“Wherefore, beware lest ye are deceived; and that ye may not be deceived seek ye earnestly the best gifts, always remembering for what they are given.” (D&C 46:8).
As the Christmas season approaches, Mormons along with most everyone in the Western world share the excitement of the season. It is a time of celebration. We pause with other Christians to celebrate and remember the birth of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. As Mormons, we believe that Jesus Christ is the head of the Church. Our formal name carries His name, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
Christmas is truly a time of rejoicing. One of the best things I enjoy about Christmas is that it seems to bring out the best in all of us. We are more loving, more patient, more giving. Most of us are already eagerly anticipating the joy our loved ones will feel when they open the gifts we’ve so carefully selected for them. Most of us are also looking forward to opening the gifts that we are sure to receive as well.
Elder Robert D. Hales taught:
Spiritual gifts are given as a blessing and benefit for those who love God and keep His commandments…These gifts of the Spirit are encompassed by the gift of the Holy Ghost. The Holy Ghost is the third member of the eternal Godhead and is identified as the Holy Spirit. This Holy Spirit is a gift from God to help us make the decisions that will allow us to find and fulfill our mission. These gifts were part of the ministry of the early prophets and were well known by the Apostles of the New Testament…
I hope that each of us has an opportunity to receive spiritual gifts this Christmas. I hope we can all experience the gift of the Holy Spirit in our lives.
Each of us has a different idea of what else constitutes the “best” gift. It might be a bicycle, a gold bracelet, a computer, a cherished book, or a video game. These are indeed wonderful gifts, and no doubt for the one who has been wanting just that one thing, it is the best gift. I hope that all of us will receive the one best gift that we are wishing for this Christmas.
Let me also suggest some other best gifts that you might consider for your family this year:
a. If you are considering Music CDs as stocking stuffers, make it inspirational music. Make it a point to listen together as a family to uplifting music through the year.
b. Set aside one evening of the week for Family Time. Mormon families gather together one evening a week for Family Home Evenings. During Family Home Evenings we discuss scriptures, share family concerns, play games, and a number of other activities that builds and strengthens family relationships.
c. Plan a family service project. I’m sure that if you looked around your neighborhood, you’ll find a number of neighbors and families that would appreciate some help. Doing something good for someone else is a wonderful way to teach our children about service.
d. Attend worship services together. It helps our families to lead Christ-centered lives if we are constantly making him the focus of our existence.
e. Visit Mormons.org and find out for yourself what Mormons believe. Attend a Mormon Sunday service and judge for yourself if it is for you or not.
f. Chat live with a Mormon missionary between 7:00am to 10:30pm MT.
g. Get a subscription for the Ensign, New Era, and Friend for your family. These Church magazines are full of information and messages about the Church, and they are very affordable. The Ensign is geared for adults of the Church. The New Era magazine is suitable for youth of the Church (ages 12–18, and the Friend magazine is designed for the children of the Church. You can get additional information about how to subscribe to all Church magazines here.