Dec 26, 2008

What the Savior's Birth Means to Me

by Rebecca Talley

On December 19, 1968 I awoke early and told my father goodbye as he left for work. I even rushed to my bedroom window to watch his car leave our cul-de-sac and drive along the road out of our subdivision. I didn't usually wake up early to see my father off, but I did that day.

My mother took my baby sister and me Christmas shopping. We ended up at my grandmother's house later that day to spend the night. Long after we'd gone to bed, I was awakened by the ringing of the telephone. Though I was quite young, I realized that the late-night phone call meant my life would never be the same. My father's mortal existence had ended in a mangled heap of a car on a dark, unlit road. He was such a young man filled with so much life and vitality. He'd hardly had a chance to live. He had a promising career, a beautiful wife, and two young daughters. His funeral was on Christmas Eve.

Every year I think about my father and his short life. I think of what could have been and, of course, I wish this story had a different ending. But, I also find great hope and comfort as I celebrate the birth of the Savior. Because Jesus was born into mortality, willingly chose to lay down his life, and was then resurrected, so too will my father (and my mother, my grandparents, my father-in-law, other family members, and my friends) be resurrected. The birth and life of the Savior means that I will be reunited with my father and all of those I've loved and lost.

The Savior's birth makes it possible for me to someday have the family I didn't have in mortality. Yes, it's been hard not having my parents. Yes, it makes me sad that they both died before they could see and know my children in mortality. Yes, I've often wished to build a time machine to go back and know my parents. But, in the eternal scheme of things, time is only relative. The significance of the birth of Jesus transcends time and heals the aching heart.

His birth means that I can have an eternal family and that brings me incredible peace and joy.


  1. Beautifully said. Thanks for sharing.

  2. Rebecca what a beautiful sad and wonderful sharing. It's so hard to lose someone young who was good. It does affect your mortal existence even if you have the comfort of the gospel and the resurrection.

  3. Wouldn't, or won't, it be nice to know why things work out as they do in mortality. As my husband often said, "A long life may not be good enough, but a good life is always long enough." Perhaps each of us really needs the specific trials that come to us. I don't really know, but I like to think it's so. Thanks for sharing your feelings. Even though my own experience is vastly different, it's still vastly the same.

    By the way, I used your story from the Friend last Sunday when I was Grandma Friendly for sharing time in Primary. They loved it. So did I. I emphasized the joy that comes from caring service. For an activity, we wrote, or drew, or plastered stickers on thank you cards for veterans in the local VA hospital. As a missionary touch, I printed a ward logo on the back.

  4. Thank you for sharing your tender thoughts and beautiful testimony. Our Christmas was more focused on the Savior this year, and I am so happy about that. The same day I read your post for the first time, I also heard a young mother bear her testimony as she thanked members of her ward for helping with her six-year-old daughter's funeral services...her little girl was hit by a car in front of their home just a couple of weeks ago. The young mother shared such a strong testimony of knowing where her daughter is and how much she looks forward to the next life and being with her daughter again. It brought tears to our eyes...and joy to our hearts as the spirit bore witness to the truth that she shared...just like your post did when I read it. Happy New Year!


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