Sunday, March 2, 2014

My Thoughts on Christmas!

December 23, 2013

I have been thinking a lot about why Christmas is so important. Of course there is the commercial side of it with all of the presents and the fact that most people make it a time to share with family, which is good. But I am talking about the Christ part. Why do we celebrate the birth of a baby, who was born over 2,000 years ago? Why did so many prophets prophesy of His birth and life years before? Then better question, why would I choose to not spend this Christmas with my family because of this Man?
This morning I decided to study in the scriptures to find some answers or at least scriptural answers to my questions. Because this matter is of such greatness I thought I would share. My thoughts may not be complete or flow smoothly, but I hope that you might be able to catch a glimpse of how I feel about the Christmas season.
"Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel." (Isaiah 7:14). I learned that Immanuel, or Emmanuel, in Hebrew means "with us is God." This prophet was prophesying that Jesus was actually going to be in our physical presence. We can read about how God was with the Children of Israel when they wandered in the wilderness, but He wasn't physically with them or with any of the people until He was born. Which brings up another interesting thing, that He was born as a child; and in the lowliest and humble of places, a stable.
"And behold, he shall be born of Mary, at Jerusalem which is the land of our forefathers, she being a virgin, a precious and chosen vessel, who shall be overshadowed and conceive by the power of the Holy Ghost, and bring forth a son, yea, even the Son of God." (Alma 7:10). We believe that we are all literally sons and daughters of God, but that Jesus was the only Begotten of the Father in the flesh. 
"and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace." (Isaiah 9:6). But even with all of these glorious names, He still came and suffered. 
"The Son of Man hath descended below them all." (Doctrine and Covenants 122:8). To me this means that Jesus had to go below all to accurately know how to help us. Think of the lowest of lows that you have ever felt. He knows exactly how that felt, and more. 

It was prophesied what He would do. 
"I will ransom them from the power of the grave; I will redeem them from death" (Hosea 13:14). 
 "And he shall go forth, suffering pains and afflictions and temptations of every kind; and this that the word might be fulfilled which saith he will take upon him the pains and the sicknesses of his people. And he will take upon him death, that he may loose the bands of death which bind his people; and he will take upon him their infirmities, that his bowels may be filled with mercy, according to the flesh, that he may know according to the flesh how to succor his people according to their infirmities. Now the Spirit knoweth all things; nevertheless the Son of God suffereth according to the flesh that he might take upon him the sins of his people, that he might blot out their transgressions according to the power of his deliverance; and now behold, this is the testimony which is in me." (Alma 7:11-13). He came so that we could turn to Him. We all make mistakes and we all fall short, but through Him, those mistakes can be erased. We can be made clean, so that we could return to live in the presence of our Heavenly Father. His love for us, and His desire for our happiness is why He came. Because He knew that there was no other way for us as imperfect beings to return to the presence of perfect beings, unless someone stepped up to help us out. And that is what He did!
There are a few people who are puzzled by the fact that I will not be home for Christmas. Yet the reason for Christmas is the reason that I am here serving a mission. It is because of the knowledge of Christ that I have, the joy that I feel that is too good to keep to myself.  "Behold, I am a disciple of Jesus Christ, the Son of God. I have been called of him to declare his word among his people, that they might have everlasting life." (3 Nephi 5:13). 

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