My computer is right next to our beautifully lit Christmas tree. There are a few (but more than enough) presents underneath, lying in wait until relatively eight hours from now, when my younger brothers are sure to wake me up and drag me downstairs to open them -- much like I did to my father every Christmas morning roughly around 6:30AM during my childhood years.
Christmas has taken on many different meanings for me throughout the years. From Santa just deciding be nice, to understanding that it was my parents deciding to be nice, to figuring out that I can get whatever I want so long as it's within reason, to realizing I was old enough to buy presents for others, to finding out that it wasn't so much about the money, to finally being mature enough to comprehend the religious significance and deeper meaning of my favorite time of year.
And these last couple of years I've especially recognized that from the time I was a spoiled little child, to the present, I have been at least humble enough to feel and recognize the Spirit of Jesus Christ during the Christmas season. But only now have I truly pondered the meaning of Christmas and how it is able to convey such a strong spirit in my life. Only now have I made the important connection between Jesus Christ and this worldwide tradition.
I'm sure everyone feels it who participates in Christmas: a strong desire to follow tradition, to be thankful, and -- for those who are able to make the connection -- remember Jesus Christ.
He's the center of all giving and all service. The source of all love, whether we know him or not. The messiah who's birth we celebrate through giving and humility, as well as allowing the Spirit of Christ to enter our hearts.
I would like to bear my testimony of Jesus Christ. Allow me to begin in testifying that he lives! Even as the Spirit of God speaketh unto me. There's a reason so many flow unto Christ. We love him, worship, and revere him.
His birth, ministry, and ultimate sacrifice as he shed his blood to fulfill our Atonement are equal to none. I know that the example of Jesus Christ is one of perfection. As I follow it, I feel closer to God, and my testimony is strengthened accordingly.
Let the world project onto the life of Jesus Christ what they will, but I know that nothing but goodness radiates from his story and, by extent, our story. Again I say that the Spirit of God testifies boldly of his existence, and that his worldwide following is only the smallest amount of proof of that witness.
Christ is surely the light and the life of the world. Without him, we are not saved. All who come unto him will find rest and direction in their troubles and greatest concerns. Only through him will we realize our true eternal potential.
My deepest thanks to the Lord for allowing me to know my savior, which knowledge has not come without effort.
I say these things in the sacred name of Jesus Christ, Amen.