The reason for the celebration of the Christmas season is the Easter season. He is born! He is risen!
|By Frank Bramley (oil on canvas - 123cm x 168cm) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons|
Many years ago, while in London, England, I visited the famed Tate art gallery. Works by Gainsborough, Rembrandt, Constable, and other renowned artists were displayed in room after room. I admired their beauty and recognized the skill which had been required to create these masterpieces.
Tucked away in a quiet corner of the third floor, however, was a painting which not only caught my attention but also captured my heart. The artist, Frank Bramley, had painted a humble cottage facing a windswept sea.
Two women, the mother and the wife of an absent fisherman, had watched and waited the night through for his return. Now the night had passed, and the realization had set in that he had been lost at sea and would not return. Kneeling at the side of her mother-in-law, her head buried in the lap of the older woman, the young wife wept in despair. The spent candle on the window ledge told of the fruitless vigil.
I sensed the young woman’s heartache; I felt her grief. The hauntingly vivid inscription which the artist gave to his work told the tragic story. It read, A Hopeless Dawn.
Oh, how the young woman longed for the comfort.
What mortal being, faced with the loss of a loved one or, indeed, standing himself or herself on the threshold of infinity, has not pondered what lies beyond the veil which separates the seen from the unseen?President Monson goes on to answer that question by recounting the plan of salvation being designed by a Grand Designer...a premortal existence, Jesus Christ as creator, coming to earth to get a body, to learn and grow, to prove that we could keep the commandments, being tempted and sinning, the need for a Savior and Redeemer. The need for a resurrected Christ to save us from the Fall. He is resurrected and lives again and that's what gives us hope rather than a hopeless dawn.
In the face of death and difficulties, we can find hope in Jesus Christ.
Jesus Christ is source of light and truth.
D&C 39: 1-4.
He is the light and life of the world because all things were made by Him. He is the source of truth in our lives. He leads us by His example and His teachings. As we keep the commandments and do good he promises to always be with us and guide.
How has Christ been a light in your life?
He brings peace in times of sorrow, doubt, fear, loneliness
John 14:27, Matthew 11: 28-30
We all have sorrows: worry, fear, divorce, heartache, financial problems, abuse, anxiety. His peace is not as the world sees peace. It passes all understanding, yet it is undeniable. It comes to us through the Holy Ghost.
Turning to Him brings us rest and peace. It’s one of the two things we came to do on earth. 1. Turn to him, love him with all our hearts. 2. Love our neighbors.
And, others who have already turned to him come to us to help us feel peace, help, and comfort. Just as we can then turn and help others feel His peace.
How has Christ brought peace to you in times of sorrow and loneliness?
He heals our sicknesses and wounds
Alma 7:11, Malachi 4:2
He healed many in His ministry to the Jews and the Book of Mormon people.
He has felt what you feel and understands completely.
He has reestablished his power and priesthood on earth. And we have been blessed and witnessed miracles by it's use.
He may not take our burdens away, but he strengthens us.
Dallin Oakes said in a recent talk, He Heals the Heavy Laden:
Healing blessings come in many ways, each suited to our individual needs, as known to Him who loves us best. Sometimes a “healing” cures our illness or lifts our burden. But sometimes we are “healed” by being given strength or understanding or patience to bear the burdens placed upon us.Has there been a time when you've been healed?
The healing power of the Lord Jesus Christ—whether it removes our burdens or strengthens us to endure and live with them like the Apostle Paul—is available for every affliction in mortality.
He atoned for our sins
How do we partake of Christ's atonement?
He sweat great drops of blood for each of us. We remember that every week through the Sacrament
We come to God in sincere prayer, humbled, and ask forgiveness in Christ’s name.
He lives again so we can too
1 Cor. 15:19-22
This knowledge gives us comfort. President Monson goes on to say:
No words in Christendom mean more to me than those spoken by the angel to the weeping Mary Magdalene and the other Mary when, on the first day of the week, they approached the tomb to care for the body of their Lord. Spoke the angel:
“Why seek ye the living among the dead?
“He is not here, but is risen.”Many have testified of the reality of his resurrection and the hope He gives us. Here are a few more testimonies in this video.
Our Savior lived again.
The most glorious, comforting, and reassuring of all events of human history had taken place—the victory over death. The pain and agony of Gethsemane and Calvary had been wiped away. The salvation of mankind had been secured. The Fall of Adam had been reclaimed.
I add my testimony to the many that have been given of Him. He lives, He love us, He gives us hope!
The Light and Life of the World, Dallin H. Oaks
Peace Within, Joseph B. Wirthlin
He Heals the Heavy Laden, Dallin H. Oaks
What Think Ye of Christ, Dallin H. Oaks