BYU–Idaho Students Told to Let Their Light Shine
Contributed By Kate Manning, Church News contributor
- It is the responsibility of disciples of Christ to take the light of the Lord and share it with others.
- There is a light at the end of the tunnel, and that light is Christ.
- In order to obtain Christ’s light, one must be on the search for knowledge, light, and truth.
“Where there is light, there is life and hope.” —Art Ericson, BYU–Idaho faculty member
It is the responsibility of disciples of Christ to take the light of the Lord and share it with others, Art Ericson, a faculty member of the Computer Information Technology Department at Brigham Young University–Idaho taught at a campus devotional on May 19.
Brother Ericson began his address by sharing a story told by President James E. Faust about the students at Brigham Young University’s Jerusalem Center for Near Eastern Studies. The students were not allowed to proselyte, but were recognized for the “light that [was] in their eyes.”
Brother Ericson told members of the devotional assembly that the Lord is the true light that shows in their countenances as well as their eyes.
Reading from Matthew 5:16, he said, “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.”
“This light, which gives us enlightenment, knowledge, and has the ability to uplift us, comes from Jesus Christ,” Brother Ericson said.
Telling of his fascination with physical light, he spoke about the wonders of nature and their relationship with light.
“When I consider all the beauties of this earth that Heavenly Father has created through His Son, Jesus Christ, my heart swells with gratitude for the wonders and beauties around us,“ he said. ”However, for me all these creations are even more beautiful with the addition of light. … Where there is light, there is life and hope.”
He continued by explaining the relationship light has with spirituality as well.
“When we turn away from the light by the daily decisions that we make, we soon are surrounded by the mists of darkness,” Brother Ericson said. “Always remember, there is a light at the end of the tunnel, and that light is Christ.”
He explained that in order to obtain Christ’s light, one must be on the search for knowledge, light, and truth.
“What a great blessing it is to be at a university where we begin classes with prayer, inviting the Holy Ghost to aid in our teaching and learning,” Brother Ericson said. “It is that gift of the Holy Ghost, when conferred upon us and righteously received, that enables us to receive light and truth so that we can comprehend all things.”
We have learned that “the glory of God is intelligence, or, in other words, light and truth,” Brother Ericson said, quoting Doctrine and Covenants 93:36.
“To gain intelligence or the glory of God, we must be diligent and obedient to God’s commandments and the covenants we have made with Him,” he said. “The light and truth, which God possesses, is only gained by hard work.”
Brother Ericson instructed that the habits required to receive light and truth can be found in what many call the “Sunday School answers,” or keeping the commandments, studying scriptures, saying prayers, and other such answers.
“As we receive God’s light and continue to practice these small daily tasks, we will receive more light until our body is filled with light and we will comprehend all things,” Brother Ericson said. “However, if we do not study, keep the commandments, and diligently seek to know truth, this light will cease.”
Brother Ericson also suggested that listening to good music is another one of the daily habits that can help individuals obtain light. He told the back story of John Henry Newman’s hymn “Lead, Kindly Light” and how the author pled for the Savior’s help while on a ship lost in a stormy sea.
“This hymn illustrates that even if our trials and challenges cause us to lose our way, we can look to Christ and He will be our light in times of darkness,” Brother Ericson said.
Brother Ericson continued by telling how it is needful to know how to use the light and help others when there are struggles in life. He told a story of a family close to him whose son was unexpectedly killed after coming home to intruders.
This family chose to seek light rather than let the darkness and evil of the world overcome their hearts, Brother Ericson said. They found peace in the knowledge of the role of the Redeemer.
Brother Ericson shared how the light of Christ should be used to lift others and invite all to come unto Christ by standing as a beacon set on a hill.
“We have a responsibility to take the light that the Lord has blessed us with and share it with others,” Brother Ericson said.