Thursday, December 18, 2014

Luke 2

Luke 2

 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 Judæa, unto the city of David, which is called Bethlehem; (because he was of the house and lineage of David:)

 Luke 2:4–6, Mary and Joseph enter Bethlehem

 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.

 Luke 2:4–6, Mary and Joseph search for an inn

 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.
 And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night.


 And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid.
 10 And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.
 11 For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.
 12 And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.


 13 And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying,
 14 Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.
 15 And it came to pass, as the angels were gone away from them into heaven, the shepherds said one to another, Let us now go even unto Bethlehem, and see this thing which is come to pass, which the Lord hath made known unto us.
 16 And they came with haste, and found Mary, and Joseph, and the babe lying in a manger.

 Luke 2:6–7, The holy family

 17 And when they had seen it, they made known abroad the saying which was told them concerning this child.
 18 And all they that heard it wondered at those things which were told them by the shepherds.
 19 But Mary kept all these things, and pondered them in her heart.

  Luke 2:6–7, The virgin Mary with baby Jesus

 20 And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things that they had heard and seen, as it was told unto them.


I, like the shepherds, feel the desire to glorify and praise God and his son, Jesus Christ. I know that God loved us so much that he gave his only begotten son to save us. Christ truly came to this world as a baby. He is our Savior. I love him and am grateful for the opportunity to serve him at this time of year.


Saturday, December 6, 2014

I Know That He Lives

This morning, I had the opportunity to sit with a group of missionaries and listen to one of our leaders talk about sharing the love of Jesus Christ during this Christmas season. He shared an article from the Ensign (a magazine produced by the church) titled, "I Know That He Lives" by Elder Melvin J. Ballard. This touched me, so I decided to share it with all of you!

"I love to contemplate what it cost our Father in Heaven to give us the gift of His Beloved Son, that worthy Son of our Father, who so loved the world that He laid His life down to redeem the world, to save us and to feed us spiritually while we walk in this life, and prepare us to go and dwell with Him in the eternal worlds. …

"I recall an experience which I had … , bearing witness to my soul of the reality of [the Savior’s] death, of His Crucifixion, and His Resurrection, that I shall never forget. …

"… I found myself one evening in the dreams of the night in that sacred building, the temple. After a season of prayer and rejoicing I was informed that I should have the privilege of entering into one of those rooms, to meet a glorious personage, and, as I entered the door, I saw, seated on a raised platform, the most glorious being my eyes have ever beheld or that I ever conceived existed in all the eternal worlds.

"As I approached to be introduced, He arose and stepped towards me with extended arms, and He smiled as He softly spoke my name. If I shall live to be a million years old, I shall never forget that smile. He took me into His arms and kissed me, pressed me to His bosom, and blessed me, until the marrow of my bones seemed to melt! When He had finished, I fell at His feet, and, as I bathed them with my tears and kisses, I saw the prints of the nails in the feet of the Redeemer of the world. The feeling that I had in the presence of Him who hath all things in His hands, to have His love, His affection, and His blessing was such that if I can receive that of which I had but a foretaste, I would give all that I am, all that I ever hope to be, to feel what I then felt!

"… I see Jesus not now upon the cross. I do not see His brow pierced with thorns nor His hands torn with the nails, but I see Him smiling, with extended arms, saying to us all: 'Come unto me!'"

As I listened as this was read to me this morning, I could not deny the spirit bearing witness to me that our Savior, Jesus Christ, loves us so much! I can't even begin to imagine the day when I will meet him. The Saviors invitation to us all is to come unto him. He desires us to make covenants with him like baptism. This time of year is the most special because we have the opportunity to share the good news of Jesus Christ with everyone we know. I hope that we can all remember the reason for this season! I love my Savior. I, too, know that he lives.