For our date night recently, my husband and I rented a movie, based on a true story, about Allied women who went undercover as spies in France during the dark days of World War II. As one British statesman said at the time, “The lamps are going out all over Europe. We shall not see them lit again in our time.” Their mission, as one of the women explained, was to share light. The light of freedom. The light of hope. This is a powerful analogy, especially considering the blackouts instituted in London, where lights were turned out and windows draped to make it harder for attacking bombers to find a target. Literally, lights in Europe were going out. But these women brought their figurative lights to help fight the darkness of the Nazi forces.
Many of these women felt called to do the work. Not all of them made it out alive. But each one gave her all in the fight to keep the lights of freedom and hope burning. We also are in a conflict. The continuing conflict between good and evil. As Elder Quentin L. Cook explained,
Freedom and light have never been easy to attain or maintain. Since the War in Heaven, the forces of evil have used every means possible to destroy agency and extinguish light. The assault on moral principles and religious freedom has never been stronger.
As members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, we, too, are called to bring light to an ever-darkening world. To share the light of hope. The light of freedom. And the light of truth. So how do we share our light with the world? Here are 3 ways:
1. Seek Christ, the Source of Light
Before we can share the light, we need to seek Christ, who is the source of the light. The scriptures teach that it’s by the Light of Christ that we “may know good from evil.” (See Doctrine & Covenants 88:11-13.) Elder Dieter F. Uchtdorf taught,
The more we incline our hearts and minds toward God, the more heavenly light distills upon our souls. And each time we willingly and earnestly seek that light, we indicate to God our readiness to receive more light. Gradually, things that before seemed hazy, dark, and remote become clear, bright, and familiar to us.
We seek and become closer to Christ by studying our scriptures and the words of the prophets, saying our personal prayers morning and night, and obeying the commandments of God. However, the converse is true. As Elder Uchtdorf cautioned,
By the same token, if we remove ourselves from the light of the gospel, our own light begins to dim—not in a day or a week but gradually over time—until we look back and can’t quite understand why we had ever believed the gospel was true. Our previous knowledge might even seem foolish to us because what once was so clear has again become blurred, hazy, and distant.
The more we learn of Christ and follow Him, the more we will become like Him. And as we become more like Him, the more His light can shine through us.
2. Heed Promptings of the Holy Ghost
We live in a time when distractions are all around us. We can get daily notifications of the latest news, newest game apps, or most recent social media posts. Some of the information is good for us, some isn’t. Often, the dangers are hidden. What seems to be an innocuous post or movie can have subtle, spiritually damaging elements. There were several examples in the spy movie of people who didn’t heed the warning when something just didn’t feel right. And the consequences were tragic. It’s easy to see the mistakes in hindsight, but the key is learning to discern the warnings when we get them.
The Holy Ghost can be our constant companion and warn us of impending danger if we remain worthy and heed the promptings. Elder Robert D. Hales said,
When these promptings come, they will not generally stop us in our tracks, for the Spirit of God does not speak with a voice of thunder. The voice will be as soft as a whisper, coming as a thought to our minds or a feeling in our hearts. By heeding its gentle promptings, we will be protected from the destructive consequences of sin. But if we ignore those promptings, the light of the Spirit will fade.
The Holy Ghost can not only warn us of impending danger but can also prompt us to speak up and share our light with others. Many years ago, I was having a rough day. I wasn’t sure if God even remembered me. But that day a friend stopped by and said, “I don’t know why, but I felt like I needed to bring you this gift.” By heeding the promptings, she brightened my day and was an answer to my prayer: God did remember me.
3. Respect Agency
We can share our light with others and offer them the lights of freedom and hope, but we can’t force them to accept. One of the dangers of the world in which we live today is the concept of moral relativity, where morals are dictated by what feels good rather than by the laws of God. We can’t be a light to the world if we buy into that philosophy. But we also must understand that not everyone will feel or believe the same as we do. Respecting the agency of others must go both ways. Elder Hales taught,
Some are offended when we bring our religion into the public square, yet the same people who insist that their viewpoints and actions be tolerated in society are often very slow to give that same tolerance to religious believers who also wish their viewpoints and actions to be tolerated. The general lack of respect for religious viewpoints is quickly devolving into social and political intolerance for religious people and institutions.
We bring light to the public square as we discuss the issues and listen to each other. We may not always agree, but we need not be disagreeable. We can work together to meet the needs of our communities.
Sharing the Light with Others
For the Allied women in the movie, sharing their light in war-torn Europe took a lot of courage. But their strength helped others to endure and continue the fight. It takes courage for us to share our light with others as well. And while the battle is spiritual, it is no less intense. Elder Uchtdorf said,
As we seek to increase our love for God and strive to love our neighbor, the light of the gospel will surround and uplift us. The darkness will surely fade, because it cannot exist in the presence of light. As we draw near to God, He will draw near to us. And day by day, the hope of God’s light will grow within us, “brighter and brighter until the perfect day.”
We share our light with others in the way we live. When we show kindness and love to our fellow men in all that we do, we share our light. When we are honest in our dealings with others, we share our light. And when we share our light with others, we brighten the world. One light at a time.