Christmas is a special time of year. There is an excitement in the air. There is a song in our hearts and we try to be our best selves. There is a fresh layer of snow covering everything, giving everything a beauty of renewal and wonder. Why, we may ask ourselves? Where does this special feeling come from? What makes this time of year so sacred to us all? The following answer is found on mormon.org: It is because one quiet night, long ago, in a tiny town a child was born. He was born to change all hearts, to fix all mistakes, and to end all goodbyes. He was born to overcome aguish, regret, depression and fear. He understands you and He can heal you. He can bridge the lonely gap between God and man if we let Him, if we love Him, and if we follow Him. That is why we celebrate, that is why we sing, and that is why He was born. He is our Savior, Jesus Christ.
What is the purpose of a Savior? Each of us experiences trial and heartache in this life. Struggles are a part of life and we all go through them. But these hard times have a purpose. We make mistakes because we are mortal and it is part of our learning. But we can grow from our experiences. However, despite our best efforts, there is a distance between us and God. This distance is created when we move away from Him. Sometimes we do this intentionally by choosing to make choices not in harmony with God’s teachings. There are other times when we do this unknowingly. This distance makes us unhappy.
We need help. We cannot do everything on our own. We need someone that can see the bigger picture when we are not able to. Someone whose motivations are pure. An ally, a friend, an advocate. Someone who knows exactly what we are experiencing. Can you really ever say that you have met someone who knows exactly how you feel? Someone who can relate perfectly with your experience? There is one person who knows what you are going through, because He went through it. We need someone who can help us repair mistakes and heal our wounds. There is One who can heal and repair, that no pain or regret need last forever. If we have distanced ourselves from things that would make our lives happy, we can find hope in knowing there is a way back. The future is not set in stone. We have a Friend who can bring us back to God and make up for wherever we fall short. That someone is a Savior; that Savior is Jesus Christ. He was born to mend broken hearts, born to strengthen our weakness. He was born to free us from burdens and reunite us with God the Father. Because Christ was born, we can be reborn. For unto us a Savior is born.
How do we take advantage of what the Savior is offering us now? Jesus Christ was born and gave His life so that every person might have the opportunity to decide his or her own future. He suffered so that we could choose not to suffer. So that we could choose right over wrong; so we could choose to change if we ever found ourselves going in the wrong direction. We make the most of His gift by choosing to follow Him. To accept His grace through repentance. By making this choice, we choose happiness! What does it mean to follow Christ today? We choose to follow Christ by listening to His words and by following His example. He has given us guides that show us how to lead our best lives, lives filled with joy and purpose.
I know that Christmas really is the most wonderful time of the year! It is in celebrating and in letting the Light of Christ in hearts and homes that we can feel the true joy of the Christmas spirit. Let us all make Christ the center of our Christmas celebrations and as we make Him the center of our lives, every day of the year can be filled with His spirit.
• Jacqueline F. Tupou is a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.