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Latter-day Saint First Presidency releases Christmas message prior to devotional

By Genelle Pugmire - | Nov 24, 2023

Courtesy Intellectual Reserve

President Russell M. Nelson poses with his counselors in the First Presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, President Dallin H. Oaks and President Henry B. Eyring, at a small gathering in honor of his 99th birthday in his office at the Church Administration Building in Salt Lake City on Friday, Sept. 8, 2023. His birthday was Sept. 9.

The annual Christmas lighting of Temple Square on Friday is just one of a number of traditions continued by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

On Friday, the First Presidency of the Church also released its annual Christmas message, prior to holding a churchwide devotional next month.

The First Presidency — President Russell M. Nelson, President Dallin H. Oaks and President Henry B. Eyring — released the following message:

“The Christmas season is often associated with gifts. The most desirable gifts are those offered to us by our loving Heavenly Father and our Savior, Jesus Christ. These gifts are made possible because Jehovah condescended to come to earth as the baby Jesus. He was born of an immortal Father and a mortal mother. He was born in Bethlehem under the humblest of circumstances. His was the holy birth foreseen by prophets since the days of Adam. Jesus Christ is God’s transcendent gift — the gift of the Father to all of His children (see John 3:16). That birth we joyfully celebrate each Christmas season,” the First Presidency said in a joint statement.

“The Savior’s infinite and perfect love moved Him to atone for all of God’s children. That gift — the Atonement of Jesus Christ — allows all of His other gifts to be ours. We testify that God lives! Jesus is the Christ — the Messiah. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is His Church, which He directs, the three Church leaders stated.”

The First Presidency will host its annual Christmas devotional broadcast at 6 p.m. Dec. 3. The program will include messages from church leaders and music performed by The Tabernacle Choir and Orchestra at Temple Square.

Decisions about gathering to watch the Christmas devotional in meetinghouses will be left to the discretion of local leaders, the church said in a statement.

In-person attendance at the Conference Center in Salt Lake City will be limited due to construction taking place on and around Temple Square.

For broadcast and livestream information, visit newsroom.churchofjesuschrist.org.

Video and audio recordings of the devotional will be archived on the church’s Gospel Library and Gospel Media websites. Video and audio recordings in most languages, as well as text in English, Spanish and Portuguese will be available in about a week, the church said. These recordings may be used as part of local unit or family Christmas celebrations and gatherings.


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