Five years before the birth of our Savior, Samuel the Lamanite preached to the Nephites in America. He prophesied of the signs that would usher in the birth of Christ and he urged the people to repent, that they might have faith in Christ and be prepared at the time of His coming.
The people attempted to kill Samuel so he fled from the city. The wicked people also mocked the believers and set aside a day that the believers would be executed if the signs did not appear.
3 Nephi 1:9 Now it came to pass that there was a day set apart by the unbelievers, that all those who believed in those traditions should be put to death except the signs should come to pass, which had been given by Samuel the prophet.
Fearful of the destruction of the righteous believers, Nephi plead with the Lord that they might be saved. Nephi “cried mightily to the Lord all that day” and this is the answer he received.
3 Nephi 1:13 Lift up your head and be of good cheer; for behold, the time is at hand, and on this night shall the sign be given, and on the morrow come I into the world, to show unto the world that I will fulfill all that which I have caused to be spoken by the mouth of my holy prophets.
That night the signs were given. A new star appeared and when the sun went down the night remained light. The Savior’s birth saved the faithful Nephites from destruction.
Just as the birth of the Savior saved the lives of the faithful Nephites, through the atonement of Jesus Christ we are all lifted and saved from utter and unavoidable destruction. We will all be resurrected and like the Nephites we can also hope for great blessings in eternity if we exercise our hope unto faith in Christ.
We have faith in the Savior and our Father in Heaven because there is evidence that they can and will do the things They have promised. Our love of Christ and the hope that we will receive the promises He has made are the foundation of our faith in Him, and as President Uchtdorf has said, this hope is an “anchor to our souls”. Hope is a spiritual gift, which together with faith and charity, stabilize our lives.
Moroni 10:20 Wherefore, there must be faith; and if there must be faith there must also be hope; and if there must be hope there must also be charity.
Moroni 10:33 And again, if ye by the grace of God are perfect in Christ, and deny not his power, then are ye sanctified in Christ by the grace of God, through the shedding of the blood of Christ, which is in the covenant of the Father unto the remission of your sins, that ye become holy, without spot.
Christmas is a beautiful time of year. It’s a time when we look forward with renewed hope and faith in Christ because of his miraculous gifts. It is a time when our hope and faith propel us to show greater love and charity for our brothers and sisters. I am humbled by and grateful for the many acts of loving service I have witnessed during this Christmas season. These acts of charity bond us together as members of our Father’s family.
May your Christmas be filled with joy and love as we remember the Great Gift to the world. Merry Christmas!