Tuesday, August 25, 2009

2 Nephi 19

2 The people that walked in darkness have seen a great light; they that dwell in the land of the shadow of death, upon them hath the light shined.

When the Messiah was born, a great light shown and wise men noted it and came looking for the one who was born to be the King of Kings. When we press through our daily lives and things seem dark and our way difficult, we can look to God for light. John wrote (1 John 1),

4 And these things write we unto you, that your joy may be full.
5 This then is the message which we have heard of him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all.
6 If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth:
7 But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.

I was in a cave in New Mexico once -- an undeveloped cave that is part of the Carlsbad Caverns National Monument. It is called Goat Cave or New Cave. We met a park ranger at the mouth of the cave and descended 90-100 feet down steps carved by guano miners years before. The ranger led us through the cave until we paused in a circular room far back in the cave, away from the opening and any external light. He asked us to sit on the floor and extinguish our lights. He doused his lantern and we plunged into silent blackness. At first I thought I could see shapes until I realized that my mind was just forming shapes from nothing. After a couple of minutes in the dark, the ranger struck a match and lit his lantern. The flare of brilliant white light in the total darkness was welcome but blinding. It was deeply comforting to return from blackness to light.

I sometimes feel that I am in total darkness. I don't know what to do. And then there are those moments of sublime enlightenment when the Holy Spirit whispers peace and my soul fills with clarity and light. How I wish that they would come more often.

1 comment:

Mimi said...

In gospel doctrine on week we talked about the process of translating the Book of Mormon. Joseph Smith would look into a hat because he could not see what the Spirit was showing him without a dark background. Often we need a dark canvas to see the brightest images. They are sharper, clearer and more in focus. This last year was darkness for me. The light was worth it.