To all those reading this, I hope you got to see the First Presidency Christmas devotional! Every opportunity that we have to hear today's prophets speak is a blessing. It sounds weird though but the part of the devotional that left the greatest impression on my mind is the musical number that immediately followed President Uchtdorf's talk. I'd never heard the song before, but it totally blew me away! The title is "What shall we give to the babe in the manger?" and below is a video of the performance.
Isn't that beautiful? Listening to that brought me an overwhelming feeling of peace and comfort. The first time through I was so busy listening to the sound that I really didn't hear the lyrics, but reading them afterward got me thinking.
What shall we give to the babe in the manger,
What shall we offer the child in the stall?
Incense and spices and gold we've got plenty-
Are these the gifts for the king of us all?
What shall we give to the boy in the temple,
What shall we offer the man by the sea?
Palms at his feet and hosannas uprising;
Are these for him who will carry the tree?
What shall we give to the lamb who was offered,
Rising the third day and shedding his love?
Tears for his mercy we'll weep at the manger,
Bathing the infant come down from above.
Good question what should we give?? Well a couple scriptures leap to mind!
First from the Book of Mormon, 3 Nephi 9:20
"And ye shall offer for a sacrifice unto me a broken heart and a contrite spirit. And whoso cometh unto me with a broken heart and a contrite spirit, him will I baptize with fire and with the Holy Ghost..."
Here Jesus Christ is very clear what we ought to offer--a broken heart and contrite Spirit. We need to offer Him our whole heart, sincerely sorry for our mistakes and shortcomings, and ready to follow Him wherever He directs.
Second from the Bible, John 13:34-35
"34 A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another.
35 By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another."
This one struck me because really if you read the scripture, it takes things a step above the earlier commandment to "love thy neightbor as thyself." Loving people the way Christ loves us is a looot more than loving people the way we love ourselves. His love is a pure, unselfish, and unconditional love. His love is so perfect that He willingly suffered persecution, rejection, scorn, abuse, torture, and death, all so that His antagonists could have a chance of recieving forgiveness for their sins. I love a lot of people in my life right now (especially since I've been serving my mission), and there are many I would honestly die for. However, Christlike love is not selective. It is a love of all.
So what shall we give to the babe in the manger this Christmas? Well it is my humble opinion that the best gift we can give to our Savior is to learn to love like Him. As our feelings towards our fellow men begin to mirror Christ's feelings for us, we will experience a new kind of joy and peace, and we will be doing more than ever before to find the true meaning of Christmas.