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1st Presidency Christmas Message December '01

Dear Brothers and Sisters:

As mankind contemplates the great difficulties that have transpired this past year, we join with all Christianity in the blessing of celebrating the birth of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. We reaffirm that He is the one true source of light and hope, and testify that 'he who doeth the works of righteousness shall receive his reward, even peace in this world, and eternal life in the world to come' (Doctrine and Covenants 59:23).

Our solemn testimony is that as we look to the Light of the World and emulate His teachings we will find peace in these troubled times.

Gordon B. Hinckley
Thomas S. Monson
James E. Faust

1st Presidency Easter Message April '00

Of all the victories in human history, none is so great, none so universal in its effect, none so everlasting in its consequences as the victory of the crucified Lord, who came forth in the resurrection that first Easter morning.

The empty tomb of that first Easter brought the most comforting assurance that can come into man's heart. This was the affirmative answer to the ageless question raised by Job, 'If a man die, shall he live again?' (Job 14:14).

'... [but] those that die in me shall not taste of death, for it shall be sweet unto them' (D&C 42:45-46).

This is the promise of the risen Lord. This is the relevance of Jesus to a world in which all must die. As He is the conqueror of death, so also is He the master of life.

We solemnly witness of the reality of our Lord's life, death, and resurrection, and of the universal victory over the grave that will come to all mankind because of His mercy and grace.

Gordon B. Hinckley
Thomas S. Monson
James E. Faust

A letter to Church members from the 1st Presidency

Dear Brothers and Sisters:

All about us we see evidence of the corrosive elements targeted to injure our youth. We compliment most warmly those of our young people who choose to follow the way of the Lord and the program of the Church. We are pleased to note that faith is increasing among our youth, for which we are deeply grateful.

Unfortunately, there are some who fall into the adversary's net and drift into inactivity and trouble. We are deeply concerned with these.

We call upon parents to devote their best efforts to the teaching and rearing of their children in gospel principles which will keep them close to the Church. The home is the basis of a righteous life, and no other instrumentality can take its place or fulfill its essential functions in carrying forward this God-given responsibility.

We counsel parents and children to give highest priority to family prayer, family home evening, gospel study and instruction, and wholesome family activities. However worthy and appropriate other demands or activities may be, they must not be permitted to displace the divinely-appointed duties that only parents and families can adequately perform

We urge bishops and other Church officers to do all they can to assist parents in seeing that they have time and help, where needed, as they nurture their families and bring them up in the way of the Lord. Wherever possible, Sunday meetings, other than those under the three-hour schedule and perhaps council meetings on early Sunday mornings or firesides later in the evening, should be avoided so that parents may be with their children. As we strengthen families, we will strengthen the entire Church.

Faithfully your brethren
The First Presidency

1st Presidency Easter Message April '99

At this Easter season, we remember the life and mission of our Savior, Jesus Christ, and His glorious resurrection, of which we bear witness.

Even in times of deepest sorrow and trial we draw hope and peace and certitude from the words of the angel that first Easter morning, "He is not here: for he is risen" -- Matt. 28:6.

As stated in the words of the beloved hymn:

I stand all amazed at the love Jesus offers me
Confused at the grace that so fully he proffers me.
I tremble to know that for me he was crucified,
That for me, a sinner, he suffered, he bled and died.
Oh, it is wonderful that he should care for me
Enough to die for me!
Oh it is wonderful, wonderful to me!
-- Hymns, No. 193

He is our King, our Lord, our Master, the living Christ, who stands on the right hand of His Father. He lives! He lives, resplendent and wonderful, the living Son of the living God.

Of this we bear solemn testimony at this season of rejoicing, this Easter season when we commemorate the miracle of the empty tomb.

Signed

Gordon B. Hinckley
Thomas S. Monson
James E. Faust

1st Presidency Christmas Message, 1998

"Whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life." (John 4:14)

As the Savior offered living water to the woman of Samaria, likewise does He extend to us the salvation He alone can give. This incomparable blessing which we contemplate throughout the Christmas season is an offering of hope, a gift of peace, and a bestowal of love.

It is our solemn witness that He lives! We reverence Him as the Savior of the world. We honor Him as the Prince of Peace. We testify that He is the Son of God, our Redeemer, our Advocate, and Friend.

We invite people everywhere to drink deeply from the waters of life which He so freely imparts. May our lives reflect His example of kindness, love, and virtue.

Sincerely,

The First Presidency

Gordon B. Hinckley
Thomas S. Monson
James E. Faust

1st Presidency Easter Message April '98

The Easter season is upon us, and followers of Jesus Christ everywhere are turning their thoughts to the most significant event of recorded history. "He is risen; he is not here." (Mark 16:6) This simple pronouncement was the first celebration of the literal resurrection of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

The empty tomb that first Easter morning brought comforting assurance, an affirmative answer to the ageless question raised by Job, "If a man die, shall he live again?" (Job 14:14)

As we join with all Christendom in commemorating this marvelous event, we reflect on His incomparable life and teachings and the need for us to emulate His example.

To follow the Savior, we must begin at home within the family unit. Parents need to teach children the doctrine of Christ which includes unshaken faith in Him, repentance, baptism, the gift of the Holy Ghost, and faithfully enduring to the end in living gospel principles in their homes.

In this sacred season of reflecting on the glorious life of the Lord, we urge all people to embrace His teachings as a standard for personal conduct.

Our testimony to the world is that Jesus is the Christ; that He surrendered His life as a sacrifice for all humankind; that he rose from the grave that first Easter morning--"the firstfruits of them that slept" (1 Corinthians 15:20); and that He lives--our resurrected Lord and Master.

1st Presidency Christmas Message December '97

Dear Brothers and Sisters:

As we approach this Christmas season our thoughts turn to the lowly stable in Bethlehem where there was born on that sacred night of long ago, "The Prince of Peace" (Isaiah 9:6), the "light of the world" who promised: "he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life" (John 8:12).

In this season of celebration of the Savior's life and mission, and as we reflect upon the events of this historic Sesquicentennial year, may we carry forward that which was established by our pioneer forebears as we turn about and face the future, more fully committing ourselves to walk with faith in every footstep. May we grasp the opportunities that are ours, living in order that we might gain the peace and light so willingly offered to us by Him who is our Savior.

We bear witness of the life and divinity of Jesus Christ, who is the Son of God, the Redeemer of mankind. We pray that you will be blessed at this wonderful season and throughout the coming year.

Sincerely,

Gordon B. Hinckley
Thomas S. Monson
James E. Faust

The First Presidency

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