Jesus said, “Ye are the light of the world” (Matthew 5:14). To His disciples on the American continent, He phrased it as an imperative: “I give unto you to be the light of this people” (3 Nephi 12:14).
God had previously given a similar message to the prophet Isaiah:
I will also give thee for a light to the Gentiles, that thou mayest be my salvation unto the end of the earth.Isaiah 49:6, 1 Nephi 21:6
In 1834, the Lord affirmed to church members in Missouri that they were “set to be a light unto the world, and to be the saviors of men” (Doctrine and Covenants 103:9). Later that year, He promised great blessings to Warren Cowdery “if he continue to be a faithful witness and a light unto the church” (Doctrine and Covenants 106:8).
As I’ve thought today about how to fulfill this admonition, I’ve had the following insights:
- It’s easy to complain. It’s easy to be cynical. It’s easy to imagine dark outcomes. A person who is a light helps others visualize positive outcomes, and helps them chart a path to achieving their goals.
- Light makes things more visible. A person who is a light recognizes and highlights things that aren’t right. He or she understands that seeing things as they really are is the first step to making things better.
- A person who is a light is focused on actionable next steps. Sister Bonnie S. Cordon said, “The Lord’s invitation to let our light so shine is not just about randomly waving a beam of light and making the world generally brighter. It is about focusing our light so others may see the way to Christ” (“That They May See,” General Conference, April 2020).
Today, I will be a light. I will meet cynicism with optimism. I will strive to accurately depict our current state, including areas for improvement. I will focus on the actions we can take today to move us closer to achieving our goals.