White Christmas

Growing up I thought White Christmas was a movie about needing snow in Hollywood for Christmas.  Last year some friends of ours invited us to watch it on Christmas Eve with their family.  The show opens up with a scene of an Army unit in Europe, 1944, saying farewell to their commander on Christmas Eve.


The movie opens with a scene where the commander got to say goodbye and pass along a few words to his unit.  External stressors often bring people together.  And so the military is a great environment for building camaraderie.  Those farewells are difficult.

At the end of World War II I imagine there were a lot of feelings about those whom they served with.  There are several people on my list of those whom I served with who, if they called, I’d drop everything to go take care of them.

Essentially that’s the story of White Christmas.  It’s not the story of a holiday made better by some providence of weather.  It’s a story about Army buddies taking care of other Army buddies.  It’s about being the force to be a miracle for when one of them has a tough time after coming home.

A critic at the time complimented the movie for the vibrant colors enabled by the Vistavision technology, but said that it’s a shame the content on the screen wasn’t similarly vibrant.  Despite the comment, the movie did well at the box office.  The movie does well with me.

On Sunday I wrote about my new favorite Christmas song and how it reminds me of the Christmases where I had very, very little.  Yesterday I wrote about how I make bread as a way to share the wonderful blessings I have been given.  There’s something wonderful about White Christmas.  It may not be in the music.  It may not be in the acting.  It may not be in the dance numbers—though I don’t have a problem with any of those things in the movie.  What’s wonderful about it is the way it tells the story of those whom you care about.

We know from the atonement that the Savior cares for each one of us, and just as the characters in movie work to pull off a miracle for someone they care about, the Savior works behind the scenes pull off the miracles that allow us to return to our heavenly home where we’ll be able to see Him–dressed in white.

We Already Fail Often

Failing in professional settings is now seen as opportunities to improve.  There’s a good professional discussion on the mantra Fail Forward.  There’s also more than one article parsing through the rhetoric to expose that a simple phraseology is not the cure for everything. While the phrase and concept have had some success in professional settings there is something to be noted about the concept in spiritual settings as well.  We are here to learn from failure. 540px-falcon_heavy_croppedPaul said in Romans 3:23: “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.”  Failure is a part of our human existence.  If the fail fast, fail often can work (even with the mantra’s flaws) to get Space-X to new heights applying the mantra spiritually should enable us to get to new heights. This doesn’t mean we should go out and find new ways to fail.  I think it means that we should take the time to find new opportunities for us to improve.  While we have Paul’s words on our failure in the New Testament, we have these words in the Book of Mormon (emphasis added):
And if men come unto me I will show unto them their weakness. I give unto men weakness that they may be humble; and my grace is sufficient for all men that humble themselves before me; for if they humble themselves before me, and have faith in me, then will I make weak things become strong unto them. Ether 12:27
In this section not only do we have an explanation of the purpose of our weaknesses that often lead us to fall short, but we also have a description of the pathway to improve and the promise that our weaknesses will be turned into strengths if we are humble enough to involve God’s help. Fail forward is a great phrase in many, but not all, settings professionally.  It also has some application in our lives from a spiritual stand point.  If we exercise humility and allow ourselves to rely upon the mercies and merits of Jesus Christ, we can become strong in the thing where we are weak.