Comments about ‘President Thomas S. Monson says put Christ at center of Christmas’

Return to article »

Published: Sunday, Dec. 4 2011 8:57 p.m. MST

Comments
  • Oldest first
  • Newest first
  • Most recommended
bluecoug89
Highland, UT

So many people have forgotten what Christmas is truly all about. It's about the greatest gift this world has ever received, the gift of the Son of God. It's about loving one another. It's about strengthening our love for God and Jesus Christ. It's about family. It's about Christ! Merry CHRISTmas.

RanchHand
Huntsville, UT

@bluecoug89;

Christians should recall that Holidays comes from Holy Days and that theirs are not the only observances at this time of year, including the pagan celebrations they usurped to aid in converting people to Christianity. Have a Cool Yule and Merry Mithras.

Aggielove
Junction city, Oregon

Sponsor a family this year.

Kami
Bountiful, Utah

I wish the church would tell the Bishops to remove Santa Claus from the ward holiday parties. My ward every year has thoughts similar to President Monson's, yet they continue to mix religion and Santa Claus in the ward holiday party. That is VERY confusing for young children and I think sends a message to them about how important Santa Claus is when we celebrate Christmas.

sharrona
layton, UT

President Uchtdorf said "Christmas is really about Christ."

Jesus is the reason for the season. A precious and chosen vessel, who shall be overshadowed and conceive by the power of the Holy Ghost and bring forth a son yea, even the Son of God. ( Alma 7:10).

The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God.(Luke 1:35 KJV)

The pale of Christianity believes the birth of Jesus was a unique miracle by the Holy Spirit/Ghost same Greek word.

They tell us the BoM states that Jesus was begotten of the Holy Ghost. I challenge that statement. The BoM teaches No Such Thing! Neither does the Bible.(Joseph Fielding Smith, Doctrines of Salvation v. 1:19)

DeltaFoxtrot
West Valley, UT

@bluecoug89: I hate to tell you, but it was the Church that put "Christ" in Christmas in the first place.

What the church calls Christmas was traditionally the pagan holiday of Yule, celebrating the winter solstice. This is where we get the Christmas tree, the Yule log, caroling and the holiday ham from.

When the early church was converting pagan peoples it was easy to simply overwrite their special observances with a Christian holiday by fudging in a few details. Makes the conversion process a lot less stressful if you don't have to give up your parties. They did the same thing with Easter.

Christ was not born on Dec. 25th.

Feel free to celebrate as your particular religion encourages you to... but let's not overlook the REAL reason for the season.

washcomom
Beaverton, OR

The devotional put me in the right frame of mind to start celebrating the Christmas season. It was truly beautiful and very simple - much like the gifts should be. It was a wonderful gift to us!

ADN
Weiser, ID

Thank you President Monson, Eyring and Uchtdorf for inspirational messages that are simple and prophetic. We love you and appreciate all you do for us!!!

A voice of Reason
Salt Lake City, UT

Santa vs Christ

Does the idea and tradition of Santa Claus need to be removed in order to "put Christ at the center of Christmas"?

While the very name of this holiday already places Christ at the center, we must conclude that how "Christ-centered" this time is rests entirely on our self-examination and willful commitment to celebrating Christ.

While I initially thought Santa Claus was a bad idea to teach to children, it is because of this principle of self-examination that I have learned otherwise.

It is not necessary to remove any story-telling, traditions, or pleasantries of this tradition/celebration that encourage acts of kindness while reproving selfishness, and so on- in order to place Christ at the center of our cause for celebration. Teaching children that Santa can be an embodiment of charity and kindness or embody a desire to think only of ourselves. That we choose where we place our value; that the right choice is placing our values, energy, and time in striving to come unto Christ and follow his ways.

Kids can have presents and see Santa, but our first and paramount responsibility is teaching them about Christ, that He lives.

Jeff
Temple City, CA

@ DeltaFoxtrot and RanchHand: I expect that both of you know that Latter-day Saints are not taught that Christ was born on December 25; most of us understand that Christmas is a more or less arbitrary time set up to replace pagan traditions. Early Latter-day Saints were unsure whether or not it was appropriate to celebrate Christmas, since in the Puritan traditions that many of them came from it was not celebrated.

We celebrate it for many reasons, however. One is that "all things testify of Christ," which is reason enough to see messianic symbolism in even the pagan traditions of the tree, holly, and mistletoe.

Another reason is that the fact that Christ was born is more important than the actual day the event occurred. We are perfectly happy to accept the tradition of a December Christmas because we are perfectly happy to celebrate the Savior's advent. Besides, December is otherwise so bleak, it is a wonderful opportunity to show what belief in Christ can do for a cold, dark, period.

Easter is different; we know the day on the lunar calendar, and regardless of local traditions, it is about the resurrection of Christ.

John Pack Lambert of Michigan
Ypsilanti, MI

I enjoyed the messages of all three members of the first presidency. They emphasized we should use this season as a time to reach out and help and bless others. We need to think more of others than of ourselves.

I thought the video was very good. The whole thing had a spirit of love and respect for Christ.

RanchHand
Huntsville, UT

@Jeff;

You can't even prove that the person you call Christ was actually born, much less that "all things testify" of him.

The Christ myth was stolen from other, earlier mythologies. The virgin birth, the sagacity of the child, the crucifixion and resurrection. All plagarized from other cultures by the early Christians.

There may or may not have been a carpenter. Even if there were, the story is most likely sensationalized to create a more godlike creation and garner converts.

Ted H.
Midvale, UT

RanchHand,

Merry Christmas. And may God bless you, and everyone!

I'll pray for you!

xscribe
Colorado Springs, CO

@Ted H.: What, exactly, will you be praying for for Ranchhand. That they will become a believer? That they have a Merry Christmas? That God blesses them? How will you know or Ranchhand know if that prayer is answered?

John Pack Lambert of Michigan
Ypsilanti, MI

Actually a recent BYU Studies article made a convincing argument that 1- Christ was probably born in the winter and quite likely in December and 2- there is no LDS scripture that would suggest otherwise, the readings of Doctrine and Covenants 20 to suggest Christ was born in April being a too literalistic reading not supported by factors of linguistic use and the nature of the text itself.

A voice of Reason
Salt Lake City, UT

RanchHand,

First, it is just as much "arguing from silence" to say God or Christ are not real as it is to say that he is.

There are problems in what you presume in your claims.

1) The unobserved is not able to be disproved by the observed, etc. The primitive Roman argued that no black swans existed. That argument is logistically no different. FYI, black swans were discovered a millennia later in Australia.

--Note: I'm not saying that human science is futile, but human reason and current scientific methods are not flawless.

2) Unlike other religious arguments. We are not claiming God is real exclusively based on self-evident principles. Claiming to have seen God is making a different claim altogether. Personal experience and witness is as arguable as evidence as my thinking you are a living person.

RanchHand, All you've ever seen of God is His name in a book called the Bible.

All I've ever seen of you is a name on a website.

By the same standard you adhere to, I have just disproved your own existence.

Scientific reason does not permit us to define our existence, it allows us to explore it.

HarryL
Sacramento, CA

I think this article was very well written. I feel from reading it that a substantial portion of the Devotional was conveyed to me as a reader. In the past I have felt the reporting to be a bit cursory, but this time I felt the underlying message of the meeting to come through.

Thank you.

DeltaFoxtrot
West Valley, UT

@Ranchhand: There is historical (non-religious) fact supporting that Christ was a man who did actually live and die. He was a real person, that was not made up. The part about virgin birth and being divine in nature, well, believe what you will.

We do know that he was NOT a carpenter. Look at structures in the Middle East dating to that time period. Do you see any evidence of buildings made from wood? Simply, no. There aren't enough trees in the Middle East to support wooden architecture. Look at the pyramids and great temples of Egypt, they are made of stone.

Christ the carpenter is a myth stemming from mistranslation. The carpenter myth was created at the time of the first major translation of the Bible into English, during a period when most buildings in Europe were made of wood. If you look back into the ancient texts written in Arabic, Greek, etc. the word for the occupation actually translates into "builder" not "carpenter". As buildings in the time and place of Christ's life were mostly stone/brick/stucco Joseph, and therefore Christ, were MASONS. Why do you think we have the "stone the builders rejected" parable?

Southern California
Redondo Beach, CA

The devotional was wonderful! I would have loved more music though. The choir and orchestra were AWESOME! Do more next year.

ulvegaard
Medical Lake, Washington

There have been many wonderful comments here. Its sad to see arguments ensuing over the subject. Is it that important if a "pagan" holiday preceded Christmas. Many great events took place in January over the centuries and on the day that I was born, does that mean I cannot celebrate my birthday or an anniversary because that same day on the calendar has already been claimed for another commemoration? President Hinckley explained that we appropriately celebrate the return of the 'light' to the earth just as the ancients did, near the end of December.

In our family, we choose to honor December as Christmas, knowing full well the timing has significance for others. And we love Santa Claus and try to emulate what we believe to be his style of selfless giving - and not as a replacement for Christ, but as yet another of his disciples. And so we love to sing "Silent Night", "Jingle Bells" and "Here Comes Santa Claus", all with the same fervor. And so, Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, Glædelig Jul, or what ever makes you happy.

to comment

DeseretNews.com encourages a civil dialogue among its readers. We welcome your thoughtful comments.
About comments