The Holy Family Emulates Unity, Sacrifice, Love, and Service, Says Elder Maynes

Contributed By Jason Swensen, Church News staff writer

  • 18 December 2014

Elder Richard J. Mayne of the Presidency of the Seventy speaks during the 2014 First Presidency Christmas Devotional on Sunday, December 7, 2014. Photo by Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News.

Article Highlights

  • The Christmas story is a family story at its core.
  • Your family can be blessed by following the examples of the Holy Family.

“Perhaps nowhere else in all of literature, whether religious or secular, is there a more tender and moving account of family unity, sacrifice, love and service.” —Elder Richard J. Maynes of the Presidency of the Seventy

At its core, the Christmas Story is a Family Story, taught Elder Richard J. Maynes of the Presidency of the Seventy during the First Presidency’s Christmas Devotional on December 7.

“Perhaps nowhere else in all of literature, whether religious or secular, is there a more tender and moving account of family unity, sacrifice, love, and service,” he said.

Each member of the Holy Family—Mary, Joseph and Jesus—stand as supernal examples of God’s Christmas gift to all mankind.

“The family was unified in seeking God’s glory; unified in serving one another; unified in fulfilling God’s will; and unified in sacrifice, obedience, and love,” he said. “This Holy Family provides us a pattern of attributes that, when emulated by our own families, will enable us to enjoy the same blessings of unity and love they enjoyed.”

Elder Maynes then examined the attributes of each member of the Holy Family.

Mary, the mother of Christ, was not a woman of great wealth or stature—“but she possesses the attributes of holiness, obedience, humility, and great faith.”

Through her example, Mary also taught the importance of trusting the Lord. She came to understand her true diving nature and willingly submitted to her unique maternal role. She found joy in obedience.

Joseph, said Elder Maynes, was a man of humility and complete integrity. Even before he learned the expectant Mary would be the mother of the Lord, he was considerate of her well-being. He wanted to protect her.

The Mormon Tabernacle Choir sings during the 2014 First Presidency Christmas Devotional on Sunday, Dec. 7, 2014. Photo by Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News.

“Just think how much Heavenly Father trusted Joseph,” he said. “He trusted Joseph to raise His Beloved Son with loving care. He trusted Joseph to protect both Jesus and Mary. Joseph earned that trust because of his humility, his patience, his obedience, and his willingness to comply with the Lord’s will.”

Jesus provides the perfect example of obedience, pure love, sacrifice, and loyalty to Heavenly Father’s plan.

“Jesus Christ was literally the perfect Son,” he said. “He successfully demonstrated throughout His entire life all of the celestial attributes we will ultimately need to emulate in order to achieve our own exaltation.”

By living the attributes demonstrated by the Holy Family, one can celebrate Christmas every day of the year.

Each member of the Holy Family was a supernal example of God’s Christmas gift to mankind.