Sunday, December 6, 2009

LDS Church Presidency Officiates At 2009 Annual Christmas Devotional At Temple Square, Promotes Message Of Service To Others

The Church Of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints held its annual Christmas Devotional at Temple Square on Sunday December 6th, 2009 in front of a packed house at the Conference Center, while hundreds of thousands more around the world heard the devotional broadcast on the church's satellite system, BYUTV, and on KBYU in Utah. As the Mormon Tabernacle Choir and Orchestra at Temple Square performed traditional carols during the event, the First Presidency reminded members to reach out to those in need this holiday season. Media stories from the Deseret News, the Salt Lake Tribune, LDS Church News, and KSL Channel 5. KSL news video embedded below:

Video Courtesy of

Audio and video archives now available on this page of the LDS website. English-language audio embedded below:

During his remarks, President Henry B. Eyring said it is wonderful to remember the Savior always, but especially as we celebrate His birth. "We can choose this Christmas and every day to create a small part of the Christmas story in our own lives. We can accept the invitation of living prophets to help those who are lost along the pathway and have wandered to come back to it. We can offer the gospel, which is the only way home, to all we meet along the way. We can lift up those who are tired and hungry and lonely, as the Savior did and now invites us to do with Him. As we do, they can feel how much the Savior loves them and wants to lead them on the way to the God He loves." Read the full transcript of President Eyring's remarks HERE.

President Dieter F. Uchtdorf also asked that this December be a season of seeking the Savior, saying "I promise that if we unclutter our lives a little bit and in sincerity and humility seek the pure and gentle Christ with our hearts, we will see him, we will find him — on Christmas and throughout the year." He also said the spectacular displays and decorations of Christmas can be beautiful and uplifting, "but if that's all we see, then we're missing something that's in plain sight. Sometimes, despite our best intentions, we become so preoccupied with responsibilities, commitments, and the stress of our many tasks that we fail to see with our hearts, that which is essential and most sacred." Read the full transcript of President Uchtdorf's remarks HERE.

An example of the latter problem is provided on the Times and Seasons blog, where Kylie Turley complains about losing the spirit of Christmas because she is overwhelmed by so many temporal responsibilities and commitments.

And President Thomas S. Monson said no other time of the year yields as many poignant memories as does Christmas. "The Christmases we remember best generally have little to do with worldly goods, but a lot to do with families, with love and with compassion and caring." This thought, he continued, provides hope "for those of us who fear that the simple meaning of the holiday is diluted by commercialism, or by opposition from those with differing religious views, or just by getting so caught up in the pressures of the season that we lose that special spirit we could otherwise experience."

President Monson also said that usually, however, the special spirit of the season somehow finds its way into people's hearts and lives despite the difficulties and distractions that occupy their time and energy. He then related a story, published in the Deseret News, about how a single act of selflessness by a civilian towards a soldier at an airport transformed a terminal full of grouches unhappy about flight delays into a group of celebrants. Read the full transcript of President Monson's remarks HERE.

An example of the type of response solicited by the First Presidency is posted on By Common Consent.

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