Sunday, April 7, 2013

SING IN THE DARKNESS

I have always loved Isaiah.

One of my favorite passages is Isaiah 24:14 After graphically describing the terror preceding the second coming Isaiah, as always, tells us the solution: those awaiting Christ in the engulfing darkness "shall lift up their voice, [and] they shall sing for the majesty of the Lord, they shall cry aloud from the sea."

In General Conference we repeatedly heard, not only excellent music, but leaders of the church described the benefits of singing praise to the Lord and using such good music to dispel the darkness that surrounds us in our day. I especially felt the mood of dark terror such as Isaiah often describes, but that may be changed to pure joy, as Elder Deiter F Uchtdorf spoke. Isaiah rejoices in Christ and glorifies his power and majesty.

After describing the horror and darkness wherein we accept darkness exists but choose to not dwell there as we choose to remember light also exists and to constantly radiate light ... through faith, hope, and charity  Elder Uchtdorf described a joyful people that sang in darkness, thus:

"Some years ago ... we saw this promise* [of light] fulfilled in West Africa.... Even though these dear saints were surrounded by difficulties and trials they were filled with light. The meeting began ... but soon the power went out in the building and we were left in complete darkness. ... The darkness in the chapel continued ... As we waited something remarkable happened. A few voices began singing one of the hymns of the restoration, and then others joined in and then more. Soon ... [sweet] voices filled the chapel. These members ... did not need hymnbooks. They knew every word of every song they sang. And they sang one song after another with an energy and spirit that touched my soul. ... In the midst of great darkness these [saints] had filled [this place and us] with light.

"From time to time our lives may seem to be touched by or even wrapped in darkness. Sometimes the night that surrounds us will appear oppressive, disheartening and frightening. ... Our living hope is in Jesus Christ. He is the ... entrance to divine enlightenment. I testify that with Christ darkness cannot succeed. Darkness will not gain victory over the light of Christ. I bear witness that darkness can not stand before the brilliant light of the living son of God. April 6, 2013"

I was filled with joy.
It is such a simple solution to darkness: SING.
Sing praises to God.
Sing, all that love light.
Sing of light, for the darkness cannot abide such goodness.

Sing.
Sing praise for prophets and apostles.
Sing until you know the songs of light.
Sing until they are entrenched in our minds.
Sing until they fill our hearts with relief.
Sing for we live in a time of darkness.
Isaiah and other prophets have forseen this time.

Sing.
Sing for salvation, and sanity.

Sing for joy.
"Lift up your voice and sing."


* NOTE: Elder Uchtdorf taught "Even though we may feel lost in the midst of our current circumstances God promises the hope of his light. He promises to illuminate the way before us and show us the way out of darkness.

"...healing comes when we move away from the darkness and move towards the hope of a brighter light ... in the practical application of faith, hope, and charity [we] transform our [lives]... God's light is real. It is available to all. ...It can be a healing balm for the loneliness and sickness of our souls. In the ? of despair it can plant the seeds of a brighter hope. It can enlighten the deepest valleys of sorrow. It can illuminate the path before us and lead us through the darkest night into the promise of a new dawn.

"How do we open our eyes to the hope of God's light? First start where you are. ... We don't have to be perfect to experience the blessings and gifts of our Heavenly Father. We don't have to wait to cross the finish line to receive God's blessings. In fact the heavens begin to part and the blessings of heaven begin to distill upon us with the very first steps we take towards the light.

"The perfect place to begin is where you are right now. ... The very moment you begin to seek your heavenly Father, in that moment the hope of his light will begin to awaken, enliven, and ennoble your soul. ... As surely as the night always gives way to dawn, the light will come.

"[The gospel of Jesus Christ] teaches us ... the things we must know, do, and be to walk in his light, following in the footsteps of his beloved son, our Savior. ... To all who feel they walk in darkness I invite you to rely on this certain promise spoken by the Savior of mankind, 'I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shalt not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of everlasting life (John 8:12).'

"I bear witness that darkness can not stand before the brilliant light of the living son of God. April 6, 2013"



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