(Feast of Tabernacles) I am the Light of the World www.kevinhinckley.com
Terrance Olsen More than a decade ago I was watching an NCAA basketball tournament game… With 2:08 minutes left in the first half, one of my high school daughters came downstairs and made a request: "Dad, I'm stuck on this math problem. Could you help me?" At that moment I was struck by a very human feeling. The feeling was inescapable. If put into words it would be something like "I believe helping her is the right, fatherly, responsible, loving, committed thing to do." I simultaneously betrayed that feeling. The next few moments were predictable. I looked pained. I whined some question to my daughter like "Do you have any idea how often I get to watch a playoff game?" She was unmoved: "Well, it shouldn't take too long, if you would just . . ." I interrupted her. Terry: "Have you worked out the sample problem they give you at the beginning of the chapter?" Daughter: "Well, no, but . . ." Terry: "Well, how do you expect me to help if you haven't even tried? Do you want me to do your work for you?" Daughter: "Not exactly, I just . . ." Terry: "When is this assignment due, Kathie?" Daughter: "It's due tomorrow, and . . ." Terry: "How many times have I told you not to leave things until the last minute?!" By this time her lower lip was starting to curl out in a sort of defensive martyrdom. She withdrew, haughtily enough that I could comfort myself by saying that if she really were responsible she would have tried harder before asking me. Brother Terry Warner The way we see the problem is the problem… What is the problem here?
Terrance Olsen on self deceit So let's examine ourselves for a moment. Do we sometimes hold our beliefs in ways that discount their value to us in everyday life? Do we commit to faith or repentance or forgiveness or sacrifice…but in the very situations that demand these activities of us do we find our beliefs unrealistic or too impractical or in some other way inadequate? … We have heard that in order for us to enjoy [certain movies] that there must be a "willing suspension of disbelief." With respect to the gospel in everyday life, I am afraid we sometimes engage in a "willing suspension of belief" lest we actually have to live by what we espouse. In the very moment we need to live by our principles or beliefs we often abandon them. For example, we may say we believe in forgiveness, but when confronted by injustice we refuse to seek the Lord's help to forgive. … Perhaps we believe we ought to love our neighbor as ourselves, but then put ourselves down in ways we wouldn't think of doing to a neighbor (To Walk in the Light, BYU Devotional, 4 April, 1995)
Question Do we (actually) believe that: • God loves some in the ward more than others? • We are not entitled to answers like others seem to be… • That the spiritual gifts of some are “more excellent” than ours What is the real problem here?
Sherrie Dew The sixth section of the Doctrine and Covenants is a rich tutorial about our accessibility to the Spirit. In it, we are told that if we ask, we will receive; that if we inquire, the mysteries of God will be unfolded to us… In the Sermon on the Mount the Savior promised that "every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth". He didn't say just the adorable ones, or the cute ones, or the really smart ones, or those with two or more children. He said every one who seeks and asks. (No Doubt About It, p. 110)
John Chapter Eight And early in the morning [Jesus] came again into the temple… And the scribes and Pharisees brought unto him a woman taken in adultery; and when they had set her in the midst, They say unto him, Master, this woman was taken in adultery, in the very act. Now Moses in the law commanded us, that such should be stoned: but what sayest thou? So when they continued asking him, he lifted up himself, and said unto them, He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her. And they which heard it, being convicted by their own conscience, went out one by one, beginning at the eldest, even unto the last: and Jesus was left alone, and the woman standing in the midst. When Jesus had lifted up himself, and saw none but the woman, he said unto her, Woman, where are those thine accusers? hath no man condemned thee? She said, No man, Lord. And Jesus said unto her, Neither do I condemn thee: go, and sin no more. 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 To Joseph Smith He added: …if your eye be single to my glory, your whole bodies shall be filled with light, and there shall be no darkness in you; and that body which is filled with light comprehendeth all things. [D&C 88:67] What is the real problem here?
Question How will we know we are following that Light?
Elder Eyring You can test what we have talked about today. What you do in the classes you attend… can build your foundation more solidly on truth. Just try two things: listen for the whisperings of the Spirit and then commit to obey. You've noticed in this meeting that from time to time your mind wandered away from what I was saying. God will take advantage of that wandering if you let Him. When the Spirit is invited into a meeting by those in it, truth is communicated beyond what is said aloud. Write down impressions or thoughts that you feel came from God. And, remembering what we have said about building a foundation, think carefully about whether the truth you received requires action. It is by obedience to commandments that we qualify for further revelation of truth and light. In this hour you may have committed to act on something you felt was true. Then more truth came to you. That process may slow or stop, if as you go out into daily life you fail to keep the silent commitments you made with God. God not only loves the obedient, He enlightens them. I fear that more people make promises to God than keep them, so you will please Him when you are the exception and you keep your promise to obey… (A Life Founded in Light and Truth, BYU Devotional)
Brigham Young The faith I have embraced has given me light for darkness, ease for pain, joy and gladness for sorrow and mourning, certainty for uncertainty, hope for despair. We talk about having grace to endure, and pray, "O Lord, give me grace to endure the pains I receive in this thorny path that leads to heaven, the scoffs and sneers of this unfriendly world, that I may bear the name of Jesus honourably while I live." It is right to pray for grace, but let me shape this prayer a little differently, and ask God my heavenly Father, in the name of Jesus Christ, to open the eyes of my understanding, and teach me the truth as it is, then shall I see that I am walking in the light and not in darkness.