The mortal birth of Jesus Christ was scarcely noticed among mortals, but was of such significance that ministering angels announced the glorious event and “a multitude of the heavenly host” praised God and declared glory, peace, and good will (see Matthew 1:18-21; Luke 1:26-38; 2:8-15). The Book of Mormon adds more.
Review the following scriptures and note two things:
- What did the Book of Mormon prophesy in relation to the birth of Jesus?
- What events did the Book of Mormon record in relation to His birth?
1 Nephi 11:13-23 —
Mosiah 3:8 —
Alma 7:7, 10 —
Helaman 14:1-8, 12 —
3 Nephi 1:4, 10-15, 19-21 —
In summary, what does the Book of Mormon add to the Biblical record? What is most striking for you, and why?
There are countless gifts and blessings that flow from the Son of God; from His premortal life, mortal birth and life, ministry, death, atonement, and post-mortal work and kingdom. “The Book of Mormon, Another Testament of Jesus Christ” is our greatest scriptural contributor. Use the following references to compile a partial list of His gifts to us:
1 Nephi 11:31-33 —
2 Nephi 2:6 —
2 Nephi 25:23 —
Mosiah 3:5-10 —
Alma 7:11-13 —
Alma 11:40 —
Helaman 14:8, 16-17 —
Clearly, the Book of Mormon itself is one of the many tremendous gifts that have come to us through the Lord’s grace and mercy. The prime purpose of the Book of Mormon is clearly stated in the Title Page and throughout the book, with one early example being Nephi’s statement: “For the fulness of mine intent is that I may persuade men to come unto the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, and be saved” (1 Nephi 6:4; see also 1 Nephi 19:18; 2 Nephi 25:23, 26; 33:4, 10).
In His Remembrance
1 Nephi 19:18; Helaman 5:9
A theme that runs throughout the Book of Mormon is the counsel for each of us to “remember.” Nephi summarized his purpose for writing by saying, “I, Nephi, have written these things unto my people, that perhaps I might persuade them that they would remember the Lord their Redeemer” (1 Nephi 19:18). Each time we take the sacrament, we covenant twice always to remember Jesus and the sacrifice of His body and blood. What do you think people can do that will help them strive daily to remember the Savior? Are you doing those things? How can the Christmas season make it easier to remember Jesus always?
Also, Helaman counseled his sons Nephi and Lehi to remember (spoken four times in this verse), declaring that “there is no other way nor means whereby man can be saved, only through the atoning blood of Jesus Christ” (Helaman 5:9). At Easter-time we remember the suffering, death, and resurrection of our Redeemer, but without the events of Christmas, there would be no Easter, and without the events of Easter, there would be no salvation.
What Can We Give to Him?
Surely, we can show our love and gratitude to our Savior by believing, trusting, obeying, and serving Him, and by serving others. Even our best efforts are feeble, but here is a small sample of scriptures that teach us what we can try to do:
- “What shall we do, that we might work the works of God? Jesus answered and said unto them, This is the work of God, that ye believe on him whom he hath sent” (John 6:28-29).
- “If ye believe on his name, ye will repent of all your sins” (Helaman 14:13).
- “If ye love me, keep my commandments” (John 14:15).
- “Master, which is the great commandment in the law? Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. [And] thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself” (Matthew 22:36-37, 39).
- “I was an hungered, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in: Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me. … Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me” (Matthew 25:35-36, 40).
- “When ye are in the service of your fellow beings, ye are only in the service of your God” (Mosiah 2:17).
Of course, as we try to “give” to Jesus, the blessings that follow (immediately or eventually) overwhelm any effort or offering we may put forth, as indicated in these verses:
- “Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall have rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light” (Matthew 11:28-30).
- “And Jesus said unto them, I am the bread of life; he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst…. I am the living bread which came down from heaven: if any man eat of this bread, he shall live for ever: and the bread that I will give is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world” (John 6:35, 51).
- “If ye should serve him with all your whole souls … ye are still indebted unto him, and are, and will be, forever and ever” (Mosiah 2:21, 24).
This is the God we worship, whose birth we celebrate at Christmas.