A HAPPY NEW YEAR
A HAPPY NEW YEAR
Christmas is one of the happiest and most memorable times of any year. As we prepare for the celebration of the birth of Christ, our thoughts carry us beyond that night in Bethlehem, and we think of the glorious gift our Father in heaven gave to us by sending His Son to earth over 2,000 years ago.
As the Prophet I like to think of Christmases with my family and friends, I remember, too, the mission of Jesus Christ and the gift of His life for each of us. Now at this Christmas time of 2009, I wish to share some of my memories and thoughts with all the members throughout the world.
For me Christmas has always been a happy time, it has been a happy time rich or poor, a time for me to spend with my family and enjoy there company, to see the look of amazement on their faces when they open their gifts on Christmas day. For me the joy of giving was and still is a big part of my Christmas celebration. I remember as a child the fevered joy of waking on Christmas morning and pulling my mother and father out of bed along with my brother and sister with shouts of “Its Christmas day wake up, come on get up” I suppose that it must have driven my parents mad, but of course deep down me, my brother and my sister new that they were just excited as we were, but now I now that it was for different reasons. For my parents the excitement was about the joy of seeing their children open their gifts and seeing the complete amazement on our faces as we would get surprise after surprise, the amazement as we would explain to them “ How did Father Christmas know that’s what I wanted”. As I grew older and the idea of Father Christmas wore of I was able to take part in the idea of giving a gift and seeing the joy it brought to others, knowing that I had had the opportunity to contribute to their happiness. The joy of giving is such a rich and beautiful thing every one should have the opportunity to take part in it. I believe that it should be central to the message of Christmas still and even more central to us as Christians and as Mormons.
As a father I now have the privilege of seeing my son who will be six on the 12th of December light up when he sees all the gifts that are waiting for him under the Christmas tree. As a parent it is exciting to see the joy that beams across his face and the complete amazement at how all this could be done in one night by one man, it is something that I think will stay with me all the days of my life. It gives me the opportunity to see what my Mother and Father must have seen and felt as I did what my son now does on Christmas morning. I get a kick out of giving especially at Christmas time, I think it reminds me of the wise men who travelled so far to kneel at the cradle of the Saviour and lay before him gifts of Gold, Frankincense and Myrrh. With that in mind how can I do any different? I am a servant of Christ and I celebrate his birth on the 25th of December and in doing that I celebrate the giving of gifts one to another, we should always remember what Christmas is about. It’s about the birth of Christ and the giving of a gift, it’s not about how much you give or how expensive it is it’s just the giving of something in remembrance of those first gifts laid at the cradle of the baby Jesus.
I hope that this Christmas season brings you all the love and warmth that it is able to bring. I pray that when we open our gifts on Christmas day we will be thankful for what we have received and we will reflect on why we are doing what we are doing. I know that this time of year can be very special, and I pray that it will remain so for many a year to come.
Merry Christmas to you all, and may the sprit of the Lord be with you and in the immortal words of Tiny Tim. “God Bless us every one”
Prophet Matthew P. Gill