Monday, December 19, 2016

President Dieter F. Uchtdorf on avoiding the distractions of the Christmas season

President Dieter F. Uchtdorf (1940- ) served as a Seventy from 1994-2004, when he was called as a member of the Quorum of Twelve.  He has served as second counselor in the First Presidency since 2008.
"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.
"Christmas is a time for remembering the Son of God and renewing our determination to take upon us His name. It is a time to reassess our lives and examine our thoughts, feelings, and actions. 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 its meaning for each of us personally. Let it especially be a time of renewal and recommitment to live by the word of God and to obey His commandments. By doing this, we honor Him far more than we ever could with lights, gifts, or parties."
- Dieter F. Uchtdorf, "Seeing Christmas through New Eyes," First Presidency Christmas Devotional, December 2010
Click here to read the full talk

There seem to be two competing Christmases: the commercialized, sales-oriented, present-focused, secular one; and the more subtle, sublime, spiritual one. President Uchtdorf warns that the second one, focusing on the Savior, is often lost amid the clamor of the first. We need to remember to find place for "the peaceable message of Jesus Christ" and His gospel, for that is truly what matters most.

This is a beautiful reminder and invitation for us all:

We would be especially blessed in this holiday season to take time to carefully ponder the message President Uchtdorf shares and make sure there is time in our celebration for the actions he suggests.

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