Sometimes people confuse Mormons (a nickname sometimes used for members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints) with members of other religions that don’t celebrate holidays. In truth, Mormons are big fans of celebrations and a study of Church history shows that Mormons were always celebrating something. Christmas, of course, is a very important celebration for Mormons, because it honors the birth of the Savior.
While many Mormons participate in the secular aspects of Christmas, they also make sure those portions don’t overtake the spiritual aspects of the holiday. The focus is always on the birth of the Savior as well as on the atonement. Mormons know that without the events honored at Easter, Christmas would not exist. Jesus’ atoning sacrifice is the real reason for the season.
In 2012, Mormons launched a Christmas initiative designed to help people remember not to get so caught up in Christmas shopping that they forget Christmas worshiping. Billboards and signs on taxis and busses remind people of the reason Christmas exists. A special website offers resources to help people focus on the Savior this season. The website has music, scriptures, and spiritual videos. The Mormons recently completed a movie set designed to look like Biblical lands and have been filming scenes from the life of the Savior there. Some of these have been used to create a special brief video of the Savior.
A special music video filmed on that set with ThePianoGuys also brings home the message of Christmas. You can see this video at the bottom of the article.
At the annual Christmas devotional in 2012, Thomas S. Monson, the Mormon prophet, said:
“Finding the real joy of Christmas comes not in the hurrying and the scurrying to get more done, nor is it found in the purchasing of gifts. We find real joy when we make the Savior the focus of the season. We can keep Him in our thoughts and in our lives as we go about the work He would have us perform here on earth. At this time, particularly, let us follow His example as we love and serve our fellowman.”
He asked listeners to particularly reach out to the elderly who may be lonely and without family. Caring for the elderly has always been a special concern for President Monson, who is known for his responsibility over the welfare of a very large number of elderly widows in his first assignment as a lay ecclesiastical leader.
“There is no better time than now, this very Christmas season, for all of us to rededicate ourselves to the principles taught by Jesus the Christ. It is the time to love the Lord, our God, with all our heart—and our neighbors as ourselves. It is well to remember that he who gives money gives much; he who gives time gives more; but he who gives of himself gives all.
Let us make Christmas real. It isn’t just tinsel and ribbon, unless we have made it so in our lives. Christmas is the spirit of giving without a thought of getting. It is happiness because we see joy in people. It is forgetting self and finding time for others. It is discarding the meaningless and stressing the true values. It is peace because we have found peace in the Savior’s teachings. It is the time we realize most deeply that the more love is expended, the more there is of it for others.” (See Thomas S. Monson, Christmas is Love, Christmas Devotional, December 2012.)