Sunday, December 4, 2011

To be Back in Jerusalem

What I would give to just spend one day in Jerusalem right now. I've been thinking about it all day. I think it's because it's beginning to feel like Christmas, and Christmas is so much more meaningful to me after Jerusalem. As President Uchtdorf said tonight at the devotional, when you understand that Christmas is all about Christ, it's ok if your Christmas is "imperfect." If the turkey burns and the toys don't have batteries, or you don't get what you want or things don't seem the way they should be; it's ok if you understand the real reason for the season.

Going to Bethlehem last March was perhaps the most Christmas-y I will feel all year, and I wasn't even surrounded by lights or family or gifts. It felt like Christmas because we were focused on the birth of Christ. I will never forget having a testimony meeting and singing Christmas carols in a "shepherd's field" just outside the little city. It was cold and rocky, just like I imagined it for the shepherds.  The Spirit was so strong.

Sara and I just outside Bethlehem
All day I've been thinking about how life would be if Christ wasn't born, if He didn't do what He did. All those reassuring truths we hold dear wouldn't be so. We wouldn't be able to repent, we would never be able to return to live with our Father in Heaven, families couldn't be together forever, we wouldn't have His Church or Priesthood, we would have no perfect example to follow. We would walk in darkness. We would have no prophets or apostles today. We could not have eternal life. Death would be permanent. Life would be hopeless.
I can't believe it has taken me 20 Christmases and nearly 21 years to realize just how incredible the gift of the Savior really is. At a time when there are so many uncertainties in the future, I'm so thankful that Christ stands immoveable for us. I encourage everyone to read and perhaps memorize the Living Christ this month. It's an incredible document that teaches some of the most important truths we can know.

As if watching the Christmas devotional in my cozy apartment with my dear roommates and a pan of chocolate chip cookie dough brownies surrounded by our decorated apartment and my banana-leaf nativity from Tanzania wasn't heaven enough....having the true happiness that comes from knowing what Chrismas is all about makes everything seem possible and world look so bright.

1 comment:

  1. My dear, it has NOT taken you 20 Christmases to understand the significance of Christ in your life. You've understood that for a long, long time. I'm so proud of you for sharing your testimony of Him with the world. You are an inspiration! Love, Mom


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