As we give gifts to bring happiness to the people around us, we must also receive gifts cheerfully and thankfully, especially the ones from God.
About 1,990 years ago, Jesus Christ suffered in Gethsemane and died on a cross. His life on Earth was spent giving gifts of joy and wisdom and forgiveness to people of all classes and backgrounds. But it wasn’t until those moments of agony and death that He, our loving Brother, gave us the greatest gift in the history of the universe: eternal life through His Atonement.
Are we truly grateful for it?
In the 2012 Christmas devotional talk “The Good and Grateful Receiver,” President Dieter F. Uchtdorf speaks of giving and receiving gifts, teaching that just as others’ gifts bring happiness to us, our gratitude for those gifts brings happiness to the givers. “Every gift that is offered to us—especially a gift that comes from the heart—is an opportunity to build or strengthen a bond of love.” President Uchtdorf also reminds us that our loving Father in Heaven has given us many gifts: “the unspeakable gift of the Holy Ghost, the miracle of forgiveness, personal revelation and guidance, the Savior’s peace, the certainty and comfort that death is conquered—and many, many more.” We must make sure we appreciate and use these gifts.
These principles of gratitude and humility especially apply to the Atonement of Jesus Christ. “Above all,” President Uchtdorf says, “God has given us the gift of His Only Begotten Son, who sacrificed His life ‘that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life’” (John 3:16). If we are truly grateful for this gift, we have to allow Christ’s Atonement to work in us. This is the greatest gift we can give back.
Imagine our Heavenly Father’s joy when we accept His gifts and, after our long journey on Earth, He embraces us and welcomes us home.
To learn more about how you can be a grateful and cheerful receiver, read or watch the rest of President Dieter F. Uchtdorf’s beautiful talk “The Good and Grateful Receiver.”
—Suzanne Uchytil, Latter-day Saint Insights
FEATURE IMAGE BY BRIDGET MAC DONALD
Find more insights
To learn more about the Christmas Spirit and our roles during the holidays, take a look at Nicole Terry’s article “Searching for the Spirit of Christmas” and Abigail Tree’s article “Love Is the Perfect Christmas Gift.”