A Christmas Message from our very own President Schoessow

Just a little over a year ago we welcomed a new granddaughter into our family.  Her parents were in a small window of time between graduating from college and moving to a new city for their first “real” job.  This meant we got to have them stay in our home with us during the time that our new granddaughter was born.  During the first few weeks of her life I was on call during the wee hours of the morning.  This meant I would arise from my bed and take over her care long before the sun would rise.  Oh how percious those hours were for me. To hold my granddaughter and get to know her.  My daughter and son-in-law had the help of doctors, nurses, extended family and a blurry-eyed grandfather to help usher this baby into the world.

I am humbled at the stark contrast of another young couple and the birth of a child more than 2000 years ago.
Jeffrey Holland has said: “I wonder what emotions Joseph might have had as he cleared away the dung and debris. I wonder if he felt the sting of tears as he hurriedly tried to find the cleanest straw and hold the animals back. I wonder if he wondered: Could there be a more unhealthy, a more disease-ridden, a more despicable circumstance in which a child could be born? Is this a place fit for a king?”

“I have wondered if this young woman, something of a child herself, here bearing her first baby, might have wished her mother, or an aunt, or her sister, or a friend, to be near her through the labor. Surely the birth of such a son as this should command the aid and attention of every midwife in Judea!”

“But it was not to be so. With only Joseph’s inexperienced assistance, she herself brought forth her firstborn son, wrapped him in the little clothes she had knowingly brought on her journey, and perhaps laid him on a pillow of hay.”
“Then on both sides of the veil a heavenly host broke into song. “Glory to God in the highest,” they sang, “and on earth, peace among men of good will.” (Luke 2:14, Phillips Translation.) But except for heavenly witnesses, these three were alone: Joseph, Mary, the baby to be named Jesus.”

“At this focal point of all human history, a point illuminated by a new star in the heavens revealed for just such a purpose, probably no other mortal watched—none but a poor young carpenter, a beautiful virgin mother, and silent stabled animals who had not the power to utter the sacredness they had seen.”

“It is for this baby that we shout in chorus: Hark! The herald angels sing Glory to the newborn king! … Mild he lays his glory by, born that man no more may die: Born to raise the sons of earth, Born to give them second birth.”

I simply add my testimony that He lives.

On behalf of the entire Stake Presidency we wish you and your families a Merry Christmas.

Daniel H. Schoessow
2nd Councilor
Santa Margarita Stake Presidency