I’ll explain the title, I promise. This was my first Sacrament talk I gave in 2009 in NY. Keep in mind when I gave this I have only been a member for a few months and was my first LDS Christmas.
2009: “I don’t have internet at my apartment. I wasn’t able to go the LDS website to look up talks, or firesides-everything I am about to say is purely two weeks of just praying.
So going back to basics, which at this point is all I know, I do know Christmas is about families, love, charity, ham dinners, and traditions… -which is all apart of it- But what is December 25th? Well, it’s a celebration and it’s a remembrance of our Savior. It’s when we remember Heavenly Father sending His only begotten son to us. And having said that, I kind of feel that Christmas is about ourselves.
And I know you’re thinking, “Al Fox, this is obviously you first LDS Christmas if you’re going to stand up there and tell us it’s about ourselves.”
But I really started to think about this-Why did he come here? What did he need to come here for? His plan was not like our plan. He didn’t come here to work out his own salvation like us. His plan was to come here and help us with our plan. He came here for us. He came here for you. He lived for you. He suffered and He died for you. For us.
So I do think that this is a time to remember why we are here. What is our plan and what do we need to do?
I am reminded of 3 Nephi, in the first chapter, where the Nephites are really relying on Christ to be born. They were going to die if they didn’t see the sign of Christ being born. They needed Christ to live. And that goes for us as well. We need Christ for us to live and follow through with our plan.
I do know that we came here to experience and to learn and to return to our Heavenly Father. God’s whole purpose is to make it so we can all enjoy every one of His blessings. We all understood this plan, and we all fought for it. We fought to be here. We knew we were going to be separated from our Father, we already accepted Christ as our Savior and that this was going to be hard.
But we are all blessed to know that we are not alone, we are really blessed to have what we have. Being Latter-Day Saints we really do have everything we need to fulfill our plan and return to our Father. Through the Atonement, Baptism, gift of the Holy Ghost, praying, help from each other and help from our Savior, we can really do what we are suppose to do.
So I feel like this time, this season, we really need to remember Christ and what he taught us, and to trust Him. He came here, and while He lived he set up this church. He was here and lived for us and showed us first hand what we need to do. That we need to follow in His example. I do feel like this season should be a personal reminder to become like Christ and lay down our eternal foundation.
This is the season where we should evaluate ourselves and make sure we are keeping our end of the promise that we made to our Savior, because He did.
It’s the season that we need to remind ourselves that as long as were trying and doing what we know to be right and of God, that we’re in good hands! We’re in the hands of God. The hands that will help and support us.
It’s the season to not get distracted by our trials, to trust the spirit and that all is well. And that our Lord still loves us today as much as He did when we lived with Him. That as long as we’re doing our part, He is going to do His. That as long as you draw closer to Him, He will draw closer to you. That the more you understand Him, the more you will understand yourself, your direction and your plan.
This season, we can not lose sight of why we are here. We can’t lose sight of what we need to do.
I know what you’re thinking now, “Alright Al Fox, if Christmas is about yourself, why do we spend so much time doing charity and giving to others during the season?”
When Christ was here He cared for everyone else and went out of His way for everyone else. Thats what he did. It is all about following Christ. He showed us what we need to do and as we celebrate Him and His life we need to work on our Christlike attributes.
I was reading the other part of my talk to my sister in the car last night and realized I didn’t want to say any of it anymore. It dawned on me that it didn’t matter that I spent 2 weeks on this talk- it’s not what I should say. The rest of my talk I will just rely on the spirit, but what it always should come down to is the spirit and to trust in the spirit…
The other night I was getting off of work, and I work the gross evening shift so I do not get off until 12:30 am. It was freezing and it was snowing, and I had to park at the other end of my street because all the spots were taken. I see this guy walking and I get out of my car right as he was walking by. I should have waited until he had gone past to get out of my car, somehow knowing he needed help, because I didn’t want to help him. It was late and I was cold and tired.
Sure enough he had asked me if I had a gas can. I didn’t. He said that we was parked on the other end of the street with his daughter in the car and she was so cold. He told me that he was a good guy and just wants to get her home, that he is stuck and no one else is around to help because it is so late. He asked if I had any money to help him out. But I didn’t. I only had one $1bill and a bunch of 20’s, and I was not going to give him a 20.
I was looking at this man for 5 minutes without saying anything, in the freezing snow, just standing there listening to him talk. I looked down and I saw the sticker on my car. If you have ever seen my car, it has a sticker that says “Mormon Girl” that my sister had gotten me, its so cheesy, but great, and I looked down in my hands and I had an ensign and another church book. And Im looking down at these things in my hand and then back up at this man.
I didn’t want to give him money. I didn’t trust him. I told him i couldn’t help and I was sorry, but I couldn’t walk away and he couldn’t walk away, and we were just starring at each other.
I told him to stay there and I drove away. And I didn’t come back.
I’m just kidding, I did come back.
I went a few miles down the road to a gas station and asked them to brake a 20 for me. The lady behind the counter, out of a conversation builder asked what for, and I told her it was for a man who needed gas.
She responded, “You know thats a scam, right?”
and I said, “Yeah. I do.”
And the whole time I am thinking how I didn’t want to help him, how I didn’t trust him and how I would never really know what he needed that money for. But when she said it so bluntly, so obviously, I felt so good hearing it and I smiled and said again to her, “I know.”
As I was driving back I was really happy, and I didn’t understand why I was so happy. I was giving money to someone who I thought didn’t need it. I really wanted to give him a pass along card. I have so many, but they all happen to be on my fridge, which defeats the whole purpose., haha. So I am going through my bag before I drive up closer to this man who is still waiting for me and I find the Restoration pamphlet.
I remembered as I was driving away on my way to get change, he yelled “Thank you, Jesus!” and he even had his hands up in the air when he said it, and as I was sitting there in my car I kept thinking of him saying that…”Thank you, Jesus!”
I feel like, this is the season where we need to put aside our differences. We need to put aside the fact that the majority of people are not with our religion, and put aside the fact that most people aren’t with a religion at all. We need to put aside the fact that some people are really rude. Some are liars. Some people like to cheat others. What we need to remember is that we are all in this together. We all fought to be here. And we need to be there for people when we can.
I gave him the pamphlet with the money hiding inside of it. He just saw a picture of Jesus with the words, “The Restoration” across it, and he said to me, “God bless you.” He looked me right in the eye and didn’t blink and said it so firm, “God bless you, thank you so much.”
And I was thinking, he didn’t even see how much money I gave him…he didn’t even see that I gave him any money at all. He was so happy and when he walked away I promise you he even jumped.
And as I was walking away I was thinking, if I didn’t help him for whatever he needed help for, I would have felt horrible. The fact that you could help someone and you choose not to, that would have killed me.
It really touched me to feel the spirit, especially now when it’s all about Christmas spirit. Well the Christmas spirit is the spirit. It is there for us mainly around Christmas time saying, Yes! The feeling of Christ is good! We need to remember Christ.
And I feel like, whatever he needed that money for, it doesn’t even matter. He knows that good comes from Christ now. He knows that people who follow Christ, there is still good in their hearts. That good is still there, and whatever you need help with, help will be there.
I feel like we all need to just remember that we need to be there for everybody. Around this time, we need to be there for our families. We need to be there for those who don’t have someone to be there for them all the time.
I testify that if you follow that spirit, no matter how out of the way it seems, no matter how inconvenient it seems, it’s going to be great. The spirit is great. What we have is so great! It doesn’t matter how long you spend on a talk and last minute you feel like you shouldn’t share any of it. It doesn’t matter what you put in, it’s what comes out of it. We really need to remember that now and be there for each other. And be there for Christ. And I leave this with you in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.” (2009 Rochester, NY: My First Sacrament Talk; My First LDS Christmas).