During my years of recovery through the Atonement of Christ, I have awakened to the amazing truth that I can have a Christmas morning as many mornings out of the year as I chose. He’s there waiting for me every time I am willing to look to Him for counsel, for comfort, for guidance and grace to navigate yet one more day of this life. It is true, even as He Himself promised. (John 14:18; 3 Nephi 10:6)
This is the single greatest gift of any gift the Holy Ghost could prepare me to receive—this gift of the living Christ. In and through a spiritual means that I do not understand, but could never deny—even at the peril of my life—He lives for me. Each morning that I seek Him early, I find Him. Together we kneel before our Father and I seek His words—the words of Christ—to teach me through the Holy Spirit, the words I need to speak and to hear as I pray.
Is this not Christmas morning? Could there be any gift beyond or before this gift? Is this not why He came to be with us—each of us and all of us, one heart, one soul at a time—if we will just open our hearts to Him and allow Him to teach us His Life, His Light and His Way?
As I sit here this morning at my desk and listen to the Mormon Tabernacle Choir’s rendition Handel’s words, “We like sheep have gone astray. We have turned, everyone to his own way,” I cannot help but identify with every word. I have been there, lived like that—gone astray from my Lord in pursuit of some easier, softer way. I have sought some other way or means to feel good, at peace, fulfilled—or at least filled—and nothing has saved me.
No amount of food. No amount of fatness or thinness either. No amount of success at being a wife, a mother, a totally active LDS woman, could fulfill me. No amount of buying and spending and getting and wrapping and giving and holiday cheer.
All of that was good—very good—but only as far as it went.
And it didn’t go far enough.
Only Christ can do for us. Only he can give us true peace.
Most of us spend a long time learning that.
I’ve spent years learning this—twenty years of taking just one or two verses of scripture about Him or from Him, just one paragraph of a modern prophets’ testimony, and writing it out word-for-word in my journal pages. Then writing my thoughts to Him and His thoughts to me.
It is not just a theory to me or a beautiful idea or promise. It is with learned certainty that I hear His voice—and I try so falteringly to sing harmony with it.
Every morning that I seek the Lord in scripture, hear His voice in my heart and mind through the power of the Holy Ghost, and record those words in my journal becomes another Christmas morning filled with gifts from the Savior.
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