3rd Day Christmas Past Question & Story

Posted by on Dec 12, 2017 in Christmas Past 2017 | 24 comments

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?

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“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)

Taken from:

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.

    24 Comments

  1. The greatest and most lasting treasure is the gospel of Jesus Christ. We often need a dramatic change in circumstances and perspective to recognize that truth.

  2. There are no lines within the church, unlike lines that were needed to have teen food and other commodities during the war. The treasures we can receive are eternal and spiritual gifts and written lines of the gospel.

  3. The lines that are most meaningful in my life ate the Saviors. He is my light and brings true life to my life. His life is endless & His light can never be dimmed.

  4. There are “lines” of people and “lines” of scriptures, and lines upon lines of understanding and enlightenment; but how grateful I am for the gospel lines of teachers who run through my life. Despite growing up in the Church, my earliest memories are of my troubled “spirit” asking myself over and over “why am I alive?” The Christmas family gathering was always an exciting event, and the presents made life a cheery happy experience. But it wasn’t until I a special Sunday School teacher taught “Man is that he might have joy,” that a light went on in my soul. Then I could appreciate more fully those eternal Christmas lines mentioned above, “I am…the light and the life of the world – a light that shineth in darkness.” D&C 45:7

  5. For the saints in the war torn area, the lines for food and other commodities were balanced by the freely given love of the Savior and the joy the gospel brings. These Saints greatly appreciated all they had, even though it was little in comparison with others because they had immense blessings that the gospel brings.

  6. I love the lines of the hymn “Because I Have Been Given Much” and of the Christmas hymns. The lines of the scriptures remind us of the greatest gift ever given – the Light and life of the Savior – that is one gift that we can all freely share.

  7. I love the lines of the hymn, “Because i Have Been Given Much” and of the Christmas hymns and the scriptures thst remind me of the greatest gift ever given- the light and life of Jesus Christ. That’s one gift we can all share freely.

  8. There were no lines in the Church in war torn Europe. The only “lines” are those in the scriptures that tell us that all can receive if we will but ask and believe in Christ.

  9. I loved that this article pointed out that there is not a Line or a waiting list to be part of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. The Gospel and the Blessings are given freely. it made me think and ponder about how blessed we really are and how much the gospel and the Love of the Savior have blessed my life.

  10. the lines of true treasure are those found in the gospel of Jesus Christ. It is here that we found no lines except the lines of beloved scriptures and in songs.

  11. There are no lines to join the church but I am sure that if we could see the amount of deceased waiting to have their work done in the temples we would share our treasure with them more readily.

  12. The lines of true treasures can be found in the gospel of Jesus Christ. Unlike war torn areas in Europe and other areas in the world where there are lines to be waited in for food, housing, etc., there are no lines in the gospel…as the blessings of the gospel are given freely.

  13. The Gospel of Jesus Christ offers peace and hope. The gift of Christ’s atonement doesn’t require standing in lines but a repentant heart

  14. I am grateful that I do not have to stand in a line to receive the blessings of the Gospel and the blessings of our Savior which He gives freely to all.

  15. While there are no lines, and the gospel is free, many people had been denied access to it in countries where they lived. They lacked the joy and peace that it brings. When they received this blessing, their lives changed for the better, even if their circumstances didn’t change.

  16. I am glad the missionaries shared the message of the gospel with those who had to stand in lines for physical sustenance. Hopefully, those who stood in line received comfort and relief from their message.

  17. We can talk to anyone anywhere and we could be the person that brings the light into their lives. The lines of treasure we can have are not found in tangible, temporal, and temporary things, But in the scriptures, the church and it’s teachings. The spiritual and eternal gifts that have been freely offered to us. We need only to receive them by trusting God and giving of our time and faith:

  18. We can find and have peace even in the hardest times, when we know where to look. Just like the saints did while living under Communist domination and control after the war. The knew to look in the scriptures, hymns and Church. In the Church there are no lines. Simply our choosing to receive what H.F has already promised us and wanting to give.

  19. There aren’t any unless you count the lines of the hymns. We don’t have to wait in line to be able to receive the gospel and the eternal blessings that come with it. We just have to use our agency!

  20. No lines to receive all the blessings Christ and his atonement has for us, a broken heart and a contrite spirit is what we pay. Our offering of obedience will reap us all that he has.

  21. This is a sweet article which touched my heart. I love the fact that there are no lines in the true Church of Jesus Christ. The gospel is free for all of us, and we all have equal access to the blessings of the gospel, no matter where we live, our ethnic background or our socioeconomic status.

  22. “Many lack other things that could make life more comfortable and provide temporal relief, things for which there are no lines.”
    And:
    “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)”
    This the same for all.

  23. Unlike the examples of the lines for necessities there is no line for the blessings of the Gospel. We can receive eternal treasures in the lines in the scriptures. In them are the words of our Saviour,the Light of the world.

  24. In war torn Europe people waited in lines to buy milk or basic commodities, but there are no lines in the church; all are welcome and free to choose.

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