the Church News from the week of Dec. 18 to Dec. 24

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’

President Russell M. Nelson shared a Christmas message through a video published Sunday, Dec. 18. | Screenshot from ChurchofJesusChrist.org | The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

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. 

Watch President Nelson’s Christmas message

2. President Eyring’s Christmas Liahona article

Christmas lights shine around the Conference Center in Salt Lake City
Christmas lights shine around the Conference Center in Salt Lake City following the First Presidency’s Christmas Devotional on Sunday, Dec. 4, 2022. | Scott G Winterton, Deseret News

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

Discover more about what President Eyring said

3. Elder Bednar on Christmas symbols, light and the question ‘Are you and I ready for Christ?’

“The Birth of Christ” is by Carl Bloch. | The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

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.

Learn about Christmas symbols and light from Elder Bednar

4. See renderings released for 4 new temples and locations for 3 new temples

Exterior renderings of four temples — clockwise from upper left: the Kaohsiung Taiwan Temple, the Singapore Temple, the Modesto California Temple and the Knoxville Tennessee Temple. | The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

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.

See the 4 new temple renderings and the locations for 3 new temples

5. Church announces Sunday second-hour meetings are to open with a prayer

A young man stands and prayers in a quorum meeting in Paris, France. | The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

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.

Find out about the announcement for Sunday second-hour meetings now opening with prayer

6. Church announced 2 new resources to help parents and Primary teachers teach about the covenant path

A mother and father read together with their daughter. 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. | The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

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.

Learn more about these resources

7. Church News episode 115 features a historical visit to Bethlehem at the Savior’s birth with BYU Professor Dr. Matthew Grey

Joseph and Mary hold the baby Jesus on the night of His birth. | The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

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. 

Listen to the latest Church News podcast episode

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

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. 

Discover more about the Christmas devotional in Asia

9. How new Gospel Language Symbols can help Abby and others learn about the gospel of Jesus Christ

Abby Cangelosi, age 8, uses an AAC device to communicate. Thanks to the Church’s new library of Gospel Language Symbols, her parents have more resources to teach her about the gospel of Jesus Christ. | Provided by Michelle Cangelosi

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.

Get to know Abby and learn more about the new Gospel Language Symbols

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