Tuesday, September 29, 2020

Learning from nature - light and darkness

Nature is an eloquent teacher, imparting profound truths through living parables. Many natural phenomena can be scientifically explained by the laws of physics. These same phenomena, when seen through spiritual eyes, can yield layer upon layer of insight that builds our faith and strengthens our understanding. One such living parable is the seemingly simple contrast between light and darkness. Darkness has no physical properties - it is solely the absence of light. Light always dispels darkness - emanating from its source in all directions as it pushes away the darkness. The brighter the source of the light, the stronger and farther it pushes into the darkness. Light and darkness cannot coexist in the same space at the same time - either light exists without darkness, or light is absent, leaving a void filled with darkness. While light may be dimmed or stopped by various barriers, it cannot be completely absorbed or depleted. A single source of light shines with the same brightness and intensity regardless of who, what, or how many witness that light.

So it is with us. As spiritual offspring of heavenly parents, our lives are a continuum of light and darkness. The more goodness and hope we bring into our lives, the less room there is for darkness and despair. A simple act of kindness, whether given or received, can quickly disperse a disproportionate degree of darkness. Our greatest example of a bright and radiant life is the source of light Himself, for "God is light, and in him is no darkness at all" (1 John 1:5). As we strive to continually fill our lives with light, we will increase our joy and fulfillment - and will bring light into the lives of others.

This coming weekend, we all have a wonderful opportunity to feast upon light (https://newsroom.churchofjesuschrist.org/event/october-2020-general-conference). Women and men with decades of inspired living will share encouragement, advice, and spiritual nourishment. If we choose to ignore them, whether it be through apathy, inconvenience, or negligence, we willingly forfeit significant spiritual warmth and sustenance. If we do avail ourselves to this source of goodness and inspiration, regardless of our present circumstances, our faith and hope will increase, our joy will be stronger, and our lives will be brighter.

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