Christmas on Temple Square officially begins with the broadcast musical event ‘Witnesses of Christ’

Christmas on Temple Square officially began on Sunday, Nov. 28, with “Witnesses of Christ,” a musical broadcast centered on the birth of Jesus Christ. The Truman Brothers started the night with their version of “Hark! The Herald Angels Sing,” followed by author David Butler, the event’s host, who introduced the event.

Each song, video and spoken message during the event stemmed from the question: “What would it have been like to have been there, to witness the Savior’s birth and the events leading up to it more than 2,000 years ago?”

Four spoken messages were interspersed throughout the musical numbers, each reflecting on the lessons learned from various witnesses of Jesus Christ’s birth, such as the shepherds, Elisabeth and John, and Mary. They shared truths about how “anyone may serve as a witness, no matter our background, education or experience. The young and old, the wise and unlearned, the confident and the insecure. We can all add our voices,” Butler said.

Soloists and groups performed arrangements of Christmas carols such as “It Came Upon the Midnight Clear,” “In the Bleak Midwinter,” and “While Shepherds Watched Their Flocks.” Among the performers were the Utah State University Chamber Singers, Daniel Beck, and the Rise Up Children’s Choir.

This quartet of musicians, along with a pianist, accompany Stella Yeritsyan as she performs "Infant Holy, Infant Lowly" during the "Witnesses of Christ," a virtual musical presentation that launched Christmas on Temple Square on Sunday, Nov. 28, 2021.
This quartet of musicians, along with a pianist, accompany Stella Yeritsyan as she performs “Infant Holy, Infant Lowly” during the “Witnesses of Christ,” a virtual musical presentation that launched Christmas on Temple Square on Sunday, Nov. 28, 2021. Credit: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

The presentation also included the Church-produced video “The Birth of Jesus,” which shows children telling the story of the Nativity in their own words; and a dramatization of the story of a woman who, while hospitalized on Christmas Eve, acted as a witness of Christ in a unique way.

As the evening concluded, Butler taught about the significance of gifts during Christmas. “The more unobtainable the gift is, the better it seems. Maybe that’s why adults lose the magic of Christmas sometimes,” he said.

What makes Christmas so special is the giving of “the most unobtainable gift of all,” Butler said. “The gift of a baby boy who would offer His life for all of us, giving us the unattainable gifts” — gifts including repentance, healing, hope and life everlasting.