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Christmas. Just the word makes our hearts stir. Beautiful trees strung with tinsel and lights.  Carols ringing through a frosty night. This is a special time of year when hearts, hands and homes are open, to each other and to the Savior. As Bobby Macey, the Brandview Manager for Deseret Digital Media, says,

The holidays are a great time to share feelings of gratitude and love. 

The festivities and spirit of the season provide unique opportunities to share the gospel with our families, friends, and strangers.

This guide does not attempt to cover every possible way to share the gospel during the holidays, but it does teach principles and give ideas that will make you think, “That’s so easy. I can do that.”

The Spirit will guide you to know exactly how and with whom to share the gospel this year as you consider these five principles and  ideas for their application.

  • Prepare to Share
  • Build Friendships
  • Start Gospel Conversations
  • Extend Invitations to Experience the Gospel
  • Share the Gospel with Strangers

Prepare to Share

Like the shepherds, we must take time to find Christ.

Like the shepherds, we must take time to find Christ. (image via lds.net)

Bobby Unser is one of only two automobile racers to win the Indianapolis 500 three or more times in three different decades. As a man who has met success in his life and career he said,

Success is where preparation and opportunity meet.

How do we prepare ourselves to successfully share the gospel when opportunities come to us? Let’s learn from the shepherds.

Before spreading the news told them by the angels the shepherds determined to personally find Jesus. They said, “Let us now go even unto Bethlehem” and they “came with haste” (Luke 2:15-16). They did not say, “Let’s go to Bethlehem if we have time after delivering all the cookies” or “If we’re in the neighborhood while shopping for gifts, then we might stop by.”

Finding Jesus was urgent; it was their priority. And only when they found Him were they prepared to share His message.

How would our prayers, scripture study and worship change if we felt the same urgency to find Jesus there, and the same excitement to share the message of His birth and life?

The following five ideas will help you find Christ and prepare yourself to share the gospel.

1. Slow Down and Focus on Christ

mple, peaceful holidays don’t happen by accident. President Uchtdorf says,

Let’s be honest; it’s rather easy to be busy. We all can think up a list of tasks that will overwhelm our schedules.

At no time is this more true than during the holidays.

There are gifts to buy and wrap, goodies to bake and deliver, parties to plan and attend, friends and family to visit, service to render, carols to sing, trees to decorate, and lights to hang. With all of these demands and activities, it is easy to feel so overwhelmed that we miss the joy and magic of the season.

Leonardo da Vinci said,

Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.

Walt Witman said,

Simplicity is the glory of expression.

and Henry Wadsworth Longfellow said

In character, in manner, in style, in all things, the supreme excellence is simplicity. 

Busyness is not a mark of excellence and sophistication; simplicity is. If we are not intentional about simplifying our season, it will easily become too chaotic to hear the quiet promptings of the Holy Ghost and too busy to stop and have meaningful conversations.

Simplifying will look different for each individual and each family, but for all it should result in less rushing and more time focused on, thinking about, communing with, talking about, and acting like Jesus. We need more Christ and less -mas. So let’s simplify.

Steve Jobs, co-founder and CEO of Apple Inc. said,

That’s been one of my mantras – focus and simplicity. Simple can be harder than complex: You have to work hard…to make it simple. But it’s worth it in the end because once you get there, you can move mountains.

Read full article at LDS.NET