Prepare Every Needful Thing

"If ye are prepared, ye shall not fear"

Spiritual Preparedness–December 2013

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This article is condensed from “What Shall I Do Then with Jesus Which is Called Christ?”

by Gordon B. Hinckley, Ensign, December 1983.

At this Christmas season, may I share a few thoughts concerning him whose birth we commemorate, our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Truly, his coming, ministry, and place in our eyes is as foretold by the ancient prophet Isaiah: “For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.”

I ask anew the question offered by Pilate two thousand years ago, “What shall I do then with Jesus which is called Christ?” (Matthew 27:22) Indeed, we need continually to ask ourselves, What shall we do with Jesus who is called Christ? What shall we do with his teachings, and how can we make them an inseparable part of our lives? In light of these questions, at this season we ask another: What does Christmas really mean? May I suggest some things that it should mean?

Christmas means giving. The Father gave his son, and Son gave his life. Without giving there is no true worship. Giving of self, giving of substance, giving of heart and mind and strength in assisting those in need and in spreading the cause of His eternal truth—these are the very essence of the true spirit of Christmas.

Christmas means the Christ child, the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger while angels sang and wise men traveled far to bring gifts. It is a beautiful and timeless story, and I hope each of us will read it again this season.

Christmas means eternity. As certainly as Christ came into the world, lived among men, laid down his life, and became the firstfruits of the resurrection, so, through that atonement, all become partakers of immortality, “I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live: And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die” (John 11:25-26.) Let us live today knowing that we shall live forever. Let us live with the conviction that whatever principle of intelligence and beauty and truth and goodness we make a part of our life, it will rise with us in the resurrection.

Christmas means compassion and love. Brutality reigns where Christ is banished. Kindness and forbearance govern where Christ is recognized and his teachings are followed. “He hath shewed thee, O man, what is good; and what doth the Lord require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with God?” (Micah 6:8.)

I rejoice at Christmastime that as a people, we Latter-day Saints know of his existence and reality, and receive certain direction from him.

“And now after the many testimonies which have been given of him, this is the testimony last of all, which we give of him: That he lives!  For we saw him, even on the right hand of God; and we heard the voice bearing record that he is the Only Begotten of the Father–  That by him, and through him, and of him, the worlds are and were created, and the inhabitants thereof are begotten sons and daughters unto God.” (D&C 76:22-24.)

This is our testimony to all mankind. It is our gift and blessing to the world. He is our joy and our salvation… What shall we do with Jesus who is called Christ?

Learn of him. Search the scriptures, for they are they which testify of him. Ponder the miracle of his life and mission. Try a little more diligently to follow his example and observe his teachings. Bring the Christ back into Christmas.

 

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