Video: “He is the Gift”
Musical Number: “Silent Night” by Jen Web and Alicia Derr, accompanied by Craig Kaelin
Testimony: Katy Alder
Video: “Good Tidings of Great Joy: The Birth of Jesus Christ” with music of O Holy Night by David Archuleta
Testimony: Angela Jewell
Musical Number: “Mary Did you Know” by Theresa Heath and Julia Hammond, accompanied by Tori Diamond
Testimony: Jill Holt
Video: “To This End Was I Born” (abbreviated) with words of prophets and apostles to music
Remarks: Diane Adair
“GOD BE THANKED FOR THE MATCHLESS GIFT OF HIS DIVINE SON!” Diane Adair.
This is a picture from an article called “The Rescuing Hug”. The article details the first week of life of a set of twins. Apparently, each were in their respective incubators, and one was not expected to live. A hospital nurse fought against the hospital rules and placed the babies in one incubator. When they were placed together, the healthier of the two threw an arm over her sister in an endearing embrace. The smaller baby’s heart rate stabilized and her temperature rose to normal. Let us not forget to embrace those whom we love.” LifeNews.com.
“Mend a quarrel. Seek out a forgotten friend.
Dismiss suspicion and replace it with trust. Write a letter.
Give a soft answer. Encourage youth.
Manifest your loyalty in word and deed. Keep a promise.
Forgo a grudge. Forgive an enemy. Apologize.
Try to understand. Examine your demands on others.
Think first of someone else.
Be kind. Be gentle. Laugh a little more.
Express your gratitude. Welcome a stranger.
Gladden the heart of a child.
Take pleasure in the beauty and wonder of the earth.
Speak your love and then speak it again.”
President Howard W. Hunter
“I consider charity—or “the pure love of Christ”—to be the opposite of criticism and judging. In speaking of charity, I do not at this moment have in mind the relief of the suffering through the giving of our substance. That, of course, is necessary and proper. Tonight, however, I have in mind the charity that manifests itself when we are tolerant of others and lenient toward their actions, the kind of charity that forgives, the kind of charity that is patient.
I have in mind the charity that impels us to be sympathetic, compassionate, and merciful, not only in times of sickness and affliction and distress but also in times of weakness or error on the part of others.
There is a serious need for the charity that gives attention to those who are unnoticed, hope to those who are discouraged, aid to those who are afflicted. True charity is love in action. The need for charity is everywhere.
Needed is the charity which refuses to find satisfaction in hearing or in repeating the reports of misfortunes that come to others, unless by so doing, the unfortunate one may be benefited. The American educator and politician Horace Mann once said, “To pity distress is but human; to relieve it is godlike.”
Charity is having patience with someone who has let us down. It is resisting the impulse to become offended easily. It is accepting weaknesses and shortcomings. It is accepting people as they truly are. It is looking beyond physical appearances to attributes that will not dim through time. It is resisting the impulse to categorize others.
Charity, that pure love of Christ, is manifest when a group of young women from a singles ward travels hundreds of miles to attend the funeral services for the mother of one of their Relief Society sisters. Charity is shown when devoted visiting teachers return month after month, year after year to the same uninterested, somewhat critical sister. It is evident when an elderly widow is remembered and taken to ward functions and to Relief Society activities. It is felt when the sister sitting alone in Relief Society receives the invitation, “Come—sit by us.”
In a hundred small ways, all of you wear the mantle of charity. Life is perfect for none of us. Rather than being judgmental and critical of each other, may we have the pure love of Christ for our fellow travelers in this journey through life. May we recognize that each one is doing her best to deal with the challenges which come her way, and may we strive to do our best to help out.
Charity has been defined as “the highest, noblest, strongest kind of love,” the “pure love of Christ … ; and whoso is found possessed of it at the last day, it shall be well with [her].”
“Charity never faileth.” May this long-enduring Relief Society motto, this timeless truth, guide you in everything you do. May it permeate your very souls and find expression in all your thoughts and actions.” President Thomas S. Monson, “Charity Never Faileth” October, 2010.
“You are called to represent the Savior. Your voice to testify becomes the same as His voice, your hands to lift the same as His hands . . . Your calling is to bless lives. That will be true even in the most ordinary tasks you are assigned . . . You see, there are no small callings to represent the Lord.” President Henry B. Eyring.