This week I'm going to introduce you to one of my favorite people on earth: President Dieter F. Uchtdorf. Last April his General Conference talk was titled "The hope of God's light" (when the title alone makes you feel better, I would add!).
This talk is all about faith, hope, charity, and the light at the end of the tunnel.
"Entrance to enlightenment" by LDS artist Johan Benthin
President Uchtdorf compares the light and darkness in this painting to what we experience in life. He notices that the light coming through the door only illuminates part of the room. Interesting metaphor of how we sometimes have to go through life one step at a time, since the Lord teaches us " , precept precept, here a little and there a little" (Isaiah 28:13; 2 Nephi 28:30).
The story of Jane is very inspiring. Jane suffered from physical and emotional abused since she was 3 years old. Over time, she learned to stop feeling and her life was lived in wait of its end.
"Then, at age 18, Jane discovered The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The joy and hope of the restored gospel penetrated her heart, and she accepted the invitation to be baptized. For the first time, light entered her life, and she saw a bright path before her. She left the darkness of her world and decided to attend school a great distance away from her abuser. At last she felt liberated from an environment of darkness and evil—free to enjoy the Savior’s sweet peace and miraculous healing."
I would like to stop and contemplate for a moment the miracle of Jane's conversion. President Uchtdorf doesn't tell us how she find the church but -- whether it was through dedicated missionaries or dedicated member missionaries -- a modern-day miracle took place in Jane's life. Her story is one of the many testimonies about the healing power of the Gospel of Jesus Christ and our power -- as members of His church -- to serve (and save) others as we share that gospel!
Later in her life, Jane's past came back. Her abuser had died and she had to decide whether she would give him the final victory by holding to the pain he had inflicted her, or she would forgive and spend her life making others' better. This was Jane's choice and now, as a schoolteacher, "her love has influenced the lives of hundreds of children, helping them to know that they have worth, that they are important. She has become a tireless defender of the weak, the victimized, and the discouraged. She builds, strengthens, and inspires everyone around her."
A few weeks back I was reading this very talk and I felt inspired to create this:
The words are taken from this talk. In this picture there's a man looking down a cliff. That cliff can be any difficult situation me might be in. The sky is cloudy but there's some light coming through the clouds. In a nutshell, the bottom line is that we can't expect someone else to switch the light on for us. Not even God. We have to show our courage, prove our, faith, figuratively jump off the cliff of our fears knowing that God will catch us, that He will make the fall soft for us. And throughout it all, we will have learned faith, courage, the love of God and tons more.
"So how do we open our eyes to the hope of God’s light?" These are President Uchtdorf's 3 steps:
- Start where you are ("We don’t have to wait to cross the finish line to receive God’s blessings.")
- Turn your heart toward the Lord ("Lift up your soul in prayer and explain to your Heavenly Father what you are feeling.")
- Walk in the light ("[God] 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.")
"To all who feel they walk in darkness, I invite you to rely on this certain promise spoken by the Savior of mankind: 'I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.'” taught President Uchtdorf
I invite you all to read about the amazing story of the saints in Africa which President Uchtdorf relates at the end of this talk. Those saints are the living personification of light, and a living testimony that light can and does prevail over darkness when when we allow it to!
Let us all come to the Light of Christ. I have seen His light work miracle in my life and in the lives of many people around me.
Bye for now!