The Light of the World
Erin stood on Temple Square in Salt Lake City looking at life-sized statues of the nativity scene and waiting for the music and story to begin. Christmas lights twinkled all around her. But it didn’t feel like Christmastime.
“Are you all right?” Mom asked her.
Erin nodded, but she wasn’t so sure.
Only a few days ago, a boy from Erin’s class at school had died in a car accident. She had seen a lot of people crying at the funeral, and she had cried a lot herself. She hadn’t known the boy that well, but Erin knew his family loved him as much as her family loved her. She felt scared to know that something like that could happen to someone her age.
Now she didn’t feel excited for Christmas. She felt worried all the time—scared to get in a car, scared to be apart from her parents, scared to leave her house in case something bad happened to her while she was away. All the Christmas lights on Temple Square couldn’t erase the worried feeling inside her. How could she be happy in a world where she wasn’t always safe?
“It’s about to start,” Dad said. He pointed to the nativity scene.
The loudspeakers crackled to life, and a voice began speaking. Music played, and spotlights shone down on statues of shepherds, Wise Men, Mary, and Joseph. Erin listened to the familiar story. The baby Jesus was born and lay in a manger. Angels sang. Shepherds worshipped. Wise Men rejoiced.
Erin looked at the faces of her parents and the crowd gathered around the nativity scene. They all seemed happy. But why was everyone so happy about the baby Jesus if His birth didn’t stop bad things from happening? Erin didn’t like the question circling through her head. All she wanted was to stop feeling afraid.
The story ended, and a recording of the prophet’s voice came over the loudspeaker. He bore his testimony and read a scripture from the Bible: “For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive” (1 Corinthians 15:22).
Erin’s heart beat faster. She said the words again in her mind, trying to remember them. For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.
The scripture said that everyone would die—young people, old people—everyone. Erin knew that, of course, but she hadn’t thought about it much before. She thought she was too young to think about such things. But she wasn’t too young to have a testimony of the truth: because of Jesus Christ, everyone would live again. That’s why the shepherds and Wise Men rejoiced. They understood what Jesus had come to earth to do.
Erin looked from the little stable to a window in the visitors’ center behind the nativity scene. Inside the building a light shone on a large statue of Jesus stretching out His scarred hands. Erin thought about the little baby in the manger and how He grew into someone who had all power. And yet He chose to sacrifice His life for her. He had been born so she could live again. No matter what happened, Erin could feel safe in Jesus’s love.
Peace washed over her. She couldn’t quite explain how, but her worry disappeared. When she looked at the statue of Jesus Christ, shining brighter than twinkling Christmas lights, she barely noticed the dark night sky. She was too busy feeling the warmth of hope flickering inside her.
Elder Dallin H. Oaks of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles
“The Light and Life of the World,” Ensign, Nov. 1987, 64.
Let It Snow!
You can watch snowflakes fall all year long with this homemade snow globe. Maybe you could even make one as a gift for a friend or family member. Remember to get an adult’s help when making crafts.
Illustrations by Mark Robison
You will need:
glass jar with a wide mouth and screw-on lid
hot glue gun
plastic figurine or small laminated photograph
small pebbles, plastic greenery, or other decorations
glitter or fake snow
water or baby oil
Wash the jar and lid and let dry completely.
On the inside of the lid, build a small scene using the pebbles, plastic greenery, or other decorations. Use a small figurine, toy, or photograph as the centerpiece. Keep decorations away from the edges so you will be able to screw the lid onto the jar at the end. Important: Whatever you include in the scene needs to be waterproof!
Use hot glue to attach your scene firmly to the inside of the lid. Let the glue dry.
Begin filling the jar with cool water or baby oil. Don’t fill it all the way or else it will overflow when you put your scene inside.
Sprinkle glitter or fake snow into the water. Some of the glitter might get stuck in the scene as you shake your snow globe, so add a little extra.
Once the glue has dried completely, put a line of glue on the inside of the lid. Screw on the lid tightly.
Put a layer of hot glue around the outside of the rim of the lid to seal it shut.
Let the snow globe dry overnight with the lid side up. Your snow globe should now be ready to use. Shake gently and watch the snowflakes fly!
Jesus Christ was born in a stable among sheep and other animals. Follow these steps to learn to draw a sheep.
Illustrations by Mark Robison
Make a nativity stable using a small box, three popsicle sticks, and a paper star. To make the roof, glue the sticks into a simple “A” shape, then cut slits into the box and insert and glue the roof into place. Glue the star at the peak of the roof. Make your own nativity scene to put in the stable.
Way to Be
Do you want to help make cookies for family home evening? You can pour in the chocolate chips.