Sunday, September 20, 2015

I Am the Light

One morning this week I was in the Logan Temple before going to work and the thunder outside was so strong that we could hear and feel the thunder inside the temple. When I left the temple and headed to work, the rains we coming down hard and the thunder continued to rumble. That evening the rains had stopped but the clouds were all around the mountains and the lightning was continuously striking all around it was a beautiful sight.

This past Friday (September 17th) was homecoming for Logan High and every time Logan scored they shot off fireworks. They must have doing well because the skies were full of fireworks and could be heard for miles. I was coming home from a program where the speaker spoke of The Lord Jesus Christ coming to accept the Kirtland Temple as his house in a glorious vision on Sunday April 3, 1836.

We saw the Lord standing upon the breastwork of the pulpit, before us; and under his feet was a paved work of pure gold, in color like amber.

His eyes were as a flame of fire; the hair of his head was white like the pure snow; his countenance shone above the brightness of the sun; and his voice was as the sound of the rushing of great waters, even the voice of Jehovah, saying:

I am the first and the last; I am he who liveth, I am he who was slain; I am your advocate with the Father. (Doctrine and Covenants 110:2-4)

The Lord has said many times that he is the light of the world:

Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, 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)

Behold, I am Jesus Christ, the Son of God. I am the same that came unto mine own, and mine own received me not. I am the light which shineth in darkness, and the darkness comprehendeth it not. (Doctrine and Covenants 6:21)

The experiences from this week with the lightning and thunder and the fireworks reminded me of the scriptures that my wife and I read the night before. It was the account of the destruction in the Americas at the time of the death of the Jesus Christ in Jerusalem. The account reads:

And it came to pass in the thirty and fourth year (after the birth of Jesus Christ), in the first month, on the fourth day of the month, there arose a great storm, such an one as never had been known in all the land.

And there was also a great and terrible tempest; and there was terrible thunder, insomuch that it did shake the whole earth as if it was about to divide asunder.
And there were exceedingly sharp lightnings, such as never had been known in all the land.

And thus the face of the whole earth became deformed, because of the tempests, and the thunderings, and the lightnings, and the quaking of the earth.

And it came to pass that when the thunderings, and the lightnings, and the storm, and the tempest, and the quakings of the earth did cease—for behold, they did last for about the space of three; and it was said by some that the time was greater; nevertheless, all these great and terrible things were done in about the space of three hours—and then behold, there was darkness upon the face of the land.

And it came to pass that there was thick darkness upon all the face of the land, insomuch that the inhabitants thereof who had not fallen 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, neither fire, nor glimmer, neither the sun, nor the moon, nor the stars, for so great were the mists of darkness which were upon the face of the land. (3 Nephi 8:5-7, 17-22)

The account says that many cities were burned or sunk into the waters or were covered by mountains and that it was the more righteous that did not perish in the storms that night. It must have been a terrifying experience for the survivors to go through. During the three days of darkness they heard the Lord’s voice speaking to them commanding them to repent and turn to him. He said: “I am the light and the life of the world. I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end.” (3 Nephi 9:18)

But what they experienced soon after was a life changing event. The resurrected Lord Jesus Christ appeared to the people gathered at the temple. They saw someone descending out of heaven and they thought it was an angel, but he stretched forth his hands and said:

Behold, I am Jesus Christ, whom the prophets testified shall come into the world.

And behold, I am the light and the life of the world; and I have drunk out of that bitter cup which the Father hath given me, and have glorified the Father in taking upon me the sins of the world, in the which I have suffered the will of the Father in all things from the beginning. (3 Nephi 11:10-11)

Everyone there was able to personally go and touch the nail prints in the Lord’s hands and feet and they were taught by him for many days. The change in the hearts of the people was so great that they had peace for nearly 300 years.

The Lord promised that he will return again in glory. We believe that time is not far off, that the Lord’s Church was restored to prepare the earth for that second coming. The Lord told his ancient apostles that the condition of the people before his second coming would be similar to the time when Noah lived and the people were destroyed in the floods. Speaking to the Prophet Joseph Smith the Lord described what would happen just prior to his return:

Verily, verily, I say unto you, darkness covereth the earth, and gross darkness the minds of the people, and all flesh has become corrupt before my face.

Behold, vengeance cometh speedily upon the inhabitants of the earth, a day of wrath, a day of burning, a day of desolation, of weeping, of mourning, and of lamentation; and as a whirlwind it shall come upon all the face of the earth, saith the Lord. (Doctrine and Covenants 112:23-24)

Sounds a lot like it was in the Americas at the time of his death. There will be lightning and thunder and earthquakes, maybe even fireworks all around us. Then probably because of the destruction there will be darkness, the scriptures say the stars will fall from the sky, the sun shall be turned to darkness and the moon shall not giver her light (Matthew 24:29). In the end the Lord will come in glory and his light will shine forth in the darkness and everyone will see him and know that he is the Savior of the world and those who are righteous will have the opportunity to live with him for a thousand years and enjoy peace. I hope that my family and I will qualify to be a part of that glorious experience.

Your comments and questions are welcome.

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