The Light With In (info used in dvd)
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The Light in Their Eyes: President James E. Faust Second Counselor in the First Presidency http://www.lds.org/ldsorg/v/index.jsp?vgnextoid=2354fccf2b7db010VgnVCM1000004d82620aRCRD&;;locale=0&sourceId=1deb78de9441c010VgnVCM1000004d82620a____&hideNav=1
My dear brothers, sisters, and friends all over the world, I humbly seek your understanding and the aid of our Father’s Spirit as I speak to you this morning.
I greatly appreciated the brief prophetic message of President Hinckley at the beginning of this conference. I testify that President Hinckley is our prophet, who richly enjoys the guidance of the Head of this Church, who is our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
I recently recalled a historic meeting in Jerusalem about 17 years ago. It was regarding the lease for the land on which the Brigham Young University’s Jerusalem Center for Near Eastern Studies was later built. Before this lease could be signed, President Ezra Taft Benson and Elder Jeffrey R. Holland, then president of Brigham Young University, agreed with the Israeli government on behalf of the Church and the university not to proselyte in Israel. You might wonder why we agreed not to proselyte. We were required to do so in order to get the building permit to build that magnificent building which stands in the historic city of Jerusalem. To our knowledge the Church and BYU have scrupulously and honorably kept that nonproselyting commitment. After the lease had been signed, one of our friends insightfully remarked, “Oh, we know that you are not going to proselyte, but what are you going to do about the light that is in their eyes?” He was referring to our students who were studying in Israel.
What was that light in their eyes which was so obvious to our friend? The Lord Himself gives the answer: “And the light which shineth, which giveth you light, is through him who enlighteneth your eyes, which is the same light that quickeneth your understandings.” 1 Where did that light come from? Again the Lord gives the answer: “I am the true light that lighteth every man that cometh into the world.” 2 The Lord is the true light, “and the Spirit enlighteneth every man through the world, that hearkeneth to the voice of the Spirit.” 3 This light shows in our countenances as well as in our eyes.
Paul Harvey, a famous news commentator, visited one of our Church school campuses some years ago. Later he observed: “Each … young face mirrored a sort of … sublime assurance. These days many young eyes are prematurely old from countless compromises with conscience. But [these young people] have that enviable headstart which derives from discipline, dedication, and consecration.” 4
Those who truly repent receive the Spirit of Christ and are baptized into this Church unto the remission of their sins. Hands are laid upon their heads, and through the priesthood of God they receive the Holy Ghost. 5 It is “the gift of God unto all those who diligently seek him.” 6 As Elder Parley P. Pratt characterized it, the gift of the Holy Ghost is, “as it were, … joy to the heart, [and] light to the eyes.” 7 The Holy Ghost is that Comforter promised by the Savior before He was crucified. 8 The Holy Ghost gives worthy Saints both spiritual guidance and protection. It increases our knowledge and our understanding of “all things.” 9 This is of immense value at a time when spiritual blindness is increasing.
Secularism is expanding in much of the world today. Secularism is defined as “indifference to or rejection or exclusion of religion and religious considerations.” 10 Secularism does not accept many things as absolutes. Its principal objectives are pleasure and self-interest. Often those who embrace secularism have a different look about them. As Isaiah observed, “The show of their countenance doth witness against them.” 11
Yet with all the secularism in the world, many people hunger and yearn for the things of the Spirit and hearing the word of the Lord. As Amos prophesied: “Behold, the days come, saith the Lord God, that I will send a famine in the land, not a famine of bread, nor a thirst for water, but of hearing the words of the Lord:
“And they shall wander from sea to sea, and from the north even to the east, they shall run to and fro to seek the word of the Lord, and shall not find it.” 12
Where can we hear the words of the Lord? We can hear them from our prophet, President Gordon B. Hinckley, the First Presidency, the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, and the other General Authorities. We can also hear them from our stake presidents and bishops. Missionaries can hear them from their mission presidents. We can read them in the scriptures. We can also hear the still, small voice which comes through the Holy Ghost. Hearing the words of the Lord lifts us out of spiritual blindness “into his marvellous light.” 13
What are we doing to keep the light shining in our own eyes and countenances? Much of that light comes from our discipline, dedication, and consecration 14 to some important absolutes. The foremost of these absolutes is that there is a God who is the Father of our souls to whom we account for our actions. Second, that Jesus is the Christ, our Savior and Redeemer. Third, that the great plan of happiness requires obedience to God’s commandments. Fourth, that the greatest gift of God is eternal life. 15
Other blessings add further to the light in our eyes. They are the gifts of the Spirit that come from the Savior. 16 Joy, happiness, fulfillment, and peace are the gifts of the Spirit that flow from the power of the Holy Ghost.
In terms of happiness here and in the eternities, many of our beliefs are blockbusters. They are huge, and some of them are unique to our faith. These precious beliefs are based upon our faithfulness and include the following, not necessarily in order of importance:
1. God and His Son are glorified personages. God the Father is our living Creator, and His Son, Jesus Christ, is our Savior and Redeemer. We have been created in God’s image. 17 We know this because Joseph Smith saw Them, They talked to him, and he talked to Them. 18
2. Temple blessings seal husband and wife together, not only for this life but for eternity. Children and posterity can be linked together by this sealing.
3. Every worthy male member of the Church can hold and exercise the priesthood of God. He can exercise this divine authority within his family and in the Church under call by one who has authority.
4. Additional holy scriptures include the Book of Mormon, Doctrine and Covenants, and Pearl of Great Price.
5. Living apostles and prophets speak the word of God in our day, under the direction of President Gordon B. Hinckley, who is the prophet, seer, and revelator, the source of continuous revelation in our time.
6. The gift of the Holy Ghost is available to all members. When the Prophet Joseph Smith was asked “wherein [the LDS Church] differed … from the other religions of the day,” he replied that it was in “the gift of the Holy Ghost by the laying on of hands, … [and] that all other considerations were contained in the gift of the Holy Ghost.” 19
7. The ennobling of womanhood. Women have full equality with men before the Lord. By nature, the roles of women differ from those of men. This knowledge has come to us with the Restoration of the gospel in the fulness of times, with an acknowledgment that women are endowed with the great responsibilities of motherhood and nurturing. More opportunities have come to women since 1842, when the Prophet Joseph Smith, in the name of God, turned the key in their behalf than from the beginning of humankind on the earth. 20
Some years ago, Constance, a student nurse, was assigned to try and help a woman who had injured her leg in an accident. The woman refused medical help because she had had a negative experience with someone at the hospital. She was afraid and had become something of a recluse. The first time Constance dropped by, the injured woman ordered her out. On the second try, she did let Constance in. By now the woman’s leg was covered with large ulcers, and some of the flesh was rotting. But still she didn’t want to be treated.
Constance made it a matter of prayer, and in a day or two the answer came. She took some foaming hydrogen peroxide with her for the next visit. As this was painless, the old woman let her use it on her leg. Then they talked about more serious treatment at the hospital. Constance assured her the hospital would make her stay as pleasant as possible. In a day or two the woman did get the courage to enter the hospital. When Constance visited her, the woman smiled as she said, “You convinced me.” Then, quite unexpectedly, she asked Constance, “What church do you belong to?” Constance told her she was a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The woman said: “I knew it. I knew you were sent to me from the first day that I saw you. There was a light in your face that I had noticed in others of your faith. I had to put my trust in you.”
In three months’ time that festering leg was completely healed. Members of the ward where the old woman lived remodeled her house and fixed up her yard. The missionaries met with her, and she was baptized soon after. 21 All of this because she noticed the light in that young student nurse’s face.
Once when President Brigham Young was asked why we are sometimes left alone and often sad, his response was that man has to learn to “act as an independent being … to see what he will do … and try his independency—to be righteous in the dark.” 22 That becomes easier to do when we see the “gospel glow … radiating from … illuminated individuals.” 23
Service in this Church is a marvelous blessing and privilege that brings light to our eyes and our countenances. As the Savior recommended, “Let your light so shine before this people, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father who is in heaven.” 24 Words cannot express the blessings that come to us through service in this Church. The Lord promises that if we magnify our callings we will find happiness and joy.
Alma asks if we have received His image in our countenances. 25 A sacred light comes to our eyes and countenances when we have a personal bond with our loving Heavenly Father and His Son, our Savior and Redeemer. With this bond our faces will mirror that “sublime assurance” 26 that He lives.
I bear my personal witness of the divinity of this holy work in which we are engaged. Testimonies come through revelation. 27 This testifying revelation came to my heart as a young boy. I do not recall any specific event that prompted this confirming revelation. It just seemed always to be part of my consciousness. I am grateful for this confirming knowledge that has made it possible to handle the vicissitudes of life which come to all of us.
We have been and will be stirred by the testifying messages of the Brethren and sisters in this conference. I believe this confirming experience should relate to you. You may very well receive an affirmation that what is said is true. Brigham Young taught, “Not only the Saints who are present, … but those of every nation, continent, or island who live the religion taught by our Savior and his Apostles, and also by Joseph Smith; … also bear the same testimony, their eyes have been quickened by the Spirit of God, and they see alike, their hearts have been quickened, and they feel and understand alike.” 28
I know with all my heart and soul that God lives. I believe He will enlighten our lives with His love for each of us if we strive to be worthy of that love, in the holy name of Jesus Christ,
“I Am the Light Which Ye Shall Hold Up” Susan W. Tanner Young Women General President
I remember a simple sampler that I cross-stitched as a young Primary girl. It said, “I will bring the light of the gospel into my home.” I wondered, “What is that light?” Jesus Christ Himself explained it best when He was teaching the Nephites. He said, “Therefore, hold up your light that it may shine unto the world.” Then He explained, “I am the light which ye shall hold up—that which ye have seen me do” (3 Ne. 18:24; emphasis added).
What had the Nephites seen Him do, and could I possibly do those things in my home? When the people desired for Him to tarry with them a little longer, He had compassion upon them and lingered with them. Then He healed them, prayed with them, taught them, wept with them, blessed their little children one by one, fed them, and administered and shared the sacrament that they might covenant to always remember Him. His ministry among them was about teaching and caring for each individual, and about completing the work His Father had commanded Him to do. There was no thought for Himself. As I learned this, there began for me a lifelong quest to bring His light into my home through selfless, Christlike acts.
This is not an easy task. Good home life often goes unrecognized. It might be easier to “arise and shine forth, that thy light may be a standard for the nations” (D&C 115:5; emphasis added) rather than that your light may be a standard for your own families. Sometimes others don’t see us doing good, sharing our light in our individual homes. It is basic human nature to desire and seek praise and attention. Helaman taught his sons Nephi and Lehi to do the good works of their forefathers for whom they were named, “that ye may not do these things that ye may boast, but that ye may do these things to lay up for yourselves a treasure in heaven” (Hel. 5:8). Good works should not be done for the purpose of receiving recognition.
Charles Dickens has a character in the book Bleak House, a Mrs. Jellyby, whose flaw he labels as “telescopic philanthropy.” She is so consumed with helping a suffering tribe in a distant land that she dismisses her own bruised and dirty child who comes to her in need of comfort. Mrs. Jellyby wants to make sure her good works are grandiose and visible to all. (See Charles Dickens, Bleak House , 82–87.) Maybe some of us would rather help with hurricane relief than home relief. Now both are important, but home relief is our primary and eternal responsibility. “Parents have a sacred duty to rear their children in love and righteousness, to provide for their physical and spiritual needs” (“The Family: A Proclamation to the World,” Liahona, Oct. 2004, 49; Ensign, Nov. 1995, 102).
Another literary figure comes to my mind who is quite the opposite of Dickens’s character. Dorothea is the heroine in one of my favorite novels, Middlemarch. She is remembered at the end of the book for her quiet, selfless deeds to family and friends. It says: “Her full nature … spent itself in channels which had no great name on the earth. But the effect of her being on those around her was incalculably diffusive: for the growing good of the world is partly dependent on unhistoric acts; and that things are not so ill with you and me as they might have been, is half owing to the number who lived faithfully a hidden life, and rest in unvisited tombs” (George Eliot, Middlemarch , 682).
In these preparatory years, you young women spend much of your time in schools or jobs where you receive accolades, honors, awards, ribbons, or trophies. When you move from that stage to young motherhood, there is a dramatic drop-off in outside commendation. Yet in no other capacity is there more opportunity to serve selflessly as Christ would do by taking care of hundreds of daily physical, emotional, and spiritual needs. You will bring the light of the gospel into your homes—not to be seen of others, but to build others—men and women of strength and light.
Homes are also private places, so unfortunately, we often let down. In our homes and with our families we sometimes become our worst selves with the people who matter the most in our lives. I distinctly remember one morning when I was 14 years old. Before I left for school, I was cross and unkind with my parents and my brothers. After I left the house, I was polite with the bus driver and friendly to my peers. I felt the discrepancy of my actions, and a huge feeling of remorse came over me. I asked the teacher if I could be excused for a few minutes to call home. I apologized to my mother for my behavior and told her how much I loved and appreciated her and promised to do better at showing it.
It is difficult for most of us to live even one day in our homes with no contention. The Nephite nation had a perfect society for 200 years with “no contention in the land. … And there were no envyings, nor strifes, nor tumults, nor whoredoms, nor lyings, nor murders, nor any manner of lasciviousness; and surely there could not be a happier people among all the people who had been created by the hand of God” (4 Ne. 1:15–16).
Some of us are born into families with very difficult problems. And even good families have many challenges. We must try to do in our homes what Christ did with the Nephites. As the proclamation on the family teaches, “Happiness in family life is most likely to be achieved when founded upon the teachings of the Lord Jesus Christ” (Liahona, Oct. 2004, 49; Ensign, Nov. 1995, 102). We must be the light to help our families overcome sin, anger, envy, and fighting. We can pray together, weep for each other, heal each other’s wounds, and selflessly love and serve one another.
You young women are preparing now to strengthen your future homes and families by bringing the light of the gospel into your current homes and families. Small, seemingly insignificant things you do can make a big difference. I read about some small glowworms found in caves in New Zealand. Each one by itself produces only an insignificant pinpoint of light. But when millions of them light up a cave one by one, they produce enough light by which one can actually read. Likewise, each of our little deeds may share only a pinpoint of light, but added together they begin to make a significant difference. Tonight the choir will remind us of the importance of sharing our little lights as they sing “Shine On”:
My light is but a little one,
My light of faith and prayer;
But lo! it glows like God’s great sun,
For it was lighted there.
I may not hide my little light;
The Lord has told me so.
’Tis given me to keep in sight,
That all may see it glow.
Shine on, shine on, shine on bright and clear;
Shine on, shine on now the day is here.
(Children’s Songbook, 144)
We can shine on by tending a baby brother, eating lunch with a sister in the school cafeteria, doing household tasks, resisting the urge to quarrel, rejoicing in each other’s successes, sharing a treat, giving care when someone is sick, placing on a pillow at night a thank-you note to a parent, forgiving an offense, bearing our testimonies.
In Romania I met Raluca, a 17-year-old young woman who had recently joined the Church. Her baptism was a happy event because, among other things, her whole family attended. Her mother and sister felt the Spirit there and wanted to have the missionary discussions too. This concerned the father, for he felt he was losing all of his family to this unfamiliar church. So he did not allow it, and for a time there was a feeling of discord in their family. However, Raluca remembered that she had made a baptismal covenant to take upon her the name of Jesus Christ. She tried to hold up His light by doing in her home the things He would do. She was a peacemaker. She was an example. She was a teacher. She was a healer.
Eventually her father’s heart softened, and he allowed the others to learn more about the Church. Then they too were baptized. And finally, much to everyone’s joy, the father of the family also joined the Church. At his baptism he spoke and said that for a time their family had been as two hearts beating at a different rhythm in the same household. But now they were of one faith and one baptism, with their hearts knit together in unity and love. He gave thanks to the missionaries and members who had helped them. Then he paid a special tribute to his daughter Raluca for being so Christlike in their home during that difficult period, for being the peacemaker, the healer, the teacher, the example, and the light that eventually brought their entire family to the Church of Jesus Christ.
Each of you has light. As I look into your faces here tonight and as I remember your faces that I have seen as I have traveled throughout the world, I see light glowing in your countenances, “even as the faces of angels” (Hel. 5:36). In a world overshadowed with the darkness of sin, the faces of Nephi and Lehi, Helaman’s sons, “did shine exceedingly” (Hel. 5:36). Those surrounding them wanted that same light and inquired, “What shall we do, that this cloud of darkness may be removed from overshadowing us?” (Hel. 5:40). They were taught to repent and have faith in Jesus Christ. As they did this, the cloud of darkness dispersed and they were encircled with light, a pillar of fire, and filled with unspeakable joy from the Holy Spirit (see Hel. 5:43–45).
As you share your light, others will find greater light too. Is there anyone who needs your light as much as your families? I see you remarkable young women with your glowing countenances as the strength of the present and the hope of the future in your homes and in the Church.
Jesus Christ is the light that we must hold up. “He is the light, the life, and the hope of the world. His way is the path that leads to happiness in this life and eternal life in the world to come” (“The Living Christ: The Testimony of the Apostles,” Liahona and Ensign, Apr. 2000, 2–3). May we each shine on with His light, in the name of Jesus Christ, amen.
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