This time of year helps us to meditate a little more, and with that meditation comes reflections. I would like to share some reflections with you.
In Spanish the beautiful Christmas hymn Silent Night begins with the words “Night of light, night of peace.”
I will reflect on the phrase 'Night of light'.
Surely the light radiated by the angel and the choir of angels who proclaimed the news of the Savior’s birth to the shepherds flooded them with indescribable light.
In a very beautiful way, this event is described in the Gospel of Luke:
“And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night.
“And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid.
“And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.
“For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.
“And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.
“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 men.”1
Meditating on that 'night of light,' I thought how also, in that special moment, the 'Light of Christ' was reaffirmed, the light that helps us distinguish good from evil, the light that guides us to accept His Gospel, the light that prepares each of us to receive the Holy Spirit, the Light who gives life to all things, who governs all things both in heaven and on earth.
We have beautiful scriptures referring to 'light'.
'Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.”2
'That which is of God is light; and he that receiveth light, and continueth in God, receiveth more light; and that light groweth brighter and brighter until the perfect day.'3
'And if your eye be single to my glory, your whole bodies shall be filled with light, and there shall be no darkness in you; and that body which is filled with light comprehendeth all things.
'Therefore, sanctify yourselves that your minds become single to God, and the days will come that you shall see him; for he will unveil his face unto you, and it shall be in his own time, and in his own way, and according to his own will.'4
I testify that his promises are sure.
Now I will take the phrase 'Night of peace'.
“In the scriptures, peace can mean either freedom from conflict and turmoil or the inner calm and comfort born of the Spirit that God gives to His faithful Saints.”5
The Lord infuses a special peace with the following scriptures:
'Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.'6
'Learn of me, and listen to my words; walk in the meekness of my Spirit, and you shall have peace in me.'7
I am moved by the immeasurable love of our Heavenly Father and the Savior, the condescension of God the Father in allowing His Son to descend from His exalted place to come to earth, also the condescension of our Lord Jesus Christ to accept the proposal of the Father.
Likewise, that love is manifest by the 'Plan of Salvation.' This plan makes it possible for all of us to achieve exaltation and live forever with God.
The story of Joshua gives us a profound teaching. Jehovah conferred upon him, after the death of Moses, the responsibility of entering the promised land. This was a great challenge because it was an inhabited land. In Joshua chapter1, verse 5, Jehovah told him:
'There shall not any man be able to stand before thee all the days of thy life: as I was with Moses, so I will be with thee: I will not fail thee, nor forsake thee.'
Then in verse 6 he declared: 'Be strong and of a good courage...' and in verse 7 he repeated: 'Only be thou strong and very courageous...'
'Christmas is not a time nor a season, but a state of mind. To cherish peace and goodwill, to be plenteous in mercy, is to have the real spirit of Christmas.”8
Following the true meaning of Christmas, I pray that each day be one of light and peace, that we may be grateful for the condescension of God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ and for the Plan of Salvation. May we think often of the special message that Jehovah gave Joshua 'Only be thou strong and very courageous.'
I testify that Jesus is the Christ, the son of the living God, the King of kings, the Lord of lords, the Creator. We remember at this special time of year His miraculous birth. We thank Him for His teachings, for His atoning sacrifice, for being our Savior and Redeemer, the long-awaited Messiah.
I pray that we will build our lives on the rock of His Gospel, then we will be sure that hell will not prevail.
1 Luke 2:8-14
2 John 8:12
3 D&C 50:24
4 D&C 88:67-68
5 Guide to the Scriptures, “Peace.”
6 John 14:27
7 D&C 19:23
8 President of the United States, Calvin Coolidge (1872-1933)