Christmas is a time of peace, joy, love, and goodwill toward men—for some. But for many around the world who have experienced loss or heartache, Christmas can be a reminder of the pain we are experiencing. Sister Sharon Eubank, first counselor in the general Relief Society presidency, is one such person, and she recently shared a beautiful message to those experiencing pain or loss this Christmas:
We always think of the happy things at Christmastime, but I know from my own experience it is also a time for grief. I was in mourning last December for a young 38-year-old mother who died of cancer, leaving her husband and two little daughters. I couldn’t bring myself to sing peppy carols or go to parties where other people were laughing. I’m very aware this year of people who are heavy with loss and trouble and unresolved questions.
There is a verse in Isaiah that says part of the mission of the Messiah is "to appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning."
Although we mourn our losses, especially at Christmas, the heart of the work of Jesus Christ is to give us beauty for ashes, to build up the waste places. This is also an important and beautiful part of the spirit of Christmas. When our hearts are too heavy to participate in the lights and toys and music, we can offer our ashes to the Lord Jesus Christ, and He accepts that gift too. #LightTheWorld
Lead image from Sister Eubank's Facebook page
Receive more comfort and understanding of loss and suffering from President Nelson's The Gateway We Call Death.
In The Gateway We Call Death, President Nelson, a surgeon by profession and now a special witness of the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, approaches the subject of death from both a medical and a theological point of view to discuss such topics as these:
The purpose of life and of death
The purpose of mourning
When death comes without warning
Factors of choice, such as suicide, euthanasia, and use of mechanical means to extend life
Life after death