Sunday, December 19, 2021

President Russell M. Nelson on Christmas meaning - past, present, and future

President Russell M. Nelson (born Sept 9, 1924) was an internationally-renowned heart surgeon when he was called to serve as a member of the Quorum of Twelve Apostles in 1984. He became president of that quorum on July 15, 2015. Following the death of President Monson, he was set apart as president of the Church on January 14, 2018.
"Through all of our various Christmas traditions, I hope that we are focused first upon the Lord Jesus Christ. Wise men still adore Him....
"I plead with you to rise above the tasks of the day and the hurdles ahead. You can do more than the deeds scheduled in your daily planners. You can take the name of the Lord upon you and become more like Him. You can rise to your great potential. You can prepare for the future with greater spiritual capacity.
"Remember that the fulness of Christ's ministry lies in the future. The prophecies of His Second Coming have yet to be fulfilled. At Christmas, of course, we focus upon His birth. But, He will come again. At His First Coming Jesus came almost in secret. Only a few mortals knew of His birth. At His Second Coming the whole of humankind will know of His return. Then He will come, not as 'a man traveling on the earth' (D&C 49:22), but His glory 'shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together' (Isaiah 40:5; see also D&C 101:23).
"As a special witness of His holy name, I testify that Jesus is the divine Son of the living God. He will love you, lift you, and manifest Himself unto you if you will love Him and keep His commandments. (See John 14:21.)"
- Russell M. Nelson, "Christ the Savior is Born," BYU Devotional, 10 December 2002
Click here to read the full talk

President Nelson reminds us how easy it is to get caught up in the rush of Christmas traditions, and encourages us to "rise above" the busy-ness and the required activities in order to focus on reaching our greater potential.

Christmas, and the almost secret and solitary first coming of the Savior, should also remind us of the future "second coming" when "the whole of humankind will know of His return." We should be motivated in this season to prepare; to feel His love, and allow that love to move and motivate our souls and our lives to greater service and faithfulness.

(Compilation and commentary by David Kenison, Orem, Utah, 2021)
December 19, 2015

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