Apr 24, 2008

The Fifth Blade

By Kari Diane Pike

Waking up before the alarm goes off usually creates a conflict of emotion in me. I regret losing those last few precious moments of sleep, yet at the same time I cherish the opportunity to breathe in the quiet and have an uninterrupted personal interview with my Father in Heaven. A few days ago, I enjoyed just such a beginning to my day. The early morning light slipped around the window shade and tapped me on the shoulder. I rolled over to look at the clock. I still had fifteen more minutes to sleep! I closed my eyes and let all the muscles of my body melt into the mattress. I took a slow, deep breath through my nose and released it in a long, lazy yawn. My fully alert mind struggled to convince my tired body to get out of the bed.

I opened my eyes and looked at the space above me. The whites and shadows of the fan over the bed blended into the background of the ceiling. Without the aid of my glasses or contacts, I couldn’t pick up many details, but something didn’t seem right. I squinted my eyes and studied the fan. I could make out the outlines of the glass light shades. There were three of them. I could see the edges of the fan blades. There were four of those. Wait. I thought the fan had five blades. I know the fan has five blades! Where is the fifth blade? I counted again: One – two – three – four – and a big empty spot where the fifth blade should be. How strange! I closed my right eye and looked at the fan with my left. Still no fifth blade! I closed my left eye and looked at the fan with my right eye alone. No fifth blade appeared to my view. I moved my head around into different positions, concerned that perhaps I was experiencing problems with my retina or a possible stroke or something. I could not see that fifth blade. I finally reached over to the nightstand and grabbed my glasses. Aha! With the aid of my glasses I could just barely make out the faint line of one edge of the missing fan blade. By this time, all my twisting and tossing woke up my husband. He got out of bed and turned on a light in the bathroom. As light filled the room, the fifth blade magically came into full focus!

Later that morning, I read in Words of Mormon 1:7 – “And I do this for a wise purpose; for thus it whispereth me, according to the workings of the Spirit of the Lord which is in me. And now, I do not know all things; but the Lord knoweth all things which are to come; wherefore he worketh in me to do according to his will.”

I pondered on my experience all day. On my own, I just could not see the entire picture. I needed help. My glasses served as a great tool. They helped me focus and see a bit more clearly, but I couldn’t see everything with clarity until the light turned on. I thought about my life in general and the many times I have searched for answers and a clearer picture of the future. I hesitated to make what I perceived as crucial decisions because I wanted to know what the outcome would be before I acted.

We have many tools available to help us focus on our goals. The scriptures are one of my favorite tools. They give me words to calm my troubled heart and an outline after which to pattern my life. We don’t need to be afraid to move forward because we can’t see the beginning from the end. We don’t always have to know all the details. We can’t see that fifth blade, but we know it is there. And just as the fifth blade didn't come into clear focus until the light turned on, complete spiritual clarity does not come without the Light! The scriptures on their own can become just stories to us. We need the workings of the Holy Spirit to bear testimony to us of the truthfulness of who the Savior is and what He did for us. By exercising faith that “the Lord knoweth all things” and trusting in the power of the Atonement – we will receive just the right amount of light we need to accomplish the things we were sent here to do.


  1. I read those very same words yesterday myself. My chosen scripture time is lunch time. It's when I'm most awake and less distracted. I pondered those words myself. How many times have I be guided to do something with no obvious results, left wondering what that wise purpose was.

  2. seeing the beginning from the end. Hmmm. I thought shouldn't it be the end from the beginnging? And then the thought came we really can't do either without the help of the Lord. Scriptures tell us of the pre-existence and of eternal life. The light of Christ is what illuminates all things.
    Thanks for your inspiring thoughts.

  3. lol...do you see my face burning, Margaret? I didn't catch my error until after I posted...and don't know how to correct it. But you made a great observation despite my mistake! Thanks!

  4. What a curious optical illusion that must have been for you, Kari, and what a wonderfully analogy to learn and share! It sure would be nice to have all the answers from the beginning (I'm sure I could be much more patient about many things!)...but then, I guess that wouldn't be faith, now, would it?

  5. What a marvelous little parable! And Margaret, I like your addition to Kari's story that it's the light of Christ that illuminates everything.

  6. Thanks, Kari for always putting great analogies together from the sciptures. I feel like I get two scripture studies in on the days I ready your posts!

    And by the way, I enjoyed your narrative at the beginning. You are accomplished at more than just essay writing!


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