Aug 30, 2015

The Lord is My Light

by Elder Quentin L. Cook

"The clamor that reverberates across the earth because of worldly wickedness creates feelings of vulnerability.  With modern communication the impact of iniquity, inequality, and injustice leaves many feeling that life is inherently unfair. As significant as these trials can be, they must not distract us from rejoicing in and celebrating Christ's supernal intercession in our behalf. The Savior literally "gained the victory over death." With mercy and compassion He took upon Himself our iniquity and transgression, thus redeeming us and satisfying the demands of justice for all who would repent and believe on His name."

I don't know about you, but often times I tend to focus more on my problems and less on how Christ can help me through them. I try to take control instead of giving the control over to Christ.  I believe this is exactly what Elder Cook is referring to in this talk.

"How, then, do we deal with the harsh realities that surround us?" Elder Cook uses sunflowers to teach of the answer to this question.

 ". . .Sunflowers flourish in soil which has been impacted by farm and snow removal equipment and the accumulation of materials that would not be considered ideal soil for wildflowers to grow. 

"One of the remarkable characteristics of young wild sunflowers, in addition to growing in soil that is not hospitable, is how the young flower bud follows the sun across the sky.  In doing so, it receives life-sustaining energy before bursting forth in its glorious yellow color.

"Like the young sunflower, when we follow the Savior of the world, the Son of God, we flourish and become glorious despite the many terrible circumstances that surround us.  He truly is our light and life."

"As individuals, disciples of Christ, living in a hostile world that is literally in commotion, we can thrive and bloom if we are rooted in our love of the Savior and humbly follow His teachings."

I love the hymn The Lord is My Light. 

The Lord is my light; then why should I fear?
By day and by night his presence is near.
He is my salvation from sorrow and sin;
This blessed assurance the Spirit doth bring.

The Lord is my light; tho clouds may arise,
Faith, stronger than sight, looks up thru the skies
Where Jesus forever in glory doth reign.
Then how can I ever in darkness remain?

The Lord is my light; the Lord is my strength.
I know in his might I'll conquer at length.
My weakness in mercy he covers with pow'r,
And, walking by faith, I am blest ev'ry hour.

The Lord is my light, my all and in all.
There is in his sight no darkness at all.
He is my Redeemer, my Savior, and King.
With Saints and with angels his praises I'll sing.

"If the grim realities you are facing at this time seem dark and heavy and almost unbearable, remember that in the soul-wrenching darkness of Gethsemane and the incomprehensible torture and pain of Calvary, the Savior accomplished the Atonement, which resolves the most terrible burdens that can occur in this life.  He did it for you, and He did it for me. . ."

How do you personally follow the Son?  

Let me share with you one way I try to follow the Son.

As a mother, I really appreciated Elder Cook's reminder of President Kimball's challenge
"to be on their knees. . .praying for their sons and daughters twice daily."

Elder Cook then promises us that "if we faithfully have family prayer, scripture study, family home evening, priesthood blessings, and Sabbath day observance, our children will . . .be prepared for an eternal home in heaven, regardless of what befalls them in a difficult world.  It is vitally important that our children know they are loved and safe at home."

WOW! That's powerful.

One of my favorite quotes is from a talk given by John L. Lund.  He says, "Take your frustrations to the Lord and your love to your family."  He teaches that whenever we get discouraged or frustrated with our children (this would ideally work with anyone) we should stop and go immediately somewhere we can pray and tell Heavenly Father all about it - a vent session, if you will. Then once we've gotten it off our chest, so to speak, come back, and do something extra loving for that child or those children -read to them, bake their favorite treat. take them fishing, rub their back- whatever makes them feel loved.

“You see, love is strong. Stronger than hate even. Love is the only thing that can kill hate, nothing else. You see, hate destroys and that's why love is stronger. It builds." - Peter Abrahams

This is what Jesus did.  He unconditionally loved, and we, like the sunflower, will thrive and bloom if we follow the Son and try to emulate Him in our lives.

What stood out to you in Elder Cook's talk?
Do you have a favorite quote from this talk?