“Let the Saints remember that great things depend on their individual exertion, and that they are called to be co-workers with us and the Holy Spirit in accomplishing the great work of the last days; and in consideration of the extent, the blessings and glories of the same, let every selfish feeling be not only buried, but annihilated; and let love to God and man predominate, and reign triumphant in every mind, that their hearts may become like unto Enoch’s of old. . .
“Let us realize that we are not to live to ourselves, but to God; by so doing the greatest blessings will rest upon us both in time and in eternity” (Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Joseph Smith, p. 276).
“There was a song in a film years ago with the line ‘Have yourself a merry little Christmas.’ Well, you can give a great and wonderful Christmas if you remember the gifts God has given you and, as best you can, offer them to others as He would. That is the spirit of Christmas and of true happiness every day.”
—Henry B. Eyring, “The Gifts of Christmas”, 2011 First Presidency Christmas Devotional, December 2011
“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.”
—Thomas S. Monson, “Christmas Is Love”, 2012 First Presidency Christmas Devotional, December 2012
“Good old St. Nickolas or ‘Santa Claus,’ as the Americans first christened him, was a real person who lived in Russia about the time that old Diocletian was persecuting the early Christians. It is probably that St. Nicholas was imprisoned by this cruel emperor.
“St. Nickolas had the true spirit of Christmas and went about giving comfort to the people and making children happy. He gave gifts but concealed the identity of the giver. . . .
“Good old St. Nicholas has long gone the way of all mortals, but the joy he experienced in doing kindly deeds is now shared by millions who are learning that true happiness comes only by making others happy–the practical application of the Savior’s doctrine of losing one’s life to gain it. In short, the Christmas spirit is the Christ spirit, that makes our hearts glow in brotherly love and friendship and prompts us to kind deeds of service.
“It is the spirit of the gospel of Jesus Christ, obedience to which will bring ‘peace on earth,’ because it means–good will toward all men” (David O. McKay, Gospel Ideals, p. 550-551).
“This warning has gone out to the people dwelling in this land today that unless they keep the commandments of the Lord like destruction will eventually overtake them. And what the Lord says of this land is also true in a large measure of other lands. History records the rise and the downfall of nations. We have before us the history of Babylon, of Assyria, of Egypt, of Rome, and other nations. Why were they destroyed? Because they refused to hearken to the spirit of truth, to the voice of righteousness, and to walk in that spirit before the Lord. In the days of their iniquity trouble came upon them, and the Lord’s anger was kindled against them, and they fell from their high and exalted positions” (Joseph Fielding Smith, Doctrines of Salvation,3:321).
“It is our duty, therefore, as citizens of this great republic, to exercise our right at the ballot box. It is our duty to see that men in both our great parties are chosen who will teach not only by precept, but also by example, obedience to law; that these men so elected will appoint men under them who will not scoff at the law, or who will not in any way protect those men or women who violate moral laws. (David O. McKay, Conference Report, April 1928, p. 105-106)”