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  • Writer's pictureMesquite Nevada Stakes

The Greatest Gift

Dearest brothers and sisters of the Mesquite Nevada Stake Today people around the world are preparing for Christmas. As families gather together and share memories of Christmases past, often we remember gifts that were so fun and so perfect. Sometimes, if we stop and think about it, we realize that the sacrifices of our parents and others were no easy thing. And if we ask why the sacrifice, the answer is usually “I just wanted you to be happy” or “That’s what parents do for those they love”. Feelings like these make it easier to understand scriptures that speak of God’s love. “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. (See John 3:16) Most of us can recall the most memorable Christmas in our mortal lives. For many of us, that Christmas was not one of expensive gifts and far away vacations. It was a time that someone gave us something of themselves or a time when we gave something of ourselves. It may have been a child’s first attempt at painting, a neighbor’s Christmas card with a personalized note of appreciation, a grandfather’s handwritten letter of encouragement, a mother’s shared rocking chair and Christmas lullaby, or a father’s reading of the Savior’s own birth to his child. We can learn much from the Christmases of the past and from stories of our ancestors’ devotion to the Savior. The ancient prophets, before the birth of Jesus, told of the glories of His atonement and the miracle of His resurrection. They foretold His coming to open the way for a literal resurrection for all humankind - the “greatest of all gifts” (See D&C 6:13). In the spirit of those ancient prophets and of the Savior’s own words, may we prepare for this year’s observance of His birth. Some of the guidelines He has given us are: “ . . . Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you;” (Matt. 5:44) “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.” (Matt. 5:16) “It is more blessed to give than to receive.” (Acts 20:35) “Be of good cheer.” (John 16:33) “Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.” (Matt. 25:40) May this be a joyful season for all! President David Anderson

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