Friday, December 24, 2021

President Ezra Taft Benson on the blessings of the Christmas season

President Ezra Taft Benson (1899-1994) was called to the Quorum of Twelve Apostles in 1943, and served as the 13th President of the Church from 1985 until his death in 1994 at age 94.
"Perhaps one of the greatest things about this wonderful Christmas season we celebrate is that it increases our sensitivity to things spiritual, to things of God. It causes us to contemplate our relationship with our Father and the degree of devotion we have for God.
"It prompts us to be more tolerant and giving, more conscious of others, more generous and genuine, more filled with hope and charity and love—all Christlike attributes. No wonder the spirit of Christmas is such that it touches the hearts of people the world over. Because for at least a time, increased attention and devotion is turned toward our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
"This Christmas, as we reflect upon the wonderful memories of the past, let us commit to give a most meaningful gift to the Lord. Let us give Him our lives, our sacrifices. Those who do so will discover that He can make a lot more out of their lives than they can. Whoever will lose his life in the service of God will find eternal life.
"Without Christ there would be no Christmas, and without Christ there can be no fulness of joy. It is my testimony that the Babe of Bethlehem, Jesus the Christ, is the one perfect guide, the one perfect example. Only by emulating Him and adhering to His eternal truth can we realize peace on earth and good will toward all. There is no other way. He is the Way, the Truth, and the Light."
- Ezra Taft Benson, Ezra Taft Benson Remembers the Joy of Christmas [Deseret 2009], pp. 1-13
Click here to read the full article

The Christmas season lasts more than a day; the spirit of Christmas should linger for a long time after the holiday is passed. If we've been watching this season, we've felt how the spirit "increases our sensitivity to things spiritual" and are better individuals than we were. The very act of having "increased attention and devotion... turned toward our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ" truly does make a difference.  Therefore, what should we do as Christmas moves into the past?

I truly believe, as President Benson testifies, that "without Christ there can be no fulness of joy." May we seek to include him more in our lives as we "give him our lives" and as we strive to emulate Him and adhere to his Gospel truths.

(Compilation and commentary by David Kenison, Orem, Utah, 2021)
December 26, 2015

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