December 25, 2011

Joy to the World

{Photo Source}

Getting to post this on Christmas day is a very big honor for me. I will try to be brief.

I love Christmas. I love all things Christmas. I love collecting and looking at nativities. When I was in high school, I got to participate in a live nativity by portraying Mary while a brother in the ward read parts of this talk by Jeffrey R. Holland.

What stuck out to me were these words:

I have wondered if this young woman, something of a child herself, here bearing her first baby, might have wished her mother, or an aunt, or her sister, or a friend, to be near her through the labor. Surely the birth of such a son as this should command the aid and attention of every midwife in Judea! We all might wish that someone could have held her hand, cooled her brow, and when the ordeal was over, given her rest in crisp, cool linen.

But it was not to be so. With only Joseph’s inexperienced assistance, she herself brought forth her firstborn son, wrapped him in the little clothes she had knowingly brought on her journey, and perhaps laid him on a pillow of hay.

Then on both sides of the veil a heavenly host broke into song. “Glory to God in the highest,” they sang, “and on earth peace, good will toward men” (Luke 2:14). But except for heavenly witnesses, these three were alone: Joseph, Mary, and the baby to be named Jesus.

At this focal point of all human history, a point illuminated by a new star in the heavens revealed for just such a purpose, probably no other mortal watched—none but a poor young carpenter, a beautiful virgin mother, and silent stabled animals who had not the power to utter the sacredness they had seen.

I love every word of the entire talk, but I most especially love the reminder of the sacrifices Mary and Joseph made. They were poor and alone, but they had the help of heaven.

Prophets throughout the history of the world have sacrificed much. God the Father sacrificed His Son. Jesus Christ gave the ultimate sacrifice by paying for our sins and overcoming spiritual and physical death. This Christmas season, let us remember their sacrifices and vow "to stand a little taller, rise a little higher, be a little better. Make the extra effort. You will be happier. You will know a new satisfaction, a new gladness in your heart." (President Hinckley, The Quest For Excellence, Ensign. September 1999) God bless.

Megan wishes everyone a Merry Christmas and a happy new year.