A Bit 'o Random Musings on Politics, Religion, and Anything Else That Passes Through My Crazy Head

Sunday, December 1, 2019

Christmas Quotes

This year I am serving in the Church's Young Women organization, working as a class adviser to the young women ages 11-13. They are a fun bunch, and it has been a good (if at times exhausting) calling. For Christmas this year, I convinced the Young Women's Presidency and other advisers to do a craft I have done before (albeit I've never made 25 of them!). We made Christmas advent calendars for each young woman, and included a quote and a piece of chocolate for each day of December before Christmas.
Finished Advent Calendar
In the past I have made these for a friend or two, inspired by a similar thing that someone once did for me (maybe it was a YW leader? Honestly can't remember). Recently I've really felt it was important for the young women to see their women leaders as LEADERS and to recognize that women can be spiritual examples. So, I wanted to make sure that half of the quotes were from women. It was unfortunately really hard to find quotes by LDS women about Christmas (if you know of any sources I missed, please let me know!). Towards the end, I was Googling "Christmas +" the names of all LDS Relief Society presents and General Young Womens Presidents. So, I'm posting below the quotes we used, along with links to most of the sources.

This year, hopefully we add another few great talks via the First Presidency's Christmas Devotional, scheduled for a week from today. Merry Christmas, everyone!

"Each year at Christmas we add our witness to that of the shepherds that Jesus Christ, the literal Son of the living God, came to a corner of the earth in what we call the Holy Land. The shepherds reverently approached the stable to worship the King of kings. How will we worship Him this season? Endlessly shopping? Hustling about and adorning our homes? Will that be our tribute to our Savior? Or will we bring peace to troubled hearts, good will to those in need of higher purpose, glory to God in our willingness to do His bidding? Jesus put it simply: ‘Come, [and] follow me.’” (Ronald A. Rasband, “Glory to God,” 2013 Christmas Devotional)

“The wonder and awe of Christmas is just a beginning. Christmas reminds us that the babe born in Bethlehem has given us purpose for living, and what happens next to us largely depends on how we embrace our Savior, Jesus Christ, and follow Him. Every day we invite His Spirit into our lives….We look for reasons to gather, to include, to serve, and to lift, while we learn what it really means to know our Savior, Jesus Christ….Through Christlike and childlike faith we seek Him and we feel His influence.” (Rosemary M. Wixom, “What Happened Next?,” 2013 Christmas Devotional)

"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 in our celebration of the Savior’s birth. May we all make the journey to Bethlehem in spirit, taking with us a tender, caring heart as our gift to the Savior.” (Thomas S. Monson, “The Real Joy of Christmas,” 2013 Christmas Devotional)

"How happy I am for this Christmas season to sing songs that have a special message from the Savior of the world for those with aching hearts. I promise you…if you think about the words you sing this season, you will find a divine message tailored especially for you that will lift and comfort you.” (Sharon Eubank,“Silent Night, Loves Pure Light,” 2018 Christmas Devotional)

"The Christmas season seems like an ideal time for us to thoughtfully evaluate the status of our own heart. For example, you might ask yourself, “Is my heart prepared to receive the Savior?” At Christmastime we often sing, “Let every heart prepare him room.” How can you prepare room in your heart for Christ, especially during this busy yet wonderful season?... This requires more than just pleasant Christmas greetings that fall from our lips….During this Christmas and throughout the year, our kind deeds and good works are the best indication of our love for the Savior, written in our hearts.” (Gary E.Stevenson, “Let Every Heart Prepare Him Room,” 2018 Christmas Devotional)

“I believe that each of us can re-create that familiar scenario in Bethlehem in our own lives. We can have a star to follow just as the Wise Men did… The scriptures can light our way, and our testimonies can be a light from within. The voices of angels can be the voices of our beloved prophet and His servants. We can kneel at the feet of our Savior just as literally as the shepherds and the Wise Men, but we do it in prayer. The gifts we bring are our talents. We can shout “Hosanna” like that angelic choir and spread the good news by bearing our testimonies.” (Betty Jo Jepsen, “By Way of Invitation,” October 1992 General Conference)

“Success in giving joy at Christmas usually involves help from others. It is rarely found in solitary effort. Joining with others spreads the joy and makes it more lasting. And perhaps most important, invoking faith in the Savior, the Creator and source of all lasting happiness, invites the pure love of God, which is the greatest of all gifts and the sure source of enduring joy.” (Henry B. Eyring, “The Perfect Gift,” 2012 Christmas Devotional)

“…[W]ithout the risk of new experiences and challenging calls to serve, we fail to grow, and are not as useful in the work of building the Lord’s kingdom as we need to be. Just as the shepherds left familiar terrain in dark of night for a new experience, we are called to leave secure and comfortable settings to serve and to gain experience.” (Betty Jo Jepsen, “By Way of Invitation,” October 1992 General Conference)

“...[T]he gift that we celebrate at Christmas is a gift of love—God’s gift of His Son….Our mortal concept of love is a speck of sand on a vast seashore compared to the love God feels for us. His love is infinite and inexhaustible compassion. Divine love fills eternity. It overflows with eternal grace. It reaches out and lifts up. It forgives. It blesses. It redeems. Divine love transcends differences in personality, culture, or creed. It refuses to allow bias and prejudice to stand in the way of imparting comfort, compassion, and understanding. It is completely devoid of bullying, discrimination, or arrogance. Divine love inspires us to do as the Savior did: ‘succor the weak, lift up the hands which hang down, and strengthen the feeble knees.’” (Dieter F. Uchtdorf, “Scatter Your Crumbs,” 2017 Christmas Devotional)

Christmas is the season to give forgiveness. Forgiving others brings peace and joy to our lives….In order to receive forgiveness for our sins, we need to forgive others. Forgiving others allows us to overcome feelings of anger, bitterness, or revenge. And who wants to feel those feelings at Christmas? Forgiveness can also heal spiritual wounds and bring the peace and love that only God can give. Our Father in Heaven wants us to repent and forgive everyone—including ourselves.” (Christina B. Franco, “Christmas-A Season to Love, Serve, and Forgive One Another,” 2017 Christmas Devotional)

“Focusing on the Lord and everlasting life can help us not only at Christmas, but through all the challenges of mortality….My message tonight pertains to the only source of true and lasting peace, Jesus the Christ—our Prince of Peace….Jesus taught us how to live, to love, and to learn. He taught us how to pray, to forgive, and endure to the end. He taught us how to care about others more than we care about ourselves. He taught us about mercy and kindness—making real changes in our lives through His power. He taught us how to find peace of heart and mind.” (Russell M. Nelson, “Jesus the Christ—Our Prince of Peace,” 2013 Christmas Devotional)

“As we contemplate and celebrate this [Christmas] season, perhaps we can keep several things in mind. One is a little Primary song that many of us memorized and sang as a child. The words are simple but applicable to each of us…. They begin like this: ‘Jesus was once a little child, A little child like me; And He was pure and meek and mild as a little child should be. So little children, Let’s you and I, Try to be like Him, Try, try, try.’” (Elaine S. Dalton, “Christmas Presence,” Church News, December 15, 2011)

“…I invite each one of us to find, during this Christmas season, a moment in the quiet of our souls to acknowledge and offer heartfelt gratitude to “the Generous One.” Let us consider the compassionate, beloved, and boundless mercy of our Father in Heaven. As we shop for gifts—as we give and receive them—may we also take time to quietly contemplate the bountiful gifts God has showered upon us, His children.” (Dieter F. Uchtdorf, “The Generous One,” 2015 Christmas Devotional)

“As we celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ this season, let us also celebrate all that His birth symbolizes, especially the love. When we see shepherds, may we remember to be humble. When we see wise men, may we remember to be generous. When we see the star, may we remember the Light of Christ, which gives life and light to all things. When we see a tiny baby, may we remember to love unconditionally, with tenderness and compassion. May we open the doors of our hearts and reach out to those around us who are lonely, forgotten, or poor in spirit.” (Bonnie L. Oscarson, “Christmas is Christlike Love,” 2014 Christmas Devotional)

“At Christmastime we talk a lot about giving, and we all know that “it is more blessed to give than to receive,” but I wonder if sometimes we disregard or even disparage the importance of being a good receiver…. Every gift that is offered to us—especially a gift that comes from the heart—is an opportunity to build or strengthen a bond of love. When we are good and grateful receivers, we open a door to deepen our relationship with the giver of the gift…. I hope that this Christmas and every day of the year we will consider, in particular, the many gifts we have been given by our loving Heavenly Father. I hope we will receive these gifts with the wonder, thankfulness, and excitement of a child.” (Dieter F. Uchtdorf, “The Good and Grateful Receiver,” 2012 Christmas Devotional)

“…I absolutely love sacred Christmas music. If we were to make a list of our favorites, near the top would surely be “Oh, Come, All Ye Faithful.” Its “joyful” and “triumphant” lyrics beckon us to “come,” “behold,” and “adore” our Savior, Jesus Christ—the “King of angels.” I feel certain that, as premortal spirits learning of the plan of salvation, we not only beheld and adored but also shouted for joy when He voluntarily and humbly offered Himself as the Savior of the world.” (Linda K. Burton, “Oh Come Let Us Adore Him—And the Plan!,” 2015 Christmas Devotional)

Finding the real joy of Christmas comes not in the hurrying and the scurrying to get more done, nor is it found in the purchasing of gifts. We find real joy when we make the Savior the focus of the season. We can keep Him in our thoughts and in our lives as we go about the work He would have us perform here on earth. At this time, particularly, let us follow His example as we love and serve our fellowman.” (Thomas S. Monson, “Christmas is Love,” 2012 Christmas Devotional)

“Come unto Christ. Was there ever a more glorious call to action? At this Christmas season, come adore Him, come worship Him, and come follow Him. Receive the blessings of His love. As faithful Saints of the Lord Jesus Christ, we may come unto Christ and feel His peace and know His perfecting power.” (Carol F. McConkie, “Come Unto Christ This Christmas Season,” Church News, December 27, 2013)

“True happiness comes only by making others happy—the practical application of the Savior’s doctrine of losing one’s life to gain it. In short, the Christmas spirit is the Christ spirit, that makes our hearts glow in brotherly love and friendship and prompts us to kind deeds of service.” (David O. McKay)

“When we serve together, we are all blessed. Dear brothers and sisters, don’t focus on making your service ornate—simply reach out as the Savior would to lift the strangers in your midst. As you serve, you will feel of His love for you. May you be inspired by our Savior’s example as you seek to serve this Christmas season.” (Linda K. Burton, “Reach Out in ‘Small and Simple’ Ways This Christmas Season,” Church News, December 8, 2016)

“In every season of our lives, in all of the circumstances we may encounter, and in each challenge we may face, Jesus Christ is the light that dispels fear, provides assurance and direction, and engenders enduring peace and joy. Many of our memorable and enduring Christmas traditions include different kinds of lights—lights on trees, lights in and on our homes, candles on our tables. May the beautiful lights of every holiday season remind us of Him who is the source of all light.” (David A. Bednar, “The Light and Life of the World,” 2015 Christmas Devotional

“The spirit of Christmas is Christlike love. The way to increase the Christmas spirit is to reach out generously to those around us and give of ourselves. The best gifts are not material things but gifts of listening, of showing kindness, of remembering, of visiting, of forgiving, of giving time.” (Bonnie L. Oscarson, “Christmas is Christlike Love,” 2014 Christmas Devotional)

“The peace of Christmas is “the peace of God, which passeth all understanding.”… At this blessed season of the year, we—more than ever—seek peace through the Giver of all gifts. I desire tonight to share just a few of the many ways we can increase the peace we experience this season, throughout the year to come, and throughout our lives. First, like the angels who sang on the night of His birth, we can feel peace as we celebrate our Savior, Jesus Christ….Second, like the shepherds who saw the Christ child and “made known abroad” the glad tidings of His birth, we can teach peace to our families and others whom we love. We do so best when we open the scriptures to their minds and hearts….Third, like the Wise Men, we can give gifts of love and peace as disciples of the risen Lord.” (Henry B. Eyring, “Gifts of Peace,” 2016 Christmas Devotional)

“The blessed Christmas season turns our hearts in wonder and joy to the steadfast love of the Savior for each one of us. We are also reminded of the love of our Heavenly Parents, who seek our eternal progression and who hold back nothing from the goal of increasing our opportunities to grow spiritually—no, nothing was withheld, not even the life of their cherished and beloved son, Jesus Christ.” (Chieko Okazaki, “Stars: Reflections on Christmas,” Page 1)

“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.” (Thomas S. Monson, “Christmas is Love,” 2012 Christmas Devotional)

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