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


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

Long before the Savior was born, several Book of Mormon prophets foretold the coming of the Lord. Nephi, King Benjamin, and Alma each rejoiced when they learned of the birth and mission of the Savior. They knew that He would bring everlasting joy to the world.

When Christ was born in Bethlehem, many others were given cause to rejoice as the prophecies of old were fulfilled. Since then, Christmas has become a time when we, too, are given the opportunity to celebrate and think of that blessed event.

We read in the scriptures of many miracles that Christ performed during His earthly ministry. He healed the sick, raised the dead, and blessed the needy. And through His loving example and gospel teachings, He showed us the way to happiness. It is part of His divine plan that we be happy. “Men are, that they might have joy” (2 Ne. 2:25).

With Christmastime upon us, and all the presents and goodies and festivities that accompany it, we must remember that, as nice as they are, these are not the things that bring true, lasting happiness. It is through service—the helping hand, the loving heart, and the willing spirit—that we receive real joy. In Romans, Paul reminds us that “the kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost” (Rom. 14:17).

The spirit of Christmas prompts us to open our hearts and take notice of others in a special way. The love of Christ, however, should be the object of our worship and the focus of our lives not only during this holiday season but at all times. Let us make Christmas the beginning of a year-round celebration of Christ’s birth, His life, and His mission.

Let us work also to give some of the joy the Savior has given us back to Him. We can make the Lord happy by having faith in Him, by keeping His commandments, and by loving our fellowmen as He does. As the Apostle John said, there is no greater joy than to hear that children walk in truth. (See 3 Jn. 1:4.)

At this time we express our sincere love to children all over the world. Know that you are a source of great joy to us as you seek to do what is right, and it is our prayer that you may all have the joy that comes from following the Savior.

[photo] Photo by Welden Andersen