Oct 22, 2006
Early on the morning of October 7, 2006, Clyde and I arose early for the paper route and were driving in the car by 4:45am. We had noticed the full moon the night before. It was exceedingly bright and full and large. The first thing we noticed that morning was the fullness and brightness of the light of the moon.
It was still dark outside and the moon lit our path quite well. We couldn’t help but feel drawn to it, looking at it continually. It was positively mesmerizing! After the route, we drove to the Nauvoo Temple, so we remained in the car until almost 8am. I commented on the size of the moon and its light again and again. By 6:30am, the light from the sun began appearing in the east.
I had the moon directly in front of me in the west and the sun’s light rising in my rear view mirrors in the east. The contrast was amazing. The sun’s light created beautiful colors in the sky. The light stretched the whole length of the eastern sky, while the moon’s light seemed localized, with darkness even touching against the moon. The moon was a pale expression compared to the light shining up in the opposite horizon. I remarked to Clyde that because the moon was so bright, I thought we might be able to see the moon’s light all day long. Its light continued to be very bright and the moon’s size was unusually large. But by 7:30am I noticed the moon fading as if we could see right through it. It seemed transparent. The sun was now in full view behind me and had entirely lit the sky. As the sun rose, the moon seemed to fade away, and suddenly it was gone. It had not disappeared beneath the horizon, but the sun’s light was too strong and light of the moon could not compete.
Bruce R. McConkie describes it this way, “When the sun goes down and the dusk of day deepens into night, then darkness reigns. During the night, darkness is everywhere and the vision of all is dimmed; none can see afar off. Though the heavens teem with stars—an uncounted host of them—and though the moon—she who rules the night—reflects her rays of borrowed light, yet the darkness is not pierced; the blackness of the night continues.
Deep shadows hide the beasts of forest and field. Wildcats stalk their prey in silence. Packs of hunger-maddened wolves strike terror in their victims as their howling calls draw nearer and nearer. Coyotes are baying in the distance; somewhere a lion roars; and in that deepest shadow a jackal lurks, awaiting his chance to steal the slain game of another. The terrors of the night are real.
But finally a distant dawn is heralded. The morning stars shine forth more brightly than their fellows. A few rays of light part the darkness of the eastern sky, a sky still spotted with clouds. Beyond the mountains, not many leagues away, a new day is gestating in the womb of nature. As the earth turns slowly on its decreed course, the dawn brightens; the light of the morning increases; darkness flees. The stars no longer shine; the moon hides her face; their reflected glimmerings no longer pierce the blackness of the night. The sun rises. The blazing light of heaven covers the earth.
When the dawn comes and the sun shines, the doleful creatures of the night begin to retire. The lions return to their lair and the foxes to their holes; the baying of the coyotes is no longer heard; and the howling wolves are silent. The terrors that lurked in the shadows are now hidden in the rocks and in the caves.
With the new dawn the flowers in the field and the trees in the forest take on new life. The oxen in their stalls and the sheep in their cotes awake from sleep, while the fowls of heaven sing praises to the Lord of Sabaoth, to the Creator of the first day. The blessings of life and light are everywhere seen. It is a new day—a day of joy and rejoicing and light.
I would like to tell you a modern day parable. The moon’s light is like unto Satan’s power. It shines in darkness. It is at home in the darkness. Its power is mesmerizing & distracting. It is merely a reflection. It has no real light of its own. Its power is much less than the power of the sun. The darkness of the night touches right up against the light of the moon as in this picture (#1). In this next picture (#2), the moon looms large over the city of Seattle, Washington. Its light, however, is not sufficient. The people in the city depend on other sources of light to see & work by. The moon’s light and power is limited. It is a mere expression or reflection of the light of the sun. The moon, however, does have some power. It controls the tides & the wild things of the night are drawn out by the darkness.
This is all true for Satan’s power. Satan’s power operates in darkness. He is most comfortable with darkness all around him. His influence can be mesmerizing, through inappropriate and unrighteous choices, we fall victim to His power. His power means to enslave us and lead us down dark paths. He wants his darkness to touch us, until it swallows us & we forget what goodness and truth and light feels like.
On the other hand, the sun’s light is like unto Christ’s power. D & C 19: 1 – 3: I am Alpha and Omega, Christ the Lord; yea, even I am he, the beginning and the end, the Redeemer of the world. I, having accomplished and finished the will of him whose I am, even the Father, concerning me—having done this that I might subdue all things unto myself—Retaining all power, even to the destroying of Satan and his works at the end of the world, and the last great day of judgment, which I shall pass upon the inhabitants thereof, judging every man according to his works and the deeds which he hath done.
The sun’s light and power is life-giving and saving. Life on Earth is totally dependent on the energy it receives from the Sun. We need to learn to be totally dependent upon Jesus Christ. In 15 minutes our Sun radiates as much energy as mankind consumes in all forms, during an entire year. Christ’s power is much greater than any personal power we have gained during this life & much greater than anything Satan can offer us. Jesus Christ’s power is sufficient for all of us to share and access at all times. Sunshine can cheer you up. When I go outside when the sun is shining, I just begin to feel better, happier, and more positive. The Savior is available for us to bring us peace and joy.
Moses 6: 61 & 62: Therefore it is given to abide in you; the record of heaven; the Comforter; the peaceable things of immortal glory; the truth of all things; that which quickeneth all things, which maketh alive all things; that which knoweth all things, and hath all power according to wisdom, mercy, truth, justice, and judgment. 62 And now, behold, I say unto you: This is the plan of salvation unto all men, through the blood of mine Only Begotten, who shall come in the meridian of time.
I have during prayer felt a listening ear and a loving arm gently holding my shoulders. I have felt Heavenly Father’s love pour into me as I learned a new spiritual truth or as I have prayed for another. I have felt my burdens & sins being lifted from off my shoulders and from within my heart. While attending the temple, I have had the spirit bear witness to my heart of the most peaceable points of His doctrine. We can find in Him respite from our difficult lives. We can find enjoyment in living as a bright, sunny day helps us to feel better. Apart from the obvious positive associations we have with a sunny day, the sun can alter your mood chemically and even prevent depression. His Atonement has made it possible for us to be healed of our ailments, particularly those caused by Satan’s influence. Christ’s power is much greater. It is transforming. It is life-offering, and life-saving. His light and power touches every part of our earth. Matt 28:18 And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth.
It is all around us and envelopes us with warmth.
As the sun’s light can even penetrate deep into the ocean, Christ’s light can penetrate even the darkest heart & heal the most grievous sins.
Alma 13: 28 & 29 But that ye would humble yourselves before the Lord, and call on his holy name, and watch and pray continually, that ye may not be tempted above that which ye can bear, and thus be led by the Holy Spirit, becoming humble, meek, submissive, patient, full of love and all long-suffering; 29 Having faith on the Lord; having a hope that ye shall receive eternal life; having the love of God always in your hearts, that ye may be lifted up at the last day and enter into his rest.
All this month we’ve heard many excellent talks on prayer. I believe it is through obedience and prayer, we have access to all the power of God. Matthew 21: 22 And all things, whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive.
We need not only to pray to access His power, but also to resist the power of Satan. D & C 10: 5 Pray always, that you may come off conqueror; yea, that you may conquer Satan, and that you may escape the hands of the servants of Satan that do uphold his work.
Elder Gene R. Cook said, “However, to pass successfully through the trials we encounter, we must keep our eyes and our hearts centered on the Lord Jesus Christ. Because “since man had fallen he could not merit anything of himself” (Alma 22:14); therefore, we needed an advocate, an intercessor, a mediator to assist us. “And it is because of thy Son that thou hast been thus merciful unto [us].” (Alma 33:11; emphasis added.) We should have great hope in knowing, however unworthy we may feel or weak we may be, that if we will do all we can, He will come to our aid and provide for us whatever we may lack. (See 2 Cor. 12:9.)”
President Hinckley said the following: “For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace” (Isa. 9:6). He said, “I believe that in His mortal life He was the one perfect man to walk the earth. I believe that in His words are to be found that light and truth which, if observed, would save the world and bring exaltation to mankind. I believe that in His priesthood rests divine authority—the power to bless, the power to heal, the power to govern in the earthly affairs of God, the power to bind in the heavens that which is bound upon the earth.
I believe that through His atoning sacrifice, the offering of His life on Calvary’s Hill, He expiated the sins of mankind, relieving us from the burden of sin if we will forsake evil and follow Him. I believe in the reality and the power of His Resurrection.”
Elder Devere Harris gave us these incredible words. “… principles of spiritual leadership caused Moses, Nephi, Abraham, and Enoch to become giants in the land. What powers of the spirit did David use as he walked out on the battlefield to meet Goliath? He said, “Thou comest to me with a sword, and with a spear, and with a shield: but I come to thee in the name of the Lord of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, whom thou hast defied. “This day will the Lord deliver thee into mine hand.” (1 Sam. 17:45–46.) What source of power did Moses use as he stretched his arm toward the Red Sea and caused the waters to roll back and his people to cross on dry land?
Columbus sailed from Spain, and after several months there was mutiny on the ships Pinta and Nina. He was told that if land was not sighted within so many hours they would turn around and go back. Columbus said that he went into the cabin and prayed mightily to God, and on that dark night, 12 October 1492, a small island was sighted, and they named it San Salvador, meaning Holy Redeemer.
I bear witness that inherent in every member of the Church are powerful resources of the spirit if we righteously seek them. Man’s closest communication with his Maker is through the medium of prayer. It is the means offered him to place his problems before God and receive spiritual strength and sustenance.
Each of us has a right to revelation as far as it relates to our area of responsibility. I sincerely believe if we should ever lose the power of individual revelation in the Church we would have lost most everything. We could implement programs of the Church, but without that great spiritual ingredient we would fail to redeem the Saints, convert the nations, and accomplish the mission of the Church.
We can each have access to those great spiritual blessings and that great power used by David and Moses—but there is a price to pay. Let me quote: “There are many called, but few are chosen. And why are they not chosen?
“Because their hearts are set so much upon the things of this world, and aspire to the honors of men, that they do not learn this one lesson—“That the rights of the priesthood are inseparably connected with the powers of heaven.” (D&C 121:34–36.) Now, brothers and sisters, what were the powers of Heaven? They caused the lame to walk, the blind to see, the dead to rise. And through these same powers the earth was organized. But here is the key—the powers of heaven cannot be controlled nor handled only upon the principles of righteousness. (See D&C 121:41–42.) The key, then, to the future and to the use of these spiritual blessings is personal righteousness.
As President Romney once said, “May we recognize that prayer is the instrument of miracles,” and may we use the power and direction of the Holy Spirit and not rely wholly upon our own ability in the work of the Lord.
I bear my witness that God lives, that the gospel of Jesus Christ is true, that a prophet of God leads this Church today, that life is eternal. I believe that man was “overbuilt” for this world. Have you ever seen a man who was totally satisfied with what he has here? There seems to be a yearning, a longing, a reaching up for something not had here. I think a wise man of old described it best when he said, “Surely God has planted the seeds of eternity into the souls of men.”
My brothers & sisters, I, too, have knelt and offered up the desires of my heart, and then prayed with gratitude when those desires were brought to pass by the power and authority of God himself. I know Heavenly Father lives and loves us so very much. He has provided a Savior for us, to accomplish all we need to in this life. Personal righteousness and prayer are the keys we need to unlock all the powers of Heaven to work on our behalf as often as we call upon them. I say these things in the sacred and holy name of Jesus Christ, Amen.
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