Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Marvin J. Ashton on the invitation to "come and see" the Christ Child

Elder Marvin J. Ashton (1915-1994) served as a member of the Quorum of Twelve Apostles from 1971 until his death in 1994 at age 78.
"The shepherds were invited to come and see. They saw. They trembled. They testified. They rejoiced. They saw Him wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger, the Prince of Peace....
"To the world we humbly declare, 'He is here. Come and see.'
"At this Christmas season I extend to you the gift of determination to come and see.
"Some will be inclined to say, 'I am lost.' 'My circumstances are impossible.' 'Nobody cares.'
"A young man in deep trouble and despair said to me recently, 'It's all right for others to have a merry Christmas, but not me. It's no use. It's too late.'
"We can stay away and complain. We can stay away and nurse our sorrows. We can stay away and pity ourselves. We can stay away and find fault. We can stay away and become bitter.
"Or we can come and see! We can come and see and know!"
- Marvin J. Ashton, "Come and See," New Era, Dec 1989, p. 4
Click here to read the full talk

I love the image of those shepherds, out in the fields near Bethlehem on a clear spring evening, "keeping watch" as good shepherds do. What a marvel they experienced as the night was pierced by angelic messengers, delivering messages and singing praises. How they must have been filled with amazement and wonder. But then to be told, there was something even greater to be viewed in nearby Bethlehem! It was up to them to "come and see."

And so we are also invited to "come and see" — to experience, in our own way, the marvel that those humble shepherds did on the first Christmas. We don't know if any of them chose not to "come and see." How tragic it would have been, to have elected not to be one of the very first to witness the coming of the Messiah in the flesh!

Sadly, in our day, there are very many who decline the invitation to "come and see." Elder Ashton points out the ways we sometimes talk ourselves out of the opportunity. Then he reassures us that we must always take advantage of those opportunities, and will be blessed every time we answer the call.

No comments:

Post a Comment

// Customization to close archive widget on first view - DK 3/15