As I have been reading and studying the Teachings of President Nelson since last general conference—and trying to better understand the counsel our Heavenly Parents have given to us through this inspired prophet—I came across a story striking in its simplicity. This short holiday story encompasses the meaning of Christmas in less than 170 words, yet it helped redirect me and refocus me on that which matters most.
"Standard-bearers march at the vanguard of a worthy cause. They represent that which is good and noble. They often carry flags or other symbols to express identity, purpose, and unity.
"Speaking of such standard-bearers, I was told a tender account during the holiday season just past. While children reenacted the Christmas story, one child held high a star wrapped in aluminum foil, mounted on a broomstick. Later, someone commended the child for his stamina in holding that star so high for such a long period of time. The child, who had spoken no lines, joyfully replied, 'I had the most important part in the play. I showed people how to find Jesus.'
"As His standard-bearers, we are to help the honest in heart to find Jesus. We don’t wave flags. And generally we don’t carry stars mounted on broomsticks. Instead, as standard-bearers for Jesus the Christ, we willingly and gratefully take His sacred name upon us. We enlist in His cause by covenant" (“Standards of Standard-Bearers of the Lord,” BYU Eighteen-Stake Devotional, January 6, 1991).
Isn't that the most important role all of us can play in this life, to help others find Jesus? Whether it is helping others feel His love through compassion, or to find His light through service, or to hear His words by bearing our testimonies, the best accomplishment we can obtain in this life is in finding and leading others to our Savior, Jesus Christ. As President Nelson so powerfully testified:
"Jesus the Christ was born to die (see 3 Nephi 27:13–14). He died that we might live. He was born that all humankind could live beyond the grave (see 3 Nephi 27:14–15). His Atonement was wrought in Gethsemane, where He sweat great drops of blood, and on Golgotha (or Calvary), where His body was lifted up upon a cross—over the place of the skull, which signified death. This infinite Atonement would release man from the infinitude of death (see 2 Nephi 9:7). His Atonement made the Resurrection a reality and the gift of eternal life a possibility for all who would obey His teachings. His Atonement became the central act of all human history.
"Our recollections of Christmas are enriched by these realities. Each one of us with a testimony of the Lord has the privilege in faith to know of His divine parentage and to testify that Jesus is the Son of the living God"(“Christ the Savior Is Born,” Brigham Young University Devotional, December 10, 2002).
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Read more profound insights from our prophet in Teachings of Russell M. Nelson.
Internationally renowned as a surgeon, teacher, and man of great faith, President Russell M. Nelson has dedicated his life to healing hearts and ministering throughout his medical career and his Church service. This definitive volume of his teachings presents excerpts from his speeches and writings spanning more than three decades as an Apostle of the Lord, including many from his recent world tour and other unpublished addresses. Alphabetically arranged by topic, these teachings on more than 100 subjects provide a perfect, easy-to-use resource for talks, lessons, and more.