Into the Light…
The Lord Jesus said, “Behold, I am the law, and the light. Look unto me, and endure to the end, and ye shall live; for unto him that endureth to the end will I give eternal life” (3 Nephi 15:9). The Savior put them together Himself, He declared Himself to be the law and the light.
Some of the greatest testimonies I have ever felt have been associated with music. Whether in my religious or secular associations it did not seem to matter much. The light and spirit of some concepts set to music entered my heart, and do so still, even as Joseph described James 1:5 entering his heart in 1820.
When I was a youth performing in the Sanger High School Concert Choir, under the direction of the truly inspired Norman Wiens, we learned and performed together a rather unconventional piece of music based on a verse of scripture, John 8:12: “I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.” It was unconventional in the sense that the entire piece included coordinated hand movements of our sixty plus member choir with the intent to bring greater emphasis and meaning of the Lord’s word to the audience. I do not know how others felt or perceived it, but it had that very affect upon my senses, all of them. The song was in entitled ”The Light” and its words, gestures and music have resonated in me ever since.
“I am the light. He that follows Me, shall not walk in darkness, but shall see the light of life.” To my forty year recollection those were all the words, sang in various tones and harmonies within the four-part choir, but nevertheless only those simple and profound words. “I am the light. He that follows Me, shall not walk in darkness, but shall see the light of life.”
The personal witness of our dear Savior also most brilliantly shown in the bright and sweet countenance of my beloved music teacher, Mr. Wiens. I will never forget the sounds of the music flitting brightly on the air, the words of our Lord borne anew, the witness bearing light in the face of my mentor, and most importantly the light and spirit which filled my heart, for me a near theophany of God’s love and light.
Oh, how wonderful must have been the feelings of those who had suffered in the dark prior to and in the hours following the crucifixion of our Lord, when the dark lifted as a fog burns off in the morning sun, and the new day dawning of the resurrection bringing a new light of hope into the world, even as the world had never known. Those faithful followers of Christ, literally stepping out of the darkness through grace enabled repentance and into the light of life, now partakers of the Savior’s infinite love.
As partakers of His infinite love, they were followers of Him. They followed Him. To follow Him is to keep His commandments, lest we forget that He declared Himself “the law and the light.” The law is simple, but nevertheless an integral part of following Him, becoming His follower, and remaining in His light. He said, “I have given you the law and the commandments of my Father, that ye shall believe in me, and that ye shall repent of your sins, and come unto me with a broken heart and a contrite spirit…. Therefore come unto me and be ye saved; for verily I say unto you, that except ye shall keep my commandments, which I have commanded you at this time, ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven” (3 Nephi 12:19-20).
So they too as saints, obedient followers of Jesus, became the light with Him. “I give unto you to be the light of this people. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hid. Behold, do men light a candle and put it under a bushel? Nay, but on a candlestick, and it giveth light to all that are in the house; Therefore let your light so shine before this people, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father who is in heaven” (3 Nephi 12:14-16).
Even as the light of Christ shone from the countenance of Norman Wiens for me to witness and follow, once we have stepped into the light of God’s love we too must show it forth in our obedience, in our deeds, and in our very eyes for all to see, an example to follow. Let us never walk in darkness but always into the light, shining His witness for all to see, never forgetting His words, “I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.” Let us be a reflection of His love, of His light, as witnesses of Him for all to see. In the name of Jesus Christ, amen.