Good Tidings of Great Joy Christmas, President Thomas S. Monson has written, "is a glorious time of the year, simple in origin, deep in meaning, beautiful in tradition and custom, rich in memories, and charitable in spirit." Even still, it is easy to lose sight of the connections between the holiday we celebrate and its origins in the birth of the Savior.God So Loved the World, has provided yet another insightful look into the origin, meaning, and celebration of an aspect of the Savior's life. Beautiful illustrations, fine artwork, and photographs accompany the latest scholarship about the birth of Jesus Christ. Sidebar articles illuminate various aspects of our Christmas celebration, from the music that delights us to the symbols that have accumulated through the centuries to become familiar and welcome reminders of the season. Throughout the book are suggestions for celebrating the Advent of Jesus Christ through the traditional four aspects of Advent: Hope, Love, Peace, and Joy. President Uchtdorf has remembered the Advent of his youth thus: "Advent was a time of anticipation and hope, and it brought a special feeling into our humble home as we prepared for something holy and beautiful. Each Sunday we lit one additional candle; by the fourth Sunday our expectations for the coming joyous events had reached their peak." The author also suggests an added "focus" of Advent for Latter-day Saints: Salvation, with scriptural support from the Book of Mormon. By celebrating the advent of our Lord and Savior, we can find in the old forms of Christmas the message that the Lord intended us to find: Salvation comes from and through the life of the Babe of Bethlehem, Jesus Christ. For God So Loved the World "So much more than a simple book full of stories, songs and pictures; it can be used all year long whenever we want a way to revisit the power and majesty of the Savior fulfilling his mission and ponder our place in it as well."Beth W. Roach for the Association for Mormon Letters There would be no Christmas if there had not been Easter," taught President Gordon B. Hinckley. "The babe Jesus of Bethlehem would be but another baby without the redeeming Christ of Gethsemane and Calvary, and the triumphant fact of the Resurrection."With this deeper understanding given by a modern prophet, Latter-day Saints have an increased opportunity during the period from Palm Sunday to Easter morning to reflect upon the last days of our Lord's earthly ministry.
In God So Loved the World: The Final Days of the Savior's Life, author Eric D. Huntsman takes us on a scriptural journey through the last week of our Savior's mortal life, culminating in His atoning sacrifice and joyous resurrection. The author, by drawing on his wide knowledge of historical context, cultural background, and biblical insights, increases our understanding of these momentous events and helps us draw closer to the Savior. Full-color fine-art paintings, photographs, maps, music, and topics for personal reflection are included to enhance our commemoration of Easter week.
Brother Huntsman writes, "Each year has its rhythms with the passage of summer to fall, winter, and at last, again, spring. Holidays are part of that rhythm, helping us remember realities greater than mere seasons, and Easter, together with Christmas, can anchor each year securely in the promises of Jesus Christ."
This beautiful volume suggests meaningful ways for Latter-day Saints to refocus their Easter celebrations on the culminating events of the Savior's ministry. Whether used as a personal or family study guide or as a model for a devotional celebration of Easter week, God So Loved the World is a must-have addition to the library of every Latter-day Saint.