Monday, August 27, 2012

Let Your Light Shine

They say actions speak louder than words. I´m a pretty firm believer of that. Often in life we´re given chances to teach others--through a talk in church, as a teacher, as a parent or even as a missionary. Even though we often associate teaching with some kind of lecture or explanation, I think our example often gets the message across far better than any amount of words. For example, parents teach their kids about the importance of prayer and reading the scriptures, but there´s nothing quite as powerful as when a child walks in unexpectedly on one of their parents praying or reading the scriptures. Such experience tend to have a much more profound effect. Jesus Christ was a perfect teacher. He used the perfect combination of words and imagery to get his perfect message across to those who had the privilege of listening to his sermons. Yet, the words of his teachings were always supported by his perfect actions. There isn´t one thing that he taught that he didn´t live. He was the perfect example of how to talk the talk and walk the walk. On the sermon on the mount he taught us about how to forgive, "And when ye stand praying, forgive, if ye have ought against any" (Mark 11:25). It´s a pretty basic teaching we can all easily agree with, if any one has done us wrong, forgive them. But it takes a new meaning when we read the prayer he offered while upon the cross, after being beaten and spit upon: "Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do" (Luke 23:34). In the same way our actions back up or words, they can also destroy them. Imagine a father that tells his kids not to smoke, as he has a cigarette in between his fingers. It doesn´t matter how well he explains the damage that smoking does and how they will live fuller lives if they avoid it, the smoke coming out of his mouth speaks louder than his words. That is way Jesus often denounced hypocrisy. Paul warned, "They profess that they know God; but in works they deny him" (Titus 1:16). It´s pretty simple, some will some will say they believe in God but their actions show that their belief is empty. So the question is, do we profess to know God and show it too? One of my favorite scriputres is one that was recited various times last General Conference: "Let no man despise thy youth; but be thou an example of the believers, in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity" (1 Timothy 4:12). That´s a lot of "in"s but wow, what a great thing to strive for. Often our example is compared to light, the EFY theme for last year was "Arise and shine forth, that thy light may be a standard for the nations" (Doctrine and Covenants 115:5). And last but definitely not least, the Master said it best, "Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hid. Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good words, and glorify your Father which is in heaven" (Matthew 5:14-16). What an incredible teacher. Let´s let our light shine! With all the love of light, Elder Lounsbury

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