"Even when the world may appear quite dark, when things aren't going right, when our hearts are overflowing with disappointment and worry, in the midst of of sadness and sorrow...we sing about joy to the world, and 'good will toward men' because of Christ, who came to give light to them who sit in darkness."
This applied to me perfectly, and it's so fitting for my life right now. Although I have my sweet family by my side somewhere, someone, or something will happen to bring me down, hence being tested to see what my reaction will be. And I think of all the good times I've had in my life, and when I focus on the positive things that are going on in the world as opposed to dwelling on the negative things life isn't so bad, and all is well.
I didn't grow up in the LDS church, and when I lived in Utah I always enjoyed going to temple square to attend the Christmas devotional as well as walking around to see the lights. I love that they have this every year. The talks that are given truly define the true meaning of the holiday season, and every time I listen to them I tear up thinking about my family, friends, acquaintances, and those who I see walking the streets in the city who seem all alone with no where to go. I think about all the things that are going wrong in this world and how I as a person can make it a better place regardless of the daggers that seem to be thrown at me on a day-to-day basis. Whether it's through motherhood, trials of life, or just petty drama with family, what matters to me is that at the end of the day I don't let it affect me. I know that the Savior knows my heart, and knows what's best for me, and strengthens me in every aspect through all negativity.
The Christmas devotional is so inspiring, and something that I encourage for the world to see. I try to take in all the words, and have my mind focused on listening to the words of the speakers. Watching it with my family, and people that I care about makes it more meaningful. The fact that the speakers emphasize that Christmas is all about the Savior, and love reminds me of how true that is.
A lot of their words stuck out at me on this years devotional, and it makes me so grateful to know that I have the words of a prophet and his apostles to look forward to each year. Here are some excerpts from some of the talks, and the ones that were meant for me to hear.
"Jesus Christ is the light which shineth in darkness. May the lights of every holiday season remind us of the brightest light which Jesus Christ, our Savior."
-Elder David E. Bednar
Linda K. Burton said, "My prayer for each of us this Christmas season is that we all come unto Christ, come and let us adore Him." Love that!
And I'll just add that in between the tinsel, lights, pretty wrapping paper, good food, entertainment among friends, and gatherings, gifts that we receive from loved ones..."The greatest Christmas present will always be the one the Savior gave to us...His perfect peace."
Hope y'all continue to enjoy the holiday season, and if you have an hour to spare you can view the Christmas devotional here on lds.org.