Be a light this year

As we follow the example of the Savior, ours will be the opportunity to be a light in the lives of others.
-Thomas S. Monson-

I remember being a teenager and seeing a commercial on TV. It showed a man walking along the sidewalk, when all of a sudden a woman dropped her purse in front of him. He quickly bent down, picked it up and handed it back to her. She was taken aback by how nice he was to do that and she proceeded to help someone else, who then went on to help someone they came across, and so on. The initial man is the "light" in this scenario. He was kind, caring and was willing to serve somebody; and through his example, someone else became a light. 

As members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, nay, as believers in Christ, it is our responsibility to be lights to the world. You might have seen the hashtag #LightTheWorld going around Facebook and Twitter before Christmas. I'm a little late to the ballgame with this post, but I was studying a talk given by Thomas S. Monson in the October 2015 General Conference, titled "Be an Example and a Light" and felt like there is never a wrong time to write about being an example to the world. 

A habit I've been trying to form lately is, before going to bed, thinking back on my day and trying to remember any opportunities I had to serve others that I overlooked or ignored. My goal is, by looking back at those lost opportunities, I'll make myself more aware in my daily life to be looking for said opportunities. 

Many underestimate the power of a simple smile, holding a door open, saying hello to someone as you pass by. To serve others does not mean you have to do something amazing or extravagant. Even the smallest gesture can cause you to help someone re-kindle their light.

I think of Jesus Christ. He was the ultimate light to the world. Even though the world persecuted him, insulted him, and, eventually crucified him; he never stopped being a light. He never stopped helping and showing love to those in need. He sacrificed his life for us, so that when we mess up, we can repent and start fresh and try harder to be like him. His example is the ultimate example; one that none of us is asked to do. So why don't we do what we are being asked to do? To be an example to the world of love, service and kindness.

President Monson shared a poem in his talk that touches on what I just mentioned:

I met a stranger in the night
Whose lamp had ceased to shine
I paused and let him light
His lamp from mine

A tempest sprang up later on
And shook the world about
And when the wind was gone
My lamp was out!

But back to me the stranger came
His lamp was glowing fine!
He held the precious flame
And lighted mine

When we are a light to the world in our every day life, we are lighting others, who, when we have a moment of weakness, when our flame temporarily goes out, will be there to help us in return. 

I look at the world and how evil everything is becoming. Murders, drugs, crime; every day the news is filled with these stories. If we all just strived to be lights to the world, imagine the difference it would make. Instead of honking at the broken down car you're stuck behind, get out and see if you can help. Standing in line at the grocery store, looking down at your phone? Put it away and help the person behind you unload their grocery cart. 

" the world moves further and further away from the principles and guidelines given to us by a loving Heavenly Father, we will stand out from the crowd because we are different...Those things which make us different from most of the world also provide us with that light and that spirit which will shine in an increasingly dark world." (Monson)

There are countless opportunities for each of us, every day of our lives, to light the world of someone else.

"I hope you will go out today looking for opportunities to do as He did and to love as He loves. I can promise you the peace that you felt as a child will come to you often and it will linger with you." (Henry B. Eyring, Oct. 2009 General Conference)

As 2018 comes to a close; and 2019 comes roaring in; let us be a light to the world, be that light planted on a hill, be that light that changes someones life.

Matthew 25:40 - ...Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.

Matthew 5 - (14)Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid. (15) Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house. (16) Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven. 


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