Friday, December 24, 2021

Our Testimony to You

For Christmas this year, our team at Latter-Day Saint Geeks wanted to give you something special. As disciples of Jesus Christ, we thought it appropriate to share our testimonies as our gift to you. Merry Christmas from all of us!

Christmas has always been a special time for me. Some of my earliest memories of Christmas include traveling with my family to sing at the Washington DC Temple Visitor center. Even though I hated singing as a child (definitely not the case these days) there was something special about those experiences. I loved the lights everywhere as well as the international display of nativities. Each nativity represented a different set of people, with different clothes and features… but you know what? They all celebrated the same thing: the birth of Jesus Christ.

I know there are many secular aspects to Christmas, but I will always be grateful for the Light of the World being born that night in Bethlehem long ago. Because of Him, I am able to overcome the challenges I find myself drowning in. Because of Him I can become free from the chains with which I am all too often bound. Because of Him I have hope that someday I will be reunited with my loved ones that have passed on. I know He loves us, each of us, whether or not we believe in Him. “That Christmas night so long ago has filled my life with light because I know that He lives now as He did then, a King in Bethlehem, whose love never ends. Shine for me again, Star of Bethlehem.” 


I love the gift giving part of Christmas. There's something special and connecting about seeing someone's reaction when they open a thoughtful gift. Or when I open a gift and realize someone knows me and sees me more than I realized. Sometimes these gifts come and I don't understand why it's being given. Like when the Pevensie children in The Chronicles of Narnia were given weapons from Father Christmas, they didn't know they were going to be heading into battle. But Father Christmas knew them better. Just like Heavenly Father knows us better than we know ourselves. Sometimes I struggle to understand why God has given me the life circumstances I have, but I believe He is guiding us. I believe He wants the best for us, even if we don't understand what that is. If He can place the star of Bethlehem so that its light reached Earth perfectly on the night of the Savior's birth, He can work miracles for me. 


I know that the Savior of our world can touch and change hearts in ways nothing else can. I know that because that’s happened to me, and I’ve felt that change continue in me since that point. He makes me want to be better, and I want to share those feelings with others as a result. I love exploring new ideas and know that as we “seek.. out of the best books words of wisdom,” we’ll find important ideas and concepts that can continue to make the world a better place. I know that Jesus Christ lives and that gives me every reason that I have to be happy, and for that I am forever grateful.


When a Jedi learns about the Force, it starts off as a very simple belief in something that can't be seen. Over time, with training, and with many experiences, a Jedi's understanding of the Force becomes much more nuanced and intricate, scarred by battle, buoyed by positive experiences. Likewise, my own testimony has changed dramatically over the years. I've gone through a number of faith transitions as my experiences (both traumatic and healing) have shaped my life. I no longer make blanket "I believe" statements if I don't know something. Instead, I testify to the things that I really do know.

My testimony is not nearly as wide as it was when I was younger, but it is much much deeper than ever before. What I know, I absolutely know. So here's what I know: Heavenly Father loves me, in a way that I cannot comprehend. He wants me to be happy, regardless of the choices I make. He would do anything for me. He sent Jesus to save me. The Atonement is so much bigger than I am able to understand, yet I know that I can (and should) take advantage of the healing power of the atonement however I can. God's love is the greatest Force in the universe.


The Lord loves all of his children. He wants all of us to find happiness and an understanding of his true nature. To help us find our way, if we choose to, he scatters truths throughout the world. He reveals truths to those who seek it - no matter what walks of life they come from. Seeking "words of wisdom" from the "best books" serves to help us all more fully understand our own nature and the true nature of the world around us. And if we are patient and seek long enough, it leads us back to Him.


Christmas lights, songs and the coming of snow doesn't make me excited for Christmas, they actually make me wince internally. What does spark excitement for Christmas is when I look into the faces of children, and I get to picture their excitement when they see Christmas through the unjaded lenses of childhood. Children are at this time of year exemplars of our Savior. They give openly, they receive openly, they see everyone and everything not for what they are but for the possibilities they could be. They don't see the mistakes we've made over the years, the times we were short or tired, they see the heroes we love when we introduced them to a new fandom or reveled in one they found on their own. They see in us the best we could be just as Christ sees us.

We are told to "Be as little children" and then to "Suffer the little children to come unto me", to be humble and believing and willing to see all the wonders this world could have and to follow Him as we would a parent. This holiday season remember that despite everything else the true miracle was around a miraculous child and all he would do for the world, and that we celebrate that above everything else.


Closing off with the words of modern-day prophets...

“And now, after the many testimonies which have been given of him, this is the testimony, last of all, which we give of him: That he lives! For we saw him, even on the right hand of God; and we heard the voice bearing record that he is the Only Begotten of the Father—That by him, and through him, and of him, the worlds are and were created, and the inhabitants thereof are begotten sons and daughters unto God.”

(D&C 76:22–24).

"We bear testimony, as His duly ordained Apostles—that Jesus is the Living Christ, the immortal Son of God. He is the great King Immanuel, who stands today on the right hand of His Father. He is the light, the life, and the hope of the world. His way is the path that leads to happiness in this life and eternal life in the world to come. God be thanked for the matchless gift of His divine Son."

(The Living Christ)

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