Follow the True Light
January 2023

“Follow the True Light,” For the Strength of Youth, Jan. 2023.

Come, Follow Me

John 1:1–5

Follow the True Light

The light of Jesus Christ is always there for you—yesterday, today, and forever.

Jesus Christ

Consider the Lilies, by Haley Miller

As the sun set on another Sunday in 1948, I found myself walking by the Trent River in Nottingham, England. I was a 20-year-old missionary at the time. It had been a long, exhausting day, but I was happy and satisfied in the work.

As I walked along the river, I said a prayer in my heart. Hoping to feel some guidance from the Lord, I asked, “Am I doing what You want?”

An overwhelming feeling of peace and understanding suddenly came over me. At that precise moment, I came to know that Jesus Christ knew me and loved me. I didn’t see a vision or hear a voice, but I could not have known of Christ’s reality and divinity any more powerfully had He stood before me and called out my name.

From that day to today, every significant decision I have made has been influenced by my knowledge that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. I love Him more deeply and powerfully than words can express. He is my Lord, my Savior, my Redeemer, and my friend.

Over the years and throughout most of the world, I have testified of the Savior. I know He is the true and everlasting Light that “shineth in darkness” (John 1:5). It is a privilege for us to come unto Him, to follow Him, and to feel His light in our lives.

The Truth about Light

Every 24 hours, day turns to night and night turns to day. When we experience the darkness of night, we do not worry that the sun is gone. We know that the earth will rotate and the sun will shine on us again. We may not always be able to see or feel the light, but it is always there.

The same is true spiritually. I was reminded of this many years ago when my wife, Barbara, and I gazed up in awe at the night sky. The millions of stars we saw seemed exceptionally bright and beautiful. My thoughts then turned with wonder to Jesus Christ.

He was “in the beginning with God” (John 1:2). Under the direction of Heavenly Father, He created the earth and worlds without number (see Moses 1:33). He is the power that lights the sun, the moon, and the stars (see Doctrine and Covenants 88:7–10). He is the source of the light and life of all things (see John 1:3–4; Doctrine and Covenants 93:10). He declared, “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).

In our day, Satan is working overtime to shut out the Savior’s light. But you can never be in a place so dark that the light of Jesus Christ cannot shine for you if you will come unto Him. His light is always there.

morning, midday, and night

Illustrations by Adam Nickel

He Lights Our Way

As the Son of God, Jesus Christ had glory with God the Father “before the world was” (John 17:5). He was perfectly obedient to His Father (see John 5:30) and willingly came to earth. He gave up His glory to be born in a humble stable where His mother “wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger” (Luke 2:7).

During His youth, He went “about [His] Father’s business” (Luke 2:49) and amazed those who heard His teachings. In His ministry, He had power to perform miracles, to bless and heal the sick, to bring the dead to life, and to ultimately provide the infinite Atonement.

In everything the Savior has said and done, especially in His atoning sacrifice, He has shown us the way to our Father in Heaven. His example and teachings light the path we must follow to return to our heavenly home.

Share His Light

Once we feel the light of the Son of God in our lives, we should strive to share that light with others. I loved being a missionary in England. I loved being a mission president in Canada. And I love my current calling as a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, which allows me to testify of Jesus Christ throughout the world.

The Savior taught, “Behold I am the light which ye shall hold up—that which ye have seen me do” (3 Nephi 18:24).

The Savior’s light shines within us every time we pray and seek His word in the scriptures. His light shines when we love as He loves, share our testimonies, and give selfless service. This casts darkness out of our lives and attracts others who are seeking His light.

girl with boy holding light

His Light Endures Forever

The light of Jesus Christ is always there for you. Nothing—absolutely nothing—can ever overpower or extinguish His light. It will endure forever. Jesus Christ “is the light and the life of the world; … a light that is endless, that can never be darkened” (Mosiah 16:9).

I am eternally thankful for the experience I had as a young missionary when I came to know this for myself. I know this more surely today as I have experienced life with all of its trials and joys.

If you don’t know where to go or what to do, look to the true light of the Son of God. If you are willing to come unto Him and follow His light, He will light your way.