Christmas Message from the First Presidency to the Children of the World:
Gifts That Endure

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    Surely the Christmas season is one of the most joyous times of the year. The unselfish spirit that prompts you boys and girls to give presents to friends and family is a reminder of that most wondrous gift of all from a loving Heavenly Father. He gave His Only Begotten Son Jesus Christ to be our Savior.

    So exciting and so singular was the birth of that holy Child that an angel heralded His coming to Bethlehem shepherds, who were tending their flocks by night:

    And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid.

    And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.

    For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.

    And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.

    And suddenly 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 2:9–14

    It is because of Heavenly Father’s gift of His Son that all men—past, present, and future—can return to live with Him who is the Father of our spirits. But to insure that that can happen, it was first necessary for Jesus to come to earth in the flesh to teach men by His example the correct way to live and then to willingly give up His life and, in some miraculous way, accept the burden for the sins of mankind so that we, too, can be resurrected.

    These two gifts—Jesus’ entry into the world and later His atonement and resurrection—make all else possible for us in this life and in the next.

    Take a few quiet moments as you consider your Christmas presents to think about some greater gifts of lasting value:

    • The abiding love for you of Heavenly Father and His Son Jesus Christ

    • The love, loyalty, and concern demonstrated daily for you by parents and other members of your family

    • The hope of teachers that their counsel to live righteously will be reflected in your life

    • The acceptance of true repentance when you have done wrong

    • The opportunity to grow spiritually and intellectually as well as physically

    • The privilege and inner reward of serving others

    • The many prayers of others for your peace, safety, and success

    These are the kinds of gifts that we can have now and forever.

    Strive to be more thoughtful and forgiving of others. Learn how to express appreciation to your family, teachers, and all who labor on your behalf. Know that your kindnesses to others are quickly duplicated to create a swelling influence for good. And above all, be prayerful, and delight in doing right, even though some about you may be doing otherwise.

    We give you and those around you our love, our blessing, and our sincere wish for a gladsome and memorable Christmastide.

    Spencer W. Kimball

    N. Eldon Tanner

    Marion G. Romney

    Gordon B. Hinckley

    Photo by Eldon Linschoten