One of our favorite Christmas traditions is to see the beautiful lights on Temple Square in Salt Lake City. Sometimes it’s easy to take it for granted that we live less than an hour away from tourist attractions that visitors from all over the world come to enjoy! This year we decided to make sure it got on our calendars and I’m so glad we did.
On Tuesday of this past week, we went up in the early evening to attend the Salt Lake Temple before it closes for renovations at the end of this year. This was the temple Wally and I were sealed for time and eternity in and it was meaningful to us both to be there again. I love how the temple stands out against the night sky in these photos, like a beacon of safety and hope in an ever darkening world! Afterwards, we walked around Temple Square to enjoy the lights and nativity displays. Seeing millions or even billions of lights all around reminded me of the symbolism of Christ as the Light of the World.
Sharon Eubank gave a beautiful talk in General Conference in April of this year titled, “Christ: The Light That Shines in Darkness.” She shared a story about how her office has a beautiful view of the Salt Lake Temple and every night she would see the lights turn on at dusk. But one night in February when she looked out the window, the temple was dark because for some reason the lights hadn’t turned on! I can imagine how strange that must have been when we’re so used to seeing it lit up at night. She shared the following about her experience:
“Seeing darkness where I expected to see light reminded me that one of the fundamental needs we have in order to grow is to stay connected to our source of light—Jesus Christ. He is the source of our power, the Light and Life of the World. Without a strong connection to Him, we begin to spiritually die.”
As I revisited some of the points in her talk, I was impressed by her points about many of the trials people are facing and how Christ can be the spiritual solution to meet our individual needs.
Some of us are paralyzed with grief.
Christ heals our wounds.
Some of us are just so tired.
Christ is rest.
Some of us feel we don’t fit the traditional mold.
Christ sees us as we are.
Some of us are splintering with questions.
Christ is light to see.
Some of us feel we can never be good enough.
Christ can turn crimson wool back to white.
I love that statement: Christ is Light to See. To me, this brings a new meaning to Christmas lights and even the architectural temple lighting. Christ is Light to See. When we lose our way in life, He sheds light on our path to help us get back on track. He leads us to the Source of Light. When the lights go out inside of us, He has the power to rekindle them. When all we can see is the darkness around us, He shines brighter to show us the truth. I loved seeing the nativity surrounded by lights on the water in front of the Salt Lake temple as a reminder of this lesson.
Jesus said, “I am the light [that] shineth in darkness, and the darkness comprehendeth it not.” That means no matter how hard it tries, the darkness cannot put out that light. Ever. You can trust that His light will be there for you.
This is a message that has been on my heart for some time now and felt like it was time to share.
We learn by contrast.
Sometimes it gets darkest in life just before the dawn.
Sometimes the hardest stuff comes right before the blessings.
Sometimes it takes a breakdown to open the way for a breakthrough.
Sometimes it takes darkness to know the light.
Sometimes we go through depression to appreciate the pockets of joy.
Today I am reminded that through all the trials and ups and downs of life, there is meaning and purpose in the struggle for growth. God is preparing you for what He’s prepared FOR you. I’ve heard it said that if you saw the size of the blessing in store for you, you would understand the magnitude of the battle you are fighting. God knows you by name. He knows where you are and what you’re going through. And yes — He cares. He care about how you feel and what’s important to you. He knows your past, present, and future. He’s getting you ready for what’s ahead. Keep going, my friends. God is in your corner!
Love & Light,