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In sharing Christmas messages in recent years, Elder David A. Bednar of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles has asked his listeners and readers to consider the symbolism of Christmas decorations, traditions and celebrations — and to look at them differently and link them with the source of truth, even Christ.

To the oft-asked holiday phrase, “Are you ready for Christmas?” Elder Bednar often suggests another question — “Are you and I ready for Christ?”

He explains: “The Father’s gift to us was His Son. The gift from the Son to us is His Atonement. Perhaps the only thing we could give Them is a growing conviction of and a deepening conversion to the Savior and His Atonement and what it means in our lives.

“Perhaps the only thing we could give would be a more diligent desire and commensurate study — to not just know about the Atonement of Jesus Christ, but to know Him who brought His Atonement and to more fully understand the blessings of His sacrifice in our lives.”

Like other general authorities and general officers, Elder Bednar has used devotional messages, holiday speaking invitations and social-media posts to speak of Christmas symbols.

From stars and bells to shepherds and wise men, those symbols can have one not just thinking of Christmas and Christ’s birth but also expand focus on the Savior’s ministry and mission.

Following are some of the Christmas symbols of which Elder Bednar has spoken:

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