What Christmas Means to a Mormon
The Most Wonderful Time...
Christmas has always been a favorite season for me and my family. It is a season of giving, of love and faith. It is a time that I cherish with wonderful memories. But occasionally I get the question from people I know about what Christmas means to me as a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, or more commonly call Mormons.
And so I share this article with you. This is not meant as a preachy article. I am not trying to convert you or tell you about my church. Rather I want to foster understanding in the writing of this. If you want to know more about my faith feel free to check out Mormon.org or LDS.org, but as I mentioned I will focus mainly on what Christmas means to me as a member of the before mentioned faith.
What is Christmas about?
As the name Christmas indicated, it is about the birth of Jesus Christ. The literal meaning of Christmas is Christ's Mass. This name originates from the Catholic tradition but remains applicable to all denominations of the Christian faith. As a Mormon, I count myself as a Christian. Some would disagree, and they are welcome too.
Christmas is about Christ and more specifically about his birth. The problem is that I get frustrated by the commercialization of Christmas. The business in me understands while Christmas is so lucrative, but my spiritual side gets frustrated to see physical objects take precedence over the central message of the holiday. But the problem is that there is so much more to Christmas than just the birth of Christ. Bear with me if you will.
The Next Level
You see, the reason gifts are exchanged for the holiday. The reason evergreens are used as a central symbol (aside from the adaptation of pagan holidays into the Christian one) is because they focus on the ultimate gift that Jesus of Nazareth gave us. But the thing is that this gift was not given at his birth. It is just that his birth made this gift possible. The ultimate gift that was given was salvation. And it wasn't until the events surrounding the celebration of the holiday we call Easter that this took place.
The next level of understanding behind why Christmas is celebrated is not just this though. You see the ultimate gift Christ gave us was forgiveness. Forgiveness for wrongs we have done. Unconditional love. The offer of salvation to any who want to take it. We need only take it. And when we give gifts for each other we parrot this ultimate gift.
Give the Ultimate Gift
So this Christmas and all the ones that follow, please consider giving the ultimate gift. Forgive all men. Love each other. Serve each other. Look beyond petty differences. Look to bring the peace on Earth that Christ offers and asks of each of us. To change to world, first change yourself. And so this Holiday I wish you a Merry Christmas. God bless you. May the Prince of Peace touch your life and make your world brighter through that love and grace he gives to all of us unconditionally!