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By Elder Jeffrey R. Holland Christmas -The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

I was a student at BYU just finishing my first year of graduate work when our first child, a son, was born. We were very poor, though not so poor as Joseph and Mary. Nevertheless, when I realized that our own night of nights was coming, I believe I would have done any honorable thing in this world, and mortgaged any future I had, to make sure my wife had the clean sheets, the sterile utensils, the attentive nurses, and the skilled doctors who brought forth our firstborn son.

I compare those feelings (which I have had with each succeeding child) with what Joseph must have felt as he moved through the streets of a city not his own, with not a friend or kinsman in sight, nor anyone willing to extend a helping hand. In these very last and most painful hours of her “confinement,” Mary had ridden or walked approximately 100 miles from Nazareth in Galilee to Bethlehem in Judea. Surely Joseph must have wept at her silent courage.

I wonder what emotions Joseph might have had as he cleared away the dung and debris. I wonder if he felt the sting of tears as he hurriedly tried to find the cleanest straw and hold the animals back. I wonder if he wondered: “Could there be a more unhealthy, a more disease-ridden, a more despicable circumstance in which a child could be born? Should the mother of the Son of God be asked to enter the valley of the shadow of death in such a foul and unfamiliar place as this? Is it right He should be born here?” But I am certain Joseph did not mutter and Mary did not wail. They knew a great deal and did the best theycould.

I’ve thought of Mary, too, this most favored mortal woman in the history of the world, who as a mere child received an angel who uttered to her those words that would change the course not only of her own life but also that of all human history: “Hail, thou virgin, who art highly favoured of the Lord. The Lord is with thee; for thou art chosen and blessed among women.”

It is here I stumble, here that I grasp for the feelings a mother has when she knows she has conceived a living soul, feels life quicken and grow within her womb, and carries a child to delivery. At such times fathers stand aside and watch, but mothers feel and never forget.

With only Joseph’s inexperienced assistance, she herself brought forth her firstborn son, wrapped him in the little clothes she had knowingly brought on her journey, and perhaps laid him on a pillow of hay. Shepherds would soon arrive and later, wise men from the East. Later yet the memory of that night would bring Santa Claus and Frosty and Rudolph—and all would be welcome. But first and forever there was just a little family, without toys or trees or tinsel. With a baby—that’s how Christmas began.

Christmas is Love.

You can't go wrong "playing in the Savior's court".

Jesus said love everyone, treat them kindly too.

A new commandment I give unto that as you have loved me, love one another.

Christ would never ask us to love one another if it wasn't possible to do so.

Why wouldn't we want to love everyone if love is the best available emotion to feel.

So who benefits when they love? Even those who don't deserve to be loved.

Merriest of Christmases to you all. Thanks to all of you who have supported me and trusted in me to be your coach.

If you do not already have a coach, I would be honored to be yours. My 1:1 coaching program is called Loving on Purpose. That's what we do when we work together. I give you tools to default to when you're not feeling the love; I help you gain the confidence to choose love even in unpleasant circumstances; I'd love to show you how to love those who have physically removed you from their lives. And I do it with love.

Click the tab below to set up a free, 1:1, 60 minute consult. Love is always an option; love is always available. Let's get started.

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