01 September 2013

Patterns of Light

Today our RS lesson was on Light and receiving Revelation. We watched the 3-part Patterns of Light videos, taken from a talk by Elder David A. Bednar in the April 2011 General Conference. The videos are beautifully done, but even more beautiful is the simplicity and plainness with which Elder Bednar is able to teach these Gospel truths.

After each video, we had some great discussion about the principles being taught. Although these principles are not new to me, I definitely felt more illuminated from having examined them all through a microscope and studying them more directly. I suppose since a microscope uses light to help with magnification the analogy is fitting.

These videos are just too beautiful not to share, so enjoy! And hopefully you can feel as enlightened as I did.

Part I: The Light of Christ

Part II: Discerning Light

Part III: Spirit of Revelation

I keep a little nightlight in my bathroom so that when I get up in the middle of the night I don't have to turn on the bright lights and hurt my eyes. Going from total darkness into bright lights can be quite painful actually, so our eyes naturally squint to allow them time to adjust. It occurred to me again during this lesson just how important this adjustment period is for revelation, too. There is a reason why we NEED to learn line upon line, precept upon precept. I thought of Alma the Younger, who saw an angel of God and KNEW the Gospel to be true, and yet still he testified that he fasted and prayed many days in order to know of these things for himself. Saul (aka Paul) saw the Resurrected Christ and was literally BLINDED by the Light for several days... giving his heart and mind time to adjust to the new truths he had learned in a miraculous instant, as well as giving him the opportunity to receive or reject these truths. So even when we do have a spiritual "light switch" moment, our spiritual eyes still have to adjust. We still need time to search, ponder, and pray until our hearts and minds are once again in tune and include the new truths we have just come to know. In other words, we need time to understand. It is one thing to know, and quite another to understand. Therefore, I think the times when we receive spiritual "light switch" moments are often when we need them as a catalyst to open our hearts and minds up to the "sunrise" and "foggy day" revelatory experiences that will most assuredly follow.

Did Joseph Smith see God the Father and Jesus Christ in the Sacred Grove? Absolutely! He had his "light switch" moment. But I guarantee that the next few years following that experience were full of daily moments of tender mercies, brief glimpses of understanding, continuing prayer and scripture study, sin and repentance, and especially fogginess as to what he should do next. So as glorious as it would be to see God and His Son, and have them tell me their divine plan for my life, I know I would not be nearly as prepared and willing to obey it if I knew it all from the beginning. It would be too daunting, too overwhelming. Sheesh! The next two weeks feel overwhelming enough, I can hardly imagine having to know about the next 5 or 10 or 30 years. So from now on, I'm going to be grateful for my "foggy day"personal revelation... because even though it is foggy, it is personal!

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