- The mortal birth and life and death of the Son of God was essential to our Heavenly Father’s plan “to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man.” Before the earth was created, Jesus Christ was chosen to experience mortal life and be the Savior necessary to carry out that plan.
God asks that we take upon ourselves the name of Christ in order to make the plan effective in our lives. All must be baptized to receive eternal life with our Father in Heaven.
- God the Father commanded us to repent and be baptized “in the name of mine Only Begotten Son, who is full of grace and truth, which is Jesus Christ, the only name which shall be given under heaven, whereby salvation shall come unto the children of men.”
After sharing many examples of prophecies of Christ's birth, including prophecies by Lehi, Nephi, Abinadi, Isaiah, and Moses, he speaks about the announcement of Christ's birth to the shepherds. He notes that the shepherds were the most humble in the social order of that time. He talks about the declarations of Simeon and Anna, both in the temple, that the Savior had been born and that He would bring about great things.
He concludes discussing that we in our time know of the Saviors birth and today, we are making plans for His second coming.
- The prophecies and announcements just quoted tell of the first coming of the Savior. We are now preparing for the Second Coming of the Lord, a time eagerly awaited by believers and dreaded or denied by unbelievers. We are commanded to “stand … in holy places, and be not moved, until the day of the Lord come; for behold, it cometh quickly.” Those “holy places” surely include the temple and its covenants faithfully kept, a home where children are treasured and taught, and our various posts of duty assigned by priesthood authority, including missions, temples, and other callings faithfully fulfilled in branches, wards, and stakes.
- As we prepare for His Second Coming, and as we stand in holy places, we persist in observing Christmas not just as a season of “Greetings” or “Happy Holidays” but as a celebration of the birth of the Son of God and a time to remember His teachings and the eternal significance of His Atonement. I pray that we will be faithful in doing so.
Elder Oaks gives a great history of the amazing prophecies that were given about the coming of the Savior. The plan of our Heavenly Father is real and the prophets and apostles have told us through the ages that the Savior is the key part of that plan. I am grateful this holiday season for the belief and understanding that I have of the divine calling of our Savior. I am grateful to know that the mission of the Savior didn't start in a manger but in the pre-mortal world where we chose to follow Him. I am also grateful to know that His mission didn't end on the cross in defeat. I know that He lives today and that we are part of His church. We have a special understanding that the world needs to know more of the knowledge we have. Share your love for the Savior today with someone you know and help them feel the Christmas spirit a little more in their life.