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Of Advent and Angels

By Linda Hoffman Kimball

This coming Sunday is the 3rd week of Advent. LDS liturgy (such as it is) tends to rotate more around General Conferences than the holy days the rest of Christianity acknowledges. (With the pandemic that’s all been upended even more.) Having grown up in a Protestant tradition, I fondly remember singing in the children’s choir …

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In Things Yet Seen

By Jennie LaFortune

I’ve been watching people from a distance lose people they love lately. Peripherally. Once-removed. Twice-removed. Stories told from friends of friends. One, not so distant– a beloved neighbor who lived next to my childhood home. Some losses I’ve seen scrolling, naturally popping up on my screen, while others I was directed to. Told, “Did you …

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Present

By Linda Hoffman Kimball

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I was leaving town on December 8th for the winter so I went visiting teaching earlier than usual. Afterwards, I decided to stop in unannounced at another ward sister’s home  to say farewell. I hadn’t seen Cora Lester*  for a while and the last time I’d heard, she was in remission from last year’s terrifying battle with thyroid cancer.

She looked weary and was recovering from pneumonia. She shared the devastating news that one of her daughters living in another state had just been diagnosed with lung cancer, and that another of her out-of-state daughters had brain cancer.

Cora, whose heart is oceanic in its compassion and generosity, seemed broken and bowed under the weight of these challenges. She felt helpless to give anything “more” than empathy, a shoulder to cry on and her ears to hear her family’s sorrows and stories.

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An Advent Challenge

By Linda Hoffman Kimball

 

Here’s an Advent exercise I enjoy practicing to keep me tethered to tranquility during the rush of Christmastime. We’re in the thick of Advent right now, but there’s still time to jump into this, and it’s a great family activity.

There are three assignments, each of which should be accomplished before Christmas day. I never do them in any particular order, but if you prefer a little more structure, go for it.

Each assignment involves giving a gift or doing a service of some kind. Here are the challenges:

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Deliverance

Robin Tanner Markanich graduated from BYU in Broadcast Journalism and worked in TV news in Washington DC where she fell in love, literally and figuratively. Her Virginia-born husband tricked her into a life on the opposite side of the country in the Pacific Northwest. Robin is an Arizonan at heart who craves flip flops year round, taco stands and lime Cokes. She blogs at lovingcake.wordpress.com

To me, the advent of Christ is essentially a story of deliverance.

Generally we celebrate that deliverance on Easter Sunday much like the Jews celebrate the deliverance of the children of Israel from bondage during Passover. But the sacrifice of the grown Son of God began with the birth of the infant Jesus child.

My favorite Christmas carol is the Advent Hymn O Come, O Come, Emmanuel. Emmanuel meaning God with us is a name-title given in Isaiah as a sign of God’s deliverance.

The hymn speaks of Christ’s ransoming of captive Israel. It speaks of Christ freeing us from Satan, and giving us victory over the grave. The repeating refrain is an invitation for us to rejoice. Despite the realities of this life, even the horrors of the past week, we have cause to rejoice for Emmanuel is promised to come to us. He has and he does.

Light is used throughout our canon as a symbol of Christ. Light has preceded heavenly messengers, miraculous answers to prayer and pivotal conversions. Light is also at the center of the Christmas Story.

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The Future is Now: Three ideas for enriching the days ahead

By Linda Hoffman Kimball

        Christmas will be here in just a few days! The end of the year is nearly upon us. Then all the media outlets will do the inevitable rehash of the good, the bad, and the ugly of 2012. Some of us may make New Year’s resolutions. For what they’re worth, here …

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Holy Night

By Candace Melville

Because one man thought pity no disgrace (Perhaps he glimpsed my utter weariness Or saw the worry in my Joseph’s face), We have this welcome haven—humble, yes, But elevated by that kindliness Into a palace fit to house a king. We shelter here as unexpected guests Of sleepy beasts, and yet the night will bring …

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