News Story

First Presidency Gives 2009 Christmas Message

The First Presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints delivered its traditional Christmas message to thousands at the Conference Center in Salt Lake City and large audiences across the globe watching on the Internet or on television satellite or cable TV.

Speaking at the annual December devotional, President Thomas S. Monson reminisced about Christmases past and urged those in attendance to remember the spirit of the season.

“Finding the real joy of the season comes not in the hurrying and the scurrying to get more done or in the purchasing of obligatory gifts,” said President Monson. “Real joy comes as we show the love and compassion inspired by the Savior of the world, who said, ‘Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these, ye have done it unto me.’”

Presidents Henry B. Eyring and Dieter F. Uchtdorf, counselors in the First Presidency, also addressed the worldwide gathering.

“It is wonderful to remember Him always but especially as we celebrate His birth. He came to bless children. He healed the sick,” said President Eyring in retelling the original Christmas story. “We can choose Christmas and every day to create a small part of the Christmas story in our own lives.”

President Uchtdorf talked of looking for Christ in Christmas.

“Some are so caught up in the details of running their lives that they don’t make time for much else. They might pay lip service to the things of the Spirit, but their hearts are so focused on the world that they cannot see the Christ.”

President Monson closed reciting lyrics from “O Little Town of Bethlehem” and offering this encouragement: “At this joyous season, may personal discords be forgotten and animosities healed. May enjoyment of the season include remembrance of the needy and afflicted. May our forgiveness reach out to those who have wronged us, even as we hope to be forgiven. May goodness abound in our hearts and love prevail in our homes.”

The 60-minute event included musical selections by the Mormon Tabernacle Choir and the Orchestra at Temple Square.

To view the 2009 First Presidency Christmas devotional, click here.

Style Guide Note:When reporting about The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, please use the complete name of the Church in the first reference. For more information on the use of the name of the Church, go to our online Style Guide.