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President Spencer W. Kimball, before he ever became an apostle, related a Christmas story to Primary children about World War I. He said: “One Christmas during the World War, when no-man’s land between the trenches was white with snow, the troops in a certain ‘quiet sector’ began to exchange holiday greetings by means of crudely painted signs. A few minutes later, men who spoke German and men who spoke English were climbing from their trenches without guns and meeting on neutral ground to shake hands and exchange souvenirs, unmindful of war . . . Friends they were, not enemies, this Christmas day.”
Then, after becoming an apostle, he returned to the theme, writing in a Christmas pamphlet that Christmas “transcends the individual, the family, the community, the nation; it approaches the universal, crosses borders, and touches many nations of the earth. Our caroling voices sing the sweet songs of Christmas reminiscent somewhat of the host of heavenly angelic voices in the long ago, praising God and saying: ‘Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.’ “. (Teachings, p. 246.)
Christmas, indeed, is the one time of the year when peace seems to be taken seriously. Despite the commercialism of the season, it truly transcends not only national borders, but also the borders of time, feelings and minds. Look at the ritual and customs that surround Christmas. From Druid gatherers of mistletoe to St. Nicholas who lived in Russia, Christmas has accumulated legends and rituals from throughout the world. There’s only one reason for such an amazing display of human goodness: the reason why Christmas is commemorated at all. If it did not have Christ at its center, it would long ago have vanished along with other ancient holidays.
The Teachings of Spencer W. Kimball, p. 419 & 246.
The Prince of Peace , LDS Church News, 1995, 12/23/95 .