I will never forget the day God opened my eyes.
October 1, 2015. There was a shooting at a community college in Oregon. Several accounts describe the gunman asking some students if they were Christian. If they said yes, he said he would send them back to meet God.
After the horrific event, I had this thought: What would I do if I had been on the barrel side of the gun?
I discovered I was afraid. Afraid to stand up. Afraid to speak out. Afraid to offend. Afraid to be mocked. Afraid to be different.
I discovered a woman who loved God deeply but shared it rarely because of fear. And my heart began to break.
Before this, I believed that those who knew and loved me best knew how I felt about God—that my heart was His. I felt no need to share that love with the world or to post my feelings publicly.
I thought it was about me. I was wrong. It isn’t about how others see me. It’s about how I and others see God.
This new understanding changed me forever.
“That which is of God is light; and he that receiveth light, and continueth in God, receiveth more light; and that light groweth brighter and brighter until the perfect day” (Doctrine and Covenants 50:24).
This is our goal—to show more of Him to the world by letting His light shine through us.
I Am a Sharer of Light
October 2, 2015. The day after the shooting, I decided it was time to share my faith in Jesus Christ more openly on social media. With a pounding heart, I held my breath and clicked the dreaded share button. I told the world that “I am not ashamed of the of the gospel of Christ.”
The fear was so real and overwhelming. What if I offended people? What if people hated me? Despite the fear, my love for God was greater. So I posted.
A few friends blocked me. A few more friends and family avoided me. And it hurt. Some comments and messages stung. To be honest, they still sting. My confidence began to decrease. I prayed for the courage to continue, and God answered my prayers in a general conference talk a few days after the shooting.
President Russell M. Nelson said: “[We need] women who can speak with the power and authority of God! … Women who teach fearlessly” (“A Plea to My Sisters”).
God was speaking to me. God needed me. God needs you. We can speak up and teach fearlessly—in person and on social media—in positive, responsible, noncontentious, and loving ways.
You may be thinking, as I did, that you don’t have anything to contribute. You may be thinking that you aren’t good with words. It doesn’t matter. I promise that if you will ask God, He will give you the words to say.
We Must Be Sharers of Light
There is so much light to share! I invite friends to listen to general conference of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I celebrate Joseph Smith’s birthday. I share experiences like the strong, young mother I met overcoming addiction; my children talking about their love of Jesus; the man in the neighborhood who mowed my lawn. The possibilities are endless! We can always find light to share.
When I began this light-sharing journey on social media a few years ago, I was concerned. Concerned about the number of likes. Concerned about the number of comments. Concerned about rejection. Some friends and family blocked me on the internet, and some blocked me from their lives. It was painful. I thought I was going to change the world one post at a time. Instead, some have accused me of doing and being terrible things. But I have learned we must never accept a rejection of light as failure, for what we say today might be remembered in 20 years. Our timeline is not God’s. The eyes of the beholder might not be ready for the light … yet.
Others say I’m writing and sharing just what they needed to hear and sometimes give them the confidence to share themselves. I have also learned that sharing my light may or may not change others, but it will and continues to change me. When I share, I am changed. I feel light even when others reject it. When I share I spend less time worrying about how other people will see me and more time asking God the right words to say. I, like all who are willing to ask, have unlimited access to God’s light, and as I share it, I feel it shine more and more brightly. No matter how many likes or comments I get (or don’t get), feeling His light and love is all I really need.
God Is a Sharer of Light
Because the love and light of Jesus Christ are endless and infinite, every time we give away light, our light doesn’t diminish. It increases!
When I give light to one of God’s children, He responds with more light to me and I to Him again and again. This circle of light is never-ending. The supply will never run out. With each exchange of light, we become more like Him until that perfect day when all that remains is light.You and I become one. I become light and you become light. And not just any light—His light.
So, my brothers and sisters in Christ, don’t be afraid. Let His light shine through you.
Jessica Alba, mother of three and spoiled by one handsome man, is a managing pharmacist and co-creator of an anti-pornography campaign. As a ginger Disney and Shakespeare fanatic, she drives a mean Mr. Toad ride “and though she be but little, she is fierce.”