Light’s Very Source…

“I have long advocated the need for hard work, and work honestly done. It has been my unfortunate experience to encounter over the years individuals less inclined to labor with integrity, but to seek after easy and ill-gotten success. Regrettably, efforts I have made to kindly correct the course of some such have failed, bringing me lasting sorrow. My hope has always been to teach the joyful way of working in light and truth, for lasting happiness and harmony in our relationships with God and man. The Savior Jesus Christ ever advocated in word and deed the value of working in the light of day, while the light still shines, for He is the very light. “I must work the works of Him that sent me, while it is day: the night cometh, when no man can work. As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world” (John 9:4-5). Yes, Jesus Christ is the light of the world, and all light of truth shines forth from Him. He is light’s very source, regardless of the conduit through which He shines.”

Daniel Joseph Malcolm, 16 March 2024

Many years ago, when our oldest sons were still boys, Elder Larry R. Lawrence, who was then a young stake president, made a statement in our stake conference about parenting teenagers that struck and stayed with Monica and I. In relation to when our children should be home in the evening Elder Lawrence stated, “Nothing good happens after midnight, and for that matter, after 11 pm.” Years later in general conference he reaffirmed that teaching. This statement became foundational in the management of our home, and the principles that go along with it have long affected my thought process concerning light and darkness.

Elder Larry R. Lawrence, “Courageous Parenting,” October 2010 General Conference.

There are things to be done in the light, and things to be done in the dark. It just so happens that most of our time spent in the dark ought to be accompanied by snoring. Yes, sleep, what a wonderful thing to be done in the dark. Otherwise, most of the remaining time we spend in the dark should be done so gathering around lamps and candles, learning and sharing the things of God one with another in the safety of His light, protected from the dark.

In the Heidi Swinton book, “To the Rescue: The Biography of Thomas S. Monson,” we learn that in the dealings The Church of Jesus Christ had with the leaders of the authoritarian regime of East Germany that Church leaders came through the “front door.” Then Elder Monson did not lurk in the dark trying to sneak the gospel message into a dark place, but he worked openly with government authorities, always in the light, a shining beacon of the Lord’s light in a darkest abyss. Those honest efforts begat good feelings, then trust, which grew to the brilliant light of God’s love that brought down barriers. All of it done in the light, everything through the front door. That is the way of the Lord.

The prophet Nephi declared, “I say unto you that the Lord God worketh not in darkness” (2 Nephi 26:23). I would say more to this, that although we receive the warm whispers of the Still Small Voice in quiet peace, other whisperings in dark corridors cannot be trusted as coming from our Heavenly Father. If a messenger comes to your front door in light and truth it is much more clear his intentions, and warranted trust can be given. But if one would climb over the fence in shadowy darkness, or sneak through side doors or windows when we are unawares, like dark lyrics in headphones or shielded images on small screens, intentions should be questioned, and trust not so freely given. Remember, darkness does not like light, for it fails in the light and therefore rarely seeks the warmth of real love, light and truth.

“Ye Are the Light of the World” by Simon Dewey

What if we find ourselves in the dark, or worry for our children who may have strayed from lit paths? There is hope in Jesus Christ and His redeeming power. If we were camping in the woods and in the night one of our children wandered off we would have with us the brightest flashlight in order to seek and find them. We would shine that light and call to them until they are found. Like a lighthouse beacon would shine out in darkness to rescue the endangered mariner, so our effort would be with our own child or anyone else we love. We would let our light shine. That light is Christ.

Being in the light is not only important for our children. If we do not dwell in the light then to whom will our children look for light and truth? The Lord will be patient with us in our days of probation, for us to learn the lessons we need so that we may return to His presence, but His patience is not without end. Christ is long-suffering, but He will not suffer forever if we do not do our part. Do we want to be without His long-suffering when we need His light to bring our children safely home? “For the Spirit of the Lord will not always strive with man. And when the Spirit ceaseth to strive with man then cometh speedy destruction, and this grieveth my soul.” (2 Nephi 26:11)

In one thing we should be very cautious, not to believe that we as purveyors of light, hold the monopoly on all light and understanding, or have exclusive privilege to it. The Lord has the power, ability, and authority to enlighten the minds and hearts of any person willing to hear and follow, that He may affect His work on all His children, in whatever manner is needed to benefit us. In a February 15, 1978 statement, the First Presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints declared, “The great religious leaders of the world such as Mohammed, Confucius, and the Reformers, as well as philosophers including Socrates, Plato, and others, received a portion of God’s light. Moral truths were given to them by God to enlighten whole nations and to bring a higher level of understanding to individuals.” I too espouse this understanding. Our benevolent Father in Heaven enlightens the hearts and minds of individuals, parents, teachers, counselors, religious leaders, political leaders, rulers, and any other person or body He chooses, that can affect for inspired change and improvement the condition of the family of God, of which we are all children.

The First Presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints — President Spencer W. Kimball (seated) with counselors N. Eldon Tanner (left) and Marion G. Romney (right).

Oh, what a day in which we live, when God’s influence on mankind is more prevalent than ever before. A marvelous work and a wonder is being witnessed in our day, and it is in the light of day that it will be seen. May the Lord bless us all to have His light and to shine it forth in a way for all to see that we may be a beacon of His light, to rescue all, is my prayer. In the name of light’s very source, even Jesus Christ, amen.

Daniel Malcolm is an entrepreneur, journalist, photographer, husband to Monica and father of twelve. He is a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and is a witness of the gospel of Jesus Christ and His Atonement.