Church leaders shared messages of Christ and the meaning of Christmas during the 2022 First Presidency’s Christmas Devotional.
President Russell M. Nelson presided and the devotional began with President Henry B. Eyring, second counselor of the first presidency, conducted.
The music was provided by The Tabernacle Choir and Orchestra at Temple Square, and included addresses from four speakers: Young Women’s General President Bonnie H. Cordon, Elder José A. Teixeira of the Seventy, Elder Neil L. Andersen of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, and President Dallin H. Oaks of the First Presidency.
President Bonnie H. Cordon began by sharing a heartfelt message of the story of Christmas and the birth of Jesus. She discussed the importance of following the Savior in all aspects of life, just like the shepherds and wise man did at the event of Christ’s birth.
“Many times, our still, small impressions from the Lord may not be received because they do not fit cleanly into our calendars, our plans or our timing,” President Cordon said. “The Christmas story reminds us to be like these devoted shepherds who did not delay doing what was needed to come to Him and receive their King.”
She emphasized the importance of the true meaning of Christmas and said “Jesus Christ was and is our first and forever gift of Christmas.”
Elder José A. Teixeira encouraged members to keep the spirit of Christmas focused on Christ. He alluded to the nativity scene that features Jesus at the center.
“He, who is our greatest gift, gave us such precious blessings because of His life, example, teachings, and sacrifice,” he said.
Elder Neil L. Andersen, of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, spoke on the significance of each part leading up to the Savior’s birth. He encouraged everyone to trust in God and said “for those who trust in God, in the end, whether in this life or when we kneel at his feet, all will be well.”
President Dallin H. Oaks offered the conclusion to the Devotional. He shared a message of being humble, holy and wise. In his remarks, Oaks quoted Elder James E. Talmage, saying that “indeed, God raised up witnesses for himself to meet all classes and conditions of men.”
He described the importance of inclusion and kindness at this time of year.
“Christmas is a time to eliminate arrogance and provocation, to subdue criticism, to practice patience and to de-emphasize differences among people,” Oaks said. “We have the incentive to extend sincere fellowship to all persons, those who are and those who are not of our faith.”