Emily Belle Freeman
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THIS IS MY JOY

AND MY GREAT REJOICING

More Sacred

This morning my desk is filled to overflowing with little slips of paper. They are reminders of all of the gifts I still need to purchase, or deliver, or find ––because this is the time of year when I have to remember where I hid what I already bought.

I love Christmas.

But sometimes the gift giving stresses me out.

I know what the problem is.  I have a sentimental heart, and I really want every gift to be meaningful.

There is something about watching someone’s eyes when they open a gift that is just right

Oh, how I love those moments.

Usually finding that type of gift requires time, a lot of thought, and sometimes great sacrifice.

I love a story told by Norman Vincent Peale, one of my most favorite authors…

An African boy listened carefully as his teacher explained why Christians were such giving people. The teacher said, “Jesus taught us that giving gifts is an expression of our love and friendship for Him and each other. Jesus said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’” (Acts 20:35).

A couple of days later the boy brought the teacher a seashell of lustrous beauty. “Where did you ever find such a beautiful shell?” the teacher asked. The youth told her that there was only one spot where such extraordinary shells could be found.

When he named the place, a certain bay several miles away, the teacher was speechless. She knew that it would have taken the young man hours to walk to the bay. Also, he would have faced many dangers from the jungle and rocky cliffs of the seacoast along the way. “Why, it’s gorgeous and wonderful, but you shouldn’t have gone all that way to get the gift for me,” the teacher joyfully explained.

His eyes brightening, the boy answered, “Long walk part of gift.”

There is something about the long walk that makes a gift even more precious.

A verse in the Doctrine and Covenants taught that principle today...

“His sacrifice shall be more sacred unto me than his increase”

(D&C 117:13)

I realized when I read that  verse that sometimes the giving of the long walk is more sacred than the gift itself.

I look at my scraps of paper and I wonder...which of these will require the long walk?

It is two weeks before Christmas.

Is there someone you know who could use a gift that is meaningful this year?

Are you up for a long walk?

Emily Freeman