This has been a strange week, culminating in the strangest Christmas day I think I’ll ever experience. It’s been a week of rejoicing, beginning with the birth of my newest granddaughter. I’m so grateful for the miracle of new life and the blessings of modern medical technologies that enabled my daughter to give birth safely to a healthy baby girl.
Today is Christmas. It’s the day we celebrate the birth of God’s only begotten son, Jesus Christ. We celebrate his birth because, for us, he overcame sin and death; he lived a perfect life, obedient to all Heavenly Father’s commandments. He did this all for us, as sinners, so that he could extend eternal and ultimate mercy and forgiveness to the weakest of us. He made it possible for us to be made clean and able to return to live with God one day. If not for Jesus’s great cleansing atonement, his birth would be unremarkable and unremembered. Because of it, we still celebrate and honor him thousands of years later.
My understanding of God’s plan for our salvation is more important than ever to me today, especially. Today my dad died. It was not a great surprise. He had an illness we knew would take him from us, but when the end came, death was swift.
My understanding of God’s plan for our salvation is marked even more deeply in my heart, because today I got to Skype with my son, who is currently serving a two-year church mission in Cambodia. It means the world to me that he is giving his time and heart in service to help others learn about the peace and hope that comes from understanding the atonement of Jesus Christ.
Still, two years feels like a long time some days. It was a huge blessing to be able to speak with Jace (Arctic Boy) today and give him the news about his grandfather “in person,” rather than by email.
I know that there is more to life than our time here in mortality. Birth was not our beginning. We lived with God before we were born on earth. Death is not the end. Because of Jesus’s sacrifice for us, I can see my father again.
Death complicates our mortal lives, but we have been promised fulfilling comfort. I’m so glad Jesus came to #lighttheworld.
26 But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.
27 Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.