This Week on Social: Christmas messages inspired by a new grandchild, a YouTube star and the Savior

As Christmas approaches this week, Church leaders have taken to social media to #LightTheWorld and share their thoughts on the Savior Jesus Christ and His birth in Bethlehem.

President Russell M. Nelson accompanied YouTube star Claire Crosby on the piano as she sang “Silent Night,” for a simple and peaceful music video

“Music is such a powerful form of worship, and that reality is never clearer than during the Christmas season when we enjoy beautiful carols that testify of the risen Lord,” President Nelson wrote in a Dec. 15 Instagram post accompanying the video.

“This December I hope you will make time with family and friends to enjoy the glorious music of this season. Merry Christmas!”

Days before Christmas, Sister Michelle Craig, first counselor in the Young Women general presidency, shared her gratitude for babies and miracles. Her family recently welcomed her ninth grandchild into the world on Wednesday, and the third born in the last few months.

“Holding a baby, so fresh from heaven, brought to my mind and heart gratitude for perhaps the greatest miracle of all,” she wrote in a Dec. 19 Facebook post. “That an Omniscient God sent His perfect Beloved Son to earth as a newborn baby.”

In the busy days leading up to Christmas, she wrote, “I hope that each of us can carve out some quiet time to thank our Father in Heaven for a baby and for miracles.”

I woke early this morning, in the days before Christmas, with a heart full of gratitude for babies and for miracles. We…

Posted by Michelle D. Craig on Thursday, December 19, 2019

On Dec. 17, Elder Dieter F. Uchtdorf of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles shared a video that invited everyone to attend a special Christmas sacrament meeting on Dec. 22 focused on the Savior’s birth and life. The video offers the invitation for each person to “Come and see. Come and sing. Come and pray. Come and worship. Come and stay.”

During the Christmas season, everyone has the opportunity to share the message of Jesus Christ, he wrote in a Dec. 17 Instagram post. “We can invite those we love to ‘come and see’ what Jesus Christ’s gospel is all about. …

“I pray that during this season and always, we can feel sincere gratitude for the Savior’s life, teachings, and saving sacrifice for us. May we help others feel His light in their lives.”

A few days earlier, Elder Uchtdorf shared a photo of him and his wife, Sister Harriet Uchtdorf, at a Church dance together in their youth, in commemoration of their 57th anniversary which they celebrated this month.

In the Dec. 14 Instagram post, he wrote, “Words cannot express what I feel for Harriet. I really love her. She is the greatest blessing to ever come into my life. Harriet is the kind of person who makes those around her better and happier. She has certainly had that influence on me.”

He acknowledged that many yearn for this kind of relationship, and wrote that God is a loving Father in Heaven Who is just and compassionate, “and no one will be deprived of the fullness of experiences and happiness as we continue living our lives as best as we can, trusting in His goodness and love.”

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Some of you might have heard me say that Harriet is the sunshine of my life. It is true. I think I fell in love with her the first time I saw her. This photo was taken at a church dance. Recently, we looked together at the second photo in this post. We were preparing the “cultural hall” of our church building in Frankfurt Germany for one of these great Green and Gold dances, which Harriet and I enjoyed so much! I deeply cherish the feelings and memories of these photos. Hard to believe that this month it is 57 years since we married. Words cannot express what I feel for Harriet. I really love her. She is the greatest blessing to ever come into my life. Harriet is the kind of person who makes those around her better and happier. She has certainly had that influence on me. I know that many yearn for this kind of relationship without being blessed by it at the time. I know also that God is our loving Father in Heaven. He is a just and compassionate God, and no one will be deprived of the fullness of experiences and happiness as we continue living our lives as best as we can, trusting in His goodness and love. We can trust Him. He trusts us. The Savior said, “I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life” (John 8:12). Let us also be a light by sharing the Savior’s light, happiness, and hope with those around us. Harriet and I are grateful for your love and service to God and all of His children, and we pray for your happiness.

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Following the dedication of the Arequipa Peru Temple, Elder Ulisses Soares of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles shared his testimony of the blessings the temple offers each person and how Jesus Christ should be the cornerstone of each person’s life.

“I testify that temples offer us both eternal blessings and sacred responsibility,” he wrote in a Dec. 19 Instagram post. “Frequent temple attendance will bring promised blessings to us from our loving Heavenly Father.”

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ENG: On Sunday I had the special opportunity to dedicate the Arequipa Peru Temple. It was a glorious day for all who live in Arequipa—as well as all who live in the beautiful country of Peru. As we participated in the cornerstone ceremony, I reflected on the sacred and symbolic significance of this ceremony. Jesus Christ is the cornerstone of this work and should also be the cornerstone of our individual lives. I testify that temples offer us both eternal blessings and sacred responsibility. Frequent temple attendance will bring promised blessings to us from our loving Heavenly Father. As we receive more knowledge and understanding in the temple, the sacred ordinances we receive in the temple will guide and lead our lives to goodness. . POR: No domingo, tive a oportunidade especial de dedicar o Templo de Arequipa Peru. Foi um dia glorioso para todos que moram em Arequipa; bem como para todos que moram no lindo país do Peru. Ao participarmos da cerimônia de colocação da pedra angular, refleti sobre o significado simbólico e sagrado dessa cerimônia. Jesus Cristo é a pedra de esquina desta obra e também deve ser a pedra de esquina de nossa vida pessoal. Testifico que os templos nos oferecem bênçãos eternas e uma responsabilidade sagrada. A frequência regular ao templo trará as bênçãos prometidas a nós por nosso amoroso Pai Celestial. Ao recebermos mais conhecimento e entendimento no templo, as ordenanças sagradas que recebemos lá guiam e dirigem nossa vida para o bem.

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When difficulties happen in life, the Savior’s birth, life, Atonement and Resurrection become a renewed reality, President M. Russell Ballard, acting president of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, wrote in a Dec. 19 Instagram post.

“As we celebrate Christmas, I pray that we can each recognize and accept the great gift of our Savior Jesus Christ’s atoning sacrifice,” he continued. “Coming to understand the great gift of His Atonement is an individual pursuit for each child of God. What peace, what comfort this great gift is which comes through the loving grace of Jesus Christ, the Savior and Redeemer of all mankind.”

The Christmas season comes with many distractions, as will every other time of year and all of earthly life, Elder Quentin L. Cook of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles wrote in a Dec. 20 Instagram post. “But Christmas can also be a time for focusing on Jesus Christ and His teachings.”

He suggested four things families can do to focus on the Savior at this time of year.

“First, teach your family about the sacred, glorious birth of our Savior, Jesus Christ.” He suggested reviewing the Christmas story in Luke 2 and Matthew 2.

“Second, try to find a way to follow the Savior’s example during this Christmas season.” Reach out to the poor and needy, visit the sick, or help those in need, he suggested. 

“Third, teach your families to love the Lord and build faith in His teachings. …

“Fourth, talk with your family about the Savior and His Atonement during Christmastime.”

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The busy Christmas season has many distractions. We will always have distractions—that is part of our earthly life. But Christmas can also be a time for focusing on Jesus Christ and His teachings. I want to suggest four things we could do with our families this Christmastime. First, teach your family about the sacred, glorious birth of our Savior, Jesus Christ. I hope that each of us, sometime before Christmas, will take the time to review the Christmas story in Luke 2 and Matthew 2 and think about the Savior. Second, try to find a way to follow the Savior’s example during this Christmas season. You could reach out to the poor and needy, visit the sick, or help those in need. By teaching your family members to serve others, you are teaching them to follow the Savior’s example. Third, teach your families to love the Lord and build faith in His teachings. President Gordon B. Hinckley once said, “To love the Lord is not just counsel; it is not just well-wishing. It is a commandment” (“Excerpts from Recent Addresses of President Gordon B. Hinckley,” Ensign, Apr. 1996). Fourth, talk with your family about the Savior and His Atonement during Christmastime. When you partake of the sacrament each week, remember the Savior’s Atonement for you. If we do these four things, I believe we can elevate our understanding of Christmas and our understanding of our Savior, Jesus Christ. I bear a sure witness of the Savior and His Atonement and the overwhelming importance of humbly serving Him each and every day.

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No one needs to live in fear, without hope or without the Spirit, taught Elder D. Todd Christofferson of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles in a Dec. 15 Instagram post. 

“We will have challenges; we will have problems. But we have the Savior. I testify that we will find meaning and fulfillment in our lives if we sacrifice and make every effort to draw closer to Him.”

Elder Christofferson encouraged each person to follow God’s commandments as faithfully as possible and rely on Him to make up what is beyond one’s capacity. “I bless you that you will have His help.”

Elder Ronald A. Rasband of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles asked how Christ will be worshiped this season, in a Dec. 19 Instagram post.

“Endlessly shopping? Hustling about and adorning our homes? Will that be our tribute to our Savior? Or will we bring peace to troubled hearts, good will to those in need of higher purpose, glory to God in our willingness to do His bidding?”

Elder Rasband invited everyone to follow Christ’s command to “Come, follow me” (Luke 18:22).

“Whenever we act in concert with the Lord — doing His bidding, lifting those around us — we are bearing witness that He lives and that He loves us, no matter our temporal challenges.”

Each person will feel uncertainty, doubt or fear, or be lonely or afraid, even during Christmas. But each of those moments is an opportunity to grow, Elder Gerrit W. Gong of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles taught in a Dec. 18 Instagram post.

“God, our loving Heavenly Father, and His Son, our Savior Jesus Christ, can promise all things can work together for our good because They know how all things can work together, and They know what is good for us,” he wrote. “In fact, They know us better, and love us more than we know or love ourselves.”

During those troubling moments, turn to the Savior and remember Him, Elder Gong taught. “He is always here with us, inviting us gently, powerfully, lovingly to be not afraid, only believe. It is Him — His love, His mercy, and His grace — we celebrate this Christmas season.”