The following is excerpted from the Church Newsroom. To read the full article, CLICK HERE.

Senior diplomats representing nations across the globe gathered at Hyde Park Chapel, London on December 1 for the opening of the International Nativity Exhibit, co-hosted by the Ambassador of Honduras, H.E. Ivan Romero-Martinez, Dean of the London Diplomatic Corps, together with H.E. Rafael Ortiz Fábrega, Costa Rica Ambassador. The event’s Latin American flavour was reflected in traditional folk dancing and singing performed by the Organisation of Latin American Artists in the UK.

Ambassador Romero-Martinez said, “We are honoured to return to your building to host this year’s nativity reception and open the Christmas season. Christmas is a very important holiday in Honduras and throughout Latin America. We are especially happy to have performers coming to celebrate our music and dance.”

Ambassadors, High Commissioners (from Commonwealth nations), and officials from 40 countries met together with senior government representatives, faith leaders, academics, members of the media, and charity heads. Elder Hans T. Boom, Europe North Area President of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints attended with his wife, Marjan; accompanied by first counsellor Elder Scott D. Whiting and his wife, Jeri; and Elder Alan T. Phillips, second counsellor, joined by his wife Lindsey.

The nativity exhibit showcases 45 individual nativity sets, all reflecting the cultural heritage of the countries where they are from. London-posted diplomats are invited to loan a nativity scene for the month of December. Ambassador Guisell Morales-Echaverry from Nicaragua provided a display handmade from corn husks. The Embassy of Poland loaned their nativity from Kraków, which features the famed Wawel Dragon.

The evening on December 1 included a devotional event of music and spiritual messages focused on Christmas and the hope of the season. Elder Hans T. Boom told the distinguished audience that “we celebrate our diversity and we reflect on our common humanity,” emphasising that we’re all part of a wonderful global community.”

Acknowledging our life in “an increasingly polarised world,” Elder Boom emphasised Jesus Christ’s perfect pattern as the Prince of Peace. “In a conflicted world, we can make an impact,” he said. “As individuals, we can each make a difference. In our families and social relationships, we can seek reconciliation. In our civic and government roles, we can pursue a higher path.”

“Let’s do all we can to continue increasing cultural ties between peoples and bring light and understanding between nations, across nations, and into people’s hearts,” Elder Boom added. “We stand for religious understanding, tolerance, and respect. In our diplomatic outreach efforts as a church, we want to be ‘Friends to All Nations.’”

To read the full article, CLICK HERE.