Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Truth of Christmas

I love this special time of year. I love this season because I am able to walk around munchin' on candy canes and NOT look like a weirdo, hot chocolate is in high demand, Christmas tunes are being sung, Christmas lights are up, good times are being had! But there is something much more. The Grinch went through a big change when he saw that Christmas came even after he tried to steal it. He said, "It came without ribbons! It came without tags! It came without packages, boxes, or bags! Maybe Christmas doesn't come from a store. Maybe Christmas...means a little bit more". Wise words Mr. Grinch!

The Grinch!

BUT what is it that makes this season so special? People tend to get caught up in the commercialism and hype of the season and they soon lose sight of the "reason for the season". Sure, we give and receive gifts around Christmastime. We also listen to inspiring music, watch good family-oriented movies, and have good food! But the special spirit that is felt is not a product of these things! The Grinch is right when he said that it must mean a little bit more.

It is the Spirit of Christ. Jesus Christ was born into the world so that He could live perfectly while setting up His Church, suffer our individual pains, sins, and infirmities to save us from spiritual death, and then die and be resurrected to save us from physical death. This is called the Atonement and it is the ultimate sign of His love.

At Christmastime we recognize His birth to commemorate all that He did for us. Without the Atonement His birth would have been just another baby coming into the world. But he fulfilled prophecies in the way that He lived and He made it possible for us to return to Him. This year, let us celebrate the birth and life of our only true King, Jesus Christ.

Birth of Christ by Carl Heinrich Bloch

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, the church that I represent as a full-time missionary, has produced and released Bible Videos that depict scenes directly from the bible. These videos are simply beautiful and they are completely true to the truth of the bible. Below I have posted a few of these videos because they teach about the birth of Christ in a way that that has touched me. As a full-time missionary I am away from my family and am unable to participate in some of the traditions that I would normally take part in if I was at home (like watching The Grinch!). At times, it is hard to even realize that it's almost Christmas. I am so grateful for these videos because they have helped me to recognize and capture the true spirit of Christmas. I know that they will do the same for you.


Don't you feel the Spirit of Christmas? These videos bring the scriptures to life. Let us let them live in us. Share the Spirit of Christmas with your friends, neighbors, families, and strangers. You will be happier and you will be helping someone else too. That is the spirit of Christmas. I know that my Savior lives and I know that He loves you and me. Merry Christmas!

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Sunset in December

A little while back I wrote a blog called, "Christmas in July" where I tried to help everyone to always remember Christ. No matter what time of year it is! is that special time of year. Christmas spirit is in the air and happiness is all around! I love it.

Christmas is meant to bring our minds to the birth of Christ and help us be happy. Satan doesn't want this at all! He will do all he can to bring us down and he often twists things that are great to tear us apart. There are so many people who are away from home, don't have friends and family around, or don't have family at all. It can be a big burden financially, spiritually, and emotionally. If we go about the season with the wrong attitude then we can get caught up in sadness and depression. Also, the cold winter weather can be a bit draining as well. This can be the best or the worst time of year.

I feel that sometimes, we just need to be reminded of the happiness and contentment of summer. One of my favorite bands is 311 and they have a song that helps me remember just that! It's called "Sunset in July" and it says:
January, February, March into May. Here's June with a tune just to brighten my day. Sunsetting in July I'm gonna fade 'em away 'cause time is sliding, time is sliding on hear what I say. If you believe that, believe that. Back-up, back-up you need that, need that. Space and time and time and space is my way. I'm forever in existence I'm forever okay.
When we recognize that we are "forever in existence" and that "time is sliding on" we can "slide" into contentment and just smile our problems away.

A Montana July!
Christmas is a wonderful time of year. Recognize the happiness in the air and hold onto it. Always remember that we are never alone. Ever. We just need to reach to the Lord who said, "I will not leave you comfortless; I will come to you (John 14:18). Christmas is a great time to come closer tot he Lord. 'Tis the season!