At this special time of year, families throughout the Christian world gather to read the scriptural account of the first Christmas, more than 2,000 years ago. In many of these readings, particular emphasis is given to Luke 2:11, the announcement made by an angel to the shepherds who watched over their flocks by night: “For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.”
That divine declaration was followed by a description of the sign that would help the shepherds recognize Jesus when they traveled to Bethlehem: “Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger” (Luke 2:12). These humble shepherds became the first of millions of mortal witnesses of the Lord Jesus Christ. Like them, we are invited to be witnesses too.
You may ask, isn’t the opportunity to be a witness reserved for those men selected by the Lord and called to serve as His Apostles? The answer is no. Apostles are called and ordained to be “special witnesses of the name of Christ in all the world” (D&C 107:23), but the duty to witness and testify of Christ at all times and in all places applies to every member of the Church (see Mosiah 18:9).
We live in a world where the power and influence of God in our daily lives are downplayed and dismissed and where the need for a Savior is ignored and even mocked. For those who are devoted to the Lord Jesus Christ, there has never been a greater need for us to profess our faith in our Savior, privately and publicly.
The world needs a Savior. All people need to be cleansed from the effects of sin and to return to the presence of God. Jesus Christ is the Light and Life of the World. This Christmas season, each of us will have many opportunities to proclaim our belief in Him to friends and neighbors, fellow workers, and casual acquaintances. I hope we will take these opportunities to express our love for Him, to bear our witness of His divine mission, and to renew our determination to serve Him. As we do, we join “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).