Viewpoint: Share the Gift
Contributed By the Church News
“He Is the Gift focuses on God’s love for the world, made manifest in the first gift of Christmas, even the Lord Jesus Christ.” —Elder Russell M. Nelson of the Quorum of the Twelve
The Christmas messages shared on social media sites across the globe contain an identical hashtag and remind the world of a profound truth: “He Is the Gift.”
Some of the thousands of messages include:
“Celebrate Christmas. Celebrate the spirit of giving. That’s how it all began. Enjoy this season #ShareTheGift.”
“Conversion is not a onetime event. It is a lifelong quest to become more like the Savior #ShareTheGift.”
“Remember the true meaning of Christmas #ShareTheGift!”
“Jesus is the Gift #ShareTheGift.”
The messages are part of the Church’s month-long Christmas initiative, “He Is the Gift.” Members can participate in the initiative—which encourages others to discover, embrace, and then share the gift—by visiting Christmas.mormon.org and sharing the materials they find there. (Please see related article.)
Leaders hope members will prayerfully identify ways they can share that will lead others to accept an invitation to learn more about the restored gospel.
“He Is the Gift focuses on God’s love for the world, made manifest in the first gift of Christmas, even the Lord Jesus Christ,” said Elder Russell M. Nelson of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, in a pamphlet promoting the initiative. “Christmas is a time of reflection on what we can become because of God’s sacred gift. As we discover the gift, we learn of the immeasurable love of God and our absolute need for a Savior. As we embrace the gift, we strengthen our faith in Jesus Christ and our desire to become more like Him. As we share the gift, we follow in the Master’s footsteps, who invited all to hear His message.
“May we find greater holiness in our own lives and share the gift with others this Christmas season.”
Indeed, participating in the initiative is one way Latter-day Saints can help others understand the truth found in John 3:16: “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.”
Elder David A. Bednar of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles said: “After the announced birth of the Christ child to the shepherds on the plain of Judea, ‘there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men’ (Luke 2:13-14).
“This Christmas season we can fulfill a similar role as the multitude of the heavenly host did more than two millennia ago. I invite each of us to flood the earth with the messages of righteousness and truth found in the He Is the Gift initiative.
“Visit Christmas.mormon.org to find inspiring content to help discover, embrace, and share the gift of God’s love for us, made manifest in His Only Begotten Son. By using the hashtag #ShareTheGift, we can sweep the earth with timeless—and timely—messages of the Savior Jesus Christ” (He Is the Gift pamphlet).
President Thomas S. Monson said during his 2009 First Presidency Christmas Devotional address, “The Spirit of the Season,” that “probably no other time of the year yields as many poignant memories as does Christmas.”
“The Christmases we remember best,” he said, “generally have little to do with worldly goods but a lot to do with families, with love, and with compassion and caring.”
That is the message some Church members have already shared as they have participated in the initiative:
“This Christmas season I just can’t wait to spend it serving others and remembering everything Christ has done for us. #ShareTheGift,” wrote one member.
“I thank Heavenly Father the most for my Savior Jesus Christ #ShareTheGift,” said another.
“This year I feel nostalgic for my favorite part of the Christmas season growing up—service to others,” said yet another member. “My parents made sure that our Christmases involved acts of service #ShareTheGift.”
During his 2009 Christmas devotional address, President Monson said there is not a better time of the year to share the message of Jesus Christ. He asked Latter-day Saints to walk in the Savior’s footsteps “as we approach the season celebrating His birth.”
“Let us remember that He still lives and continues to be the ‘light of the world’ who promised, ‘He that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life’ (John 8:12). …
“With the Spirit of Christ in our lives, we will have good will and love toward all mankind, not only during this season, but throughout the years as well.”
As Christmas approaches, may we all ponder how we can remember that He is the Gift and share it.
Quoting one message: “The first gift of Christmas was a simple gift given by a Father to all His children, to us. He gave us His Son, the Christ. He is the gift. This Christmas season, how will you share the gift? #ShareTheGift.”