Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Books and the Annual First Presidency Christmas Devotional ...

I adore the First Presidency Christmas Devotional. Each year, I look forward to uplifting stories of faith, beautiful carols, and a high dose of the "true spirit of Christmas."

To date, I have never been disappointed. This year, the messages from Pres. Uchtdorf, Pres. Eyering, and Pres. Monson again rang true - and made me want to do better and be better.

On top of all that, though, Pres. Uchtdorf's talk also reminded me of another reason I love the Christmas Devotional: The introduction of beloved books to the Church membership. It seems like each year at the Christmas devotional, members of the First Presidency refer to one book or another filled with tidbits of truth and hints of happiness.

In the past, those books have included "The Life of Our Lord," by Charles Dickens (used as the centerpiece for Pres. Hinckley's talk at the 1999 Christmas Devotional) as well as "A Christmas Carol," by Charles Dickens, and "The Mansion," by Henry Van Dyke (both mentioned by Pres. Monson in his 2003 Christmas Devotional address).

This year, Pres. Uchtdorf continued that tradition with his shout out to Le Petit Prince - The Little Prince. I absolutely, positively, and in all other ways, adore this book. I read it for the first time many, many years ago ... recently, though, it seems to have re-entered my life.

I love this book for many reasons ... though I'm sure I don't have time to go into them now. Suffice it to say, I leave off each reading with a desire to be a better person - and isn't that the sign of truly great literature?

While I don't have time to explain all the reasons I love The Little Prince, I do want to share one of the many amazing insights in that little book.

In his travels through the universe, the Little Prince eventually arrives on earth where, among other things, he meets and tames a fox, who explains many things to the Little Prince (including helping him see that his rose is unique and special, because she is the one that he loves). As the fox tells the little prince:
"And now here is my secret, a very simple secret; it is only with the heart that one can see rightly, what is essential is invisible to the eye."
If you haven't read it, please ... do. Get a copy as soon as you can. You won't regret it.

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