Nov 30, 2008

Glad Tidings of Great Joy

by Marsha Ward

Coming into the Christmas season, I know there is nothing more important to do in December than rejoice over the greatest event mankind has ever seen: the birth of the Savior of the World. His Birth, Life, Ministry, Sacrifice, and Atonement are eternal blessings in our lives. Everything else is incidental to those events and accomplishments.

Our Heavenly Father wants us to be happy, but he also wants us to be tested and tried through a mortal existence. Many years ago I realized the unique confluence of happiness and adversity when we had a trial returning home from a camping trip. We descended a narrow hillside highway complete with hairpin turns and no shoulders, and I felt that all was not right. We seemed to be weaving all over the road. I knew my husband was a good driver and was sufficiently rested, so the problem wasn't in his driving skills. Something wasn't right with our large vehicle. I think the imprint of my fingers must still be in the armrest to this day.

When we finally reached the valley at the end of the downgrade, one of our tires exploded. My husband carefully guided our truck to the side of the road—to the first shoulder area that we had seen since we began the descent. He and the boys changed the tire after we had a prayer of thanksgiving for our safety.

All of you have heard similar accounts, or experienced similar insights into blessings yourselves.

As I’ve pondered on blessings during November, it has occurred to me that my writer friends are great blessings to me and to the world. As members of American Night Writers Association, we share a common framework of faith. As writers, we share a love of words and the talents to use them.

Our works range from emotionally soothing to informational to fantastically adventurous to comforting to romantically satisfying. We create intriguing new worlds, have our characters climb into wagon seats to cross a continent, and teach parents how to raise their children. We—in our writing—imitate our Savior in bringing “Glad Tidings of Great Joy” into the world.

What a great blessing to share!


  1. December is my favorite month and Christmas my favorite holiday next to Easter. I don't feel my writing comes close to the wonderful message of joy the Savior brings to earth. But if I can serve others in a small way with my writing by enlightening them, encouraging them or giving them a moment of needed reprieve then I feel I have done some small part in making the world a better place.
    Thanks for all you do for us.

  2. I've been experiencing quite a few of those insights recently. As tempting as it gets to whine about how difficult it is to have my husband work out of state, I realized how grateful I am that he has a good job...that he does get to come home once in awhile...and that we have a huge safety net of family, friends, ward members, etc.

    I am so very grateful for a firm foundation in the gospel of Jesus Christ...and the unifying power that foundation gives to us. Thanks for starting off my December on such a lovely note, Marsha!

  3. Those happiness/adversity moments can be tough to take when the adversity part is the one you're going through. Thanks for reminding me that happiness does come.


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