O Come Let Us Adore Him – Is it just a line from a familiar Christmas Song? Or is it an admonition, or both, perhaps? The word “adore” does not appear in our scriptures, but the concept surely does. What does “Adore” actually mean?
- To worship or honor as a deity or as divine
- To regard with loving admiration and devotion, as in “He adored his wife”
- To be very fond of, as in “She adores pecan pie” (From Merriam-Webster Dictionary)
So, the question is: “What think Ye of Christ” Or, to make it a bit more contemporary: What do “we,”
each one of us, think of Christ? Which definition applies to what we feel about the Savior, whose birth we celebrate tomorrow?
- Do we truly worship Him?
- Do we admire Him?
- Or are we just fond of Him?
- Or is it even something else?
What we think and feel about our Savior Jesus Christ will govern our actions as we chart our course through this mortal life.
The birth of Jesus Christ is a midpoint in the Father’s great Plan of Happiness It began in pre-mortal councils in Heaven with The Only Begotten of the Father, the Great Jehovah willingly accepting the assignment to be our Savior on this earth. It culminates with the great Millennial Reign, the Judgment and Eternal life with our Father in Heaven and His Son.
Jesus’ birth began a chain of events which assures us the opportunity to return to live with our Father in Heaven. His earthly ministry gave us not only the organization of His Church, but his great example of teaching, blessing, healing and serving others. His suffering in the Garden of Gethsemane, His death on the cross and His resurrection provides us, through His grace and mercy, salvation from physical death, forgiveness for our sins and, ultimately, eternal life.
So what is our role in all this? How do we take advantage of what have been given to us?
How do we show our gratitude to Our Savior, How do we Adore Him for the gifts that He has given to us?
For some, it is given to build magnificent shrines to Him, ornate buildings and furnishing that demonstrate great sacrifice by the people giving all that they have. Still others dedicate their entire lives to serving Him, giving up an opportunity to have a family.
But what does the Savior ask of us?
Simply put, He asks us to bring “a broken heart and a contrite spirit.” (Psalms34:18) He says to us, “If ye Love me, keep my commandments” ((John 14:15)
Jesus was asked:
Master, which is the great commandment in the law?
Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment.
And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets. (Matthew 22:36 – 39)
And from John 17:3 – And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent. (John 17:3)
Truly knowing who God is, and who Jesus is leads us down the path of keeping His commandments.
Knowing that God is our Heavenly Father is a key starting point to understanding and comprehending his great Plan of Happiness and Salvation
Knowing who Jesus Christ is, what He did for us, that He Lives is key motivation for keeping His commandments and to receive all the ordnances of the Gospel including Baptism, the Gift of the Holy Ghost and the Temple Ordnances.
Developing faith in Jesus Christ compels us as His Disciple with the desire to help others in need following His great example.
Knowing and understanding the great Atonement of Jesus encourages to repent of our sins that we might be washed clean by the blood of the Lamb and stand at the judgment bar of Christ free of guilt.
Knowing all these things, we cannot help but love, worship and adore Him.
Doing the things He has asked of us and doing them well, will let us hear those words, “Well done thou good and noble servant, thy work is finished, you will receive your reward.
At this time of year, the world focuses on the birth of the Savior. But we as Latter-Day Saints, I hope we take this time to reflect on His entire life and mission. As I mentioned earlier, Jesus’ earthly birth is the starting point
for the rest of His earthly life. No one event in the Life of Jesus the Christ is no less important than the others. For without His birth, without His ministry, without His Atonement, death and Resurrection, Heavenly Father’s Plan could not have been realized.
We have heard the expressions
“Keep Christ in Christmas”
“Jesus is the reason for the season”
Those are good reminders on what we should focus on this time of year.
I have visited countries where Christmas is not celebrated as a religious holiday. And yet, they celebrate and decorate for Christmas like nothing you have ever seen. They outdo most of what you might see here
Elder Neal A Maxwell reminds us:
“ God’s gifts, unlike seasonal gifts, are eternal and unperishable, constituting a continuing Christmas which is never over! These infinite gifts are made possible by the “infinite atonement.”
Yes, we still wish Christmas were more deeply felt and lasted longer, but the visibly increased goodwill nevertheless reminds us, if only briefly, of what could be everlastingly. For a few days, the first and second commandments are more pondered and observed.” (The Christmas Scene.)
I was fortunate to be in Israel two weeks ago. I visited some of the places we talk about each week in Church. I walked in places where the people of “the book” walked thousands of years ago. I walked in places where the Savior himself may have walked. I joined hundreds of people in Bethlehem crowded into a small area known as the “Grotto of the Nativity” where the Baby Jesus is said to have been born.
Even with the crowds, it was clear to me that this was a very special place. I watched as people knelt down to kiss the spot where the baby
may have been laid on that special night. I saw their tears as they tried to comprehend it all.
I stood on the Mount of Olives at a place where Jesus:
“beheld the city, and wept over it,
Saying, If thou hadst known, even thou, at least in this thy day, the things which belong unto thy peace! but now they are hid from thine eyes.” ( Luke 19:41-42
Or, in other words, Jerusalem, if you only knew what would bring you peace, but now it is hidden from your eyes.
I did not go to Israel to gain a testimony of the Savior Jesus Christ. I did not need to. I was very fortunate to go there and my testimony has been strengthened by the experience.
I am able say today, as I would have three weeks ago to tell you that I know Jesus is the Christ, our Savior and our Redeemer, who atoned for the sins of the world, our sins, yours and mine. That he died and rose again that we might have eternal life. He gave us the path to follow to return to live with Him and our Heavenly Father. He organized His Church, we now have again on this earth, even the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
So now, knowing what we know, let’s have a joyous and merry Christmas, while we remember why we are celebrating. Come, Let us adore Him.