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Today is Christmas Day and as our family celebrated the birth of our Lord and Savior, we most definitely felt His love for us and our family.
It all started when our eight children gathered at our home late this afternoon on the day before Christmas with their children, wives, fiancé, and soon to be pregnant moms. We had a delicious meal prepared for all and blessed it in the name of Jesus Christ to do us good and to strengthen our bodies. We felt the Lord’s spirit of love as we hugged, laughed, cried, and shared past moments of Christmas’s gone by and of the love we had for each other and for Heavenly Father’s goodness to all of us. We watched and listened to a television broadcast about the birth of Jesus Christ and of our Latter-day Prophet’s promises that we would be blessed as a family and individually as we remember Him in our daily lives.
Since our children were older and each married member of our family had started their own traditions, so we decided to open gifts for each other that night and again reminded each other of the gifts that Jesus has given to each of us. What fun it was to see the joy of our children and the hugs and smiles shared when love was shared and expressed among all with the thoughtfulness of gift giving. The world was left behind as we felt a sweet spirit among all. We were in a hurry to get ready for a special event at the LDS Missionary Training Center where our sons, our grandchildren, and husbands with wives would perform songs and testimonies of Jesus Christ for the full time missionaries who were away from their homes and prepared to give a couple of years of missionary service all over the world to proclaim the Gospel of Jesus Christ with a message for all to "Come Unto Christ." There was a Spirit there that was so strongly felt that it brought many spiritual emotions to the surface. Here they were...thousands of young men and women, as well as older couples who were away from their homes and willing to give of their lives, their time and talents and be self supported because they believed in Jesus and His established church today!
The program was wonderful and our children sang and spoke about each of their missions in the various parts of the world that they had served, including Denmark, Chile, South Africa, Spain, Portugal, and Brazil. In each of those foreign languages they shared their testimonies to the other missionaries and spoke of their love for Jesus Christ and the people they taught. They even asked us, Mom and Dad, to share our feelings and testimony of the truthfulness of the Church of Jesus Christ in today’s world of these latter-days. We let them know of some wonderful experiences we had been blessed with in our travels and meeting many peoples, queens and leaders of nations, and families via our music and entertainment success. That the overwhelming success of our family in the music business with all of its financial and notoriety rewards were great . . . but, that the real blessings we cherished most was in sharing the truths with others of our testimonies of our Lord Jesus and in our love for each other as a family. That all of us are God’s children and are here on earth to be “tested” with free agency and the power to choose...to see what truths or not we will choose to follow. We shared how this life is one of learning to become like Jesus and that just like going to school at a university, yes, we would be tested. We stated that those who find the Light of Christ and follow His way will find true joy. We shared our affirmative knowledge that we have a living prophet today and that the Book of Mormon was a record of a people who came to this land who witnessed Jesus Christ after His crucifixion, before he ascended into heaven, and that He visited this American nation as a witness that he was the Savior of all the world as well...that there was One fold and One shepherd. It was another testament that Jesus was The Christ.
After that event, we all returned to our home and we had a traditional banana split party that our family had established over the years and then offered a prayer of thanks for this day before retiring to bed.
What would this day have been without the Lord in our life? What other feelings could even come close to those that we shared for each other? It wasn't the gifts we gave each other that we remembered most but the hugs and kisses of love for each other and the knowledge that we are God’s children, that He knows us and that Jesus lives!