What we see is heavily influenced by who we are. If we are filled with light, we can see more clearly, even in darkness. But if we are filled with darkness, external light may not be very helpful.
That is the message of several passages in the book of Isaiah. In chapter 58, for example, Isaiah promises the children of Israel that if they care for the poor and needy among them, they will be sources of light:
Then shall thy light break forth as the morning….
Then shall thy light rise in obscurity, and thy darkness be as the noonday:Isaiah 58:8, 10
In the following chapter, Isaiah describes the hopelessness of people who are not seeking after righteousness:
We wait for light, but behold obscurity; for brightness, but we walk in darkness.
We grope for the wall like the blind, and we grope as if we had no eyes: we stumble at noonday as in the night.Isaiah 59:9-10
That passage alludes to Moses’ warning that, if the children of Israel turned away from God, they would “grope at noonday, as the blind gropeth in darkness” (Deuteronomy 28:29). It is also related to the Lord’s statement in 1833 that some members of the church in Kirtland, Ohio “have sinned a very grievous sin, in that they are walking in darkness at noon-day” (Doctrine and Covenants 95:6).
When you reject the light that is offered to you, that light is useless to you.
In the following chapter, we see the opposite: You can walk in the light, even when you are surrounded by darkness:
Arise, shine; for thy light is come, and the glory of the Lord is risen upon thee.
For, behold, the darkness shall cover the earth, and gross darkness the people: but the Lord shall arise upon thee, and his glory shall be seen upon thee.Isaiah 60:1-2
I believe in the prophecies that the sun, moon, and stars will be physically darkened before the Savior returns to the earth. (See Matthew 24:29, Mark 13:24-25, Luke 21:25, Acts 2:20.) But Isaiah points out that those signs are also characteristic of our final exalted state:
The sun shall be no more thy light by day; neither for brightness shall the moon give light unto thee: but the Lord shall be unto thee an everlasting light, and thy God thy glory.
Thy sun shall no more go down; neither shall thy moon withdraw itself: for the Lord shall be thine everlasting light, and the days of thy mourning shall be ended.Isaiah 60:19-20
Our ultimate goal, as the Savior taught, is to be “filled with light,” because a person who is filled with light “comprehendeth all things” (Doctrine and Covenants 88:67, see also Matthew 6:22, 3 Nephi 13:22).
Alma saw this process in the lives of the people his father taught as he organized the church at the waters of Mormon: “They were in the midst of darkness; nevertheless, their souls were illuminated by the light of the everlasting word” (Alma 5:7). And after Ammon taught King Lamoni, he saw that “the light which did light up his mind, which was the light of the glory of God, which was a marvelous light of his goodness—yea, this light had infused such joy into his soul, the cloud of darkness having been dispelled, and that the light of everlasting life was lit up in his soul” (Alma 19:6).
Today, I will welcome God’s light into my soul. I will remember that my accurate perception is influenced more by the light inside of me than by the light outside of me. I will be grateful for the light I have received, and I will share that light with others.