Choosing Light Over Darkness
Have you ever felt that because of sin you have been surrounded by a cloud of darkness? Have you ever felt so much fear that you couldn’t move? When you’re feeling this way, how can you get light in your life to dispel the darkness?
After helping an adulterous woman repent, Jesus stated, “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)
Jesus declared, “I am the light; I have set an example for you [of prayerfulness and obedience].” (3 Nephi 18:14-16)
Jesus also declared, “I am the light which shineth in darkness, and the darkness comprehendeth it not.” (D&C 6:21)
“The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear?” (Psalms 27:1)
An army of Lamanites had cast Nephi and Alma into prison for preaching the gospel and calling the people to repentance (around 30 B.C.). They were treated poorly and given no food. As the Lamanites went to kill them, Nephi and Lehi were “encircled about as by fire” but “were not burned.” They testified it was God who had shown them “this marvelous thing.” As they spoke, the earth and the prison walls shook, and the Lamanites were “overshadowed with a cloud of darkness, and an awful fear came upon them.” They “could not flee because of the cloud of darkness which did overshadow them” and “they were immovable because of [their] fear.” In the meantime, the faces of Nephi and Lehi “did shine exceedingly, even as the faces of angels.” The Lamanites asked, “What shall we do, that this cloud of darkness may be removed from overshadowing us?” He replied, “You must repent, and cry unto the voice, even until ye shall have faith in Christ…and when ye shall do this, the cloud of darkness shall be removed from overshadowing you.” (Heleman 5:20-41)
Lehi saw a vision of “numberless concourses of people…pressing forward, that they might obtain the path which led unto the tree of life.” As they started, “an exceedingly great mist of darkness” came over them and many lost their way. But some pressed forward “and caught hold of the end of the rod of iron…through the mist of darkness, clinging to the rod of iron, even until they did come forth and partake of the fruit of the tree.” Nephi learned the mists of darkness represent “the temptations of the devil, which blindeth the eyes, and hardeneth the hearts of the children of men, and leadeth them away into broad roads, that they perish and are lost.” Nephi explained that the iron rod represents “the word of God; and whoso would hearken unto the word of God, and would hold fast unto it, they would never perish; neither could the temptations and the fiery darts of the adversary overpower them unto blindness, to lead them away to destruction.” (1 Nephi 8:21-24; 12:17; 15:23-24)
Samuel the Lamanite challenged the Nephites, “…How long will ye choose darkness rather than light?” (Heleman 13:29) It was a choice they had to make.
King Lamoni went unconscious for two days after Ammon taught him the gospel. During that time, “the dark veil of unbelief was cast away from his mind, and the light [of the glory of God] did light up his mind…[and] was a marvelous light of his goodness–yeah, this light…infused such joy into his soul…[and dispelled] the cloud of darkness…[and] the light of everlasting life was lit up in his soul.” (Alma 19:6)
Ancient American prophets wrote of the signs signifying Jesus’ death in Jerusalem. The face of the earth was changed through tempests, earthquakes, wicked cities falling into the sea, mountains falling on top of other wicked cities, etc. After three hours of destruction, “there was thick darkness upon all the face of the land, insomuch that the inhabitants thereof…could feel the vapor of darkness. And there could be no light, because of the darkness, neither candles, neither torches; neither could there be fire kindled with their fine and exceedingly dry wood, so that there could not be any light at all. And there was not any light seen….” This lasted for three days as the people mourned, howled, and wept, wishing they had repented. The voice of Christ pierced the darkness, calling them to repentance and giving them the new gospel (3 Nephi 8-9). After the thick darkness left, they were also visited in person by Jesus (3 Nephi 11).
Jesus said, “The light of the body is the eye; if, therefore, thine eye be single, thy whole body shall be full of light. But if thine eye be evil, thy whole body shall be full of darkness. If, therefore, the light that is in thee be darkness, how great is that darkness!” (3 Nephi 13:22-23)
Elder Robert D. Hales also spoke on this topic.
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