Wednesday, December 7, 2011

The Light in Their Eyes



There are, in my ward in Boise, two people who were recently baptized. They were introduced to the Church by caring friends in California and sought out the Church when they moved up to Boise to go to school. If you were to walk in to church on Sunday or in to any Church function at which they are present and glance across the crowd, you would have much difficulty figuring out who they were since they integrated with the members of the Church here in Boise so well. If you were then to ask me to point them out, I would point across the room and say, “See the dark haired guy and the blond girl that just radiate? That’s them.” Indeed, in talking to them, you would never guess that they, in fact, weren’t baptized members of the Church. Even before they were baptized, Claire and Ian were always shining, and they always radiated light and a contagious, genuine happiness.

You may simply contribute that happiness to their naturally optimistic personalities. Indeed, I did not know them before they gained testimonies of Jesus Christ and of His gospel of peace and hope and therefore I do not know what their personalities were like then. However, no matter their optimistic natures before they were introduced to the Church, I am confident that the light that shines from them is the light of the knowledge of the restored gospel and of a burning testimony of Jesus Christ and His great atoning sacrifice. These two friends have sacrificed much and gone through many trials in order to be baptized, including a general rejection by their own families. But they know the Church is true and they know that the key to true happiness is a life following Christ. And that knowledge and testimony sustains them and gives them happiness and a hope of a better future.

President James E. Faust (1920-2007), apostle and counselor to the prophet, once told a story of a friend who also noticed a light in the eyes of those members of the Church with whom he had come in contact. President Faust said:

“What was that light in their eyes which was so obvious to our friend? The Lord Himself gives the answer: ‘And the light which shineth, which giveth you light, is through him who enlighteneth your eyes, which is the same light that quickeneth your understandings.’1 Where did that light come from? Again the Lord gives the answer: ‘I am the true light that lighteth every man that cometh into the world.’2 The Lord is the true light, ‘and the Spirit enlighteneth every man through the world, that hearkeneth to the voice of the Spirit.’3 This light shows in our countenances as well as in our eyes.”4

We grow and develop that light as we embrace the things of God. As we strive to follow the example of Jesus Christ, we become converted to His gospel and the Spirit lives within us stronger and more frequently. We put off the natural man and become saints though His Atonement, allowing that light to shine unrestricted.5 The Lord said, “That which is of God is light; and he that receiveth light, and continueth in God, receiveth more light; and that light groweth brighter and brighter until that perfect day.”6 Jesus commanded us to “hold up your light that it may shine unto the world. Behold I am the light which ye shall hold up--that which ye have seen me do.”7 As we cultivate that light and strive to be examples of the believers, His light will shine through us for the blessing of all those around us.

Remember the words of the Savior, “I am the light and the life of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.”8 That promise is for all who desire to live in the light of His love.

Jeremy

1. Doctrine and Covenants 88:11; emphasis added.
2. Doctrine and covenants 93:2.
3. Doctrine and Covenants 84:46.
4. President James E. Faust, “The Light in Their Eyes,” Ensign, Nov 2005.
5. See Mosiah 3:19; 4:1-3; 5:1-5.
6. Doctrine and Covenants 50:24.
7. 3 Nephi 18:24.
8. John 8:12.