Sunday, December 24, 2017

President Gordon B. Hinckley shares a witness of the Christmas child

President Gordon B. Hinckley (1910-2008) was called to the Quorum of Twelve in 1961. He served as a counselor in the First Presidency from 1981-1995, then as Church President until his death in 2008.
"Of all the children born into this world, none other has come with so rich a birthright as Jesus, for He was the Only Begotten of the Eternal Father in the flesh.
"Of all men who have walked the earth, no other has lived so perfect a life as this the man of miracles, who testified that He is 'the way, the truth, and the life' (John 14:6).
"Of all the victories in human history, none is so great, none so universal in its effect, none so everlasting in its consequences as the victory of the crucified Lord, who came forth in the Resurrection that first Easter morning.
"I have seen statues and paintings of the great men and women of history, many hundreds of them. But great and important as are all of these heroes of the past, none can compare with the victory of the lonely, pain-wracked figure on Calvary's cross who triumphed over death and brought the gift of eternal life to all mankind....
"Of all things of heaven and earth of which we bear testimony, none is so important as our witness that Jesus, the Christmas child, condescended to come to earth from the realms of His Eternal Father, here to work among men as healer and teacher, our Great Exemplar. And further, and most important, He suffered on Calvary's cross as an atoning sacrifice for all mankind.
"At this time of Christmas, this season when gifts are given, let us not forget that God gave His Son, and His Son gave His life, that each of us might have the gift of eternal life."
- Gordon B. Hinckley, "The Son of God," from an address given at the new mission presidents’ seminar, 23 June 1992; See Ensign, Dec. 1992, p. 2
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President Hinckley shared scores of Christmas messages during his ministry, particularly as a member of the First Presidency for many years. This message focuses on the miracle of the birth of the "Christmas child" but was initially given to mission presidents, since an understanding of the life and mission of the Savior is critical for the work of conversion and salvation.

President Hinckley here gives his testimony of the Savior's divine birthright, the perfection of His life, and the everlasting victory over death that brought resurrection.

And so this is the most important testimony that can be offered:

That final message is a precious reminder. While we give our gifts to one another, we should never forget the Heavenly gift of the Father and the Son on our behalf!

(Compilation and commentary by David Kenison, Orem, Utah, 2017)

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