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choose the light

We knew our ride along the magnificent 15-mile (24 km) trail would include trestles stretching over deep canyons and long tunnels penetrating rugged mountains. So we prepared ourselves with lights strapped to our helmets and bicycles.

I was embarrassed to admit my anxieties to my friends and family. Although an experienced cyclist, I now felt as though I had never ridden a bicycle. I struggled to stay upright as my confusion increased. Finally, after I did express my discomfort to those around me, I was able to draw closer to the more powerful light of a friend. In fact, everyone in the group began to form a tight circle around him. By staying close to him and relying for a time on his light and the collective light of the group, we pushed deeper into the darkness of the tunnel.
In our lives, the extended hand of the Savior may take the form of help from a trusted friend, leader, or loving parent. While we are struggling in the darkness, there is nothing wrong with relying temporarily upon the light of those who love us and have our best interests at heart.

Likewise, we might feel embarrassed, uncomfortable, or confused spiritually when we encounter a challenge to our faith. Generally, the intensity and duration of these feelings will depend upon our reaction to them. If we do nothing, doubt, pride, and eventually apostasy may drive us from the light.
By Elder VernВ P. Stanfill
Third, there is no darkness so dense, so menacing, or so difficult that it cannot be overcome by light. Elder Neil L. Andersen recently taught: “As evil increases in the world, there is a compensatory spiritual power for the righteous. As the world slides from its spiritual moorings, the Lord prepares the way for those who seek Him, offering them greater assurance, greater confirmation, and greater confidence in the spiritual direction they are traveling. The gift of the Holy Ghost becomes a brighter light in the emerging twilight.” 7
Second, we must trust in the Lord in order to develop spiritual strength within ourselves. We cannot rely upon the light of others forever. I knew that the darkness in the tunnel would not last if I kept pedaling beside my friend and within the safety of the group. But my expectation was to be able to proceed on my own once I could see the light. The Lord teaches us, “Draw near unto me and I will draw near unto you; seek me diligently and ye shall find me; ask, and ye shall receive; knock, and it shall be opened unto you.” 3 We must act, expecting that the Lord will fulfill His promise to lift us from the darkness if we draw near unto Him. The adversary, however, will try to convince us that we have never felt the influence of the Spirit and that it will be easier just to stop trying.
Our choice to heed those who mock sacred things will distance us from the saving and life-giving light of the Savior. John recorded: “Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.” 2 Remember, those who truly love us can help us build our faith.

When faced with questions or tempted to doubt, we should remember the spiritual blessings and feelings that have penetrated our hearts and lives in the past and place our faith in Heavenly Father and His Son, Jesus Christ. I am reminded of the counsel given in a familiar hymn: “Doubt not the Lord nor his goodness [for] we’ve proved him in days that are past.” 5 To ignore and discount past spiritual experiences will distance us from God.

Choose the Light