Sunday evening, in the annual First Presidency Christmas tradition, President Thomas S. Monson and his two counselors spoke to Latter-day Saints in the Conference Center on the beautifully lit and decorated Temple Square.
President Monson reflected on Christmases past and offered this sentiment: “This joyful season brings to all of us a measure of happiness that corresponds to the degree to which we have turned our minds, feelings and actions to the Savior, whose birth we celebrate.”
“There is no better time than now, this very Christmas season, for all of us to rededicate ourselves to the principles taught by Jesus Christ,” President Monson taught. “Let it be a time of prayers for peace, for the preservation of free principles, and for the protection of those who are far from us.”
“May the spirit of love which comes at Christmastime fill our homes and our lives and linger there long after the tree is down and the lights are put away for another year.”
“[It] is the spirit of Christmas which puts in our hearts a desire to give joy to other people,” said President Henry B. Eyring, First Counselor in the First Presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. “We feel a spirit of giving and gratitude for what we have been given. The celebration of Christmas helps us keep our promise to always remember Him and His gifts to us.”
Music for the devotional was provided by the Mormon Tabernacle Choir and Orchestra at Temple Square.
Using the 1957 telling of How the Grinch Stole Christmas, President Dieter F. Uchtdorf, Second Counselor in the First Presidency, recounted the changed heart of its lead character. “The Grinch saw the good in Christmas when he learned to look past its worldly trappings. If we do the same, we can, with the Grinch, proclaim: ‘Maybe Christmas … doesn’t come from a store. Maybe Christmas … perhaps … means a little bit more!’”
“When we prepare for Christmas by pondering its real meaning,” said President Uchtdorf, “we prepare to experience the Christ and His message.”