24 December 2009

Christmas!

Well tomorrow is Christmas...well it will technically be here in like 90 minutes!

This last week I had the privilege of teaching Sunday School in church...well it was suppose to be Gospel Principles (the class for those who are visiting and or new to the church) but since the Gospel Doctrine (the class for everyone else) teacher was a no show I ended up teaching everyone!...oh goodie! This was quite the surprise because Saturday night when I went to sit down and prepare my lesson I saw a book...Fablehaven: Grip of the Shadow Plague...sitting next to my bed and I thought, oh well one chapter then I'll start my lesson...300 pages later I was done with the book, it was almost midnight, and I still didn't have a lesson plan. So being the dedicated person I am, I did not pick up the next book, but prepared my lesson, which was on repentance!

I did pretty well preparing it...well at least I thought so! Then I saw this question...What Does Repentance mean to you? For some reason this hit me...What does it mean to me? And here is where my lesson took a tangent. I thought about it and I would like to share it with you all...whoever you may all be...and I apologize now, this might take a while to explain!

First, let's read Luke 2! That's right the Christmas story. This might not be the story most turn to when thinking about repentance but stay with me! The whole story is good, but I want to focus on when the angel appears to the shepherds, vs. 10-14...mainly 13 & 14...

"And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying. Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward me!"

...Here is what I Believe. I believe that we were part of that heavenly host. I believe that we were so Happy, ecstatic that God could not contain our joy at that moment, that we burst forth because Jesus Christ, our savior and Redeemer had finally been born! I believe that we had watched thousands and millions of our brothers and sisters come to earth, and fall away...truly forget who they were, where they had come from. We had watched our Spirit brothers and sisters fall into sin and temptation...we had watched them forget over and over for thousands of years. But this night our Savior was born! The hope of the world had finally come and we were there that night to sing him our praise! We were so happy that God could not contain our JOY that night!

But even after that night he was loyal to me and to you. He never gave into the temptations of this world. And I don't think it was easy. Satan knew who he was, he knew that all he had to do was make him make one mistake...to yell at him brother, back talk to his mom...just one little sin, and he would win! But he never did! He loved us so much, that he never gave in once not even a little! He loved us so much that he even gave his life for us. For you and me. In Doctrine and Covenants 19: 18-19 Christ himself describes what he went through...

Which suffering caused myself, even God, the greatest of all, to tremble because of pain, and to bleed at every pore, and to suffer both body and spirit--and would that I might not drink the bitter cup, and shrink--Nevertheless, glory be to the Father and I partook and finished my preparations unto the children of men.

He did that for me. Every drop of sweat and blood was for me and it was for you! I cannot fully understand how he did it. But I KNOW he did. Because of the atonement, Christ suffering in the garden and on the cross, we can repent. It is through repentance that we are able to become clean and eventually return back to live with our Father in Heaven.

Back to Luke 2. The angel said that he was there to bring Glad Tidings of Great Joy! I believe that the Glad Tidings is the Gospel of Jesus Christ...the Good News. And the gospel is the Atonement of Christ. It's the fact that we can return to live with Him and our Father. And the Great Joy is Repentance. Because it is only through repentance that we can become clean (Mosiah 3:12) In Mosiah 4:3 they describe it as the Spirit of the Lord filling you with joy! In Preach My Gospel they describe the Holy Ghost gives you a foretaste of eternal joy! That is what Repentance means to me. It's the joy we can feel. It is a hope that if I try everyday I will live with Heavenly Father and his son Jesus Christ once again! It is knowing that Christ gave his life for me, just so I would have the privilege of repenting. It is his love.

This is what I have had going through my head all week. And I'm sharing it with you as a little Christmas message! Because despite how many books I read, movies I watch, actors I obsess over, food I eat and all that other stuff I do...I know that Christ lives and loves each and everyone of us! I'm so grateful for the gospel in my life and for the JOY it brings! I honestly don't know where I would be without it! I love this time of year not only for the shopping and presents but for the opportunity we have to think about Christ and everything that he has given us! I hope you all have a Merry Christmas, get everything on your lists, and take some time out of your day to remember what it's all about. To remember the baby that was born in a manger and how we all were there to sing to him that night!

2 comments:

Mariley Johnson said...

So good Malinda!

Amy said...

I LOVE that! Thank you so much for sharing! I love it so much I used it for my spiritual thought today on a spiritual thought blog I help author. I linked back to you, and so you should now become famous... or at least revered for your stinkin awesome blog by a few more people... if they are cool enough. At any rate, I hope it is okay that I used your thought. I also used it for my morning devotional today with my family because it was awesome. Thanks!