Monday, March 17, 2014

Light of the Gospel

We learn a lot from the prophets and apostles about revelation. Elder Bednar's series, Patterns of Light, teaches us a lot about light, revelation, and receiving inspiration. 

Part 1: The Light of Christ
Part 2: Discerning Light
Part 3: Spirit of Revelation

From the scriptures we learn that "whatsoever is truth is light" (D&C 84:45). We learn of truths that fill our souls with light and understanding. Elder Bednar explains receiving this light with two examples: the sunrise, and the flipping of a light switch. The example with the light switch teaching us that we will sometimes see the whole picture at once, and the revelation will come clear and powerful, and our understanding will be immediately enlightened. An "at last I see the light" experience similar to Rapunzel. With the sunrise however, it is gradual, and becomes "brighter and brighter until the perfect day" (D&C 50:24). 

We learn, "line upon line, precept upon precept, here a little and there a little" (2 Ne. 28:30).  I would like to suggest a third example. An additional way that we receive light and truth. 

Think of a grove of trees. During the summer it is beautiful to see the way that the light filters through the leaves and lights upon the forest floor. It's fascinating to watch the light dance upon the ground and between the trees. I believe we can also receive revelation and inspiration similar to this. Sometimes while we're learning, the spirit will illuminate or clarify certain doctrines. Something new will jump out at us, and will teach us something specific and personal. It is instant, and direct, and pertains to us in that instant. It is awe-inspiring how it comes so personal, so attuned to us.

Our lives, our circumstances, our thoughts and feelings represent the leaves. The light of the gospel, is always the same. It is always constant. Sometimes we can block it out, but hopefully we will choose to let the light strike through to the forest floor, to our understanding. In our different aspects and walks of life, in order to be guided along, the light of the gospel filters through us, and we learn something we need at that moment.

This story from earlier in my mission shows how this can happen. I was in a meeting, and role playing with another elder. I could sense he was struggling in some way, but I wasn't sure how, and I didn't know what I could do to help. The purpose of the role play was to help someone using the scriptures. I opened my scriptures, and stumbled upon something that I had highlighted. I felt that this was the scripture that I needed to share with this elder. As I read it aloud, the Spirit was there so strong. As we further discussed it, I could see that this scripture was exactly what that elder had needed at that exact moment. It was perfect; and it was because of the spirit. The spirit had lighted upon this one scripture, had even opened my scriptures straight to it, to provide the insight and encouragement that was necessary. 

I know that Heavenly Father knows us and loves us. That the light that he sheds on our lives will help us with our specific needs. The gospel helps individuals, perfectly. I have seen it time and time again, in my own life and in the lives of others. The spirit gives "that portion that shall be meted unto every man". If we let it through, if we invite the Spirit into our lives, it will light upon the things we need in "the very hour" that we need them (D&C 84:85). I know that The Lord does answer our prayers, in a very special and personal way. Seek Him out, and let him work miracles in your life, and in the lives of others.