It’s snowing right now. Fresh snow. Beautiful snow. The kind of sight that still gives me awe, even though I’ve been living in Utah for nearly six years already. It’s beautiful because it’s pure. Clean. Untouched by human hands, by boots, by rubber tires, mixed in with the mud and slush of the streets.
What a beautiful thing, that it has started falling right as it becomes Christmas Day. What do we celebrate? The birth of Christ. What did Christ preach? That if our sins be as scarlet—or as brown and muddy as the stuff that our tires kick up—they can be white as snow. Christ didn’t preach it. He enacted it. He brings it about. Again and again, as often as we sin and repent. Christmas isn’t just once a year. It is always. That is the message of the Atonement. It is always and universal. At any time—for any sin, for any soul. He is waiting with that fresh falling snow.
What shocks me, always, is that it really is accessible at any time. There is no waiting list to talk to God. Nowhere to queue up. There is no waiting period to access the Atonement. Repentance is possible right now. I am familiar with that process probably too much. But I know that it’s always there for me. Snow, waiting to fall, and ready to melt into living water. I don’t have to wait for Christmas. I don’t even have to wait for winter.
That feeling of forgiveness is real. The Atonement is real. That’s the testimony I want to bear this Christmastime. That it’s not just an excuse to drink Martinelli’s. It’s not just a convenient time to visit family. It’s not just a time to emulate the example of a famous figure in history. It’s a time to remember that that figure is as real and reachable, perhaps more so, than He ever was two thousand years ago. And the power that He wielded then, in healing the sick and giving sight to the blind—and casting devils out of trapped souls—can do the same for all of us. And our souls can change, be cleansed—again and again and again, as oft as we need it, as oft as we seek Him out.
The world can be fresh and pure again. Our souls can be fresh and pure again. When you see the new snow outside—before you go out tromping in it to play and travel and do whatever you need to do—give that clean white landscape a second look, and ponder your Savior, and your own soul before Him. Remember the image of that snow as you take the sacrament on Sunday. Feel the peace and quiet that comes when the world is blanketed by snow, and the clouds are low, how all sound is just muted out, and you feel alone with our Savior, like a prayer. Take a moment and thank Heavenly Father for what we truly celebrate at Christmas. And if you need to, pray for forgiveness.
Here’s a hint: everyone needs to. So do not be ashamed if you need to pray for new snowfall. That’s what it’s there for. That’s what a god sacrificed His life for. That’s why we feel so much love and life at Christmas: because it is the time we remember Him: the source of all light. So, my friends, look to God, and live.