away in a manger.

On Sunday, we sang in Away in a Manger in Sacrament Meeting and the entire third verse hit me so powerfully, "Be near me, Lord Jesus; I ask thee to stay close by me forever, and love me, I pray. Bless all the dear children in thy tender care, and fit us for heaven to live with thee there."

Such beautiful words and I felt it was somehow fitting for the tragedy in Connecticut last Friday--Bless all the dear children in thy tender care. I thought to myself, Yes, please bless all of those children that were there and their families.

My first reaction to the news was tears and then thinking all day about one day having the opportunity to raise a family of my own in this terrifying world. I thought about how scary it is now and how much scarier it could be in the future. How do you care for your children and teach them how to be good, how to let their light shine in an increasingly dark world? Then I felt an overwhelming sense of peace--one that allowed me to know that God loves these children as He loves all of His children. He guides our lives in mysterious ways--ways that are often difficult to understand. Sometimes, God allows people to go through hard things to make them stronger. We may lose our dearest family and friends, but it is comforting to know that we will see those people again. those families will see their children again and it is all because of the sacrifice that this little baby would one day grow up to make for us. His humble birth could not have predicted the life He would live, but all the scriptures before His birth that prophesied of His birth, mission, and death have been fulfilled and some are yet to be fulfilled. He healed all manner of afflictions during His ministry on this Earth--physical, spiritual, emotional--and through His atoning sacrifice, I know all can be healed. All can be healed. A nation grieving over a tragedy can be healed, families who have lost loved ones can be healed, and I know these children can be reunited with their families after this life. 

This is the true meaning of this season--Christ and all He has done for us.
Through Him, we can find ultimate joy.

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