Monday, December 7, 2009

Is there really a Santa Claus?

Again I was very impressed by the preparation of my FHE leaders. This story brings to mind the true meaning of Christmas. It helps us understand why this time of year is so special, and what we can do to make sure it stays that way.

Eight-year-old Virginia O'Hanlon wrote a letter to the editor of New York's Sun, and the quick response was printed as an unsigned editorial Sept. 21, 1897. The work of veteran newsman Francis Pharcellus Church has since become history's most reprinted newspaper editorial, appearing in part or whole in dozens of languages in books, movies, and other editorials, and on posters and stamps.

"DEAR EDITOR: I am 8 years old.
"Some of my little friends say there is no Santa Claus.
"Papa says, 'If you see it in THE SUN it's so.'
"Please tell me the truth; is there a Santa Claus?


VIRGINIA, your little friends are wrong. They have been affected by the skepticism of a skeptical age. They do not believe except [what] they see. They think that nothing can be which is not comprehensible by their little minds. All minds, Virginia, whether they be men's or children's, are little. In this great universe of ours man is a mere insect, an ant, in his intellect, as compared with the boundless world about him, as measured by the intelligence capable of grasping the whole of truth and knowledge.

Yes, VIRGINIA, there is a Santa Claus. He exists as certainly as love and generosity and devotion exist, and you know that they abound and give to your life its highest beauty and joy. Alas! how dreary would be the world if there were no Santa Claus. It would be as dreary as if there were no VIRGINIAS. There would be no childlike faith then, no poetry, no romance to make tolerable this existence. We should have no enjoyment, except in sense and sight. The eternal light with which childhood fills the world would be extinguished.

Not believe in Santa Claus! You might as well not believe in fairies! You might get your papa to hire men to watch in all the chimneys on Christmas Eve to catch Santa Claus, but even if they did not see Santa Claus coming down, what would that prove? Nobody sees Santa Claus, but that is no sign that there is no Santa Claus. The most real things in the world are those that neither children nor men can see. Did you ever see fairies dancing on the lawn? Of course not, but that's no proof that they are not there. Nobody can conceive or imagine all the wonders there are unseen and unseeable in the world.

You may tear apart the baby's rattle and see what makes the noise inside, but there is a veil covering the unseen world which not the strongest man, nor even the united strength of all the strongest men that ever lived, could tear apart. Only faith, fancy, poetry, love, romance, can push aside that curtain and view and picture the supernal beauty and glory beyond. Is it all real? Ah, VIRGINIA, in all this world there is nothing else real and abiding.

No Santa Claus! Thank God! he lives, and he lives forever. A thousand years from now, Virginia, nay, ten times ten thousand years from now, he will continue to make glad the heart of childhood.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Mission Thoughts

Christmas is 3 weeks away. I am happy to see it coming, but I hope that I make it through school.
The reason for my post today came to me last night at about 2am. When I went back home to Arizona last week for Thanksgiving, I brought my missionary journal back with me. I started flipping through the pages and began to read about the people I met there.

I began to feel so very blessed to have served a mission. It was more than just leaving home for two years and walking around a 3rd world country. It was more than knocking on peoples doors and asking to come in and share a message about Jesus Christ. It was more than the contacts in the street, or learning Spanish, or sleeping in bug infested apartments.

My mission changed who I am. For two whole years I dedicated my every waking breath to the building up of the church. I grew closer to my Savior. There were alot of hard times, but those really didn't matter. What mattered was my testimony of Jesus Christ.

Ive been home for over a year now, and even though I'm still a good kid, I've lost many of the good habits I worked so hard to develop while I was an Elder. I have some regrets, but I have a renewed determination to stay on the Lords side and to be who He wants me to be.
Like everyone, I have my own struggles and problems, but I know that I can overcome them if I just do what I'm supposed to.

I'm thankful for everyone who loves me and does so very much for me. I dont need to list you off by name, If you're reading this blog, then you are one of them. Thank you for all you do for me.