A Message from the First Presidency to the Children of the World:

Gifts of the Heart

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    Christmastime is that joyful season when we especially remember our loving Heavenly Father’s gift to us, that of His Son Jesus Christ. Jesus’ birth was heralded by the angel of the Lord to shepherds, who were keeping watch over their flock. “And the angel said unto [the shepherds], 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.

    “And it came to pass, as the angels were gone away from them into heaven, the shepherds said one to another, Let us now go even unto Bethlehem, and see this thing which is come to pass, which the Lord hath made known unto us.

    “And they came with haste, and found Mary, and Joseph, and the babe lying in a manger” (Luke 2:10–16).

    There are many other valuable gifts that Heavenly Father gives us—loving families and friends, the talents and abilities that we have to love, to work, and to play. Expressing our heartfelt gratitude for these gifts that we receive is important, for the Lord told the Prophet Joseph Smith that “he who receiveth all things with thankfulness shall be made glorious” (D&C 78:19).

    Now it is our turn to give, and the gifts of self are of greatest value. They are the kind that endure.

    Beloved young friends, wherever you may live, we commend you for your goodness and for your desire to help and to share with those around you. Know of our abiding love for you and of our sincere wish that you will enjoy a happy holiday.

    The First Presidency

    President Ezra Taft Benson

    President Gordon B. Hinckley, First Counselor

    President Thomas S. Monson, Second Counselor

    “The Nativity,” by Ted Henninger