The Lights That Lead Us

“The Lights That Lead Us,” New Era, May 2009, 40–41

From the Field

The Lights That Lead Us

You never know who might be following you through the fog.

I had been a missionary in southern Brazil for just over a year. My companion and I were driving to Florianópolis to pick up a sick missionary and bring him back to the mission headquarters for treatment. The four-hour trip south on the winding, pothole-riddled highway had been fairly uneventful. We enjoyed the bright day and beautiful forest scenery as we drove and talked, and soon we reached our destination. At about 4 p.m. we began the trip with the sick elder back to the mission office.

After an hour or so on the road, though, the weather changed drastically. The clouds gathered and within 15 minutes our day had gone from sun to heavy fog and rain. I was driving at the time, and it became impossible to see where we were going. None of us was very familiar with the road, and we knew we couldn’t navigate the curves and potholes without being able to see. We couldn’t tell if an exit was near, so we carefully pulled over to the side of the road and said a prayer.

When we finished, we sat quietly, waiting in faith for the help we had asked for. After a few minutes, a truck going 15 miles per hour or so passed by. We couldn’t really make out the truck itself, but we saw its taillights. Another truck soon followed, and then another. Each one passed slowly and carefully, and each one had red taillights bright enough for us to see. And this was the answer to our prayer.

As the next truck passed by, we carefully eased in just behind it, following its bright red taillights. We stayed close enough to see the lights clearly, but back far enough to be safe. In this way we were able to navigate in the rain and fog using the truck as our guide. The driver was obviously very familiar with the road—he was moving very slowly but confidently. We safely followed him and other truck drivers until the weather cleared enough for us to find our own way.

I’m sure the truck driver didn’t even know we were there. Yet he led us until we could see well enough to navigate the precarious road ourselves. As members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, we sometimes don’t know who’s following our light. We may not realize that someone in a class, on a sports team, in a club, or even in church is looking to us to provide the example he or she needs in foggy spiritual times. They see a light in us that provides hope—a path out of the rain and fog and into the sunshine again. Just like the truck driver, when we’re doing as we should—on the right road, traveling it carefully and avoiding the pitfalls that surround us—we can be the “light of the world” Jesus Christ wants us to be, leading others to Him.

Illustration by Cary Henrie