Christmas will soon be here once again—Christmas, that joyous time of year when everyone thinks about giving and receiving gifts.
As your eyes sparkle with the excitement of this happy season and as you sing the lovely Christmas carols, may you remember the beautiful story of the Baby Jesus, who was born in a lowly manger in Bethlehem while shepherds watched their flocks by night on the plains of Judea. This was God’s gift to the world.
When the angel Gabriel first visited young Mary in Nazareth, he told her she had been chosen to become the mother of the Son of God and that she should call his name Jesus, a special name meaning Savior.
Down through the ages, Jesus has been known by many other names that tell of His greatness and of His work. Among these names are Christ, Holy One, Redeemer, Immanuel, Son of God, Teacher, Messiah, Almighty, and, of course, Savior.
The first letters of these sacred titles spell the name of this season when we celebrate the wondrous birth of the Baby Jesus. As you think about gifts this Christmas, we hope you will think of the meaning of these names given to Jesus by those who knew and loved Him. Then you will be reminded of the blessings of this special holiday.
A few miles from Bethlehem where Jesus was born is the city of Jerusalem where He died for us. This too is part of the Christmas story.
Jesus gave not only His life but His gospel for each of us. His gift of the gospel was freely given to the world. But just as a gift is of little value if you put it on a shelf and never use it, the fulness of the gospel cannot bring the greatest happiness unless you understand its message of hope and gladly live its teachings.
You can make the gospel a wonderful part of your life by listening to your parents and obeying them, by giving thanks to our Heavenly Father for all of your blessings, and by showing your love for Him through caring for and sharing with others all through the year.
When you do this, then in your own small way you too are giving the greatest possible gift—the gift of yourself. And as you do, the sweet spirit of Christmas will glow and grow in your heart long after exciting new games and presents are lost or worn out.
No matter who you are or where you live, we give you at this Christmastime—and always—our blessing. Each one of you is special in our sight, and we know you are precious to our Heavenly Father and to His Beloved Son, whose birth on that first Christmas long ago was the greatest of all gifts.