Christmas Devotional 2008

December 7, 2008 | 16 comments
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President Uchtdorf said that the angels came to the shepherds, the poor, not to the rich. At one point in my life that would have bugged me. Today I realized that the rich should want it that way. If you’re wealthy and still looking for something, you don’t want to be told that your wealth is all there is.

President Monson said that we have sewing rooms and dining rooms and play rooms and dens but we don’t have rooms for Christ. In my too-literal minded way, it got me wanting a chapel room in my house again.

Silent Night was beautiful in spite of us.

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16 Responses to Christmas Devotional 2008

  1. Julie M. Smith on December 8, 2008 at 12:21 am

    And I predict an interest in Advent by Mormons looking for spiritual Christmas traditions.

    And perhaps widespread apostasy by Scottish saints after what Pres. Monson said about them . . .

  2. ellen on December 8, 2008 at 8:47 am

    I’m inspired to add Samuel the Lamanite to our Nativity play simply so I can fling aluminum foil balls at my teenagers. ;-D

  3. Russell Arben Fox on December 8, 2008 at 12:30 pm

    In contrast to Julie’s reaction, I say political correctness be damned: I hope genial, loving ethnic stereotypes will be with us always.

  4. Marc D on December 8, 2008 at 4:27 pm

    Why does he think that these shepherds were poor? Most of these shepherds had their own sheep or were taking care of them for somebody who paid them.

  5. Stephen M (Ethesis) on December 8, 2008 at 10:15 pm

    I’d like a chapel in my home as well. Always enjoy them in Europe.

  6. Carol F. on December 9, 2008 at 2:29 am

    I loved that President Eyring and President Monson’s talks emphasized time spent as a wonderful gift to the lonely or to family. President Uchtdorf used the common example of poor kids desiring something impossible and the magic of getting it at someone’s hand. Please help me understand why this second sort of story is so inspirational? It is the theme of most every orphan/farm boy orange-in-the-toe-of-the-stocking Christmas story out there. Why is it so touching to people to see the whims of children being catered to? I just think that when I was growing up we received presents my parents could afford and we were happy with them. It didn’t require a whole community banding together or my parents to take extra jobs just for me to have a memorable Christmas. I am roundly confused to the point of outbursts during the devotional (luckily at home).

  7. Jones on December 9, 2008 at 3:12 am

    And, President Uchtdorf talked about drinking warm/hot herbal tea. It sounded like he made a _pregnant_ pause before saying_herbal tea_ but I certainly caught the reference. Many herbal tea drinkers gave a sigh of validation.

  8. maxgomes on December 9, 2008 at 8:08 am

    Guys, what kind of spirit are here?
    In a self centered society where gifts are more important than the core message of christmas it will be and always will be reasonable to remember that gifts from heart are much more valuable.

    Replying Mark D, …, the shepherds were not governors or had participation in the sinedrium or in any other leading group during that time. Shepherds were at any time the symbol of humble workers that give too much and receive too little.

    I know that many things are not perfect, but lacks light here.

  9. rd on December 9, 2008 at 9:50 am

    Carol F.

    As a father of four, I say without reservation that what we adults view as the “whims” of children are in fact deeply-held dreams. Culturally-derived or not, those dreams are real. Children feel the season, eagerly anticipate a fruitful Christmas morning, and any effort to charitably fulfill their dreams–even if slightly–is an inspiration. Particularly efforts rooted with love.

    I watched these messages last night and was fully inspired.

  10. WMP on December 9, 2008 at 10:38 am

    I was struck by President Monson becoming visibly emotional when discussing the widow waiting patiently and hopefully for the son who never comes, and never calls. We watched his talk again last night for FHE (our kids were asleep during the original broadcast) and I wondered if that part of the talk was improvised (not in his original written remarks). In any event, I got a very vivid sense of how the Lord might feel about such matters.

    Great talks, all three.

  11. Carol F. on December 9, 2008 at 12:38 pm

    rd, Wait! I am an adult also, with four children also, and I do not consider the whims of children to be deeply held dreams. Everyone speaks from their own history. We can probably safely say, though, that your Christmas will be more fun than ours. :)

  12. Kenny F on December 9, 2008 at 4:37 pm

    Carol F,

    Is a hungry child asking for a bowl of oatmeal a childhood whim? One reason why “most every orphan/farm boy orange-in-the-toe-of-the-stocking Christmas story out there” is inspirational is because they are examples of an important gospel principle.

    Matthew 25:40 And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.

  13. Kent Larsen on December 10, 2008 at 9:53 pm

    President Uchtdorf said that the angels came to the shepherds, the poor, not to the rich. At one point in my life that would have bugged me. Today I realized that the rich should want it that way. If you’re wealthy and still looking for something, you don’t want to be told that your wealth is all there is.

    I don’t understand, Adam. Why would the Angels coming to the poor instead of the rich bug you? Are you saying that the rich should be just as blessed as the poor? Or that it bugged you that Pres. Uchtdorf would suggest that the poor should get benefits that the rich don’t, like some kind of wealth redistribution program?

    What do you mean?

    And I’m not quite sure what you mean “you don’t want to be told that your wealth is all there is.” How would the angels coming to the poor instead of the rich tell the rich that their “wealth is all there is?”

    I don’t understand what you mean at all!!

  14. Adam Greenwood on December 11, 2008 at 5:09 pm

    Sending the angels to the rich would be an affirmation of a temporal and mortal scale of values. But if you are already doing well by that standard but still feel hollow, you don’t want those values affirmed. You want to think that eternity has something more important in mind.

  15. Lou on December 13, 2008 at 9:25 am

    I wasn’t sure what to make of Pres. Monson referring to the pregnant Mary as “ill.” Was he referring to her pregnancy?

  16. Mrs. M on December 15, 2008 at 8:15 pm

    I attended an Advent gathering just before going to the Christmas devotional, so it was interesting to hear talk of Advent there. A family in our ward celebrates Advent and invites different people over every Sunday to sing Christmas carols, eat treats, light the candle, and read Christmas stories (not in that order). It was nice.

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