Merry Christmas to each and every one of you! Christmas is when we celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ. He is the reason why we celebrate this season. He came to earth in the same way that all babies come, but He is the Son of God. We don’t celebrate His birth simply because He was born. We celebrate His birth because of the life He lived. Because He lived a perfect life, and then was willing to give up His life, all of us may live again after we leave this mortal life.
Jesus Christ gave us many gifts. He gave us freedom from death through the power of His Resurrection. By His power over death, He made it possible for all of us to have our bodies and spirits united in such a way that they will never be separated again.
Jesus Christ also gave us freedom from sin through the power of His Atonement. Anyone who believes in Jesus Christ and exercises that faith in the process of repenting for his/her sins will have the sins forgiven and will become clean. Through the Atonement of Jesus Christ and the principle of repentance, we can all enjoy freedom from sin.
Freedom from death and freedom from sin are not the only gifts that God has given to His children. We received our very first gift - agency, the freedom to choose – before we left our Father’s presence. Other gifts or freedoms come from living in obedience to the commandments and teachings of Jesus Christ. By living as God wants us to live, we can be free from causing abuse or divorce or contention or war. Jesus Christ is the great Peace Maker. Those who follow His teachings receive the great gift of peace in their lives no matter what happens around them. They will also receive the greatest gift of all - the gift of eternal life. I hope that you enjoy your celebration even more today because you know that Jesus Christ has given us the greatest gifts of all.
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