Monday, December 28, 2015
wise men still seek Him
Now that the Christmas season is over, I find myself wondering what I can do to keep the spirit of Christ with me into the new year--what can I do to actively seek Him? I found Elder Patrick Kearon's address in December of 2011, "Come, Let Us Adore Him" very helpful.
Elder Kearon begins by describing a weather phenomenon common to the Salt Lake City area in winter known as "inversion". Inversion is when the air closer to the ground is colder than the air high above. The mountains around Salt Lake City trap this freezing air on the valley floor, creating a cloud of dark, smoggy, dirty, depressing air. But, if you drive a short distance up the mountains, you would see that the inversion layer is only a few hundred feet thick. Above it, the air is crystal clear. The mountains, covered in snow, sparkle in the sunshine, creating a great contrast to the darkness below.
Elder Kearon says, "There are times in our lives when we figuratively find ourselves stuck down in the valley, under the gloom of the dark, smoggy haze. Because of poor choices we have made, behaviors that offend the Spirit, or simply the painful and stretching decisions and challenges common to mortal life, we feel mired in thick, smothering fog. We can't see clearly, we feel confused, and we sense that we have moved ourselves away from the light and warmth of our Heavenly Father's love. We forget that the pure light of the Lord awaits us, beckons us, and is only a few steps of faith away. We must recognize that we have the power and capacity to take ourselves out of the filthy air of the valley and into the bright sunlight of the peace and hope that is found only by coming to the Savior."
If I look to those mentioned in the story of the Savior's birth, those faithful few who came to see the Christ child in the manger as Elder Kearon suggests, I think I can learn how to come to the Savior in my own life.
I can learn from the shepherds, who responded "with haste" to the proclamation that the Savior of the world had been born. They left their fields immediately and sought the baby in the manger. I can respond likewise to promptings of the Spirit.
Like righteous and faithful Simeon, who recognized the baby Jesus as the Messiah at the temple, I can strive to live my life in a way that allows me to be in the right place at the right time. I can be more sensitive to the whisperings of the Spirit.
Anna, a woman of "great age" had dedicated herself to prayer and temple attendance. When she beheld the baby Jesus, she gave thanks to God and told all the people she could about His coming. Like Elder Kearon said, "we can live faithfully through all weathers if we are consistent in our fasting and prayer and if we do not depart from the temple in our hearts. . . we can lift ourselves from dark moments and into the light of gratitude through our temple worship and through testifying of Jesus to all who look for peace and hope."
And finally, the wise men. These men journeyed far after seeing the star in the east. They prepared themselves with gifts for the Savior and went looking for Him. When at last they found Him, they fell at His feet in worship. Like these wise men, I can study the scriptures and watch for the signs of His coming. After they had seen the baby Jesus, they were told by the Spirit to go home another way, to avoid King Herod. When spiritual promptings come that are different than the plans I have made, I can follow these promptings and choose a different way, trusting that God knows a better way for me.
Read the entire talk here.
posted by stephanie at 7:56 AM