Monday, December 31, 2012

Last week Elder Brighton requested that I post a song that he and his companion sang and recorded, "What Child is This?". After attempting to figure out how, I couldn't get it posted. He asked that I put with it a Christmas scripture.Here is my choice:
 For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.

Anyone interested in the song, please email me and I will be happy to forward it to you.

Dearest Family and Friends,

At this special time of the year I want to take a few minutes to share some thoughts and experiences. The first one is the power of love. And in this case we are going to talk about charity, the pure love of Christ. The kind of love that makes a difference in this world.

This is a brief story of the power of love and patience. We have been blessed to work with a young man named Samuel. In our time with him his mother made it clear from the beginning that she was not interested in listening to anything we had to say. To make a long story short, she often looked for the occasion to critique us or the message we had to bring. Over time we witnessed something amazing. We never engaged in arguments, always expressing our love and respect towards her, her son, and her other children. We have offered to help around the house, listen to what she had to say, and calmly explain why it is we are here. One day in particular she got particularly wound up and really ¨let us have it¨. We shared our testimonies and departed.
When we came back the next day, Christmas Eve, we were very unsure of how everything would go. When she answered the door, we did not know what to expect. To our surprise, she invited us in, offered us dinner, and in the course of the next 30 minutes opened up to us and told us more about her life, hardships, and family showing us pictures going back several generations. What had happened I wanted to ask? Why the sudden change? But the answer was obvious. You can only fight against love and pure intentions for so long. When she finally realized that we were there only to share something that means so much to us and invite all to learn for themselves, bitterness and confusion could not remain.
I wish I could do this experience more justice. But let me share that it is something I will never forget. When one counters opposition with patience and love I personally know that all can be resolved. Was it easy? Certainly not. Will it be easy for any of us to counter bitterness with love? Again, no. But is it possible? Most certainly. Trusting and looking to the example of our older Brother Jesus Christ who literally forgave those who smote and killed Him. Who was spit upon, beaten, and hung on a cross. One who had all power then and the One who will sit before us as Judge when we leave this world. And even in that moment, bleeding and dying in his mortal condition, cried out ¨Forgive them, for they know not what they do.¨
Could this tale of a Savior be true? Was there really such a man as Jesus the Christ? Did the birthday of this tiny Prince that we celebrate in this time really happen? I testify that I know Jesus Christ lives. I know that He came to this earth, lived, died, and resurrected. And I know that because of Him I too will live again.
I want to wish a (belated) Merry Christmas to all. And a Happy New Years as well.
I love you all and wish you the very best.

Elder Brighton

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