Friday, December 25, 2009

Another Extra Christmas Quote!

"All of us need to follow the example of the Savior in giving these kind of gifts. . . .

This Christmas, 'Mend a quarrel. Seek out a forgotten friend. Dismiss suspicion and replace it with trust. Write a letter. Give a soft answer. Encourage youth. Manifest your loyalty in word and deed. Keep a promise. Forgo a grudge. Forgive an enemy. Apologize. Try to understand. Examine your demands on others. Think first of someone else. Be kind. Be gentle. Laugh a little more. Express your gratitude. Welcome a stranger. Gladden the heart of a child. Take pleasure in the beauty and wonder of the earth. Speak your love and then speak it again.'

"Christmas is a celebration, and there is no celebration that compares with the realization of its true meaning---with the sudden stirring of the heart that has extended itself unselfishly in the things that matter most." (The Teachings of Howard W. Hunter, p. 270-271).

Christmas Quote

"Christmas is a fitting time to renew our desires and to strengthen our determination to do all that lies within our power to make real among men the message heralded by the angels when the Savior was born. Let us glorify God by seeking the good, the true, the beautiful! Let us strive to establish peace on earth by exercising that same good will toward one another which God has shown toward us!

". . . If every man desired to show good will toward his fellow men and strove to express that desire in a thousand kind sayings and little deeds that would reflect unselfishness and self-sacrifice, what a contribution each would make toward universal peace on earth and the happiness of mankind" (David O. McKay, Gospel Ideals, p. 36-37).

Thursday, December 24, 2009

An Extra Christmas Quote!

“What shall we do with Jesus who is called Christ? Learn of him. Search the scriptures for they are they which testify of him. Ponder the miracle of his life and mission. Try a little more diligently to follow his example and observe his teachings. Bring the Christ back into Christmas.” Gordon B. Hinckley, Ensign, Dec. 1983

Christmas Quote

"Christmastime is a glorious time of happy friendliness and unselfish sacrifice; a time of increased hospitality, devotion, and love; a time of the subduing of selfish impulses; a time of renewing friendships, cementing loosening ties, and the swelling of the heart. It transcends the individual, the family, the community, the nation; it approaches the universal, crosses borders, and touches many nations of the earth. . . .

"Though we make an effort to follow the pattern of gift giving, sometimes our program becomes an exchange---gift given for gift expected. Never did the Savior give in expectation. I know of no case in his life in which there was an exchange. He was always the giver, seldom the recipient. . . . His gifts were of such a nature that the recipient could hardly exchange or return the value. His gifts were rare ones: eyes to the blind, ears to the deaf, and legs to the lame; cleanliness to the unclean, wholeness to the infirm, and breath to the lifeless.

"His gifts were opportunity to the downtrodden, freedom to the oppressed, light in the darkness, forgiveness to the repentant, hope to the despairing. His friends gave him shelter, food, and love. He gave them of himself, his love, his service, his life. The wise men brought him gold and frankincense. He gave them and all their fellow mortals resurrection, salvation, and eternal life. We should strive to give as he gave. To give of oneself is a holy gift" (The Teachings of Spencer W. Kimball, p. 246-247).

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Christmas Quote

“There is no better time than now, this very Christmas season, for all of us to rededicate ourselves to the principles taught by Jesus the Christ. It is the time to love the Lord our God with all our heart and our neighbors as ourselves. It is well to remember that he who gives money gives much, he who gives time gives more, but he who gives of himself gives all.” Thomas S. Monson, New Era, Dec 2001, 4

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Christmas Quote

“If you desire to find the true spirit of Christmas and partake of thes weetness of it, let me make this suggestion to you. During the hurry of the festive occasion of this Christmas season, find time to turn your heart to God. Perhaps in the quiet hours, and in a quiet place, and on your knees—alone or with loved ones—give thanks for the good things that have come to you, and ask that His Spirit might dwell in you as you earnestly strive to serve Him and keep His commandments. He will take you by the hand and His promises will be kept.” Howard W. Hunter, Ensign, Dec 2005, 22–25

Monday, December 21, 2009

Christmas Quote

“What will you and I give for Christmas this year? Let us in our lives give to our Lord and Savior the gift of gratitude by living His teachings and following in His footsteps. It was said of Him that He ‘went about doing good.’ As we do likewise, the Christmas spirit will be ours.” Thomas S. Monson, Liahona, Dec. 1998, 3

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Christmas Quote

“When we read the story of His birth at this season of the year, the warm inner glow that we feel is our testimony of the reality of Jesus Christ growing within us. It grows, too, as we realize that our very best Christmas traditions are those in which we honor Jesus by doing things for others. The poet James Russell Lowell, writing what he thought the Savior might say, put it this way: Not what we give, but what we share,
For the gift without the giver is bare;
Who gives himself with his alms feeds three,
Himself, his hungering neighbor, and me.”
(Christmas Greetings from the First Presidency, Friend, Dec 1983, 3)

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Christmas Quote (look for one each day until Christmas!)

“Our first gift at Christmas should be to the Lord; next to the friend or stranger by our gate; then, surcharged with the effulgence from such giving,we would enhance the value of our gifts to our very own.” John A. Widtsoe, Ensign, Dec 1972, 4

Sunday, December 6, 2009

"Christmas Gifts" RS Lesson Dec. 6th

What is one of the best gifts you’ve ever gotten for Christmas? What’s at the top of your Christmas wish list this year?

Now I’d like for you to ponder the following questions and we’ll come back to them in a little bit: What do you think is at the top of Christ’s wish list? What would He most like to receive from us?

Christmas is a wonderful time of the year when the spirit of Christ is felt more strongly. Often there is an increase in generosity, goodwill, and love for others. But sometimes the hustle and bustle of the holiday season can leave us feeling overwhelmed, burnt-out and longing for the peace that His birth promised us. Sometimes it’s helpful to be reminded of the real reason for our celebrations.

Without Christ there would be no Christmas, and without Christ there can be no fulness of joy.
In our premortal state we shouted for joy as the plan of salvation was unfolded to our view. (See Job 38:7.)
It was there that our elder brother Jesus, the firstborn of our Father’s children in the spirit, volunteered to redeem us from our sins. He became our foreordained Savior, the Lamb “slain from the foundation of the world.” (Moses 7:47.)
He was the Only Begotten Son of our Heavenly Father in the flesh—the only child whose mortal body was begotten by our Heavenly Father. His mortal mother, Mary, was called a virgin, both before and after she gave birth. (See 1 Ne. 11:20.)
And so the premortal God, the God of the whole earth, the Jehovah of the Old Testament, the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, the Lawgiver, the God of Israel, the promised Messiah was born a babe in Bethlehem. (Ezra Taft Benson, “Keeping Christ in Christmas,” Ensign, Dec 1993, 2)
… that night of nights the shepherds were abiding in the fields and the angel of the Lord appeared to them, announcing: “Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy. … For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.”

The shepherds with haste went to the manger to pay honor to Christ the Lord. Later, wise men journeyed from the East to Jerusalem, saying, “Where is he that is born King of the Jews? for we have seen his star in the east, and are come to worship him. … When they saw the star, they rejoiced with exceeding great joy. And when they were come into the house, they saw the young child with Mary his mother, and fell down, and worshipped him: and when they had opened their treasures, they presented unto him gifts; gold, and frankincense, and myrrh.”
Since that time, the spirit of giving gifts has been present in the mind of each Christian as he or she commemorates the Christmas season. (Thomas S. Monson, “What Is Christmas?,” Ensign, Dec 1998, 2)

I think that the principle of giving gifts is an eternal one. Our Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ have been the supreme example of this to us. They have shown us how to be generous, kind and charitable.

What are some of the gifts that Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ have given to mankind as a whole? What are some of the gifts they’ve given to you individually?

All that we hold dear, even our families, our friends, our joy, our knowledge, our testimonies, would vanish were it not for our Father and His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ. Among the most cherished thoughts and writings in this world is the divine statement of truth: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”

“This precious Son, our Lord and Savior, atoned for our sins and the sins of all. That memorable night in Gethsemane His suffering was so great, His anguish so consuming that He pleaded, “Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt.” Later, on the cruel cross, He died that we might live, and live everlastingly. Resurrection morning was preceded by pain, by suffering in accordance with the divine plan of God. The world has witnessed no greater gift, nor has it known more lasting love.” (Thomas S. Monson, “Gifts,” Ensign, May 1993, 59)

“Never did the Savior give in expectation of receiving. He gave freely and lovingly, and His gifts were of inestimable value. He gave eyes to the blind, ears to the deaf, and legs to the lame; cleanliness to the unclean, wholeness to the infirm, and breath to the lifeless. His gifts were opportunity to the downtrodden, freedom to the oppressed, forgiveness to the repentant, hope to the despairing, and light in the darkness. He gave us His love, His service, and His life. And most important, He gave us and all mortals resurrection, salvation, and eternal life.” (Howard W. Hunter, “The Gifts of Christmas,” Ensign, Dec 2002, 16)
Anciently the three Wise Men came from afar to bring gifts to the baby Jesus. Wouldn’t it be marvelous this Christmas if we could personally give gifts to the Savior? I believe this is possible to do.

Jesus said in Matthew 25: “When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory. …
“Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world:
“For I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in:“Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me.
“Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink?“When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee?
“Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee?
“And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me” (Matt. 25:31, 34–40).

Jesus is the source of all we have. Because of this He really has no need for anything that we can give Him. But He never rejects our gifts. He simply asks that we transfer our gift to someone else who is in need of it.

We’ve already talked about the many gifts He’s freely given each of us. Now we need to go back to the question I asked earlier. What would be at the top of Jesus’ wish list? What would He most like to receive from us? (Obedience, serving others, love) How can we give to the Savior? (Serving others) What are some specific acts of service that you can do? We’ve been given a built-in opportunity to serve when we were asked to be visiting teachers. This month is the perfect time to find a special way to serve the sisters on your route!

The only things that Jesus has asked for that we can really give Him is our obedience to His commandments, and a willingness to follow His example, which includes serving others. As we follow His example in serving, loving, teaching and giving we’ll be blessed to have a full measure of the real spirit of Christmas in our hearts.

An unknown author wrote:
I am the Christmas Spirit.
I enter the home of poverty, causing pale-faced children to open their eyes wide in pleased wonder.
I cause the miser’s clutched hand to relax and thus paint a bright spot on his soul.
I cause the aged to renew their youth and to laugh in the glad old way.
I keep romance alive in the heart of childhood and brighten sleep with dreams woven of magic.
I cause eager feet to climb dark stairways with filled baskets, leaving behind them hearts amazed at the goodness of the world.
I cause the prodigal to pause a moment on his wild, wasteful way, and send to anxious loved ones some little token that releases glad tears—tears which wash away the hard lines of sorrow. I enter dark prison cells, reminding scarred manhood of what might have been, and pointing forward to good days yet to come.
I come softly into the still, white home of pain; and lips that are too weak to speak just tremble in silent, eloquent gratitude.
In a thousand ways I cause the weary world to look up into the face of God, and for a little moment forget the things that are small and wretched.
I am the Christmas Spirit.

I’d like to challenge each of you to give a gift to the Savior this month. Reach outside your family circle and give to someone in need. Whether it’s baking cookies for the sisters you visit teach, visiting an elderly sister who is homebound, babysitting for a friend, or sharing your time and talents in some other way, make an effort to go out of your way and give to the Savior through your service to others.

What are some things you do that help you stay focused on the Savior during the holiday season? Do you have any family traditions that help with this?

A couple of great service ideas/traditions were shared:

An empty gift box is passed around to each family member before opening gifts on Christmas Day. Each person is asked to tell what gift they will give to Jesus in the coming year. It could be reading the Book of Mormon, being more diligent in holding family home evenings or doing visiting teaching, or many other things.

Firefighters often have to work on holidays in order to help others. You can take cookies, goodies, or even a meal to any firehouse in the area on Christmas Day to show your appreciation for their sacrifice and to help them enjoy their Christmas.

If you and your family or friends like to sing you can visit nursing homes and sing to the residents. Just check in at the front desk and make sure it’s okay (most homes will welcome it!)

Take cookies to neighbors.

I tried to remember all of the ideas that were shared, but if I’ve missed one, or if you weren’t there for the lesson and would like to share your family tradition or special service opportunities, please email me and I’ll be happy to add it! -Sis. Radabaugh

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

First Presidency Christmas Devotional

This Sunday, December 6th, is the broadcast of the First Presidency Christmas Devotional. Members of the First Presidency will speak, and music will be provided by the Mormon Tabernacle Choir and the Orchestra at Temple Square. It starts at 8pm.

To listen or view:
Live audio broadcast:
Live audio and video broadcast:

This devotional will be available on various broadcast, cable, satellite, and Internet television stations and broadcast, satellite, and Internet radio stations throughout the world. Check local program listings for availability in your area, or visit,,
or for more information.

Spirit of Christmas Nativity Display

Visit: for information about this year's Nativity Display at the Liberty Building. It runs Friday 1-9pm , Saturday 1-9pm and Sunday 1-5pm and is open to the public. Please invite friends, neighbors, co-workers and family to visit this beautiful display.

Ward Christmas Party

Come join us for the annual Fairfield Ward Christmas Party! It's Saturday at 6pm at the church. Invite your friends and neighbors and come enjoy soup, hot chocolate and time with the ward family.
Please bring soup to share if you can.