I thought we just celebrated Thanksgiving that's just so weird I really have no idea I still feel like I was just in the MTC. Its sort of weird haha. But MERRY CHRISTMAS TO ALL
This Christmas Season is full of Peace love and lots of joy isn't it? I remember being at
President Monson invites us to have a more Christ centered Christmas by taking off the last syllable of Christmas and it becomes the spirit of Christ. So what made the bells ring on Christmas day? or what is the meaning of angels "echoing their joyous strain" well let me tell you it all started by Revelations to the prophets of old.
Isaiah 7:14 - “Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.”
Helaman 14:2-8 “And behold, he said unto them: Behold, I give unto you a sign; for five years more cometh, and behold, then cometh the Son of God to redeem a
ll those who shall believe on his name.
“And behold, this will I give unto you for a sign at the time of his coming; for behold, there shall be great lights in heaven, insomuch that in the night before he cometh there shall be no darkness, insomuch that it shall appear unto man as if it was day.
“Therefore, there shall be one day and a night and a day, as if it were one day and there were no night; and this shall be unto you for a sign; for ye shall know of the rising of the sun and also of its setting; therefore they shall know of a surety that there shall be two days and a night; nevertheless the night shall not be darkened; and it shall be the night before he is born.
“And behold, there shall a new star arise, such an one as ye never have beheld; and this also shall be a sign unto you.
“And behold this is not all, there shall be many signs and wonders in heaven.
“And it shall come to pass that ye shall all be amazed, and wonder, insomuch that ye shall fall to the earth.
“And it shall come to pass that whosoever shall believe on the Son of God, the same shall have everlasting life.”
Two Prophets Isaiah and Samuel received the revelations of the Christ child. And it all started to come forth with a heavenly visit to a young woman named Mary.
Luke 1;26-32, 34-35, 37-38 “And in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God unto a city of Galilee, named Nazareth,
“To a virgin espoused to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David; and the virgin’s name was Mary.
“And the angel came in unto her, and said, Hail, thou that art highly favoured, the Lord is with thee: blessed art thou among women.
“And when she saw him, she was troubled at his saying, and cast in her mind what manner of salutation this should be.
“And the angel said unto her, Fear not, Mary: for thou hast found favour with God.
“And, behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name JESUS.
“He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto him the bhrone of his father David:
“Then said Mary unto the angel, How shall this be, seeing I know not a man?
“And the angel answered and said unto her, The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God.
“For with God nothing shall be impossible.
“And Mary said, Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it unto me according to thy word. And the angel departed from her.”
Gabriel an angel of god sent to bring good tidings of great joy to a young woman. here in the Americas a man named Nephi had faith that one day the lord would come
3 Nephi 1 4, 8-14 “And it came to pass that in the commencement of the ninety and second year, behold, the prophecies of the prophets began to be fulfilled more fully; for there began to be greater signs and greater miracles wrought among the people.
“But behold, they did watch steadfastly for that day and that night and that day which should be as one day as if there were no night, that they might know that their faith had not been vain.
“Now it came to pass that there was a day set apart by the unbelievers, that all those who believed in those traditions should be put to death except the sign should come to pass, which had been given by Samuel the prophet.
“Now it came to pass that when Nephi, the son of Nephi, saw this wickedness of his people, his heart was exceedingly sorrowful.
“And it came to pass that he went out and bowed himself down upon the earth, and cried mightily to his God in behalf of his people, yea, those who were about to be destroyed because of their faith in the tradition of their fathers.
“And it came to pass that he cried mightily unto the Lord all that day; and behold, the voice of the Lord came unto him, saying:
“Lift up your head and be of good cheer; for behold, the time is at hand, and on this night shall the sign be given, and on the morrow come I into the world, to show unto the world that I will fulfil all that which I have caused to be spoken by the mouth of my holy prophets.
“Behold, I come unto my own, to fulfil all things which I have made known unto the children of men from the foundation of the world, and to do the will, both of the Father and of the Son—of the Father because of me, and of the Son because of my flesh. And behold, the time is at hand, and this night shall the sign be given.”
His faith had made him rejoice because like it says joy to the world the carol did sound that night
3 Nephi 1 15-16 “And it came to pass that the words which came unto Nephi were fulfilled, according as they had been spoken; for behold, at the going down of the sun there was no darkness; and the people began to be astonished because there was no darkness when the night came.
“And there were many, who had not believed the words of the prophets, who fell to the earth and became as if they were dead, for they knew that the great plan of destruction which they had laid for those who believed in the words of the prophets had been frustrated; for the sign which had been given was already at hand.
“And it had come to pass, yea, all things, every whit, according to the words of the prophets.
“And it came to pass also that a new star did appear, according to the word.”
Luke 2 6-7 “And so it was, that, while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered.
“And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn.”
Away in a Manger:
Away in a manger, no crib for his bed,
The little Lord Jesus laid down his sweet head;
The stars in the heavens looked down where he lay,
The little Lord Jesus, asleep on the hay.
Silent night! Holy night!
All is calm, all is bright
Round yon virgin mother and Child.
Holy Infant, so tender and mild,
Sleep in heavenly peace;
Sleep in heavenly peace.
Luke 2;8-17 “And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night.
“And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid.
“And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.
“For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.
“And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.
“And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying,
“Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.
“And it came to pass, as the angels were gone away from them into heaven, the shepherds said one to another, Let us now go even unto Bethlehem, and see this thing which is come to pass, which the Lord hath made known unto us.
“And they came with haste, and found Mary, and Joseph, and the babe lying in a manger.
“And when they had seen it, they made known abroad the saying which was told them concerning this child.”
It Came Upon a Midnight clear
It came upon the midnight clear,
That glorious song of old,
From angels bending near the earth
To touch their harps of gold:
"Peace on the earth, good will to men
From heav'n's all-gracious King."
The world in solemn stillness lay
To hear the angels sing.
Still thru the cloven skies they come
With peaceful wings unfurled,
And still their heav'nly music floats
O'er all the weary world.
Above its sad and lowly plains
They bend on hov'ring wing,
And ever o'er its babel sounds
The blessed angels sing.
For lo! the days are hast'ning on,
By prophets seen of old,
When with the ever-circling years
Shall come the time foretold,
When the new heav'n and earth shall own
The Prince of Peace their King,
And the whole world send back the song
Which now the angels sing.
Far. Far Away on Judea’s plains
Far, far away on Judea's plains,
Shepherds of old heard the joyous strains:
Sweet are these strains of redeeming love,
Message of mercy from heav'n above:
Lord, with the angels we too would rejoice;
Help us to sing with the heart and voice:
Hasten the time when, from ev'ry clime,
Men shall unite in the strains sublime
Glory to God, Glory to God,
Glory to God in the highest;
Peace on earth, goodwill to men;
Peace on earth, goodwill to men!
But there were some wise men too weren’t there? They followed the star as it says in this hymn.
With wond'ring awe the wise men saw
The star in heaven springing,
And with delight, in peaceful night,
They heard the angels singing:
Matthew 2:1-2.11 “Now when Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judæa in the days of Herod the king, behold, there came wise men from the east to Jerusalem,
“Saying, Where is he that is born King of the Jews? for we have seen his star in the east, and are come to worship him.
“And when they were come into the house, they saw the young child with Mary his mother, and fell down, and worshipped him: and when they had opened their treasures, they presented unto him gifts; gold, and frankincense, and myrrh. (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9OcQXpZwRKY&list=PL564596438ACBFE44)
The truth of this first Chrismas story is what we can get out of it. The Son of God was born to the virgin Mary who laid him in a manger. Being a missionary we watch a Christmas film a lot its called Joy to the world. If you have it, watch it if you don't then ask your neighborhood Missionary if they can give it to you so you can give it to a friend; then watch it with that friend. But the best part is a scripture they share.
Isaiah 9:6 “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, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.
Wow I just about stood up I thought I heard the hallelujah chorus wow! That would have been embarrassing haha!
Writing all of this I am remembered of a cartoon called a Charlie Brown Christmas (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9YjbnSghLV8>) Here Linus tells Charlie what Christmas is all about. But its a pretty good reminder that the whole meaning is about a boy born in a manger in Bethlehem. One of my favorite stories started in a manger and well its the one that never ends because the person is still living. That's my favorite story the one that goes on and on.
May God bless each and everyone of you this Christmas season and well I’ll receive my Christmas Present tomorrow well that or my Mom will haha. I get to call home over SKYPE and well what more can I ask? Hope you all have a very marry Christmas!!!
Love you all!
Elder Jaymes Monson