December 22, 2013
Dear Family and Friends,
Merry Christmas to you all! Christmas is right around the corner, and it really feels like it! All of Nauvoo have put up their Christmas decorations, we had our Christmas Walk in Old Nauvoo, we did our Christmas shopping and letter writing, we presented a production of the “Messiah,” we had a fairly good snow storm last night, and today we had a special Christmas program in Sacrament meeting. Christmas is really in the air! The only thing missing is all of you! We are thinking about you. We are glad for all of our missionary friends to share this special time with.
Today the choir sang three musical numbers, sandwiched between talks by President and Sister Gilliland. President Gilliland talked about Jesus, who was the oldest spirit child of our Heavenly Father, who earned the right to hold a place in the godhead, and to be our Savior. He chose to come to the earth to atone or make payment for our sins. As we repent through Christ we can become worthy of eternal glory and be heirs of all that the Father has. Christ came into the world to not only show us the way back to Heavenly Father, but to provide the way. His is a totally unselfish example of sacrifice. He left His holy station in Heaven to come to the earth and inherit a lowly manger.
We sang the song, “Shine for Me Again, Star of Bethlehem.” Sister Gilliland used the words of the song to compare the day of Christ’s birth with today. The star led the way to Bethlehem. The angels beckoned the shepherds to go and find Him. Today missionaries and members alike are extending the invitation to their friends to seek after the Savior, to study the Bible and the Book of Mormon, “to go and find Him.” Towards the end of the song the shepherd boy contemplates:
But life goes on years beyond one brief night of my youth.
Time clouds my vision of truth.
And though I stumble and fall, I can hear someone call,
“Do Not despair, your star is still there.”
That Christmas night, so long ago, has filled my life with light because I know
That He lives now, as He did then, that night in Bethlehem,
Whose love never ends,
Shine for me again,
Star of Bethlehem.
President Gilliland concluded with “He lifts us from our fallen state so that we can come before God. We study and work so that we can grow up like Him, to follow the Savior and to love one another.”
Elder Campbell would like to add a quote from the book, The Infinite Atonement, by Tad R. Callister.
In A Christmas Carol Charles Dickens addresses the importance of fulfilling promises, as seen in his portrayal of Scrooge. After a life of parsimony, Scrooge’s heart is finally softened by the spirit of Christmas. He promises Bob Cratchit a raise; he promises to assist Cratchit’s struggling family—in fact, he promises to begin that very afternoon. And then this magnificent tribute to Scrooge: “[He] was better than his word. He did it all, and infinitely more.” In such a spirit the Savior did it all; he kept his word; he performed an infinite atonement.
May we all strive to take advantage of this priceless gift of the atonement that our Savior gave to us.
Merry Christmas Everyone!
Elder and Sister Campbell
Your parents, grandparents, son and daughter, brother and sister, aunt and uncle, cousins, and friends in Old Nauvoo.
– Visitor’s Center Nativity
– Live Nativity scene (above)
– Sister Campbell as a part of the music for the Live Nativity