They Did Watch Steadfastly…
When I was a child, like most children, I was afraid of the dark. There is something to a lack of light that invokes fear and apprehension. My dear mother purchased a western themed nightlight to help me not to be afraid. I remember my older brothers making fun of me for needing to have the closet door shut and complaining about the light that emanated from the receptacle in the wall, but seeing that little bit of light gave me comfort, and I suppose hope that more light would come and ultimately overcome the darkness. So I did stare steadfastly even to sleep at that little cowboy light and drifted off nightly to sweet and heroic dreams.
My fears were not founded in fact. It was my lack of knowledge that actually stirred up fears of the unknown. There was nothing real to fear in my bedroom at night, once the closet door was closed, but to me those fears seemed as real as the darkness that replaced the bright sun.
The fears of a dark night in the meridian of time, and what would result if that dark night came, was more real to the righteous followers of Christ on the American continent than any of my childhood fears.
Samuel the Lamanite had prophesied that after the passing of five years a day would end, and when the night was to come there would be no darkness throughout the night, and when the sun returned there would have been no night. This would be a sign to all people that a Savior, even Christ the Lord, would have been born. The righteous followers of Christ believed the prophecy and looked for that day without a night.
There were wicked men in the land as well, and after about five years they started to spread evil words that the time for the sign had already passed and that those who had believed were fools and deserved to die for their foolish beliefs. Those wicked people “began to rejoice over their brethren, saying: ‘Behold the time is past, and the words of Samuel are not fulfilled; therefore, your joy and your faith concerning this thing hath been vain.’ And it came to pass that they did make a great uproar throughout the land; and the people who believed began to be very sorrowful, lest by any means those things which had been spoken might not come to pass” (3 Nephi 1:6-7).
Nevertheless the followers of Christ kept their eyes searching for that light and “did watch steadfastly for that day and that night and that day which should be as one day as if there were no night, that they might know that their faith had not been vain” (3 Nephi 1:8).
Their faith was not in vain. One day the sun went down yet light filled the heavens, as if the sun had not set, and when the sun arose there had been no night. The prophesy was fulfilled. The Lord had been born, the baby Jesus was on the earth, and He would save all mankind, even as Samuel and all the prophets had foretold.
We live in days when again the wicked go about mocking the prophecies of the Lord’s coming, His triumphant return, seeking to dishearten the followers of the Savior of the World. We need not be afraid, for even in the darkness of these dreary times we can steadfastly look for the light and maintain our faith, for He will return. In our darkest hour the Savior will light our way, provide a little light in the darkness to comfort and guide us on the path in preparation for His coming. That little light of hope, faith in the darkness, will overcome the darkness even unto the dawning of a glorious new day where darkness will never prevail again. He is “the light and the life.” In the name of Jesus Christ, amen.