Quotes and Scriptures were Gathered by Brooke Watson
“Little of Mary’s life is recorded in the scriptures. But what is recorded shows that Mary
1) faithfully obeyed the word of God,
2) expressed joy for God’s blessings
3) received God’s witness and counsel from his servants. And
4) had a posterity who glorified God.
In the life of Mary, we find a pattern of righteousness for all Saints to follow.”
“And what of Joseph? What kind of a person would the Father select as the husband of Mary and the guardian and earthly model for Jesus? The scriptures are not entirely silent, although direct references are few. Because the father is to teach correct principles by precept and example and be a counselor, we must conclude that our Heavenly Father made careful selection in his choice of Joseph. That Joseph was spiritually sensitive and of a kindly disposition is reflected in the scriptural record. He was susceptible to divine guidance through the ministrations of angels and by dreams (see Matt. 1:20; Matt. 2:13, 19, 23); he wished not to bring embarrassment upon Mary nor to “make her a publick example” (Matt. 1:19). In addition, we would expect to find in Joseph certain moral, intellectual, and social qualities befitting his important assignment.”
“Artistic renderings of the Nativity typically depict the Wise Men worshipping the newborn, as if their visit occurred shortly after the Savior’s birth. The scriptures, however, reveal that the Wise Men were not present at Jesus’ birth in the stable or anytime during his infancy. The Wise Men actually visited the child, Jesus with His mother, Mary. “When they were come into the house, they saw the young child with Mary, his mother, and fell down, and worshipped him: and presented unto him gifts; gold, and frankincense, and myrrh.” (Matthew 2:11)
“No doubt Mary was the product of years of obedience to the laws of the Lord, her mind and character molded by the Holy Ghost working in her since early childhood.
“When we find him, will we be prepared as were the wise men of old to provide gifts from our many treasures? They presented gold, frankincense, and myrrh. These are not the gifts Jesus asks of us. From the treasure of our hearts Jesus asks that we give of ourselves: ‘Behold, the Lord requireth the heart and a willing mind’ (D&C 64:34).”
“Like the shepherds, we must respond immediately, with haste, whenever the Spirit speaks to us. In the words of President Thomas S. Monson, we must “never, never, never postpone following a prompting.”
Sometimes after heeding a prompting, we cannot clearly see why we have been guided by the Spirit to act in a certain way. But often, like the shepherds, we see miracles occur, and our faithful response to a prompting is confirmed. We can then take opportunities to share our joy and our witness with others. Doing so can strengthen others’ faith and hope, further confirming our own testimonies and bringing us closer to the Savior and His ways.”
“The significance of this mortal birth was more critical than we often realize. It was not an experimental thing, now an event that was optional in the plan of salvation. The coming of a part-divine part-mortal Jesus into the world, Son of Mary and Only Begotten of the Father, was an absolute necessity. The human family could be saved in no other way. Only the Lord himself, be coming into mortality, partaking of the nature of man, living a sinless life, atoning with his blood for the sins of men, dying, and rising from the dead with his physical body could bring about redemption. (See Alma 34:8-16; Mosiah 7:27)
Eternal justice would admit no other way. Without this procedure and this Redeemer, all people, as soon as they were dead, would become “devils, angels to a devil, to be shut out from the presence of our God, and to remain with the father of lies, in misery, like unto himself…” (2 Nephi 9:9)
“We do not worship Mary, but we do regard her highly. She is among the most worthy and noble of women-the most privileged of all mothers. And while Mary is not typical, she is an example to all mothers.”
This discipleship doesn’t necessarily require us to leave our sheep in the fields or to cross deserts. Our journey to Him isn’t physical; it is spiritual and behavioral. It involves accepting and embracing the fact that His Atonement is infinite and covers every aspect of our lives—our sin, weakness, pain, sickness, and infirmity (see Alma 7:11–13). It means that we can let go of those things that hold us down in the gloomy fog of our own inversion and live instead in the warmth and love of the Light of the World. As President Henry B. Eyring, First Counselor in the First Presidency, has taught: “The words ‘come unto Christ’ are an invitation. It is the most important invitation you could ever offer to another person. It is the most important invitation anyone could accept.”
“Christmastime is a season of gift giving, in memory of the gifts by the Wise Men to the Christ child and the gift Christ gave us in the Atonement.”
“Christmas is a time of reflection on what we can become because of God’s sacred gift. As we discover the gift, we learn of the immeasurable love of God and our absolute need for a Savior. As we embrace the gift, we strengthen our faith in Jesus Christ and our desire to become more like Him. As we share the gift, we follow in the Master’s footsteps, who invited all to hear His message.”
“After the announced birth of the Christ child to the shepherds on the plains of Judea, “there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men” (Luke 2:13–14).
This Christmas season, we can fulfill a similar role as the multitude of the heavenly host did more than two millennia ago. I invite each of us to flood the earth with the messages of righteousness and truth found in the He Is the Gift initiative.”
“Jesus the Christ, who knew perfectly how to give, set for us the pattern for giving. To those whose hearts are heavy with loneliness and sorrow, He brings compassion and comfort. To those whose bodies and minds are afflicted with illness and suffering, He brings love and healing. To those whose souls are burdened with sin, He offers hope, forgiveness, and redemption.
If the Savior were among us today, we would find Him where He always was—ministering to the meek, the downcast, the humble, the distressed, and the poor in spirit. During this Christmas season and always, may we give to Him by loving as He loves. May we remember the humble dignity of His birth, gifts, and life. And may we, through simple acts of kindness, charity, and compassion, fill the world with the light of His love and healing power.”
“Behold, the time cometh, and is not far distant, that with power, the Lord Omnipotent … shall come down from heaven among the children of men, and shall dwell in a tabernacle of clay, and shall go forth amongst men, working mighty miracles . …
“And he shall be called Jesus Christ, the Son of God, the Father of heaven and earth, the Creator of all things from the beginning; and his mother shall be called Mary” (Mosiah 3:5, 8).
“Without Christ, there would be no Christmas. Without Christ, there can be no fulness of joy. Without His birth and His Atonement, we would have no Intercessor, no Advocate with the Father, and no Mediator who makes it possible for us to return to the presence of our loving Heavenly Father and live together as eternal families.”
“The Jewish people anxiously anticipated this great event. They knew the Messiah would come, and they expected Him to come in glory, liberate them temporally, establish an earthly kingdom, and rule as their King.
Who would know first of the Messiah’s birth? Would it not be the Sanhedrin or others in positions of power and influence?
The Bible tells us that it was lowly shepherds sleeping on the ground to whom an angel declared the “good tidings of great joy” (Luke 2:10) and that it was Wise Men from afar who saw “his star in the east, and [came] to worship him” (Matthew 2:2). The powerful and the influential, whose vision was blurred by the philosophies of this world, were not with the Savior at His birth or during His ministry. They had before them the real thing but did not know it or accept it.”
“President Benson said that one of the greatest things about Christmastime is that it increases our sensitivity 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 touches the hearts of people the world over. … For at least a time, increased attention and devotion are turned toward our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.”
This Christmas, as the spirit of the season permeates our hearts, let us do something that expresses our feelings in an outward way, showing that we understand that the babe born in Bethlehem is the real Redeemer.
President Howard W. Hunter (1907–95) gave some practical advice that helps us do that: “This Christmas, mend a quarrel. Seek out a forgotten friend. Dismiss suspicion and replace it with trust. Write a letter. Give a soft answer. Encourage youth. Manifest your loyalty in word and deed. Keep a promise. Forgo a grudge. Forgive an enemy. Apologize. Try to understand. Examine your demands on others. Think first of someone else. Be kind. Be gentle. Laugh a little more. Express your gratitude. Welcome a stranger. Gladden the heart of a child. Take pleasure in the beauty and wonder of the earth. Speak your love and then speak it again.”
“And behold, [the Son of God] shall be born of Mary, at Jerusalem which is the land of our forefathers, she being a virgin, a precious and chosen vessel” (Alma 7:10).
“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.”
“Our celebration of Christmas should be a reflection of the love and selflessness taught by the Savior. Giving, not getting, brings to full bloom the Christmas spirit. We feel more kindly one to another. We reach out in love to help those less fortunate. Our hearts are softened. Enemies are forgiven, friends remembered, and God obeyed. The spirit of Christmas illuminates the picture window of the soul, and we look out upon the world’s busy life and become more interested in people than in things. To catch the real meaning of the spirit of Christmas, we need only drop the last syllable, and it becomes the Spirit of Christ.”
What can I give Him,
Poor as I am?
If I were a shepherd
I would bring a lamb.
If I were a Wise Man
I would do my part,
Yet what can I give Him?
Give my heart.
By: Christina Rossetti
“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.
My heart grows tender and warm as I think of the gifts our loving, gracious, and generous Father in Heaven has given us: the unspeakable gift of the Holy Ghost, the miracle of forgiveness, personal revelation and guidance, the Savior’s peace, the certainty and comfort that death is conquered—and many, many more.
Above all, God has given us the gift of His Only Begotten Son, who sacrificed His life “that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”
Have we received these gifts with humble gratitude, with joy? Or do we reject them out of pride or a false sense of independence? Do we feel our Father’s love expressed in these gifts? Do we receive them in a way that deepens our relationship with this wonderful, divine Giver? Or are we too distracted to even notice what God gives us each and every day?”
“However, it is easy to get caught up in the pressure of the season and perhaps lose the very spirit in our lives that we’re trying to gain. Overdoing it is especially common this time of the year for many of us. The causes for this might include too many Christmas activities to attend, too much to eat, too much money spent, too many expectations, and too much tension. Often our efforts at Christmastime result in our feeling stressed out, wrung out, and worn out during a time we should feel the simple joys of commemorating the birth of our Savior.
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.
- And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Cæsar Augustus, that all the world should be taxed.
- (And this taxing was first made when Cyrenius was governor of Syria.)
- And all went to be taxed, every one into his own city.
- And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judea, unto the city of David, which is called Bethlehem; (because he was of the house and lineage of David:)
- To be taxed with Mary his espoused wife, being great with child.
- And so it was, that, while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered.
- And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn. (Luke 2: 1-7)