The Eternal Gift
“At this time of Christmas, this season when gifts are given, let us not forget that God gave His Son, and His Son gave His life, that each of us might have the gift of eternal life.” President Gordon B. Hinckley, “The Son of God,” Ensign, Dec. 1992, 6.
“Far, Far Away on Judea’s Plains”
“Far, Far Away on Judea’s Plains” is the only Christmas song in the English hymnbook written by a Latter-day Saint author. In 1869, John Macfarlane of St. George, Utah, wanted his choir to sing a new carol for their Christmas program. After struggling to write one with no success, John awoke from a dream one night and wrote the lyrics and melody to “Far, Far Away on Judea’s Plains.” This hymn is a beautiful addition to our Christmas carols and is popular both in and out of the Church. (See Hymns, no. 212.)
After you’ve planned, prayed, and delegated responsibilities to your class or quorum members, you, as a leader, need to offer your help and support. Tell them you have confidence in their abilities, and let them know you love them. Encourage them to use their own ideas; don’t insist that things always be done your way. By leading with love, you’ll help every member develop his or her skills and talents.
Friends have a lot of influence in our lives. Are your friends helping you be your best self, or are they leading you away from living the life you should? This quiz can help you see what kind of influence your friends have on you, and it might even help you be a better friend. Choose the answer that best describes how you think your friend might respond in each of these situations. Use the key at the end to find your score.
You’re at a fun party, but then people start to drink. You want to go home, and your friend says: a. You’re right. We’d better go home. I’ll call my mom to pick us up. b. Don’t be such a goody-goody. A little drink never hurt anyone. c. Why don’t you stay and have a little fun? You don’t have to drink.
You’re asked on a date, but you won’t turn 16 for another few months. When you explain why you’re not going, your friend says: a. Are you crazy? You have to go! This is the biggest dance of the year! b. OK, but you’ll regret not going. Can’t you make an exception this time? c. All right, if that’s what you really want to do. It’s nice that you stick by what you believe.
At school you have a geography assignment due, and everyone is sharing answers before class. You forgot all about the assignment, and your friend tells you: a. Don’t worry about it. One assignment won’t matter. b. If you hurry, you can finish it before class. c. Quick, here’s my assignment. You can copy mine.
You and your friend are at a video store picking out a movie to watch. She picks a movie with bad content, and you explain why you don’t watch inappropriate media. She says: a. That’s fine; let’s pick another one. b. We’ll watch it at my house. Your parents won’t know. c. Come on, just this once. There’s nothing really that bad in this movie.
Scoring: 1. a=3 b=1 c=2 2. a=1 b=2 c=3 3. a=2 b=3 c=1 4. a=3 b=1 c=2
10–12 points: You have some great friends who support you in your beliefs. Try to be a good friend to them too as you support each other in living righteously.
7–9 points: Your friends seem to care about you, but they really don’t understand what it means to live the gospel. Take the opportunity to explain your beliefs to them, and they will probably be understanding.
4–6 points: Your friends are not encouraging you to live the gospel and become a better person. Make friends with those who uplift you, respect your beliefs, and encourage you to stick to them.