You know those people who just give the best hugs? Like, you don’t really know why, but they are excellent hug-givers. You just feel safe, secure, loved, calm, etc.
I imagine Jesus gives the best of all. Actually, I’m confident enough to say I know He does. (Alma 5:33, 2 Nephi 1:15. Also, this video wouldn’t hurt. It’s a Mormon Message that I can’t find on the official channel anymore.)
I meant to type up this post the day Brother Rockwood taught us this, but I didn’t. Even though Christmas has passed, I invite you to get in that spirit again, because Jesus’ coming shouldn’t just be important during December, but all the time.
The day before we were let out for winter break (it was two days before the intended date because of snow days), we talked about what I now consider one of the best, if not the best Christmas story. And It’s all one we’ve heard before, but perhaps not with a thought of Christmas necessarily.
In Helaman 14:2-6, we hear Samuel the Lamanite testifying that the Son of God was going to be born to “redeem all those that would believe on his name.” Those that believed him were baptized, but there were many who did not. In Helaman 16:18, they spoke with their own reasoning, wondering why Christ would be born in Jerusalem and not in the Americas.
We know that five years would pass between Samuel’s teachings and the fulfilling of the prophecies thereof. Imagine just all the persecution the believers had in that time. There were some that believed the time of the signs had passed (3 Nephi 1:5-6), and they began to plot to kill all the believers if the sign didn’t come by a certain date (3 Nephi 1:9). The believers of Samuel’s prophecies were a bit frightened (as they had reason to be), but they still stood fast (3 Nephi 1:7-8).
The prophet of the time, Nephi, saw this, and he pleaded with God for the safety of the people (3 Nephi 1:10). (Now, if you’ve never thought of the prophet or the bishop or even your youth leader pray for you, they do, because they want you to be safe and to succeed.)
Nephi received the answer to his prayer that the sign would be given the next day, and everything happened as prophesied (3 Nephi 1:12-15, 19-21). Imagine being the prophet, about to see his people perish because of the belief of the Redeemer, be saved by the sign that came exactly at the right moment. The unbelievers realized their mistake, and they then knew that the Lord had come (3 Nephi 1:16-18).
So why is this the best Christmas story?
From day one of His life on Earth, Christ was already saving people on the other side of the world.
So there’s this guy.
He’s really fantastic. He’s perfect to say the least.
He’s courageous, he has a strong testimony, and loves everyone he comes in contact with.
I know he loves me for who I am, with not a single glance at my outside appearance. He knows exactly what I’m going through so he can comfort me when I need it. He’s always there to listen.
The coolest thing is that I know he’d do anything for me. And he has, he’s done everything for me. He’s an extraordinary example, and he was willing to die to save me, and he took the sins and pains I have and paid the price so that I might be able to repent and return to my Father.
And He loves you unconditionally as well. He knows you personally and will help you, because He suffered through all the pains you feel. He was willing to die to save you.
To save you.
Because He loves you.
I am a devout Christian.
Sometimes you think you’re not good enough, and it’s easy to compare yourself to others. on average we have 300-1000 thoughts a minute, and 80% of them are negative. Brother Su’a spoke of an experience he had teaching seminary. (I’m paraphrasing here.)
He had been teaching, and a girl from the class openly said, “Brother Su’a, I’m ugly. What do I do about it?” He was pausing for a moment to think of what to say, when another girl raised her hand. She didn’t speak at all in the class, so he was kind of surprised to see her raising her hand, but he called on her.
She said she knew no one had known this about her previously, but a few years prior she had a hard time with her self-esteem. There would be days she skipped school because she couldn’t handle it. Then, she added something to her daily morning routine. After she had gotten ready and was about to leave, she’d look in the mirror and say, “Jesus loves me and that’s all that matters.” She would say it until she truly believed it. Sometimes it took one try. Sometimes it took five. But she did it, and it helped her a whole lot.
After sharing that story, he referred to a scripture mastery. My favorite scripture mastery. D&C 18:10. “Remember that the worth of souls is great in the sight of God.” Then he said something that I didn’t quite think about before.
How many times have we looked at this scripture and thought, “Oh yes, the worth of his soul is great, the worth of her soul is great, the worth of your soul is great…” but forget something. The worth of my soul is great in the sight of God.
I share this part of his talk in hopes that you might get something from it. If necessary, add "Jesus loves me and that’s all that matters" to your daily routine. Add "The worth of my soul is great in the sight of God” as well.
(I suggest replacing Enos’ name with your own, then reading it.)