On the 3rd Day of Christmas Past, rekindling history to enhance Light the World – “For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.”
Question: What “lines” of true treasure can we find in this account of Saints in war torn Europe?
To be entered into today’s daily giveaway & FREE tour drawing- Read the story below; “Comment” & “Share” your answer on Facebook or our blog.
“Lines of Christmas”
By Elder C. Max Caldwell
My travels as a member of the Europe Area Presidency have taken me throughout many lands previously under Communist domination and control. In one region, fruits of long-standing imposed atheism and controlled religious behavior and expression were conspicuous. I could not help but notice the marked contrast of countenance between the few who basked in the gospel light and the masses who yet remained in spiritual darkness. So many did not appear to be happy; they did not smile. Their association with each other seemed to be based on doubt or mistrust. In some places, there was an air of callousness in crowds and indifference in individuals. Here I experienced a particularly memorable Christmas season.
In this region many people stood in lines, waiting not to buy Christmas presents, but to try to buy milk or some other basic commodity. One missionary said that when he first arrived, he and his companion would get in a line whenever they saw one. While one held a place, the other would inquire why the people were waiting because the missionaries always needed food of some kind, they would wait, hoping to obtain the item being offered at that location. Meanwhile, they talked to the people in the line about the restored gospel and shared their testimonies with those who would listen. And some did.
Many lack other things that could make life more comfortable and provide temporal relief, things for which there are no lines. It is not uncommon for people to live without electricity and heat, for example. They know the discomforts of darkness and cold all too well.
I met a man whose country had gone through civil revolution. He had experienced arrests, torture, and physical privation of many kinds although he was innocent of any wrongdoing he was forced into a lineup against a wall in front of a firing squad. As his group awaited execution, new orders were received and they were freed at the last moment. Then the missionaries found him. There were no lines in the Church; all were welcome and free to choose. And he did choose the spiritual and eternal gifts that have been freely offered. To receive, he needed only to trust the Giver and His written lines, which require an investment not in time only, but in faith: “Whosoever believeth in him should not perish.” (John 3:16)
During my trip, I also attended church meetings in one of the developing countries and sang with the Saints from their small songbook, a limited selection of hymns that have been translated into their native language. We sang together a familiar hymn, “Because I Have Been Given Much.” I wept as I thought what these people were offering in a song of the righteous, ascending unto the Lord as a prayer unto him. They do not possess many tangible, temporal, and temporary things. Even so, they still share with and help one another in many ways. Their offerings are significant and meaningful. These faithful souls have been given much of the unseen, spiritual, and eternal treasure. The warmth of the Spirit, the light of the gospel, and the nourishment of words eternal life sustain them.
As I returned to our warm and comfortable apartment, I did not care that we had only a small Christmas tree with miniature lights sitting on the window ledge. I did not even notice the absence of the usual abundance of gifts beneath the tree. But I was actually aware that I, too, have been given much. I am grateful for the comfort of these eternal Christmas lines, “I am….the light and the life of the world – a light that shineth in darkness.” (D&C 45:7)
Christmas Treasures – Stories and Reminiscences from General Authorities, p. 19-20.
“Light the World” is a 25 day Christ-like service celebration from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Visit Mormon.org for more information.