I love Christmas lights. As I write this, I’m sitting by our Christmas tree with no lights on in the room except for those on the tree. I keep them on until right before I go to bed every night, and look for excuses to sit here and enjoy the quiet glow.
Where I live, many people decorate the outside of their homes with lights. They make going out in the cold more bearable! I love what the Church does at Temple Square and in other locations with light displays.
I love the imagery of light in the scriptures, too. At this time of year, I like to ponder how light plays into the Christmas story, both in the Old World, and in the New.
As prophets had foretold, a new star appeared when Jesus was born. I sometimes imagine what it must have been like to be anticipating the coming of the Messiah, and to see the sign that the time had come! Shepherds and wise men looked to that star to guide them to the Savior.
Likewise, in the New World, the Book of Mormon tells us that a prophet had foretold the signs that would let the people who lived on the American continent know that the Savior was born.
“And behold, this will I give unto you for a asign at the time of his coming; for behold, there shall be great lights in heaven, insomuch that in the night before he cometh there shall be no darkness, insomuch that it shall appear unto man as if it was day.
“Therefore, there shall be one aday and a night and a day, as if it were one day and there were no night; and this shall be unto you for a sign; for ye shall know of the rising of the sun and also of its setting; therefore they shall know of a surety that there shall be two days and a night; nevertheless the night shall not be darkened; and it shall be the night before he is bborn.
“And behold, there shall a new astar arise, such an one as ye never have beheld; and this also shall be a sign unto you.
“And behold this is not all, there shall be many asigns and wonders in heaven.” (Helaman 14:3-6)
I will never forget the religion class I sat in years ago, when I was a freshman in college. We were studying The Book of Mormon. We had reached the place in our study where this prophecy was about to be fulfilled. I will never forget how I felt as this teacher recreated the event for us.
His voice choked with emotion as he spoke of the day and night and day with no darkness, that miraculous sign for which the believers had earnestly waited. They had put their lives on the line for their faith, for the unbelievers had threatened to kill them if the sign did not come on that very day.
The room was absolutely still. We all felt the power of the Lord’s Spirit testifying to us of the reality of this miracle. Of the reality of the Savior of the World.
There is much of darkness and difficulty in this mortal journey we call life. It can sometimes be difficult and lonely to be one willing to look for the Savior, to follow Him, to choose to seek light. But I take great comfort from stories like those of the shepherds who saw the star and ran with haste, the wise men who studied the skies and sought the Savior, the Nephites in the Book of Mormon who watched steadfastly for the light they believed would come.
Just as the light guided them, I believe the Light of the World, our bright and morning star, can guide us all as we seek Him. At this this time of year, and always, may we seek Him. May we bask in the light of His love, His mercy, His power to heal and guide and forgive and bless. May we follow His light by seeking to be more like Him.
I love this quote from President Howard W. Hunter, 14th president of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints:
“This Christmas, mend a quarrel. Seek out a forgotten friend. Dismiss suspicion and replace it with trust. Write a letter. Give a soft answer. Encourage youth. Manifest your loyalty in word and deed. Keep a promise. Forgo a grudge. Forgive an enemy. Apologize. Try to understand. Examine your demands on others. Think first of someone else. Be kind. Be gentle. Laugh a little more. Express your gratitude. Welcome a stranger. Gladden the heart of a child. Take pleasure in the beauty and wonder of the earth. Speak your love and then speak it again.”
Enjoy this video, entitled “Come See the Light,” depicting scenes from the life and ministry of the Savior, depicting events recorded in both the Bible and The Book of Mormon.
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