I can't believe it's Christmas eve already. Honestly, it hasn't felt like Christmas at all. We have been so crazy busy with moving that celebrations have been minimal. Next year we will make up for it, that's what I keep telling myself.
One thing that has been on my mind a lot is the Christmas story. The most widely told version is the one found in Luke. I love that one. There is another account, which has always been a favorite, but has had special meaning to me this year. It is found in the Book of Mormon.
In this account, there has been a day set apart by the unbelievers where, if the sign of Christ's coming (as foretold by Samuel the Lamanite) has not been given, all the believers will be put to death.
I imagine there must have been a great deal of anxiety amongst those who had believed the words of Samuel. I can imagine, to a point, being a mother in those times. I can imagine the fear I would feel for my children and my family. What if the sign did not come? What if my faith was blind? How hard would it have been, in those circumstances, to truly believe that the Savior would come?
Likewise, this Christmas season has been filled with great anxiety in my own life, as well as in the world at large. Calamity, shootings, innocent lives taken, disasters, fear, panic, confusion.
On a smaller scale, fear for my own family's well being. Will they do well at their new school? Will I be able to have this baby safely? Will we be safe and happy in our new neighborhood?
Like in the times of Samuel, we can easily look around and wonder, "is my faith founded? Is God there? I believe, but where is the sign that we have been promised?"
And then comes the glorious account of Nephi, as he prayed to his Father in Heaven, likely feeling great anxiety for his people and his loved ones.:
"Lift up your head and be of good cheer; for behold, the time is at hand, and on this night shall the sign be given, and on the morrow come I into the world, to show unto the world that I will fulfil all that which I have caused to be spoken by the mouth of my holy prophets."
I can only imagine the overwhelming joy and peace that Nephi felt, followed by the rejoicing of the people as the sign of their Savior's birth came.
While we may feel much of that anxiety and fear and sorrow throughout the year, I hope that this Christmas we can focus on the joy and the hope brought by our Savior, Jesus Christ. Through Him, a world redeemed. Through Him, all things made right. Through Him, hope and peace and joy and love.
Merry Christmas everyone!