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How often do we think we can just feel our way through the dark? The Light of Christ is there to comfort us and guide us.
You’ve probably noticed there have been more posts on mental health this year. It’s become apparent to me that that is where my passion lies – in sharing information that can truly help others.
The following is something I came across probably a million times in my life, but only just understood the meaning of it.
The People of Jared
So this past week I was reading in The Book of Mormon in Ether. This is a story of the people of Jared who were at the Tower of Babel. When the Lord changed everyone’s languages, the Brother of Jared prayed and asked God to let him, his family, and friends keep their language that they may understand each other.
The Lord having compassion on the Brother of Jared, allowed them to speak the same language. Over the next few years, the Brother of Jared and his family follow the guidance of the Lord in moving their families to the seashore. During a prosperous period, they forget to pray. They had everything they needed.
How many times do we this? Things are going great in our lives so we forget to talk to our Father in Heaven. To thank Him for how good things are, because truly it is through His blessings that we prosper.
Sufficiently chastised, the Brother of Jared is instructed to build barges and take their people across the sea to a promised land. With the Lord’s guidance they are able to learn how to build these barges to stay safe. There’s only one problem. It’s going to be really dark in those water tight barges.
So Jared asks his brother to pray again to the Lord asking for some light. At this point the Lord asks the Brother of Jared what he would have Him do to provide some light. Almost in a ‘don’t you trust me’ kind of attitude. Obviously, the people of Jared trusted the Lord, but they, like us, are inclined to human nature. So put in his hands, the Brother of Jared thinks about what he can do to create light in the barges. There can’t be holes, or they’ll sink. They can’t light a fire or it will burn the barges and suffocate the air.
So he gathers some round stones, and returns to the Lord. Asking that if the Lord will only touch the stones, He knows they will provide light for the barges. The Lord complies, and touches the stones, providing light for the people of Jared.
You can read the rest of the Jaredites account online.
This is where it finally hit me. I have probably read the account of the people of Jared numerous times over my life. It’s probably one of my favorite scripture stories of faith and love. However, I have never really studied it, and tried to understand what this story can mean for my personal life.
Not until last week that is. I was struggling a lot. I had fallen out of the habit of daily scripture reading, my mind was in a dark place, and it felt like my life was falling apart. Then I read this account, but very specifically chapter 6 verse 10 stuck out to me.
“And thus they were driven forth; and no monster of the sea could break them, neither whale that could mar them; and they did have light continually, whether is was above the water or under the water.”Book of Mormon; Ether 6:10
They were driven across the sea in barges. Sometimes they were above the water, where they could open a hole and let in fresh air, maybe see the sun for a bit. Then at times, they were driven beneath the sea, as the waves crashed down on them and the monsters of the sea and whales beat upon them.
Through it all though, they had light. Not just any light. This was the Light of Christ. Light he let leave Him and put into simple stones to carry the people of Jared across the sea not just in safety, but in comfort. They literally carried the Light of Christ with them.
The Woman with an Issue of Blood
In our church studies recently, we’ve been focusing on the New Testament and the Life of Christ. In one account there is woman with an issue of blood. She has been to doctors and no one can cure her. The Savior happens to be in the area, and she thinks to herself, “if I can only touch Him, I know I will be healed.” So in a crowded area, she reaches out and touches the hem of his clothes.
Christ stops immediately and asks “who touched me”. Those with Him are confused, because there are so many people around Him, can he possibly want to know which one just touched Him? I gather many people were probably brushing past Him, with no thought to who He was, or what He could do.
But this woman, she knew. And the Savior knew, because His light went in to her and healed her. He knew through the faith of someone near Him, His light had been accessed. Isn’t that cool?! Just as the light left Him to heal this woman, He willingly put light into the stones for the people of Jared.
The Light of Christ in Our Life Today
Now, how does this all affect my life hundreds of years after both the people of Jared and Christ lived on the earth? Easily. When times are dark. When the monsters of my mind, when the devil sets his eyes on bringing me down, if I carry the Light of Christ with me, then I will come out OK. It doesn’t mean it will be easy. It doesn’t mean I won’t still be human, and have bad days. I’m sure despite the light, the people of Jared had plenty of scares in the depths of the sea. The women suffered for a long time and still had to seek out Christ before she could be healed. But they came out OK.
The people of Jared made it to the promised land. I plan on making it to my promised land one day. I don’t know how long this journey will be, but I have faith like the woman with a blood issue and like the Brother of Jared, that if I can have His light, then I can have comfort along the journey.