By Sister Haylee Tate (Currently serving in Lansing, Michigan as a Missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints)
What is light? In a literal sense, it is what makes sight possible. It is brightness, illumination, and the source of life. Light is also attributed to the gospel in the sense that it is intelligence, truth, understanding, discernible, good, and that which dispels darkness. There are many situations and events that teach us about light and the effect that it has on us. Here are five that have struck me:
1. JSH 1:15-17. Light is infinitely more powerful than darkness.
15. …I kneeled down and began to offer up the desires of my heart to God. I had scarcely done so, when immediately I was seized upon by some power which entirely overcame me, and had such an astonishing influence over me as to bind my tongue so that I could not speak. Thick darkness gathered around me, and it seemed to me for a time as if I were doomed to sudden destruction.
16. But, exerting all my powers to call upon God to deliver me out of the power of this enemy which had seized upon me, and at the very moment when I was ready to sink into despair and abandon myself to destruction—not to an imaginary ruin, but to the power of some actual being from the unseen world, who had such marvelous power as I had never before felt in any being—just at this moment of great alarm, I saw a pillar of light exactly over my head, above the brightness of the sun, which descended gradually until it fell upon me.
17. It no sooner appeared than I found myself delivered from the enemy which held me bound.
The phrase “I saw a pillar of light” brings hope. This experiences has taught me that I can have perfect hope in the fact that light will always overpower darkness and anything that goes with it. The enemy of our souls cannot have control if we call upon God.
2. Ether 6:10. Light makes sight possible
10. And thus they were driven forth; and no monster of the sea could break them, neither whale that could mar them; and they did have light continually, whether it was above the water or under the water.
If we have the courage to ACT in faith and follow the counsel of the Lord, He will ALWAYS illuminate the way. The Jaredites had light continually in their barges because they had faith sufficient to act. We can have CONTINUAL light in our lives is we seek out truth and follow what we know.
3. 1 Nephi 17:13. Light will guide.
13. And I will also be your light in the wilderness; and I will prepare the way before you, if it so be that ye shall keep my commandments; wherefore, inasmuch as ye shall keep my commandments ye shall be led towards the promised land; and ye shall know that it is by me that ye are led.
This teaches me another important truth: If I am diligent in keeping the commandments of God, he will always guide me through my own personal wilderness. This brings me hope in the fact that there IS an end to the tunnel and that even when we can’t see the end, we can trust that the Lord is guiding the step right in front of us. We can live in peace knowing that there IS a promised land in the future.
4. Matthew 5:14-16. Light is contagious.
14. Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid.
15. Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house.
16. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.
If you’re sitting in a dark room, and someone lights a candle, there is a considerable amount of light given off. If a hundred people were to light candles, the light would grow and overpower the darkness. As disciples of Christ, we have a light that shines bright in the world. When we shine, it attracts others. Our light grows as we strive to emulate the Savior and adopt his qualities and attributes, and then we can bring light into the lives of others.
5. John 8:12. Christ is the source of light.
12 Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.
Ultimately, Christ is our unfailing, eternal, infinite source of light. He is the one who will never fail us. He will never leave us comfortless. He will guide us through the dark. And we can trust him completely because He is our truest friend.