Sunday, December 26, 2021

Elder Robert D. Hales on Christmas and the Covenants of the Sacrament

Elder Robert D. Hales (August 24, 1932-October 1, 2017) served as a Seventy from 1976 to 1985, when he was called as a member of the Quorum of Twelve Apostles. He served for 32 years before passing away in 2017.
"Each week as we participate in the ordinance of the sacrament, we renew the promise of the Savior's birth in our own lives. We take His name upon us, and we renew our covenant of obedience and our promise that we will always remember Him.
"The gospel, as recorded in the Doctrine and Covenants, is this:
"'That he came into the world, even Jesus, to be crucified for the world, and to bear the sins of the world, and to sanctify the world, and to cleanse it from all unrighteousness;
"'That through him all might be saved' (D&C 76:41-42).
"May we take time this Christmas season to renew our covenants to follow the Savior and to do His will, just as He did the will of our Heavenly Father. As we do so, the words of King Benjamin's people, recorded 125 years before the Savior's birth, will be fulfilled for us today: 'O have mercy, and apply the atoning blood of Christ that we may receive forgiveness of our sins, and our hearts may be purified; for we believe in Jesus Christ, the Son of God, who created heaven and earth, and all things; who shall come down among the children of men' (Mosiah 4:2)."
- Robert D. Hales, "The Promise of Christmas," Ensign, Dec 2013, pp. 16-19
Click here to read the full article

I've never thought of the weekly partaking of the sacrament as a renewal of "the promise of the Savior's birth" in my life; that's an interesting perspective. It certainly helps make the holiday symbolism real and full of power in ongoing challenges and opportunities.

Elder Hales suggests that we find a time during the Christmas season to "renew our covenants to follow the Savior and to do His will." What more valid and meaningful gift could we give to Him, than to repent and recommit to be more faithful disciples? Perhaps now, the day after Christmas, most of the commotion and busy-ness of the holiday is relaxed, and we can turn our thoughts to this sacred purpose.

(Compilation and commentary by David Kenison, Orem, Utah, 2021)
December 20, 2015

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