“That They May Shine Forth in Darkness” – Ether 3:4

Humans hate uncertainty. We want to be able to accurately predict the future. We want to be able to explain things that seem mysterious. We don’t like being left in the dark.

As the Jaredites prepared to embark on a journey of unknown duration across the ocean, the brother of Jared became concerned about two apparent deficiencies with the barges they had built: they would be sitting in enclosed vessels with no light and with no source of fresh air. The Lord explained to him how to solve the problem of air, but He left the question of light in the hands of the brother of Jared: “What will ye that I should do?” He asked (Ether 2:23-25).

In response, the brother of Jared did something that I would never have thought of. He created sixteen small stones, as clear as glass, two per boat. He carried them up onto a mountain. He asked the Lord to touch the stones “that they may shine forth in darkness (Ether 3:4). As the Lord did so, “the veil was taken from off the eyes of the brother of Jared, and he saw the finger of the Lord” (Ether 3:6). Shortly after, the Lord showed him “all things,” including “all the inhabitants of the earth” (Ether 3:25-26). In an effort to obtain physical light, the brother of Jared received extraordinary spiritual light and knowledge.

A few years ago, Sister Sharon Eubank was troubled by some questions that she could not answer. During that time, she had a dream in which she saw a gazebo with five arches. Each arch contained a window made of stone. She was invited to enter, but didn’t want to because she wouldn’t be able to see through the windows. Then, she thought of the brother of Jared, who had melted stone to create glass, and who had then asked the Lord to make the glass shine. As she woke up, she asked herself the following question: “How are you going to increase your faith, like the brother of Jared, so your stones can be turned into light?”

After relating this story, Sister Eubank provided the following counsel to us:

This is not the stage in our eternal development where we have all answers. It is the stage where we develop our assurance (or sometimes our hope) in the evidence of things not seen. Assurance comes in ways that aren’t always easy to analyze, but there is light in our darkness. Jesus said, “I am the light, and the life, and the truth of the world.” For those seeking truth, it may seem at first to be the foolish claustrophobia of windows made of stone. But with patience and faithful questions, Jesus can transform our windows of stone to glass and light. Christ is light to see.

Christ: the Light That Shines in Darkness,” General Conference, April 2019, bold in original

I’m grateful for Sister Eubanks’s assurance that there is “light in our darkness.” I also love the imagery of melting rocks into glass (doing our part) and then turning that glass over to the Savior, who can provide us with light and help us to see clearly.

Today, when I am faced with uncertainty, I will remember the brother of Jared’s sixteen small stones. I will strive to organize and research my questions as clearly as I can, but I will remember that Christ is the light who can illuminate my mind and enable me to overcome the darkness.

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