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Chris Safsten

Each summer on the last day of our family vacation, I get up early with my children and we walk to the beach to take pictures of the sunrise.

I have one of those pictures enlarged hanging on the wall of my office. It’s a picture of my daughter studying a seashell with the ocean water running gently over her feet and the sun poking it’s head over the horizon spreading beautiful beams of light along the water onto the sand. I have always enjoyed taking pictures and capturing the best light in every magical moment. Over the years I have learned just how important light is in taking the perfect photo as well as how important light is to our lives and happiness.

In the New Testament, John 8:12, we read Christ’s words, “I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.” Are we allowing the Savior’s light into our lives?

Every great picture requires three important points of light to make it clear, in-focus and bright. First, the aperture of the camera defines how open the lens will be to light. We can decide how open we are daily to the light of Christ. Second, shutter speed directs the amount of time the shutter is open to the light. We can determine how much time we spend doing uplifting spiritual activities and searching for light. Third, ISO tells the image sensor how sensitive it needs to be to the incoming light. Every person born is a son or daughter of God; He has given us the light of Christ to guide us to make good choices in this lifetime.

Why is it important to know how to capture the best light in every picture? Because each of these settings need to be in balance for a proper exposure to the light. If not, a picture will be too dark, too light, too grainy or out of focus. Over the years I have taken many of these types of poor-quality pictures. This was because I did not take the time necessary to ensure I had a proper exposure to the light available to me.

We can apply these concepts to ourselves in this time. Although today may seem at times like a very dark world, we can still expose ourselves to the light necessary to push that darkness away. If you have ever been in a very dark room, you know that it only takes a small bit of light to illuminate the room to help you see the way out. In the world today, fear, doubt and uncertainty are common, and they compromise our ability to feel peace, love and the guidance of our Heavenly Father and our Savior Jesus Christ. However, we must never give up hope. We must wake up each day and fill our lives with the light of Jesus Christ. How do we do this?

First, open ourselves to light: search the scriptures for truth, attend church more often, pray daily, serve others, read and watch uplifting and inspiring media and entertainment, and show gratitude to God and others.

Second, Give ourselves enough time to absorb the light: set aside time each day to hear the Lord through our light giving activities, ask for guidance, listen for answers, and act with faith to move forward in the direction you are inspired.

Third, become more sensitive to light: look for the miracles, the Lord’s tender mercies and the blessings we receive each day in our lives. Make good choices. As we recognize God’s hand in our lives and show gratitude, we will see even more blessings and heavenly guidance will flow into our lives.

As we take these steps each day, all parts of our lives will start to become, and remain, clearer, in-focus, and bright! These actions will fill us with light. These actions will fill us with peace inside.

Filling ourselves with light is crucial not only to weather the storms of life, but also to receiving personal direction from our Heavenly Father. Jesus Christ said, in John 14:26-27, “But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you. Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.”

As we actively fill our lives with light (study the words of Christ, perform service and acts of kindness for others, pray daily to our Heavenly Father, study the scriptures, turn away from activities and places of darkness and enter places of worship, etc.), the Holy Ghost will fill our minds with understanding and our hearts with peace. We will not need to worry or be fearful. The Holy Ghost will be our constant companion and will fill us with more light and more understanding and more peace.

As with the sunrise on the beach, we will be exposed to the warmth of the Lord’s light that will shine upon us and our lives will become much clearer and in-focus and will be much brighter every day!

Chris Safsten is the oresident of the Frederick Maryland Stake of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Chris’s occupation is management consulting and he enjoys spending time with his wonderful wife Jennifer and their five children and new granddaughter.

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