Thursday, September 23, 2010

Illumination

by Kari Diane Pike

I learned a new word today. "Coruscation: a striking display of brilliance or wit; a sudden gleam or flash of light." Not a word I would use everyday, but the definition of coruscation does a good job of describing my experience a few days ago.

A regional conference was held last week for the Utah County stakes. The messages, as always, resonated with all who listened. Sister Julie Beck and Elders Jeffrey R. Holland and Boyd K. Packer were just three of the speakers to share their wisdom with us that day. Sister Beck said, "You're doing better than you think you are, but perhaps we are not doing as good as we could be. We need the kind of faith that creates miracles." Elder Holland taught us that "God will be with us always and we can succeed." Elder Packer, in reference to Elder Hollands story about the Hole in the Wall Saints, said, "In many ways, our challenges will yet be more difficult."

Through the succeeding days after the conference, I experienced a variety of emotions as I processed those teachings. I felt anxious and overwhelmed by the thought that "things are going to get worse." I felt hope that I am doing better than I think, yet despair in the thinking that I am not doing as well as I could. I failed to recognize Elder Holland's reminder that God is always with us and ever increasing shadows of despair began to darken my perception.

One particularly challenging evening, as I walked into our front room, there was a sudden flash of light and a startling popping noise. At the same time, the neighbors car alarm sounded off. There had been scattered clouds all day, so I assumed what I experienced was a random lightening strike. Imagine my surprise when, sometime later, I walked into the dining room and discovered shards of glass all over the table, chairs and floor. Closer and careful inspection proved the glass to be the remains of a light bulb from the overhead ceiling fan. In the process of cleaning up the mess, I found part of the light bulb melted and burned into the wood of the table. Tiny slivers glittered all over the room.

I couldn't help but think about all the activities that had taken place at the table earlier that day: a Relief Society luncheon, homework, computer work, and family dinner time. I shuddered to think about the possible disasters that might have been: hot needles of glass exploding in people's faces, homework papers catching fire, etc. With sudden clarity, I remembered Elder Holland's promise that God will be with us always.

We are never alone. Angels watch over us constantly. We can have the faith that produces miracles. While it is important to recognize that we are here to experience challenges, Heavenly Father didn't put us here to fail or to be afraid. He wants us to succeed. This morning, I found great assurance in the words of 3 Nephi 22:17: "No weapon that is formed against thee shall prosper; and every tongue that shall revile against thee in judgment thou shalt condemn. This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord, and their righteousness is of me, saith the Lord." We have every reason to be happy and rejoice and be grateful in this mortal existence. Our Savior lives and He loves us.

We had a real thunderstorm yesterday, with brilliant bursts of lightening and earth shaking thunder. As illuminating as that lightening was, however, it paled in comparison to the spiritual coruscation given to me when I needed it most. (I even used my new word!)

4 comments:

  1. I know just what you mean...years ago I was living alone and had to change a light bulb. I only had an old rickety chair to stand on and it fell apart as I was reaching up to twist the bulb out. I fell...ever so slowing, tumbled and sat up not even shaken. Later I shivered a bit realizing someone helped me and prevented a nasty fall. I always remember that when I think about being alone again.

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  2. We have angels around us guarding and guiding at all times. Thank you for a story well told. (Aren't stake and area conferences wonderful? My favorite!) I'll try out your new word.

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  3. I love your new word and your illuminating thoughts.

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