Shadows of Christmas

shadowsAs the sun is setting in the west, our shadows are stretching towards the east. That’s what frightens us the most. If the sun sets, as it always does, and our shadows disappear, we, the handful of believers, will die.

How did it come to this?

upsidedonwThe world’s turned upside down.

Sure, we Nephites have a history of cyclic righteousness. For the most part we are a righteous and blessed people. When we let pride rule our lives, our society is thrown into chaos. That chaos usually leads to dissidents inciting the Lamanites to anger. Then comes war.

Now, things are worse than ever. The Lamanites had taken Zarahemla and almost captured Bountiful. Sure, Moronihah halted their progress and our armies regained half our lands. But we still lived in fear. Then, Nephi and Lehi, our sibling prophets, went to Zarahemla to preach to the Lamanites.

It was a miracle.

The Lamanites accepted the gospel and gave us back our ancestral lands with no bloodshed. Those were days of great promise. But the elation of those times was short lived.

Our government became corrupt. Money became our new god. Soon the Lamanites were sending missionaries to reclaim us.

As I said, the world’s turned upside down.

Now we, the believing Nephites, are standing on the edge of a cruel, fiery pit about to be killed if the sun sets and daylight is replaced by night. I know it sounds crazy, but this horrible journey started five years ago.

samuelSamuel, one of the Lamanite missionaries sent to reclaim us, prophesied from the walls of Zarahemla that in five years the Savior would be born in Bethlehem. As a sign of this virgin birth, the sun would set, as it normally did, but there would be no darkness.

The vast majority of Nephites ridiculed Samuel. Some tried to kill him. But none of their arrows, rocks, and spears could harm him.

Now, five years have gone by. The government is even more corrupt. Most Nephites have rejected the words of Samuel. Any who believed have been rounded up and are now standing on the edge of this pit that will be our grave if darkness replaces the light.

We all look west.

Our shadows grow longer and longer as the sun slowly reaches the horizon.

Is this the day?

Will the sun set and night replace the brightness of the day?

In an instant, the sun drops below the horizon.

brightnessIt is as if the sky ignites.

There is no darkness, only light.

What’s odd was that our shadows completely disappeared. With no single source of light there could be no shadows. It is as if we were bathed in brightness.

The believers rejoice.

The remainder fall to the ground in fear that they had willfully sinned against their God.

The fire in the pit gradually dies as our lives are spared.

For unto us is born this day in the City of David, a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.

nativity

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