I remember a talk given by Pres. Faust several years ago in which he said "In the war in which my father served on the western front, in the stillness of Christmas Eve there wafted over the trenches to the ears of the American soldiers the soft sound of the voices of their enemy singing, “Stille Nacht, heilige Nacht” (“Silent night! Holy night”; Hymns, no. 204). Their enemy in turn could hear the American soldiers singing, “Peace on earth, goodwill to men” (“Far, Far Away on Judea’s Plains,” Hymns, no. 212).
Twenty years later, in the war in which I served, the same area and the same enemies were involved. Although I did not serve on the western European front, on Christmas Eve the English and American soldiers could hear the Germans sing, “Stille Nacht, heilige Nacht,” and the Germans could hear the Americans sing, “Peace on earth, goodwill to men.” This song was able to bring peace if only for a day. Each Christmas since Europe when I hear this beloved carol a well of emotion washes over me as I think of this powerful song written in a tiny church by two humble men on a quiet Christmas Eve.