Elder Neil L. Andersen, a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, delivered Tuesday’s devotional address. He spoke about the importance of making time for the Savior at Christmas.
Building on President Nelson’s plea in October 2021 the general conference to make time for the Lord, Elder Andersen encouraged us to develop a consistent, daily habit of refocusing our lives on the Savior.
“This is a pattern that will strengthen your spiritual foundation! Not only at Christmastime but during all of your life,” he promised.
Accompanied by musicians from the School of Music, Elder Andersen invited the congregation to sing three Christmas hymns as part of the devotional.
Quoting verses from the New Testament and Doctrine and Covenants, Elder and Sister Andersen retold the story of Christ’s birth. Elder Andersen rejoiced over the Savior’s life and exhorted us to believe in the magnificent roles and purposes of our Redeemer.
“Let us always be valiant in the simple faith that He is who we claim Him to be — the Creator, the long-awaited Messiah, the Prince of Peace, the King of kings, our Savior and our Redeemer.”
Elder Andersen emphasized that the unique mortal challenges of the 21st century require us to make extra time for Christ. To illustrate this, Elder Andersen described an in-depth hypothetical situation.
Setting the scene in the spirit world, Elder Andersen asked audience members to imagine a conversation between them — 21st-century members of the Church — and other faithful spirits who had lived in different centuries and circumstances.
“You are talking to each other about your experiences in mortality. Their attention turns to you. They are intrigued by your life. …
They marvel at how blessed you were, perhaps asking what it was like to live with thousands of disciples of Jesus Christ, with hundreds of teachers grounded in the love of the Savior, and brilliant in the learning of the world. They talk of your good fortune [to be at BYU].
While you accept that it was a beautiful time to be on earth, you try to put it into perspective. … There were distractions and commotion, confusion and seductive voices — constantly trying to pull us from the truth.
‘What did you do? How did you survive?’ They ask. …
We did as the prophet recommended: we made time for the Lord each and every day.”
To illustrate how we do this, Elder Andersen switched from hypothetical situations to reality and played a video of current BYU students explaining how they’ve made daily time for the Lord. He encouraged students to remain spiritually diligent.
“Let us prepare ourselves each day so the Lord can direct us in helping those who need our attention and our love. Christmastime is a wonderful time to solidify the habits we seek for all of our lives.”
Testifying of Christ’s divine mission, sacrifice and example, Elder Andersen closed with his testimony of the Lord.
“He showed us how to live. He taught us to become as a child, to reach beyond this world to our Father for help … He taught us how to love. He taught us to strive to become ‘even as [He is].’”
As we enter the Christmas season, Elder Andersen encouraged us to remember our Savior amidst the excitement of the holidays, follow His example and share His light with the world.