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!
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
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