(Today is the final day to be entered into our tour drawings. The 12th Daily Prize winner will be posted tomorrow morning, to be entered comment and share about the story on our blog. The Grand Prize Winner of a FREE TOUR will be posted tomorrow evening. For one last, extra entry, make a separate post on FB about a special memory you experienced on one of our tours!)
Home for Christmas
There was a song I heard first when I was a little boy—a song about Christmas and home. Those were days of war when many people were away from their homes and family—a dark time for those who feared that they might not be reunited with loved ones in this life. I remember my feelings for home and family when I walked by one house on the way to school at Christmastime and saw a little flag with a gold star on it hung in the window. It was the home of a girl I knew in school. Her brother, not much older than I, had been killed in the war. I knew his parents and felt some of what they did. On the way home after school, I would feel grateful anticipation for the glad welcome I knew awaited me.
When I turned on the radio in our living room during the Christmas season, I would hear words and music that still echo in my mind. A few lines of that song touched my heart with a yearning to be with family. I was living with my parents and my brothers in a happy home, so I knew somehow that the yearning I felt was for more than to be in a house or in the family life I then enjoyed. It was about some future place and life, even better than I knew or had yet imagined.
The line of the song that I remember best is “I’ll be home for Christmas / If only in my dreams.” The house in which I decorated Christmas trees with my mother and father in those happy days of my childhood still stands, largely unchanged. A few years ago I went back and knocked on the door. Strangers answered. They allowed me to step into the rooms where the radio had been and where our family had gathered around the Christmas tree.
I realized then that the desire of my heart was not about being in a house. It was about being with my family, and it was a desire to feel enveloped in the love and the Light of Christ, even more than our little family had felt in the home of my childhood.
We can with confidence set a goal to make this Christmas brighter than the last and each year that follows brighter still. The trials of mortality may increase in intensity, yet for us, darkness need not increase if we focus our eyes more singly on the light that streams down on us as we follow the Master. He will lead us and help us along the path that leads upward to the home for which we yearn.
I testify that because of Him, you may have an assurance that you can go home not only at Christmastime but also to live forever with a family whom you love and who love each other.
Henry B. Eyring, Home for Christmas, December 2009 Liahona