Saturday, December 7, 2013

Love and Light

"For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord" (Romans 8:38-39).

Do you realize just how vast and unimaginable our Father's love is for us? Probably not. But it is true: our Heavenly Father loves us so much that He has provided us every possible resource to help us return to Him again. And He always gives us signs of His love, no matter how big...or how small.

Our Heavenly Father loved us enough that He was willing to sacrifice His Only Begotten Son to suffer and die for us that we might have even a chance to return to Him. And our Savior had that same incomprehensible love for us--individually!--to be willing to suffer unimaginable pain on our behalf to make it possible for us to repent and be relieved of the burdens that accompany this mortal experience.

This Christmas season is a chance for us to try and return some of that great love our Father in Heaven gives us. While we will never be able to give Him half of what He has given us, we can show our appreciation and love for Him through service to others, even in the smallest ways. We can also demonstrate our love by recognizing the true meaning of Christmas and the symbols we associate with this season.

One of the biggest symbols we see at Christmastime is light. Nearly everyone decorates their house and Christmas tree with beautiful multicolored lights, but why? To most people it is simply a decoration. But there's more to it than that!

This is what the lights we use during this time should symbolize in our minds--our Savior. He is the Light of the World, and through Him each of us can experience in a very personal way that great love our Savior and our Father in Heaven have for us. We acknowledge this love by remembering the reason for the season--our Savior and His Atonement--and take some time to draw nearer to Him and to our Father in Heaven.

For those of you in or near Mesa, AZ or Salt Lake City, UT, take an evening to come to the lights at the temples, and feel of the wonderful spirit that comes when you combine the beauty of those strings of bright, colored lights and the proximity of a temple of the Lord. For those not near either of those places or are unable to attend, take a minute to look at your beautiful Christmas tree or go to another community display of Christmas lights or nativities, and remember why you are celebrating this time of year.

Take a minute to remember your Savior. And take a minute to remember His love.

Tender Mercy (12/07/13):
Just a little thing this time. My companion and I went for a walk in the park next to our apartment complex just at dawn for our exercise time last week. It was chilly, but refreshing. And I got to wear my hoodie:) As we rounded the far side of the park to start heading home, we found ourselves facing east, and the sunrise was absolutely beautiful. It was pink and gold and orange, and the clouds were lit magnificently by the rising sun. After seeing something as magnificent as that, how can anyone doubt the existence of a loving Heavenly Father?

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