Two of my boys share a room. And at ages 4 and 7 they both feel the need to sleep with some sort of a nightlight. We’ve tried quite a few kinds and even used a Sentsy Pot for a while just to keep them in their beds. I understand the need for a light as I still remember the bad dreams I had as a child. The funny thing about these two boys is that they keep unplugging the nightlight and trying to bring the light closer. You see the night lights that we finally settled on are these rechargeable kind of flash lights with night lights on them. And when the lights go out they automatically come on. So each night Oliver and/or Eli keep unplugging them and setting them near their heads to have it lighter near them. The charge will usually last at least one night, sometimes part of two but then inevitably they will run out of charge sometime in the night, the room will go dark and the boys will wake up scared, sad and confused.

Inside each one of is a light. We are born with it and it is something that God gave to us to help us. We call it “the Light of Christ.”

Every soul who walks the earth, wherever he lives, in whatever nation he may have been born, no matter whether he be in riches or in poverty, had at birth an endowment of that first light which is called the Light of Christ, the Spirit of Truth, or the Spirit of God – that universal light of intelligence with which every soul is blessed.  Mormon spoke of that Spirit when he said: “For behold, the Spirit of Christ is given to every man, that he may know good from evil; wherefore, I show unto you the way to judge; for every thing which inviteth to do good, and to persuade to believe in Christ, is sent forth by the power and gift of Christ; wherefore ye may know with a perfect knowledge it is of God.”  (Moroni 7:16) — President Harold B. Lee quoted by Thomas S. Monson, “To Truly See,” Ensign, February 2005, p. 5

This light is burning inside of each of us to guide us and help us throughout our lives. When we listen to that yearning inside of us it can grow brighter and brighter. It can help us and comfort us and protect us from the scary things in the world. God gave us this gift because He loves us so much and He wants us to return to live with Him one day. That gift is something to be cherish and taken care of.  The tricky thing about this light is that is needs to be charged. It needs to be listened too and heeded. And it needs to be charged with spiritual food. Scripture study, daily and consistent prayers, church attendance, temple attendance. All the things we know we should be doing. These will charge our lights.

“Life will have its storms.  We can and must have confidence.  God our Heavenly Father has given us the right to know the truth.  He has shown that the way to receive that truth is simple, so simple that a child can follow it.  Once it is followed, more light comes from God to enlighten the understanding of His faithful spirit child.  That light will become brighter even as the world darkens.  The light that comes to us with truth will be brighter than the darkness that comes from sin and error around us.  A foundation built on truth and illuminated by the light of God will free us from the fear that we might be overcome.” — Elder Henry B. Eyring, “A Life Founded in Light and Truth,” Ensign, July 2001, p. 6

It takes work to do these things. It takes choosing to read my scriptures over starting that next Netflix episode. It means trying to stop saying those unkind things about our neighbor and loving our families more. And it takes a lot of time on our knees pleading and praying to the Lord to recharge our lights and then listening to and heading the promptings that He sends to us.

The great thing about our light is that it can influence those around us. We can be a light that spreads to others. To our children, to our husbands, to the neighbor on the street and the teacher at the school. And then our lights are added to each other to make something so bright and powerful.

“The ability to have an unsettled conscience is a gift of God to help you succeed in this mortal life.  It results principally from the influence of the Light of Christ on your mind and heart.  The Light of Christ is that divine power or influence that emanates from God through Jesus Christ [see Topical Guide, “Light of Christ,” p. 290].  It gives light and life to all things.  It prompts all rational individuals throughout the earth to distinguish truth from error, right from wrong.  It activates your conscience [see Moroni 7:16].  Its influence can be weakened through transgression and addiction and restored through proper repentance.  The Light of Christ is not a person.  It is a power and influence that comes from God and when followed can lead a person to qualify for the guidance and inspiration of the Holy Ghost [see John 1:9; D&C 84:46-47].” — Elder Richard G. Scott, “Peace of Conscience and Peace of Mind,” Ensign, November 2004, p. 15

When we lived in Nova Scotia I served with the Young Women. At one of our girl’s camps we had a very neat experience. At midnight on the last night of the camp, we all went down to the shores of the lake. And there parked were all the catamaran canoes. We filled up the canoes with girls and leaders and a few lights. In our hands each of us had a candle. We were quiet and still as we rowed out in the middle of the lake. Once we were all out there together we huddled the boats close to each other. Then one of the leaders had all the lights turned out but one. It was so dark. We were in the middle of a lake in the pitch blackness. The moon was up in the sky and the stars but there was little light on our boats. We couldn’t really even see each other. Then the leader lit a candle and used that candle to light another. We continued to light candle after candle until every person was holding a lit candle. The light was amazing and overpowering. It was strong and spread our from our boats on to the water around us. We could see as we shared out light with each other.

(Click image and download it if you want to!)

As we rowed in to the shore the feeling stayed burning in my heart of the strength in my own light burning bright and being surrounded with the lights of others. It warmed me and even the memory of that experience warms my heart now. Our little lights have power and strength if we are willing to continue to charge them daily. We know what we need to do. So let’s do it.