The first week of April 2020, I received an SOS call from my son-in-law. Jonathan informed me that my daughter, who was pregnant with their third child, was extremely nauseated and had lost twenty pounds in three weeks. Sarah was too sick and frail to care for their one- and two-year-old sons, and Jonathan was trying to do his doctoral studies from home due to Covid-19 shutdowns but was struggling to finish his semester’s work while taking care of a sick wife and two toddlers. They hesitated to ask for help because of social distancing, but the situation was dire.

I immediately called my daughter-in-law who is a nurse and asked for her recommendations. She gave me the name of an anti-nausea medication and suggested that Sarah take small sips of vitamin water with B6 in it. I texted the name of the medication to Jonathan so he could request it from their doctor, then I headed to the store for vitamin water, crackers, and some treats for my grandsons. Arriving at their home, I was shocked to see how pale and weak my daughter was. She was unable to even get off the couch. Obviously, her body had been deprived of the nutrition it needed to function properly.

During the following twenty-four hours, Sarah began taking anti-nausea meds which allowed her to keep down some vitamin water, crackers, and other light foods. Two days later my husband and I drove up to check on her and were understandably surprised when we found her outside, mowing her lawn. When we climbed out of the truck and approached her our shock at seeing her performing manual labor must have been evident because Sarah turned off the mower and said, “It’s amazing what your body can do when it gets the food it needs!”

Most of us are quick to recognize when our bodies need food and water, but are slower to recognize signs of spiritual deficiencies. Long ago, I learned an essential lesson about being “…nourished by the good word of God…” (Jacob 6:7)

As the Christmas season approached during my junior year of high school, I decided to study the four gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John during the month of December. I don’t recall what motivated me to do it, but I calculated how many pages I needed to read each night in order to finish by Christmas, then began reading on December first. I was already familiar with all of the stories, yet studying and pondering more than seven pages of scripture each night for several weeks affected me in a powerful way. I was receiving a strong, steady dose of Jesus.

I have experienced more than forty Christmases since that time. Though many of those holidays have been unique and wonderful–such as Christmas as a fulltime missionary, the first Christmas spent with my new husband, or the chaotic, fun-filled holidays with our young children–the Christmas of my junior year may have been the most important one. It was the first time my heart was filled more with the Savior and His beautiful life than with thoughts of holiday parties, concerts, or presents. My intense study of Christ’s life had spiritually nourished me. I recall the sweet, peaceful tone of that Christmas morning as my family surrounded the decorated tree. I wasn’t frantic to open packages. Rather, I was calm and grateful. That strong, steady dose of Jesus had filled my spirit.

Here are a few recommendations for upping your daily dosage of the Savior’s influence:

Study or memorize “The Living Christ” document. You can find it here:

https://www.churchofjesuschrist.org/study/scriptures/the-living-christ-the-testimony-of-the-apostles/the-living-christ-the-testimony-of-the-apostles?lang=eng

Focus on Jesus Christ-centered hymns, such as:

Redeemer of Israel
Rejoice, the Lord is King!
Glory to God on High
A Mighty Fortress is Our God
Guide Us, O Thou Great Jehovah
The Lord is My Light
The Lord is My Shepherd
Where Can I Turn for Peace?
I Believe in Christ
I Stand All Amazed
Jesus, the Very Thought of Thee
Jesus of Nazareth, Savior and King
Jesus, Once of Humble Birth
Love One Another

Work to develop a specific attribute of Jesus Christ, as discussed in Preach My Gospel, chapter six. You can find it here:

https://www.churchofjesuschrist.org/study/manual/preach-my-gospel-a-guide-to-missionary-service/how-do-i-develop-christlike-attributes?lang=eng

Study firsthand accounts or prophecies about the Savior, such as:

Isaiah 9:6
Isaiah 53
Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John
3rd Nephi, chapters 10-20 and 26-28
Alma 36:12-24
Ether 3:4-20
D&C 76:19-24

Enjoy searching for other scriptural passages that draw you closer to Jesus.

Act intentionally in Christ’s name: serve the hungry, the homeless, and minister to those in despair.

Seeing my daughter mowing her lawn just two days after she was too weak to get off the couch was powerful evidence that she had received the nutrients her body needed. Sure signs that we’ve had a strong dose of Jesus include feeling a growing desire to serve Him, a softened heart, increased compassion, and a decreased tendency to criticize or judge others. Generally, a strong dose of Jesus motivates us to emulate Him through our actions.

As we become better acquainted with the Savior “who went about doing good” (Acts 10:38) our own desire to do good increases. When we study the life of Christ who said, “I do always those things that please [the Father]” (John 8:29) our own desire to please Heavenly Father grows. A strong, steady dose of Jesus will increase our faith that He came “to heal the broken-hearted” (Luke 4:18), including us. My greatest wish this Christmas is that we will raise our sights to a true celebration, basking in the warmth, love, and hope of Jesus Christ.

Click below to listen to my Christmas song “The Light of the World”:
https://www.dropbox.com/s/v6ja4a9m59b15gi/The%20Light%20of%20the%20World.mp3?dl=0

For a free downloadable copy of the sheet music, please email Lynne Perry Christofferson at: [email protected]