By the time I was about 10 years old until late into my teens, my father held some rather significant leadership positions in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. This meant that often, we were the only ones, or the last ones to be inside the church building at the end of the day. When this happened I had a responsibility. While my father packed up his briefcase and closed down his office, I was supposed to go around the entire building and ensure that all the lights were out and all the doors were locked.
If you have never been inside of an LDS chapel, most are shaped into a square. The largest areas where the congregation all meets together and sometimes a gymnasium take up the center of the building. The ancillary classrooms and offices all wrap around these from a continuous hallway that forms a U shape. Occasionally, other small hallways will branch off leading to other tucked away areas, but for the most part it’s a very simple and straight forward pattern.
My job required me to walk from one end of the large U around to the other end of the U, checking all the doors, windows and lights as I went. Then, I cut through a small passage way between our main chapel and the gymnasium to return to my father’s office in time to depart. Many would consider this quite the adventure, but not a real problem. Unfortunately, I was a very creative child. This made my adventure a little more daring than most would find it.
Church building or not, I was sure that once the lights went out there were monsters, muggers, and boogey men lurking in every door way and waiting to pounce around every corner. It was a very long, very dark walk. Often, I’d catch myself holding my breath as I swiftly walked down the dark hallway not releasing it until I reached the next outside access. Since these doors were all glass, the street lamps from outside could shine a small amount of light into the building at these points. I lived for those small pockets of light.
Aside from taking place in a church building, what does this have to do with the Gospel of Jesus Christ? Simply that, as I got older I began to discover there were many ways to find yourself either in the dark or in the light. It can also be a measure of our character when we assess how comfortable we are with the amount of light or darkness that we find in our lives.
Christ has said He is the Light of the World.
Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life. John 8:12
It is His light, His power that gives life, power and influence on everything around us. It represents His law and gospel that can illuminate our way back into His presence. Because we are all God’s children, we are blessed with a small portion of this light when we come into this world. Some call it the conscience. It the basic part of our nature that gives us a sense of right and wrong. It is this light of Christ that influences all people toward goodness. If we are mindful of that light, it can lead us to Christ and His gospel. If we walk away from it, we will find ourselves in darkness. Eventually, if we drag our feet long enough, we may lose sight of the light all together. The more we crave and seek out the light, the brighter its influence and comfort in our lives will be.
As disciples of Christ, may we always find ourselves bathed in the light of His goodness and truth. If the path becomes dark may we run, not walk, toward the nearest source of light.