I must admit that this has been one of my more enjoyable Christmas celebrations. It turns out that, even though I never recognized it, I grew up with Christmas traditions. I accidentally stumbled across some of them, combined them with traditions that my husband wants to keep from his childhood, and found eternal family bonds in the process.
But, Christmas is over. Soon, we will all be packing up the decorations and moving on with our lives.
New Year’s Day is coming, and many of us will make resolutions. Personally, I quit making resolutions a couple of years ago. I’m a very goal oriented person, and I set new goals as soon as I achieve my current ones. (That’s if I haven’t started new ones before I finish my current goals!)
Even so, in a few weeks both Christmas and New Year’s Day will be fading memories. We have thought about Christ and celebrated his birth. We will be committing ourselves to improvement for the New Year.
What’s the point? What difference will it make?
Isn’t all of this pointless unless it brings lasting change?
That’s what the gospel is all about! That’s why Heavenly Father sent a Savior! It’s not all about sweetness and light after we die because we suffered enough and denied ourselves enough pleasure during mortality.
Having a Savior is about being better than we could be on our own. Blessings of the gospel include having a friend and companion to guide you into becoming your very best, learning to see the good in pretty much everything that comes your way, and gaining the ability to be a force for good.
Peace in this life and eternal life in the world to come are sure bets for those who are willing to live life the way God teaches!
So, as I look forward to the start of a new year, I am committing to keeping my spiritual self as fit and healthy as my physical self. I will take care to feed and exercise my spirit with the same care that I have learned to give my physical body. I will continue to study my scriptures and look for the things that Heavenly Father wants me to apply to my life. I will continue to pray and talk to God, and I will continue to work at becoming a better listener. I will keep reminders up that, in the end, everything is spiritual and affects my spiritual well-being.
If you would like to join me, I invite you to learn and study as well. Wonderful resources, freely available on the internet include
- Mormon.org: This is a wonderful site that I tend to think of as the “introductory” site for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
- Lds.org: This is a huge site, and it would be easy for me to get “lost” here for days! Almost everything you want to know about the church and its doctrines is here! I recommend trying some of these areas:
- Scriptures: Every writing we hold sacred is available here.
- General Conference: You can read, listen to, or watch the most recent set of meetings (Oct 2015) or choose from meetings that go all the way back to 1971.
- Gospel Topics: This is the best place to start if you have questions about a specific subject or issue.
- Church Magazines: These are the inspirational publications published monthly by the church. Online archives go back to about 1971, as well.
- Youth: Even though I’m technically full-grown, I love this section. Definitely a go-to for solid, easy to understand answers and teachings.
- Broadcasts: Our church leaders speak more than twice a year, and a lot of what they say is archived here.
- BYU Speeches: More talks by church leaders. Some of these go back as far as the 1950’s.
- Encyclopedia of Mormonism: While not an official church publication, it is a solid resource for studying the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints topic-by-topic.