Summarized by Kent Larsen
LDS Leaders Focus on True Gifts of Season
Salt Lake Tribune 6Dec99 N1
By Connie Coyne: Salt Lake Tribune
SALT LAKE CITY, UTAH -- The First Presidency's annual Christmas
broadcast last night focused on the precious Christmas gifts of the
heart. Speaking first, President James E. Faust told of his experience
as a child concentrating on a toy over a more important token of his
parents love and of how he wishes he had that token now, while he forgot
the toy just weeks after Christmas.
President Monson told of playing a wise man in a Christmas pageant as a
child. He said he still keeps the cane he used in the pageant because it
reminds him of his feelings in playing that part. He also told of a
family sharing their christmas in poverty and how one child in the
family learned to give his most longed-for gift.
President Hinckley used Charles Dickens' "Life of Our Lord," which was
prized by the Dickens family and kept private until the death of the
youngest child in the family in 1933. The story goes beyond the normal
recitation of the life of Christ to urge children to be Christian.
Hinckley quoted Dickens, "Remember! -- it is Christianity to do good
always -- even to those who do evil to us. It is Christianity to love
our neighbor as ourself, and to do to all men as we would have them do
to us. It is Christianity to be gentle, merciful and forgiving, and to
keep those qualities quiet in our own hearts, and never make a boast of
them, or of our prayers or of our love of God, but always to [show] that
we love him by trying to do right in everything. If we do this, and
remember the life and lesson of our lord Jesus Christ, and try to act up
to them, we may confidently hope that God will forgive us our sins and
mistakes, and enable us to die in peace."