Saturday, December 25, 2021

President Thomas S. Monson on rededication during the Christmas season

President Thomas S. Monson (1927–2018) was sustained to the Quorum of Twelve Apostles in 1963. He served as a counselor in the First Presidency with Presidents Benson, Hunter, and Hinckley and then became Church president in 2008. He led the Church for almost a decade until his passing in January 2018.
"There is no better time than now, this very Christmas season, for all of us to rededicate ourselves to the principles taught by Jesus the Christ. It is the time to love the Lord, our God, with all our heart—and our neighbors as ourselves. It is well to remember that he who gives money gives much; he who gives time gives more; but he who gives of himself gives all.
"Let us make Christmas real. It isn't just tinsel and ribbon, unless we have made it so in our lives. Christmas is the spirit of giving without a thought of getting. It is happiness because we see joy in people. It is forgetting self and finding time for others. It is discarding the meaningless and stressing the true values. It is peace because we have found peace in the Savior's teachings. It is the time we realize most deeply that the more love is expended, the more there is of it for others....
"As the Christmas season envelops us with all its glory, may we, as did the Wise Men, seek a bright, particular star to guide us to our Christmas opportunity in service to our fellowman. May we all make the journey to Bethlehem in spirit, taking with us a tender, caring heart as our gift to the Savior. And may one and all have a joy-filled Christmas."
- Thomas S. Monson, "Christmas is Love," First Presidency Christmas Devotional, December 2012
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Among the many wonderful reminders of the Christmas season is this invitation to "rededicate ourselves to the principles taught by Jesus the Christ." What better activity could we engage in on this special day, than to solemnly consider where we might do better as disciples of Jesus Christ, and then commit to do it?

President Monson believes this would "make Christmas real" — much more so than the outward decorations or celebrations. It happens when we forget ourselves, when we discard the things that are "meanlingless" and replace them with "true values." So this is the grand invitation:

(Compilation and commentary by David Kenison, Orem, Utah, 2021)
December 25, 2015

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