In anticipation of the 2013 Christmas Devotional (tonight at 6 p.m. MST) we’re taking a look at devotionals past. Here are some of our favorite moments — the musical and the magical.
In the middle of the 2009 devotional, the Mormon Tabernacle Choir hit a home run. Its performance of “O Holy Night” gave the audience chills, taking the spirit of Christmas to a whole new register.
In “The Gift of a Savior,” President Henry B. Eyring reminded listeners that Christmas is an opportunity to celebrate the gifts the Savior has given by giving to him in return.
“He has told us what we could give Him to bring Him joy,” Eyring said. “First, we can, out of faith in Him, give a broken heart and a contrite spirit. We can repent and make sacred covenants with Him. Within the sound of my voice are some who have felt His invitation to the peace His gospel brings but have not yet accepted it. You would give Him joy if you would act now to come unto Him while you can. Second, you can give Him the gift of doing for others what He would do for them.”
In his talk, “Of Curtains, Contentment, and Christmas,” President Dieter F. Uchtdorf reminded listeners that we sometimes treat the Christmas season like a game of Jenga, stacking perfect holiday decorations, gifts and events on top of one another in an effort to increase the height of our ivory tower, devastated when things go wrong and the tower comes tumbling down.
“Sooner or later,” he said, “something unpleasant occurs—the wooden blocks tumble, the drapes catch fire, the turkey burns, the sweater is the wrong size, the toys are missing batteries, the children quarrel, the pressure rises—and the picture-perfect Christmas we had imagined, the magic we had intended to create, shatters around us. As a result, the Christmas season is often a time of stress, anxiety, frustration, and perhaps even disappointment. … But then, if we are only willing to open our hearts and minds to the spirit of Christmas, we will recognize wonderful things happening around us that will direct or redirect our attention to the sublime.”
Accompanied by a beautiful string orchestra, the Mormon Tabernacle Choir performed “What Child Is This?,” filling the Conference Center with the complex melody that’s both haunting and joyful.