Monday, December 16, 2013

Week 64: Merry Christmas to all!

Merry Christmas to all!!!

Nativity in our apartment
Isn't the greatest time of the year I just love it!!! Every one is just happy and frustrated a bit but it’s just awesome to see all the lights and all the Christmas cheer within the families.

Isn’t this a wonderful time of the year! So many things fill our hearts with the spirit of Christmas: the melody of Christmas carols, the lights, the decorations, and the happy greetings of “Merry Christmas!”

"Its the most wonderful time of the year", “And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus”1and, of course, “Joy to the World!” “Away in a Manger,” and “Silent Night.”

There are other words, more cautionary, that are worthy of our consideration as well—words such as:

Every Who
Down in Who-ville
Liked Christmas a lot . . .
But the Grinch,
Who lived just north of Who-ville,
Did NOT!2

The Grinch, that memorable character from a classic children’s story by Dr. Seuss, had a heart that “was two sizes too small,” and he hated everything about Christmas. Through the course of the story, however, he undergoes a dramatic transformation when he learns that there is more to Christmas than decorations and gifts.

Perhaps the Grinch’s story is so memorable because, if we are honest, we may be able to relate to him.

We know what the Christmas season ought to be—we know it should be a time of reflection on the birth of the Savior, a time of celebration and of generosity. But sometimes our focus is so much on the things that annoy and overwhelm us that we can almost hear ourselves say in unison with the Grinch: “Why, for fifty-three years I’ve put up with it now! I MUST stop this Christmas from coming! . . . But HOW?”

While it’s true that we can find materialism and anxiety in Christmas, it is also true that if we have eyes to see, we can experience the powerful message of the birth of the Son of God and feel the hope and peace He brings to the world. We, like the Grinch, can see Christmas through new eyes.

A couple years ago I saw a Mormon Message ( it’s called the greatest gift. But the funny thing was my mom did the exact same thing to me. it shows all t he young kids in a family opening up all these presents and toys and everything they were getting was col!! the oldest kid pens up a coupe of gifts and well they were socks and clothes and stuff like that. but the last present was a present for him and as he opens it its a picture of Christ as he looks at it he finds out the true meaning of Christmas, as he feels the Saviors love for him. like I said my mom did that to me like 2 years ago But as I opened it up the prince of peace sort of came into my heart s I felt the true meaning of Christmas and well what a peace I felt. My mom Might have seen it and wanted to see how it would work or i might have showed it to her who knows but it was an amazing feeling that I knew m savior lives and I knew and well still know that Christmas isn't about the material its about the birth of the son of god. 

President James E Faust told a story about an unforgettable Christmas in his December 2004 ensign article,

I would like to recount a story told by Kenneth J. Brown, who was serving as a U.S. Marine in Japan following the dropping of the bomb. His moving story about a Japanese Christian he met at Christmastime in Nagasaki is as follows.

“I watched him turn from the street and climb the path leading to our shelter. He was groping, hesitating. As he came near he folded his umbrella and stood quietly a long moment. His thin coat soon dampened from the cold rain that was falling from the same sky that had brought death to nearly half his townspeople three short months before. I concluded that it must take some special courage to confront one’s conquerors without invitation. It was little wonder that he hesitated.

“His polite bow to me was no bow of submission. Rather his squared shoulders and lifted head let me feel as if I were looking up at him even … though I towered over him a foot or more. I recall being disturbed that I hadn’t yet become used to the near sightless eyes of those who had looked heavenward that morning when the bomb dropped. …

“… I respectfully asked if I could be of service. [In his clear English] he introduced himself as Professor Iida. …

“‘I am Christian,’ he said. ‘I am told this is the head minister’s office. Are you a Christian? It is good to talk with a follower of Christ; there are so few Christian Japanese.’

“I took him to the inner office of the division chaplain and waited while the two men conversed. Professor Iida stated his request briefly. He was a teacher of music in a Christian girls’ college until it was closed by imperial command. … He had been imprisoned because of his professed Christianity. After being released he had returned to Nagasaki and continued his music instruction in his home even though it was forbidden. He had been able to continue a small chorus and would be pleased if … they [could] sing a concert for the American Marines.

“‘We know something of your American Christmases,’ he said. ‘We should like to do something to make your Christmas in Japan more enjoyable.’

“I felt sure the chaplain would give a negative reply. Our unit was one of hardened fighters, four years away from home, who had fought the enemy from Saipan to Iwo Jima. … Yet there was something about the man that bespoke sincere desire to do a good deed so that … permission was granted. The concert would be Christmas Eve.

“The rains had stopped and a calm settled over the atomic bowl reminiscent of the calm that night long ago. The concert was well attended; there was nothing else to do. The theater … had been cleared of its fallen roof and men were sitting on the jagged walls. The usual momentary hush fell over the audience as the performers filed on stage. …

“The first thing we noticed was that they were singing in English and we became aware that they didn’t understand the words but had memorized them for our benefit. Professor Iida had taught his students well; they sang beautifully. We sat enthralled as if a choir from heaven were singing for us. … It was as if Christ were being born anew that night.

“The closing number was a solo, an aria from ‘The Messiah.’ The girl sang with all the conviction of one who knew that Jesus was indeed the Savior of mankind and it brought tears. After that there was a full minute of silence followed by sustained applause as the small group took bow after bow.

“Later that night I helped Professor Iida take down the trimmings. I could not resist asking some questions that propriety forbade but curiosity demanded. I just had to know.

“‘How did your group manage to survive the bomb?’ I asked.

“‘This is only half my group,’ he said softly, but seemed unoffended at my recalling his grief so that I felt I could ask more.

“‘And what of the families of these?’

“‘They nearly all lost one or more members. Some are orphans.’

“‘What about the soloist? She must have the soul of an angel the way she sang.’

“‘Her mother, two of her brothers were taken. Yes, she did sing well; I am so proud of her. She is my daughter.’ …

“The next day was Christmas, the one I remember best. For that day I knew that Christianity had not failed in spite of people’s unwillingness to live His teachings. I had seen hatred give way to service, pain to rejoicing, sorrow to forgiveness. This was possible because a babe had been born in a manger [and] later taught love of God and fellowmen. We had caused them the greatest grief and yet we were their Christian brothers and as such they were willing to forget their grief and unite with us in singing ‘Peace on earth, goodwill to all men.’

“The words of Miss Iida’s song testimony would not be stilled, ‘Surely he hath borne our grief’s, and carried our sorrows.’ They seemed to echo and re-echo over the half-dead city that day.

“That day also I knew that there was a greater power on earth than the atomic bomb.”

That power has influenced for good the hosts of His followers on the earth for more than 2,000 years. It is the power in the knowledge that Jesus Christ is our Redeemer, our Savior, our Advocate with the Father, the King of Kings, the Lord of lords, and the Prince of Peace. It is the power by which, through faith and obedience to His teachings, we can find joy and happiness, peace and comfort.

When we prepare for Christmas by pondering its real meaning, we prepare to experience the Christ and His message.  he says to come unto him what better time to come closer to him than by remembering his birth, we need to ponder His influence in our lives today. The more commercialized and busy the Christmas season becomes, the easier it is for the sublime message of the Savior’s life to get lost along the way. If we notice that planning for parties and scrambling for presents begin to detract from the peaceable message of Jesus Christ and distance us from the gospel He preached, let us take a step back, slow down a little, and reconsider what matters most.

Let this be a time of remembrance, of gratitude, and a time of forgiveness. Let it be a time to ponder the Atonement of Jesus Christ and it’s meaning for each of us personally.  President Faust says, It is the priesthood power by which the world was created and the plan of salvation and happiness was put in place to bless our lives eternally if we are true to our covenants. It is the power that was magnified by His agony on the cross, bringing the single most important blessing to mankind. The greatest of all acts in all history was the atoning sacrifice of our Savior and Redeemer.

We remember that sacrifice at this time of year when we celebrate His birth. It is only through the atoning sacrifice of the Prince of Peace that we may know the true power of peace in our own lives. By remembering his sacrifice, we honor Him far more than we ever could with lights, gifts, or parties.

The Grinch saw the good in Christmas when he learned to look past its worldly trappings. If we do the same, we can, with the Grinch, proclaim: “Maybe Christmas . . . doesn’t come from a store. Maybe Christmas . . . perhaps . . . means a little bit more!”

Our heart may not grow three sizes as the Grinch’s did, but our heart will change. Our eyes will open to the miracles all around us—at Christmastime and throughout the year.

Well this was 2 talks sorry if its long but the peace we can feel the Christmas season is not found in boxes and bows its found in the one who was born the savior of the world who came to save us all 6 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, counselor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace. the prince of peace is his name we can find peace through him and his atoning sacrifice. He loves us and we love him bring peace into each of our homes at this time of the year jut come unto I'm and bring him into our lives.

I love this time of the season just put on a happy face and remember who's birthday we celebrate. I love this time of the season hope each of you do too.

Love you all!!

Elder Jaymes Monson 

President James E. Faust The power of peace

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