It’s always encouraging for me to contemplate the offering of service and sacrifice that Latter-day Saints make to their families, their wards, and their Heavenly Father. It’s a consecrated, sacred thing. I don’t believe there’s a higher honor that can come to us than that the Lord would consider our offering as worthy and appropriate and that He would respect and receive it.
That is the great commendation of the Father to the Son when He refers to Him as “my Beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased” (3 Nephi 11:7; see also Matthew 3:17; Mark 1:11; Luke 9:35; D&C 93:15; Joseph Smith—History 1:17). What a beautiful title. What greater honor could there be than that God would say to you, “My beloved son” or “My beloved daughter,” and that you would receive His commendation that your offering is acceptable to Him, “in whom I am well pleased.”
I pray at this Christmas season that you might have some sense of the Lord’s regard for your offering, some sense of how you stand in His eyes, some sense of the beloved status you occupy as His son or His daughter. And I pray that knowledge of that status may give you a great deal of comfort, reassurance, and confidence that you are approved in His eyes.
The Savior’s Birth
When we talk about the birth of Jesus Christ, we appropriately reflect on what was to follow. His birth was infinitely significant because of the things He would experience and suffer so that He might better succor us—all culminating in His Crucifixion and Resurrection (see Alma 7:11–12). But His mission also included the beauty of His service, the miracles of His ministry, the relief He brought to the suffering, and the joy He offered—and still offers—to the mourning.
I also like to think of what comes later.