Of course, the title and the timing probably make you think this is a Christmas post. But it isn't really your typical post about a newborn babe, mangers, donkeys, and a virgin mother. The Church's video A Savior is Born covers that with far better artistry than I could.
But I feel the urge to write something very different. When I was searching for a title, this is the one that came to me. And maybe, in some ways, it's more Christmas-appropriate than I intended. It is certainly exposing a huge part of myself, which is a frightening thing, especially given everything. I'm going to talk about sin, and its consequences. I'm going to talk about imperfection, and the desperate hunger to be perfect in order to be loved. I'm going to talk about learning to accept the Atonement in the midst of sin and imperfection. And I'm going to talk about forgiveness.
Many years ago—I can't remember if it was before or after my life took a drastic turn—I prayed for charity. It's kind of a joke that if you pray for an increase in faith, patience, charity, or some other Godly virtue, you are setting yourself up for disaster. But when I finally knelt down and prayed for charity, I knew exactly what I was doing. I had been prompted by the Spirit to learn charity for some time. Even my patriarchal blessing commanded me to overcome selfishness. I had studied, read about Abinadi, Nephi, Abraham, Noah. I had pored over the words of Paul. It had struck deeply into my heart: "[if I] have not charity, I am nothing."
I didn't want to be nothing.