Book of Mormon and other scriptures prophets always warn and talk about the “traditions of their fathers“. and I have been thinking a lot about Christmas Traditions, and other holiday traditions that have been part of our childhood and part of the popular culture.
Some of the scriptures talk about how people that fall in unbelief and move away from the traditions of their fathers, but then other scriptures talk about how people are in unbelief because of the incorrect traditions of their fathers. The later is the topic of this post. And when I say “traditions of their fathers”, I am not selecting out individuals, but I am talking about the traditions of their fathers as in society as a group.
I think the scripture that says what I have been thinking the most about the traditions of Christmas would be Alma 17:15.
Thus they were a very indolent people, many of whom did worship idols, and the curse of God had fallen upon them because of the traditions of their fathers; notwithstanding the promises of the Lord were extended unto them on the conditions of repentance.
I think that this scripture points out three things.
- The people were indolent (having or showing a disposition to avoid exertion; slothful: an indolent person.)
- The people worshiped idols
- The curse of God had fallen on them because of the “traditions of their fathers”
During the Christmas season, what “traditions of our fathers”, or the traditions of society have caused us to be indolent and to worship idols? How many people do you know that find Christmas to be a time to avoid exertion, and worship idols (money, Santa Claus, etc)? The focus has moved from Christ to that of modern idols. It is not about what Christ has done, but what Santa Claus and others are going to give me. We have replaced the gifts of love, hope, faith, charity with cold steel and technology.
I hope that more people this year will move away from the traditions of society, and focus more on the birth of Christ. We don’t need Santa Claus to be a type of Christ, we can look to Christ directly. It is not what we get for Christmas, but what we give. The size of the present does not matter, it is the act of giving. There is one resource that is very limited in this world. That is the resource of time. Everyone has tried to put a value on it, and always complains that they don’t have enough of it. Lets give a true gift this Christmas. Give of the one resource that everyone needs and wants. Give some of your time to serve others this Christmas season.
Later in the book of Alma it says: (Alma 25:6)
For many of them, after having suffered much loss and so many afflictions, began to be stirred up in remembrance of the words which Aaron and his brethren had preached to them in their land; therefore they began to disbelieve the traditions of their fathers, and to believe in the Lord, and that he gave great power unto the Nephites; and thus there were many of them converted in the wilderness.
I just hope that it does not take Many Afflictions for us to begin to disbelieve the traditions of our fathers (society) and believe in the Lord, and to be truly converted during the Christmas Season.