Stories of Jesus - December 19, 2016
The birth of Jesus Christ was one of the most important events in the history of ever. I would argue that it's second only to the Atonement of Jesus Christ.
It's the subject of my favorite holiday. If we can sidetrack here a little, don't you love Christmas? The lights, the music, the warm feeling that is just everywhere?
I think it's fantastic, and I'm kind of bummed that I won't have the same Christmas I usually have this year. But that's okay. It'll still be good. I've heard Christmas for missionaries is fantastic.
Do you understand what it means that Jesus was born?
Let's assume for a second that he wasn't ever born. That would be impossible, since God had promised it, and cannot lie or else cease to be God, but we'll speculate here.
Death would be the end. Our spirits and our bodies would be forever separated. We would all be in Spirit prison, since the conditions of paradise are faith, Repentance, baptism, and the gift of the Holy Ghost, which aren't complete, or even possible, without Christ.
We would all have a perfect knowledge of our guilt in this state. All of it. That thing you said to your friend when you were nine that was pretty mean? Remember that?
Remember every argument you had? Every time you hurt somebody's feeling? Every single crude or impolite word you have ever said? All of it. You'd remember it, and you could never repent of it.
Churches would be rather dismal places. Replacing joy and hope through the Atonement would be disappointment and loathing towards Adam and Eve for their transgression. For forever causing us to be born into a carnal and fallen state.
Best case scenario, the church would be a place of humble acceptance. Where we're taught just to do the best we can so we won't suffer as much as we could.
Think the scriptures are hard to understand now? In this world, we would have remnants of the Old Testament. Talking about a Messiah that never came. A Savior that never saved. A broken promise.
The New Testament would have been nothing. The Nephite believers would have been killed when the sign of Christ's birth didn't come, and thus the faith would be destroyed, and the plates would have probably been melted down and used to elevate the wealth of the wicked. There would be no reason for the Book of Mormon.
Joseph Smith's First Vision might have still happened. It just would be very different. He likely would have fallen, as the Book of Mormon was brought about to defend us from danger. He would have been just a fallen prophet. Or just another confused person like everybody else.
Satan would no longer be lying when he told us that we couldn't progress. Since it would be true. Every death of a loved one would be devastating. There would be purgatory after death, not paradise.
We would be forever subject to the justice of God for our sins, and no mercy. Since there would be no Mediator.
But the good news is that Jesus Christ was born. He lived. He lives today. The angel announced to the shepherds in their fields that he brought good tidings of great joy.
He announced more than just the birth of a baby boy. He announced the fulfillment of prophecy. He announced that there would be peace on earth. He announced that progression would be possible. Forgiveness would be possible. He announced that God still cared, and that He keeps His promises.
He announced that all the children of God would be redeemed from the Fall, and that they would all, without a single soul left out, have a chance. A fair one too.
Heavenly hosts sang praises to God. They celebrated! They knew that they all had possibility. Opportunity. Hope. Peace. Joy.
I've said before that I like to think that I was among that heavenly host singing and praising God as a spirit awaiting my turn. But now I think that that heavenly host is still singing.
We're still singing songs to celebrate the birth of a baby boy. We're announcing to the world that He came! We bring good tidings of great joy! That warm feeling that comes with Christmas, at least to me, is the Testament of the importance of the birth of Christ.
The warm feeling I always feel at Christmastime is unmistakably the Spirit, testifying that what we celebrate each year really happened.
Without Christ being born, we would have never lived. And without Him, we would have no point in living.
I urge you all to remember the reason for the Christmas season. It brings joy to the soul.
I love Christmas, and I love Christ.
PS: Like the last one, Elder Sorensen's mom is posting this late, but only a week late for this one. Again, I'll add pictures later.