Over twenty-one centuries ago a baby was born in a remote corner of the world. Conditions were unsanitary at best. The babe was homeless and born into poverty. And yet, we commemorate that birth every year with a special holiday called Christmas. Have you ever wondered, in this modern world of complex issues and tragedy, if this celebration is even relevant anymore?
A few months ago one of my cousins was arrested for a serious offence. It came as a complete shock. He and his cute young wife were newly married less than two years ago in one of our beautiful temples – it was a thoroughly happily-ever-after wedding day. He had a great job. Both were actively attending church, and giving service . His Facebook updates were always positive and fun. His wife was expecting their first child. Everything seemed – on the surface – to be going perfectly for him. But, because of a secret addiction and a series of terrible choices, everything came tumbling down.
The repercussions have been tragic for all involved. His family has been shattered. He’s missed the birth of his child. He’s missed each day being able to hug and kiss his baby and watch him learn and grow. He’s missed the pure joy of being with his soul mate and loved ones, able to freely choose how to live each day. He has – along with the people who love him – a very long, hard, painful road ahead.
We often think that as a “good religious family” this kind of situation won’t ever happen to us. But, when it does, you realize no one is immune. The world is filled with temptations and evils of every kind. Very bad stuff happens to very good people. This experience has been devastating for his sweet wife, heartbreaking for his parents and siblings. It’s been hard to even know how to process it. How are we supposed to react? How do we move forward from here? I think there’s been a lot of denial – plenty of tears – and anger – and feelings of despair and hopelessness. Considering the circumstances, it’s easy to think he’s “lost forever” now. But, watching this video was a powerful reminder that there is just as much hope and healing available for my cousin as there is for all of us.
The love of Jesus Christ and His Atonement is REAL and it has no boundaries. It is not blocked by a prison door. In fact, it is the way out.
This is what Christmas means, and why it is still relevant. This is our reason to celebrate!
For unto us a child is born… The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace…He was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.– Isaiah 9:6, 53:5
The promise of Christmas is that no matter what happens, every life is worth living, all souls can heal, any circumstance can get better. Don’t give up. Don’t give in to despair. You have someone who loves you – lived and died for you – so that everything can work out.
This is Christmas. – MoSop