December 22, 2014
A gift is something that you receive from a relative, a friend, or someone with some significance. This gift they give to you is of great worth, as long as you love the giver. There are many times that you feel unworthy of receiving such a great, expensive, present. You want to repay them anyway possible. If we do not accept with full heart towards it, do we not want to crawl back inside ourselves to get away from the awful feeling of guilt?
The miracle is that we have been given many gifts from our Father in heaven, but one of those gifts is the centre of our existence. This was given to us about 2,000 years ago, but still works perfectly today. This gift did not come from the nearest Best Buy or Target, but it is the best thing for us, and something we should shoot to achieve. In fact, this gift came from somewhere that we wish all of our so-called-gifts would come from: heaven. It was not wrapped in Santa themed wrapping paper, but "wrapped in swaddling clothes", not put beneath a Christmas tree, but "laid in a manger." (Luke 2:7). It was Jesus Christ.
The church has provided the whole world with a focus on the true meaning of Christmas, dubbed "He is the Gift". It has three steps on how we can "unwrap" the Christmas spirit strongly throughout the whole year. They are discover the gift, embrace the gift, and share the gift.
Discovering the gift
Just like a younger me, how I would try to discover what was in store for Christmas, either what was under the tree, or in Mum's closet. I searched diligently for the gift that I wanted. Now it is a little different, we already know the offering the Christ readily wants to give us, he does not hide it from our view. We must first realize that there is a present under the tree. So go search for it! We are promised if we ask and knock, we will receive (D&C 4:7).
Embracing the Gift
Once I would discover what I wanted, hidden deep inside my parents closet, I would not just look once. I would go back, time after time, to embrace the joy I felt from a specific toy. This can go with us as well, we do not just feel the peace that the Atonement brings one time and leave it at that. Of course not! We should go back, time and time again, to "eat of the Bread of Life, so we may never hunger or thirst again." (John 6:35)
Sharing the Gift
When I would find a particular gift that one of my siblings wanted for Christmas and seeing it multiple times a day, I wanted to share it. I could not hold my tongue when I was around them, I had to tell them of the excitement I had for them. Sharing the joy that comes from Christ's sacrifice is a lot less risky, but harder to keep in. Alma described on how he felt when it came to sharing the gift, how he wished that he was an angel, to tell people of the best gift ever given, and how it can bring true joy and happiness (Alma 29:1-2). Christmas is about giving, because of what Christ gave to us. Follow that example and share the good news with everyone.
Each one of these steps will unwrap the greatest gift that we could ever get. Let us focus on the true meaning of Christmas. We must develop a trust that this "present" will always work, for you or for me, no matter the situation. The true meaning of Christmas is simple, it is that He is the Gift.
Elder Browning III
Went on exchanges with the Jack Hammer!
Just like old times.