“Walk in the Light of the Son,” New Era, Sept. 2020, page–page.
Have you ever wondered what it would be like to go completely blind, all at once? I’m not talking closed eyes here—I mean the world getting plunged into total darkness. Sounds pretty tough, right? Now, what if everyone around you was suddenly blind too?
It might sound far-fetched, but something like this happened several thousand years ago. When Jesus Christ was crucified, the Nephites suffered terrible calamities. Earthquakes rocked cities, giant floods drowned whole towns, and fires burned others. It was like the big world-ending battle in a superhero movie, only more real. Then came a darkness so thick that people could feel it, so complete that nobody could even light a candle (see 3 Nephi 8:20, 21).
Being thrust into darkness can be frustrating or frightening. Spiritual and emotional darkness can be just as painful and frightening. The world sends so many conflicting messages that confuse and tempt us to fall to sin and doubt, and depression and anxiety are at an all-time high.
So, where can we turn for light? After three days of darkness, the Lord spoke to the Nephites, and soon after, the darkness was lifted. Later, the resurrected Savior Himself appeared to them and declared, “I am the light and life of the world.”
The Savior’s words give us a clear path. He doesn’t just help us find light; He is the light. How does the Savior provide light for us?
When the Nephites first heard Heavenly Father’s voice, they “cast their eyes round about” to look for the source (3 Nephi 11:4) and weren’t able to find it. But once they opened their hearts and listened more carefully, “their eyes were turned towards the sound” and they “did look steadfastly towards heaven” (3 Nephi 11:5). Then they were able to see the resurrected Savior.
To know which way to go, we first have to know where to look. The Nephites had to learn to look directly to the source of light, the Savior, to receive His gospel.
When we are struggling with darkness in our lives, we can turn to the Savior for guidance. We can read His words and learn of Him, walking in the paths that will make us happy and draw us closer to Him.
For three days the Nephites were surrounded by mists of darkness that prevented them from seeing. Compare that to when the resurrected Christ appeared to them—every eye was fixed upon Him. He taught them His doctrine, proclaiming what they needed to do to return to live with Heavenly Father. Today, the Savior calls us to follow Him (see 2 Nephi 31:10) and do the things we have seen Him do (see 2 Nephi 31:17).
When we focus on Christ, He will show us the way, for He is the way.
Light is transformative. It helps plants grow from seeds to trees. Christ’s power can transform us too. When we follow Christ, we are nurtured and changed from spiritual seedlings to mighty trees of testimony.
When we let Him, Christ can change how we see the world. We can keep our hope strong, striving to believe even when circumstances are bleak. We can see ourselves as children of God, recognizing our infinite potential for good. And we can find the strength to push through the darkness, trusting in our Savior, who is the Light of the World. When we allow Christ to be the light in our lives, we can be like King Benjamin’s people, who “through the infinite goodness of God and the manifestations of his Spirit, [had] great views of that which is to come” (Mosiah 5:3).
Satan wants us to be confused about where to turn. He wants us to fall into the darkness and never find our way out. But the Savior’s light is stronger than Satan’s darkness. As Sister Sharon Eubank, First Counselor in the Relief Society General Presidency, put it, “No matter how hard it tries, the darkness cannot put out that light. Ever. You can trust that His light will be there for you.”1 His light is eternal and accessible. Even when difficult circumstances arise and cloud your vision, you can have confidence that the Savior will be there to bless you with His light.