Hello to all my Awesome Family and Friends!
In thinking about what to write, i could tell you all about this last week, the events, and what we did. but in pondering, i feel that i need to share my testimony and some thoughts that i have had these last few weeks with you all in honor of Christmas.
These past few weeks as i have been studying the scriptures i have noticed a repeating word, over and over and over again. Remember. In reality we see this word of the concept of this word used countless times in the scriptures. Perhaps i was just blind, but now i see (haha what song was that???). We see in the book of mormon that Our Heavenly Father wants us to remember his words, the words of the prophets. and the prophets in the book of mormon are always telling us to remember the word of god and to live it. In 1 Nefi 3:7 we are reminded that yes we have commandments and maybe at times they may be overbearing or impossible to accomplish but god has prepared a way for us to accomplish that which he has commanded us to do. Abinadi profesized and told wicked king noah that he and his people should remember the commandments of god and to repent. Alma told his people to rememeber the cautivity of their fathers and to remember the miracles that the lord had performed and done for them. We learn from Helaman to ¨remember that is is upon the rock of our Redeemer, who is christ, the son of god, that ye must build your foundation.¨ And we are asked to remember that christ atoned for our sins and it is only through him that we can return to live with him and our loving heavenly father again. For he was despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised and we eteemed him not. Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of god, and afflicted. But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.
Why do we go to church? To partake of the sacrament and remember....remember the atoning sacrifice of the son of god, our savior, for us. We go to remember and to renew our coveants that we made at baptism with our god. To remember Jesus Christ at all times. To stand as a witness and an example for him in all times, in all places, and in all things. Reread the sacrament prayers if you have forgotten what our promises are and what gods promises to us are. (DyC 20:77-79)
But now, in this wonderful christmas season, we need to remember. We need to remember the real reasons for Christmas. That Jesus the Christ was born in Bethlehem of Mary. I testify with all my heart that those sacred events occured. That ¨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. and the angel said unto them, fear not: for, behold i bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. for unto you is born this day in the city of david a saviour, which is christ the lord. and this shall be a sign unto you; ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger. and suddenly there was with the angel a mutitude of the heavenly host praising god, and saying... Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.¨ (luke 2:8-14)
Mary did bring forth her first born son, and did wrap him in swaddling clothes and laid him in a manger because there was no room for them in the inn.
Jesus is the Chirst. He was born to atone for the sins of the world and to bring redemption to all mankind. He is my savior, he is my advocate with the father and he is my best friend. I love my Redeemer! I know he lives!
May we all remember this christmas the true meaning of this special season. In reality all events of December relate to this sacred evening. We give gifts because the wise men brought gifts. We have a star on the tree because of the new star that shone in the east, and we have lights because Jesus Christ is our light. He said, i am the light and the life of the world. He invites all to come unto him and repent and be saved. May we remember. Always remember.
For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: 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.
In the name of Jesus Christ, Amen
I love you all. I wish you all a very Merry Christmas. May you be filled with the joy and the love that this season has to offer. Share it with your families and friends. You are all blessings in my life and i am grateful for each and everyone of you.
Merry Christmas from Peru.
Elder Weston Birtcher