Dreaming of a White Christmas =)

Didn’t you just love the Spirit of the Christmas Devotional? It was marvelous. I was sad when it ended. That may have been added upon by the fact that due to weather conditions and icy roads earlier in the day, our church services were cancelled. I had never even heard of that happening before! So I was a little starved and that devotional just filled me up. What sweet messages we received.

I received this in an email from President Pitt and wanted to share it with all of you.

“Christmas time is a reflective time, but this year we hope you reflect more on the Savior, His life, His mission, and His example than you ever have before. We know he was born at the Passover season which is in the Spring. This was also the lambing season, so the fields were filled with new little lambs. It was a busy time for the shepherds. They were on constant watch to keep their flocks safe and to insure the help needed with all the new lambs. It was not just a random choice that the angels came to the shepherds that night Jesus was born. Lambs were used as sacrifices at the temple in the ceremonies there and also by people when they went to the temple or for special occasions. There was a field where sheep were kept to raise the lambs that would be used at the temple by the priests. Perhaps it was to this field the angels came or a field with regular sheep. We know there was a deep love between the shepherd and his sheep. He knew them and they knew him. He could call them and they would gather and come. The shepherd led the flock and they followed. Christ would be known as the Good Shepherd, and begged those around Him to know His voice and to follow Him. The lamb used for sacrifice was a first born lamb, without “blemish or spot,” totally as perfect as lambs get.

Christ was the “First Born,” of Heavenly Father in the Spirit World and was perfect in all ways. He was also known as the “Lamb of God.” He was watched over, cared for and blessed by His Father, who was His Shepherd. Eventually, Christ would be sacrificed for us, in the Garden and on the cross He would give His life that we might overcome death and have a chance for eternal life. He was the Great and Last Sacrifice. It is only fitting that the angels should visit the shepherds and announce to them the birth of the Christ child. And it is only fitting that the first visitors or witnesses of that birth were shepherds, common people who loved their sheep and were diligent in their job. They went out and told others what they had witnessed and that the Savior indeed had been born.”

As a mission, we have been focusing on a goal we are calling “White Christmas”, which is symbolic in a lot of ways. We are working on cleansing and purifying ourselves, taking upon ourselves the attributes of Christ, and then helping others to become white and pure through the covenant of baptism. Each week we have studied a different attribute of Christ, using Chapter 6 of Preach my Gospel as a basic source. It’s an exercise I have really appreciated, and I plan to continue it throughout my mission. I’d like to invite you to join me. This week we’re studying Meekness. Every day in our personal studies, we will devote a little bit of time to understanding meekness. But it isn’t just about learning, it’s about becoming. So we work to adopt the attribute, and take it into ourselves, and make it a part of our lives. As we adopt the attributes of Jesus Christ, we naturally become more like our Savior. This Christmas season, what better gift can we give to our Savior, our loved ones, and ourselves, than to become more Christlike?

I hope you all know how much I love you. I hope you know how much I love my Savior. I hope you know how much He loves you. You are not alone, and you are never forgotten.

All my love,
Elder Williams

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