Light of Christ

The church I go to lasts 3 hours. The first hour is sacrament meeting which usually has announcements, baby or baptism blessings, 3-4 hymns, maybe a musical number, and people take the sacrament. After this there are usually two youth speakers and two adults speakers. On April 28th I spoke and each of the speakers had the topic, The Light of Christ.  For those who are seeking the Light of Christ maybe this will help you along in your journey.

 

The songs we enjoy are usually ones that resonate with us. The interesting thing is, that most songs don’t last more than a couple of minutes, however within those 2-3 minutes it creates a change in our being. The Light of Christ also has this power.

At first the idea of giving a talk on the Light of Christ was exciting. What a wonderful topic and so much resources to draw from. Surely I have seen and felt the light of Christ in my life. But then something happened. Questions formed in my mind such as: Why was I chosen this particular subject? Maybe I lack the light. How am I to compound such a vast amount of information into such a short time frame? Do I personalize it or not?

My impression about researching the Light of Christ was that it fit perfectly with my New Year’s Resolution; to know and feel the Grace of Jesus in my life. But there was a week when my schedule got busy enough to lead me off the path of Finding Grace. This brought me to a lowly state, mentally and spiritually. Surely without Grace in my life I can’t prepare a talk about the Light of Christ?

This the way Satan snuffs out the light of Christ in each of us. Through self-doubt and losing the Grace of Jesus. We were given a paper in Sunday School last week, during Ward Conference. On it was a quote by James E. Faust, “Satan is a coward and if you stand firm against him, he will retreat.”

A friend of mine posted this on her FB page in regards to the Boston Marathon. QUOTE “…there always have been and probably always will be those who selfishly seek to extinguish the light of others to serve their own evil purposes. Yet, there always have been, and hopefully always will be, those who are brave and strong enough to pick up the torch and refuse to let the light die. By so doing, those who pick up the torch, move forward not only to light the way, but to remember the light of those whose life has been cut short by evil doings….we will pick up the torch when one of our fellow brothers or sisters are no longer able to carry on. I know we are not alone in this way of living, as there are many brave and beautiful souls all over the world who refuse to give way to darkness and let their lights shine forth. There is darkness all around us, but there will always be light enough to lead the way if we are willing to carry the torch, to finish the mile when others can’t, to give when others take, to love when others hate.” (Maria Lewis)

I like to think that just by walking through these church doors it fills the invisible torches we carry. This is why we partake of the sacrament. By remembering Christ we are able to have God’s light. When we go back outside, we are a more able to light the path for others who may need help.

The Light of Christ is the divine energy, power, or influence that proceeds from God through Christ and gives life and light to all things. The Light of Christ influences people for good and prepares them to receive the Holy Ghost. One manifestation of the Light of Christ is what we call a conscience.

President Boyd K. Packer said: QUOTE “The Light of Christ is also described in the scriptures as ‘the Spirit of Jesus Christ.’ … The Spirit of Christ can enlighten the inventor, the scientist, the painter, the sculptor, the composer, the performer, the architect, the author to produce great, even inspired things for the blessing and good of all mankind.” 5

Robert Streuer, second quorum of the seventy, gave a talk in 2008 called, The Power of Light and Truth.

QUOTE “The Light of Christ “proceedeth forth from the presence of God to fill the immensity of space.” It is “the light which is in all things, which giveth life to all things, which is the law by which all things are governed” (D&C 88:12-13; see also D&C 88:6-11). This power is an influence for good in the lives of all people (see John 1:9; D&C 93:2). In the scriptures, the Light of Christ is sometimes called the Spirit of the Lord, the Spirit of God, the Spirit of Christ, or the Light of Life.”

“For us to prosper in these times, spiritual light must burn within us”, He suggests three ways we obtain this spiritual light:(1) learn true doctrine, (2) gain pure testimony, and (3) live the gospel courageously.”

1)President Henry B. Eyring stated: “The word of God is the doctrine taught by Jesus Christ and by His prophets. Alma knew that words of doctrine had great power. They can open the minds of people to see spiritual things not visible to the natural eye. And they can open the heart to feelings of the love of God and a love for truth.” Recent scientific thinking on the fundamental properties of light describe light as a “carrier” 6 or “messenger” 7 or “mediator.” 8

2)Our testimonies are strengthened as we reverently observe the great universe God has created for us. The Lord declared to Enoch, “All things are created and made to bear record of me.”

3) we must live courageously in accordance with the light and testimony that we have received. We are promised, “He that receiveth light, and continueth in God, receiveth more light; and that light groweth brighter and brighter until the perfect day.”

The summer of 2009 to the fall of 2010 was hard on me. It started with two of my siblings struggling with addictions, and then continued with: my grandfather passing away, the loss of our dog, my dad’s best friend-someone whom I looked up to- passed away from a heart attack, Jake’s best friend died from ALS, my sister died, we had financial hardships, we moved, Jake lost his job, we moved again and then lastly the fall, we had a traumatic accident in our family. Up to this point in my life I had sad things happen but I was able to recover. But this time was different. I knew the only way of not losing myself was to hold on to Christ. Enough time has passed where I feel like I’m in a good place in all aspects of my life. I’m grateful God filled me with light by putting Christ-like people in my life and surrounded me with diversity. I debated whether to share this with you because our family holds these events tight to our hearts, but it segues into-

President Uchtdorf’s talk this last conference about, The Hope of God’s Light.

“There may be some among you who feel darkness encroaching upon you. You may feel burdened by worry, fear, or doubt. To you and to all of us, I repeat a wonderful and certain truth: God’s light is real. It is available to all! It gives life to all things.1 It has the power to soften the sting of the deepest wound. It can be a healing balm for the loneliness and sickness of our souls. In the furrows of despair, it can plant the seeds of a brighter hope. It can enlighten the deepest valleys of sorrow. It can illuminate the path before us and lead us through the darkest night into the promise of a new dawn.

This is “the Spirit of Jesus Christ,” which gives “light to every man that cometh into the world.”2

Nevertheless, spiritual light rarely comes to those who merely sit in darkness waiting for someone to flip a switch. It takes an act of faith to open our eyes to the Light of Christ. Spiritual light cannot be discerned by carnal eyes. Jesus Christ Himself taught, “I am the light which shineth in darkness, and the darkness comprehendeth it not.”3 For “the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.”4

Uchtdorf give us three ways to help us open our eyes to God’s light. “First, the perfect place to begin is exactly where you are right now. It doesn’t matter how unqualified you may think you are or how far behind others you may feel. The very moment you begin to seek your Heavenly Father, in that moment, the hope of His light will begin to enliven your soul.

Second, turn your heart toward the Lord. Lift up your soul in prayer and explain to your Heavenly Father what you are feeling. Ask that your ears may be opened, that you may hear His voice. Ask that your eyes may be opened, that you may see His light.

Third, walk in the light. Your Heavenly Father knows that you will make mistakes. He knows that you will stumble—perhaps many times. This saddens Him, but He loves you. He does not wish to break your spirit. On the contrary, He desires that you rise up and become the person you were designed to be.

If you’re up for a challenge or a -I dare you- Maybe the next time we see or hear disheartening information from the media we can envision being on the national news singing to the people who have lost their humanity the lyrics from, Like Ten Thousand Legions Marching, “Come ye nations, out of darkness; Tis the time of Christ’s return. Heed the Restoration’s message; Let its light within you burn.”  Or for the ones whom we see that has had their light dimmed by the hardships of life, envision the second verse to Press Forward, “Press forward, Feasting on the word of Christ. Receive his name, rejoicing in his might. Come unto God; find everlasting light. Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia!

Resources

Like Ten Thousand Legions Marching (The way that it is sung on this website is completely disappointing! Reading the lyrics, I image strong boisterous voices with a marching band.) http://www.lds.org/music/text/hymns/like-ten-thousand-legions-marching?lang=engShort

Press Forward http://www.ldshymns.com/lds-hymns-76-100/81-press-forward-saints

The Hope of God’s Light  http://www.lds.org/general-conference/2013/04/the-hope-of-gods-light?lang=eng

The Power of Light and Truthhttp://www.lds.org/general-conference/2008/04/the-power-of-light-and-truth?lang=eng

Old Thomas and the Little Fairy by By Dominique Demers and Stéphane Poulin: a beautifully haunting picture book.

How intriguing! Gonna have to read this one to my girls.

TurtleAndRobot.com

Old Thomas and the Little Fairy DSC01816

Picture Book

Ages 5-9

By Dominique Demers

Illustrated by Stéphane Poulin

32 pages

Dominique and Friends

2000

Out of print

 

Dominique Demers is a best-selling French-Canadian author but, sadly, most of her books have not made it across the border. Old Thomas is the onlybook by her I’ve ever read, and I adore it. Demers’s writing is beautiful; she carefully chooses her words, imparting as much information as possible without weighing down the story. It’s like a fairy tale—not in the usual sense, though the story does involve a fairy—in that it follows that clear, quick style of writing. With just a few short sentences readers are drawn into Old Thomas’s world.

This is also the only book I’ve ever seen illustrated by Stéphane Poulin, whose somber art is the perfect complement to this odd and touching story. Somehow dim and radiant…

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Elfin Forest Reserve

Flowers in the parking lot of Elfin Forest National Reserve

Flowers in the parking lot of Elfin Forest National Reserve

We hiked up the, Way up Trail and then came back down the Botanical Trail. Incidentally, the Botanical was much more rocky terrain.

We hiked up the, Way up Trail and then came back down the Botanical Trail. Incidentally, the Botanical was much more rocky terrain.

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We crossed over these rocks. The girls were so pleased with themselves and thought it was the best thing ever.

We crossed over these rocks. The girls were so pleased with themselves and thought it was the best thing ever.

Eden and Ayzia right after crossing the creek.

Eden and Ayzia right after crossing the creek.

Duck wading in the creek

Duck wading in the creek

Eden wading in the creek

Eden wading in the creek

At the end of the hike. Ayzia reluctantly succumbed to wading in the creek.

At the end of the hike. Ayzia reluctantly succumbed to wading in the creek.

Before Starting on the hike the girls and I went into the visitor center. A ranger had scooped up a bowl of this water and brought it in to look under a microscope.  It was fun to see the tiny insects magnified.

Before Starting on the hike the girls and I went into the visitor center. A ranger had scooped up a bowl of this water and brought it in to look under a microscope. It was fun to see the tiny insects magnified.

Losing Grace

A friend of mine pointed out on her blog that most family blogs only tell the light-hearted side of life. She vowed to be more honest in her writing. In trying to do this myself I’m forewarning you this post will do just that; show a side of me that is unlikeable.

I thought grace left me on the day of my daughter’s birthday.(For several reasons that don’t pertain here.) The next 3 days were spent dwelling on how I managed to lose grace. But I was wrong… Grace actually left me on the third day of grieving its absence. It could be, grace was long gone and this event was the repercussion or the after-math effect. But either way, it was this day I knew for sure grace was gone.

To help my daughters not be scared, I’ve tried hard to create monsters into something good, funny, or a metaphor. However, one of the worst things I’ve done as a parent in the last 6 years(since my oldest is 6) was trying to do just this. Our girls have a problem with screaming at each other. It looks very much like a monster you’d see on television. So I created this space where, if they did this kind of behavior, they would be sent there to calm down. The place? Under my massage table. Why? Seemed like a great place, a save place to me. What was it called? The Monster Box.

Well…it was the stupidest name! After thinking more about putting the two words, monster and box together, I could see the warped image a child might have. Most of you reading this are probably muttering to yourself, “Yeah, I could have told you that from the beginning.” It took the second time using this space to see, that trying to get a small child to sit in this space actually turned me into a monster.

The rest of this day was spent trying to recover from the event. Filling our day with happy pictures was a must. We hiked Elfin Forest, the girls played in the yard, had popsicles and then watched the movie, Monster in Paris. The movie was quite befitting; since the monster was kind-hearted, had a lovely singing voice and played the guitar. (all the attributes I wish to possess). Most importantly, we denounced the monster-box and instated the Safety-Fort. A place where they can say anything they want and won’t get in trouble. A place where they can calm down from whatever is giving them anxiety or frustration. The new title fits better for the intentions is was created for. After their showers I gave them a massage on the roof of the fort. Their pops then put them to bed and I finished this post.

I’m putting myself back onto the road to find grace.

Grace is Slippery

Last week I found out grace is hard to hold onto when life is out of balance.  The balance may range anywhere from not eating right to preparing for a big event. Which in this case I’m referring about planning a birthday party for my 5-year-old. As the days drew nearer to the date, I felt grace fleeting, but instead of leaving quickly it left like holding a slippery bar of soap. Grace is easy to have when life is calm, but difficult to grasp when life is busy.