Bring the true spirit of Christmas, President Monson counsels

As people contemplate how they are going to spend money to buy gifts this holiday season, let them also plan for how they will spend their time in order to help bring the true spirit of Christmas into the lives of others, said President Thomas S. Monson.

"The Savior gave freely to all, and his gifts were of value beyond measure," said the Mormon leader. "Throughout his ministry, He blessed the sick, restored sight to the blind, made the deaf to hear and the halt and lame to walk. He gave cleanliness to the unclean. He restored breath to the lifeless. He gave hope to the despairing and bestowed light in the darkness.

"He gave his love, his service, and his life.

"What is the spirit we feel at Christmastime? It is his spirit -- the spirit of Christ."

Speaking during the annual First Presidency Christmas Devotional, President Monson offered a message of peace and hope to thousands gathered in the Conference Center, which was adorned with Christmas lights, trees and poinsettias. His counselors in the First Presidency, President Henry B. Eyring, first counselor, and President Dieter F. Uchtdorf, second counselor, also offered holiday messages centered on the Savior.

Hundreds of thousands of LDS Church members around the world heard the devotional, broadcast on the church's satellite system, BYUTV.

Music for the evening was provided by the Mormon Tabernacle Choir and the Orchestra at Temple Square.

During his address, President Monson said no other time of the year yields as many poignant memories as does Christmas.

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