As we approach the culminating holiday of this wonderful Christmas season, our thoughts are turned towards the events of a special night, just over two thousand years ago, when a heaven sent babe was born in Bethlehem. On that night, the hopes and prayers of four thousand previous years were answered. Long had the world awaited the promised Messiah; the one that would heal all hurts, atone for all sin, fulfill all covenants, and place all of heaven's greatest blessings within the reach of all God's children. Righteous men and women, that had long ago gone the way of all the earth, sang with the chorus of angels in praising God and declaring "Peace On Earth, Good Will Toward Men."
Is there any doubt that we sang with them? We had not yet come into our mortal probation, but we can be sure that we watched this beginning of the life of the Savior of Men with great earnestness, knowing what his earthly mission would mean for us when our turn to prove ourselves would come. Jesus Christ was the very best and purest gift from God the Father to us, and we sang his praises that holy night.
In the December 2003 Ensign that we just received, there is a re-published article by Elder Orson F. Whitney. He says in part about "God's Greatest Gift":
"By that Spirit and by that alone can men know God and Jesus Christ, whom He hath sent—to know [Them], and to act consistently with that knowledge, is to lay hold upon eternal life. No greater thing can come to men while in the flesh than the knowledge of how to secure that greatest of all heavenly gifts.It is our testimony to you that Jesus Christ is our Provider of Heavenly Gifts. Our faith in him and obedience to his commandments, will someday bring us back into his presence where he will present us to the Father, saying: -These are my friends". May we always live worthy of his love, and know that his mercy is boundless to those who will believe and hearken to his voice.
To know God, man must know himself, must know whence he came, why he is here, what is expected of him by the One who sent him here, where he is going when he leaves this mortal life, and what awaits him in the great hereafter. The Holy Spirit is the fountain from which flows this knowledge, the most precious that men can possess. By means of it comes the testimony that Jesus Christ was and is divine."
May the blessings of Peace and Love be yours this season!