Followers of Jesus Christ in Mexico, including 1.5 million who are members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, began the Christmas season with a devotional in Mexico City on Nov. 26.
Elder Sean Douglas, General Authority Seventy and second counselor in the Mexico Area presidency, presided at the devotional and was joined by his wife, Sister Ann Douglas, in the event that was broadcast to Church meetinghouses around the country and was made available via YouTube.
“My humble prayer and invitation is that every one of us can leave here tonight completely committed to light the world. We do it for the Savior and for the Father. We do it one act at a time, one day at a time,” Elder Douglas said. “… Together we will make the darkness flee before the light of the Savior. Jesus Christ is the source of infinite light.”
Sister Douglas said a Douglas family tradition at Christmas includes decorating a tree with white lights and red and green notes with the various names of the Savior. She said they call it their “Jesus tree” because there is nothing on the tree that doesn’t represent Him.
Of the many names the Savior has, the one that stands out most to Elder Douglas is “Light of the World,” he said.
He talked about the miracle and blessing it is that every person born on this earth is born with the Light of Christ inside him or her.
“The Light of Christ is a universal gift given to all humanity,” Elder Douglas said. “It encourages us and persuades us to believe in Christ and to do good to our families, friends, neighbors and communities.”
Elder Douglas also reminded Church members participating in the event that the Mexico City Mexico Temple was dedicated 40 years ago, in December 1983.
“This beautiful house of the Lord has blessed and continues to bless the people of this country,” he said. “For many years now, this temple has illuminated the city.”
The same blessings that come from worshipping and making covenants in that temple are available or will be available in 24 houses of the Lord that are already dedicated or will be built and dedicated in the near future, Elder Douglas said.
Children sang “Angels We Have Heard on High” to welcome the audience to the devotional. They also shared the story from the Book of Mormon of Samuel the Lamanite, who prophesied the birth of Jesus Christ. They also read from the New Testament accounts of the Savior’s birth.
Other musical numbers performed by soloists and the Youth Orchestra of Puebla included the singing of “Joy to the World” and “O Holy Night.” The congregation joined the orchestra in singing “Silent Night” and raised their phones with lights turned on to symbolically “light the world.”
At the conclusion of the devotional, Elder Douglas invited a group of four youth to flip the switch that lit the nearly 250,000 lights around the temple grounds. Those youth told Elder Douglas that it took 28 people three months to place all the lights around the temple.
Before turning on the lights, Elder Douglas compared the electrical connection for the Christmas lights to the connection that individuals must have daily with Heavenly Father to have His power present in their lives.
“All of us can connect to His power one by one, reading the scriptures, attending seminary and serving in our homes and communities,” he said.