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Music and the Spoken Word: Look for the light

POSTED: April 2, 2017 7:11 a.m.
Deseret Connect/

The Oquirrh Mountains are lit by the early sunrise in Salt Lake County on Wednesday, Nov. 30, 2016.

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Editor's note: “The Spoken Word” is shared by Lloyd Newell each Sunday during the weekly Mormon Tabernacle Choir broadcast.

The world thrives on light. Just about every living thing seems to do a little better when the sun is shining. The natural world comes alive at dawn, as the light of a new day chases away darkness, and earth awakens with hope. And when spring brings longer stretches of light, it seems as if all of creation, surging with new life, rejoices in the victory over winter’s darkness.

Light allows us to see life more clearly. In the light, we can distinguish truth from error, we can make better choices, and we can plan our lives with greater purpose. But there is also darkness in the world, and darkness obscures our path, hides both danger and goodness from our view, and hinders our growth. No wonder, then, that so many of us, at some time in our lives, are afraid of the dark.

One child who felt this way learned to overcome her fear by looking for light. She would sit in bed at night and look out the window until she found some light —somewhere. Sometimes she found it in a home across the street with its lights still on. Sometimes she could see a street lamp in the distance. When all else seemed dark, she would look at the stars or search the sky for the moon. Somehow knowing that a light was shining somewhere calmed her fears and helped her settle into peaceful slumber.

When the darkness around us seems overwhelming, when we can’t seem to find any light, it helps to remember that even when we can’t see it, the sun is always shining. It may be hidden by the shadowy clouds of daily living, but it is always there.

Perhaps night has made light seem like a distant memory, but darkness is ever the herald of dawn. No matter the darkness in our lives, the light of God’s love still shines and it can fill our hearts. It gives us hope in our suffering, joy in our sorrow and light in our darkness.

Yes, there is much in this life that brings sadness and distress. But God has also filled the world with an abundance of his light and love. If we seek it and receive it, this light can fill our lives like “sunshine in the soul” (see "There Is Sunshine in My Soul Today," Hymns, No. 227).
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