Tuesday, December 21, 2021

Elder D. Todd Christofferson on the Christmas spirit of sacrifice and service

Elder D. Todd Christofferson (b. January 24, 1945) was called to the Seventy in 1993, and as a member of the Quorum of Twelve Apostles in 2008.
"At Christmas when we ponder the birth of Jesus and His example of near-constant service, we are prone to draw from our own resources that which would bless and liberate others. The stories of people helping and blessing one another at Christmastime are legion. And that is certainly one of the main reasons we rejoice so much in this holiday....
"And so at Christmas, the stories of sacrifice and ministering multiply across the world. Our gifts and service gladden hearts; the kindness of others pours healing balm into our own wounds. It is living the Savior's way of life. And since, as He, we came down from heaven to do the will of the Father, it must not be only an annual event, but rather the pattern of our lives. In all that serves to deepen our empathy, broaden our understanding, and purify our souls, His declaration reassures us: 'In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world' (John 16:33)."
- D. Todd Christofferson, "The Condescension of God and of Man," First Presidency Christmas Devotional, December 2014
Click here to read or watch the full talk

"The spirit of Christmas" does open to us a desire to give and to serve. We want to share gifts with those near to us; be become more sensitive to others who may have needs or challenges in their lives. But this spirit is really the spirit of the Savior, who spent His life in service and sacrifice on behalf of others. It's that "example of near-constant service" that inspires us, more than any time of year.

I love the thought that as we partake of this spirit of giving and service, and as we receive the same from others, we feel "healing balm" poured into our own wounds and are blessed and inspired as we partake of "the Savior's way of life."

(Compilation and commentary by David Kenison, Orem, Utah, 2021)
December 16, 2016

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