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Comer: Christmastime kindness, generosity a gift from Christ

By Ryan Comer - | Dec 23, 2023

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Ryan Comer

Out of curiosity, I went back and looked at the message that was shared by Russell M. Nelson — president of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints — prior to last Christmas.

In a message posted on Facebook, he said:

“This year, I will celebrate Christmas for the 99th time. Over these many years, I have marveled at the increased goodwill and human kindness that always emerge during this sacred season. As we commemorate the birth of Him who is the Light of the World, new light is kindled in each of us. Today we need the light of Jesus Christ more than ever. As we follow Him, we can each help to make this a better world.”

I, too, have marveled at the kindness demonstrated during the Christmas season. Over the past few years, my children and I have been the beneficiaries of that generosity multiple times as gifts have been dropped off to us in the days leading up to Christmas.

I’m sure I’m not alone. I’m sure countless others can think of examples of people going out of their way to show kindness to them during the Christmas season.

Prior to reading President Nelson’s words, I had never connected that generosity to Christ. I had never considered that it was the result of commemorating “the birth of Him who is the Light of the World.” Yet, it simply makes sense. Jesus wants light to grow within us, the type of light that inspires kindness and generosity. He knows that we need that light more than ever to make this a better world, and so as we commemorate his birth, we’re given that light.

As I write this, I’m reminded of a talk that was given by President Dallin H. Oaks, first counselor in the First Presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, during the October 1987 general conference, the semiannual gathering of the church. Explaining the ways in which Jesus Christ is the light of the world, he said:

“Jesus Christ is also the light of the world because his power persuades us to do good. The prophet Mormon taught: ‘All things which are good cometh of God; …

“‘Wherefore, every thing which inviteth and enticeth to do good, and to love God, and to serve him, is inspired of God.”‘ (Moroni 7:12-13) Mormon’s words anticipate what the Lord later told Moroni while he was compiling the Book of Mormon: “He that believeth these things which I have spoken, … shall know that these things are true; for it persuadeth men to do good.

“And whatsoever thing persuadeth men to do good is of me; for good cometh of none save it be of me. … I am the light, and the life, and the truth of the world.” (Ether 4:11-12; see also D&C 11:12)

Last week during Sunday School, I found myself thinking of the immense love Christ has for all of us. Our lesson that day had me thinking of our time prior to coming to this earth. There, we had two choices. We could follow Satan’s plan or we could follow Christ’s plan. Satan was able to convince a third of those in heaven to follow his plan. Imagine how convincing he must have been to sway that many to follow him. He must have been extremely difficult to reject. Yet, here we all are on this earth, which means that we chose not to follow him. We chose to follow Christ.

What would have compelled us to follow Christ? Imagining how enticing Satan’s plan might have been, what would have been our motivation for following Christ? The thought that came into my mind during that church class was love. We could feel Christ’s deep love for all of us, and we recognized our deep love for him as well. That love provided the strength that was necessary to reject Satan and follow Christ.

The love that Christ has for us was evident before we came to this world, and it’s evident now in this world. The generosity and kindness shown during the Christmas season is that evidence.

Contact Ryan Comer at rcomer@standard.net. Follow him on Twitter at @rbcomer8388 and on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/rbcomer8388.


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