Christmas Message from the First Presidency to the Children of the World

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    President Ezra Taft Benson President Gordon B. Hinckley President Thomas S. Monson

    President Ezra Taft Benson; President Gordon B. Hinckley; President Thomas S. Monson

    Christmas is a happy time of year—a time of singing joyous carols, of gazing at festive decorations, of smelling the delicious aromas of fruit cakes and gingerbread, of carefully planning gifts of love for family, teachers, and friends. It is a time of good deeds, of sending and receiving, of visiting with those you love best. Most of all, it is a time to celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ.

    As we share our gifts of love with one another, let us remember the many gifts that He has given to us:

    • He gave us a beautiful earth to live on.

    • He gave us the Bible, the Book of Mormon, and other scriptures to help us know how to live righteously.

    • He gave us parents, teachers, and living prophets to help us learn of Him.

    • He gave us His example so that we may clearly see how to live the gospel.

    All these things—and many more—He did because He loves us and wants us to be happy. And that is why we rejoice and sing gratefully of His birth so long ago in the little town of Bethlehem:

    O little town of Bethlehem,

    How still we see thee lie.

    Above thy deep and dreamless sleep

    The silent stars go by;

    Yet in the dark streets shineth

    The everlasting Light.

    The hopes and fears of all the years

    Are met in thee tonight.

    For Christ is born of Mary,

    And, gathered all above

    While mortals sleep, the angels keep

    Their watch of wond’ring love.

    O morning stars, together

    Proclaim the holy birth,

    And praises sing to God the King,

    And peace to men on earth.

    How silently, how silently

    The wondrous gift is giv’n!

    So God imparts to human hearts

    The blessings of his heav’n.

    No ear may hear his coming;

    But in this world of sin,

    Where meek souls will receive him, still

    The dear Christ enters in.

    (Hymns, no. 208)

    —The First Presidency

    Photos by Philip Shurtleff