Sunday, January 20, 2013

The Light of Christ

"For the word of the Lord is truth, and whatsoever is truth is light, and whatsoever is light is Spirit, even the Spirit of Jesus Christ. And the Spirit giveth light to every man that cometh into the world; and the Spirit enlighteneth every man through the world, that hearkeneth to the voice of the Spirit. And every one that hearkeneth to the voice of the Spirit cometh unto God, even the Father."
— Doctrine & Covenants 84:45-47

I have been thinking lately about light - specifically the light of the sun. Have you ever thought about how utterly dependent life on this planet is on the sun? Without the sun's light, plants couldn't grow through photosynthesis. Animals wouldn't have food to eat, and humans wouldn't have food through plants or animals. Without the sun's light and heat, all life would quickly perish in bitter cold and darkness. Without the sun, the water cycle couldn't exist, because evaporation and condensation wouldn't be possible. And these are just a few basic processes I can name. Think of all that's possible because of sunlight!

Can we compare this dependency to the light of Christ? The scriptures teach that "the Spirit giveth light to every man that cometh into the world." What kind of light is this? How are we dependent upon it?

Doctrine & Covenants 93:36 says "The glory of God is intelligence, or, in other words, light and truth." If we replace the word light in the verse above with the word intelligence, it would read, "the Spirit giveth intelligence to every man that cometh into the world."

How dependent is man on his intelligence? Well, that's pretty obvious, isn't it? It's like asking how dependent are we on oxygen. Man is nothing without his intelligence. We would literally be back in our caves, with no fire, no wheels, no clothes, no language, no nothing. And if all intelligence comes from God, it is logical to say man is nothing without God!

"The Spirit enlighteneth every man through the world, that hearkeneth to the voice of the Spirit."

If God has given us intelligence, then why do we need enlightenment through his Spirit? I like to compare man's intelligence to a flashlight shining in the dark. Everyone has a different flashlight - some shine brightly and some are dim. Some can show a large area around you, and some just show a small spot on the ground. But you cannot illuminate the entire world around you with just your flashlight. You need the sun to do that. 

So it is with the light of Christ. His glory is like the sun shining down on our lives, illuminating important and fundamental truths that we would be lost without. Just like the sun warms the earth and makes things grow, Christ's Spirit warms and fills our soul, teaching us and helping us grow more like him. Our own little "flashlights" of intelligence can't do that.

We may feel fairly confident in our own intelligence, but we have to recognize that it came from God. Not only that, he offers us so much more light and truth in our lives, but only if we hearken to the voice of his Spirit. If we willingly turn away from the light of Christ, he will not force us back towards him. It is completely up to us who or what we choose to follow in this life.

I encourage you to choose today to follow the light of Christ in your life. He sees your life in ways you cannot imagine, and when you come to him he will illuminate your life in glorious ways.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

It Maketh My Bones To Quake

Hello again, everyone in the blogosphere! I have been taking an extended blogging vacation, and I now feel ready to come back. I am amazed and humbled at the number of people who have still been following this blog even while I've been away. Truly, the Lord's hand is in this work. 

I have prayed that this blog will be an instrument in His hands as I share the gospel with the world. I hope that as each of you read my entries, your hearts will be pricked with the spirit of the Lord, and you will be spurred on in finding the truth of the gospel in your lives.

And now for today's scripture:

"Yea, thus saith the still small voice, which whispereth through and pierceth all things, and often times it maketh my bones to quake while it maketh manifest."
— Doctrine & Covenants 85:6

The Holy Ghost is the third member of the Godhead. His mission is to testify of truth. He witnesses of the truth of the restored gospel and of the divinity of Jesus Christ as our Savior and Redeemer. He will witness to our hearts and minds that these things are true. This is called personal revelation.

But what does this personal revelation feel like? How do you know when you have received it? 

In 1 Kings chapter 19, the prophet Elijah went up to the mountains to converse with the Lord. What did this conversation sound like?

"And behold, the Lord passed by, and a great and strong wind rent the mountains, and brake in pieces the rocks before the Lord; but the Lord was not in the wind: and after the wind an earthquake; but the Lord was not in the earthquake: And after the earthquake a fire; but the Lord was not in the fire: and after the fire a still small voice."
— 1 Kings 19:11-12

In my personal experience, the Holy Ghost speaks to me in my mind, giving me thoughts and ideas that I know are not my own. As I study out these thoughts and find they are full of goodness and truth, I get a warm feeling throughout my body. I have learned to NEVER ignore these thoughts and promptings, because they are from God. If I ask God for answers, but then choose to ignore them, why should God continue to speak to me?

Listen for this still, small voice in your life. It will come to you when you are seeking His light in your life. It will come to you as you seek answer to prayer, or when you study your scriptures. Sometimes it will come out of the blue, but it is usually a quiet thought that comes to your mind. Always give heed to it and it will never lead you astray!