I was recently asked to give a talk with Elder Russell M. Nelson’s December 2006 article “Christ a Savior is Born” as the basis. I wanted to reprint Elder Nelson’s full talk here. Merry Christmas everyone.
This Christmas season, through all of our various Christmas traditions, I hope that we are focused first upon the Lord Jesus Christ. Wise men still adore Him.
We commemorate His humble birth at this time of year, even though we know it did not occur in December but in April. Scriptures declare that His mother, Mary, was espoused to Joseph. They had participated in the first of two components of a Jewish marriage ceremony. Their espousal might be likened to an engagement in our culture, which is followed later by the second component of a marriage ceremony.
Luke’s account records the appearance of the angel Gabriel to Mary when she first learned of her favored future.
“And the angel said unto her, Fear not, Mary: for thou hast found favour with God.
“And, behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name Jesus.
“He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest” (Luke 1:30–32).
Note the capitalization—God is the Highest. Jesus was to be the Son of the Highest.
Before Joseph and Mary came together, she was expecting that holy child. Joseph desired to protect her privacy,1 hoping to spare Mary the punishment given to a woman found pregnant without a completed marriage. While he pondered these things, the angel Gabriel appeared to Joseph, saying,
“Joseph, thou son of David, fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife: for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost.
“And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name Jesus: for he shall save his people from their sins” (Matthew 1:20–21).