Thursday, October 26, 2017

President Dieter F. Uchtdorf on finding healing in the Light of Christ

President Dieter F. Uchtdorf (born November 6, 1940) served as a Seventy from 1994-2004, when he was called as a member of the Quorum of Twelve.  He has served as second counselor in the First Presidency since 2008.
"Just as we face physical and emotional trials in this mortality, we also face spiritual challenges. Most of us have experienced times in our lives when our testimony burns brightly. We also may have experienced times when our Heavenly Father seems distant. There are times when we treasure the things of the Spirit with all our hearts. There may also be times when they appear less precious or of diminished significance....
"Whatever causes our spiritual ailments, they all have one thing in common: the absence of divine light.
"Darkness reduces our ability to see clearly. It dims our vision of that which was at one time plain and clear. When we are in darkness, we are more likely to make poor choices because we cannot see dangers in our path. When we are in darkness, we are more likely to lose hope because we cannot see the peace and joy that await us if we just keep pressing forward.
"Light, on the other hand, allows us to see things as they really are. It allows us to discern between truth and error, between the vital and the trivial. When we are in the light, we can make righteous choices based on true principles. When we are in the light, we have 'a perfect brightness of hope' (2 Nephi 31:20) because we can see our mortal trials from an eternal perspective.
"We will find spiritual healing as we step away from the shadows of the world and into the everlasting Light of Christ."
- Dieter F. Uchtdorf, "Bearers of Heavenly Light," General Conference, October 2017
Click here to read or listen to the full talk

President Uchtdorf discusses the reality of our lives; we're not always in the kind of spiritual condition that we aspire to be. There are times when "Heavenly Father seems distant." Even a prophet described his personal challenge with this condition:
"I find that when I get casual in my relationships with divinity and when it seems that no divine ear is listening and no divine voice is speaking, that I am far, far away. If I immerse myself in the scriptures the distance narrows and the spirituality returns. I find myself loving more intensely those whom I must love with all my heart and mind and strength, and loving them more, I find it easier to abide their counsel."
- Spencer W. Kimball, "What I Hope You Will Teach My Grandchildren and All Others of the Youth of Zion," address to Seminary and Institute personnel, Brigham Young University, 11 July 1966, p. 6; see TSWK p. 135

President Uchtdorf talks about the blessing of "divine light" that helps us overcome those periods of spiritual challenge:

The promise is that we will always "find spiritual healing as we step away from the shadows of the world and into the everlasting Light of Christ." That's a simple enough prescription to cure the problems of our spiritual challenges. President Kimball's method of doing that was to "immerse" himself in the scriptures. Others find temple attendance to be a great blessing, or acts of loving service, or reverent music. There are many other ways to readjust our focus, step out of the shadows, and feel the fulness of the light. We should not hesitate to take action quickly when we sense those symptoms coming on!

(Compilation and commentary by David Kenison, Orem, Utah, 2017)

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