Christ the Savior is Born

A Christmas Presentation

I wrote the musical presentation, "Christ the Savior is Born," and my song, “The Manger Scene," for our Sepulveda, California Christmas program in 1979 when I was the ward choir director. Please contact me if you’re interested in seeing the script with the other traditional Christmas songs I used and/or a copy of the music to "The Manger Scene."

The Manger Scene

Upon the hearth stood the manger scene.
A little boy knelt by wondering what it all could mean.
He touched the lamb and the shepherd boy—
Seeing them only as toys.

But when he came to the manger stall
His little eyes grew wide as he grasped the tiny doll.
“Is this baby Jesus?” he softly cried.
His mother answered this way:

A child was born of Mary
The son of a living God.
And He is our Redeemer
Born to love and save us all.

The little boy grew to be a lad.
He tried in every way to please his mom and dad.
He learned to pray, and he learned to give—
Seeing the way he must live.

And in the spring when the hearth was bare,
He pictured in his mind the manger standing there.
Remembering the stories that Mother told
Of our dear Savior’s birth:

A child was born of Mary
The son of a living God.
And He is our Redeemer
Born to love and save us all.

The boy was tall now and fully grown
And very soon the time would come for leaving home.
And this year’s Christmas would be his last—
How had the time gone so fast?

The blazing fire of the logs he split
Cast a glow around the tree so gaily lit.
And there on the hearth stood the manger scene—
Ever dear to him now.

A child was born of Mary
The son of a living God.
And He is our Redeemer
Born to love and save us all.

Narration and Scriptures

Within the heart of every child is the joy that comes from the excitement of Christmas, but there is a deeper, more spiritual excitement that can be felt by each of us when we catch a glimpse of eternal realities and begin to understand the truth of Christ’s birth and what it really signifies. When this truth is understood, then a testimony is kindled and gradually begins to burn within the soul, testifying even to the youngest hearts, that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the living God. In the Old Testament in Job, we read:

For I know that my redeemer liveth, and that He shall stand at the latter day upon the earth: And though after my skin worms destroy this body, yet in my flesh shall I see God (Job 19:25-26.)

Who is this Jesus Christ to whom we pledge obedience and to whom we teach our children to revere: What manner of man or God was he that now, 2,000 years later, we still revere? In actuality, it is not just His birth we rejoice in, for our joy reaches back into pre-existent realms where Jehovah, the first spiritual offspring of our Heavenly Parents, began a life of service and dedication to righteousness while always giving honor to His Father. In the book, Jesus the Christ, we read:

We affirm, on the authority of Holy Scripture, that the being who is known among men as Jesus of Nazareth, and by all who acknowledge His Godhood as Jesus the Christ, existed with the Father prior to birth in the flesh: and that in the pre-existent state He was chosen and ordained to be the one and only Savior and Redeemer of the human race (Jesus the Christ, page 6.)

Yes, Christ existed with our Heavenly Father prior to his birth, but he was not alone—we were there, too—all of us—millions of us—learning, growing, making choices, and using our intelligence. We were filled with light from living with our Heavenly Father, and we loved Him as He loves us. We enjoyed this happy state, so why didn’t we stay there? Why were we not content to remain in spirit form? What was there that pushed us on to desire even greater responsibilities? We perhaps would have limited our own vision if our Heavenly Father had not planned for an earth to be created for us with the promise of a Savior. Once again in Jesus the Christ, we read:

In that great concourse of spirit-intelligences, the Father’s plan, whereby His children would be advanced to their second estate, was submitted and doubtless discussed. The opportunity so placed within the reach of the spirits who were to be privileged to take bodies upon the earth was so transcendently glorious that those heavenly multitudes burst forth into song and shouted for joy (Jesus the Christ, page 8.)

Yes, the Lord would be coming down to earth to be the Savior of all nations, kindred, tongues, and people, and we would be there also with our free agency to choose Him as our King! Yes, our King—our Savior—our God! He who stands at the door and knocks, waiting for us to open our hearts to the eternal blessings that would be awaiting us as we bind our hearts and souls with those of the angels, singing praises to Him who was to come and be the Redeemer of the world! In the New Testament in Revelations, we read:

Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me. To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne. He that hath an ear, let him hear what the spirit saith unto the churches (Revelations 3:20-22.)

From the time that Adam and Eve were first placed on the earth, they looked forward to the time that the Savior would be born. They taught their children to anticipate His coming, and they in turn taught their children, and so the prophecies that foretold His birth began. All those whose faith was strong, and whose love for righteousness was sincere, had manifestations of the spirit, attesting to the truth of the tradition that the Only Begotten Son of the Father would be born in the flesh to redeem all mankind from their sins. In the Book of Mormon in 1st Nephi, Nephi records the vision he had of the divine birth of Jesus Christ:

And it came to pass that I looked and beheld the great city of Jerusalem, and also other cities. And I beheld the city of Nazareth: and in the city of Nazareth I beheld a virgin, and she was exceedingly fair and white.

And it came to pass that I saw the heavens open: and an angel came down and stood before me: and he said unto me: Nephi, what beholdest thou? And I said unto him: A virgin, most beautiful and fair above all other virgins.

And he said unto me: Knowest thou the condescension of God? And I said unto Him: I know that he loveth his children: nevertheless, I do not know the meaning of all things. And he said unto me: Behold, the virgin who thou seest is the mother of the Son of God, after the manner of the flesh.

And it came to pass that I beheld that she was carried away in the spirit: and after she had been carried away in the spirit for the space of a time, the angel spake unto me, saying: Look! And I looked and beheld the virgin again, bearing a child in her arms. And the angel said unto me: Behold the Lamb of God, yea, even the Son of the Eternal Father! (1 Nephi 11:13-21.)

This vision was seen 600 years before the coming of the Savior, and from that time on the world saw the rise and fall of many generations—some living out their lives in righteousness, while others letting their lusts and selfishness destroy their peace in this life and their right to eternal blessings in the world to come.

Some years, prophets had to stand alone as their voices of warning echoed heedlessly in unhearing ears. Other times, hearts were softened and seeds of gladness were sown as testimonies grew and faithful followers began once again to look forward to the coming of Christ.

Both the angels in heaven and the saints on earth were preparing themselves for this greatest event that the world had yet seen. What joy must have filled the heart of the angel Gabriel when the time finally arrived when he could go speak to Mary and tell her of his thrilling message.  In the New Testament in Luke, we read:

And in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God unto a city of Galilee, named Nazareth, to a virgin espoused to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David: And the virgin’s name was Mary. And the angel came in unto her, and said, Hail, thou that art highly favoured, the Lord is with thee: Blessed art thou among women.

And when she saw him, she was troubled at his saying, and cast in her mind what manner of salutation this should be. And the angel said unto her, fear not, Mary: For thou has found favor with God. And, behold, thou shalt conceive in the womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name Jesus (Luke 1:26-31.)

The time was closer now than it had ever been for the prophesied birth of the Lord, Jesus Christ. The mother had been chosen and told of her divine calling, and now it was just a matter of time—a matter of waiting—as every mother-to-be knows so well.

Little is recorded of Mary’s life as she waited those nine months, knowing that within her she carried the Son of God. We read in the New Testament in Luke that she spent her first three months at her cousin Elizabeth’s home, at which time she spoke these beautiful words:

My soul doth magnify the Lord, and my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Saviour. For he hath regarded the low estate of his handmaiden: for, behold, from henceforth all generations shall call me blessed. For he that is mighty had done to me great things: and holy is his name (Luke 1:46-50.)

All else that is recorded in the New Testament about Mary, prior to the birth of Jesus, is the journey that she and Joseph took to Bethlehem, the city where they went to be taxed.

But, far away in the yet-to-be-named America, there is other recorded history of tumultuous events which were taking place in this land before Christ was born. Even as those in Jerusalem were looking towards the birth of the Savior, here also was a group of believers. In the Book of Mormon in 3rd Nephi, it states:

And it came to pass that in the commencement of the ninety and second year, behold, the prophecies of the prophets (concerning Christ’s birth) began to be fulfilled more fully: for there began to be greater signs and greater miracles wrought among the people.

But there were some who began to say that the time was past for the words to be fulfilled, which were spoken by Samuel, the Lamanite. And they began to rejoice over their brethren, saying: Behold the time (for the Savior to be born) is past, and the words of Samuel are not fulfilled: Therefore, your joy and your faith concerning this thing hath been vain. And it came to pass that they did make a great uproar throughout the land: And the people who believed began to be very sorrowful, let by any means those things which had been spoken might not come to pass.

But behold, they did watch steadfastly for that day and that night and that day which should be as one day as if there were no night, that they might know that their faith had not been vain.

Now it came to pass that there was a day set apart by the unbelievers, that all those who believed in those traditions should be put to death except the sign should come to pass, which had been given by Samuel the prophet (3 Nephi 1:4-9)

While those in Jerusalem, who were awaiting the birth of the Christ-child, were not called upon to endure this trial of their faith, here was a group of saints who were willing to sacrifice their own lives because they knew, without a shadow of a doubt, that the long-awaited Messiah was soon to be born. They had seen the signs and the miracles, which were prophesied to occur prior to the Savior’s birth, and although they did not know the hour or the day, they knew the time was near.

Because of its nearness, they could not, they dared not, deny its truthfulness. To do so would have been to throw away the faith and the testimonies that they had built their lives, and which permeated their very souls. Continuing in 3rd Nephi, we read:

Now it came to pass that when Nephi, the son of Nephi, saw this wickedness of his people, his heart was exceedingly sorrowful. And it came to pass that he went out and bowed himself down upon the earth, and cried mightily unto the Lord, all the day: And behold, the voice of the Lord came unto him, saying:

Lift up your head and be of good cheer: For behold, the time is at hand, and on this night shall the sign be given, and on the morrow come I into the world, to show unto the world that I will fulfill all that which I have caused to be spoken by the mouth of my hold prophets (3 Nephi 1:10-13.)

The New Testament testifies of the truth of Jesus Chris’s humble, but profound, birth with these familiar words from Luke:

And so it was, that, while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered. And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger: Because there was so room for them in the inn.

And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon the, and the glory of the Lord shone round about the: And they were sore afraid.

And the angel said unto them, fear not: For, behold, I bring you good tiding of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you in born this day in the city of David, a Savior, which is Christ the Lord. And this shall be a sign unto you: Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.

And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising god, and saying, glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men (Luke 2:6-14.)

May our testimonies burn within our souls as to the reality of Jesus Christ’s divine birth and eternal mission, and may we proclaim as did Isaiah from the Old Testament:

For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called wonderful, counselor, the mighty God, the everlasting Father, the prince of Peace (Isaiah 9:6.)