Nephi quoted Isaiah 29 in this chapter which reminds us that darkness and apostasy will be prevalent “upon all the land of the earth” in our days. For “behold, they will be drunken with iniquity and all manner of abominations.” “And their works are in the dark.” But the Lord is “a God of miracles” and a “God of love” (2 Cor. 13:11) and “will proceed to do a marvelous work among this people, yea, a marvelous work and a wonder” by bringing “the light of the gospel” (D&C 138:30) to all who are in darkness through the restoration of His Church and the revelation of His words, including the Book of Mormon (see 2 Nephi 27:6-22).
Our minds and lives can move from being in darkness to being in the light as we accept and act upon “the word of God.” When we read and hear the words of God we will “see out of obscurity and out of darkness.” Our hearts will be moved closer to the Lord (see 2 Nephi 27:25). We will “come to understanding, and…learn doctrine.” Then as we act upon and apply the doctrines and principles of the gospel “[our] joy shall be in the Lord.”
One hero principle that we can apply from these words of God is to work in the light. We are cautioned that many “seek deep to hide their counsel from the Lord!” Not only do we sometimes do things that we don’t want our parents, or family, or friends to know about, we don’t even want the Lord to know what we are doing. We forget that the Lord has said, “I know all their works.” We can’t hide from the Lord. No matter how secret the place, dark the room, or late the hour, the Lord sees and knows what we are doing. “Thou hast set our iniquities before thee, our secret sins in the light of thy countenance” (Psalm 90:8). He knows when we work in the darkness and wants to help us work in the light so our lives can “be turned into a fruitful field” and we can receive the joy that comes from being in the light (see Alma 19:6).
We work in the light when we counsel with the Lord and our parents about all our doings (see Alma 37:37) rather than “[hiding our] counsel from” them. We work in the light when we do things in open, not in secret (see Moses 5:30). Elder Jeffrey R. Holland reminded us that lust and other works of darkness are “characterized by shame and stealth and [are] almost pathologically clandestine—the later and darker the hour the better, with a double-bolted door just in case” (“Place No More for the Enemy of My Soul,” General Conference, April 2010.) If you are doing things in secret or being with people you don’t want your parents or spouse to know about, stop, and consider what you are doing and why. Be honest with yourself and others. Stop and tell and turn to the Lord and your family for light and love and a better way. When we work in the light we do things with others and for others that bring smiles of approval rather than shame or regret.
When we work in the dark we turn our lives “upside down.” In order to turn our lives right side up, we must forsake our works of darkness, repent, and work in the light. “And I give unto you a commandment, that ye shall forsake all evil and cleave unto all good, that ye shall live by every word which proceedeth forth out of the mouth of God” (Doctrine and Covenants 98:11). “Repentance is more than simply acknowledging wrongdoings. It is a change of mind and heart. It includes turning away from sin and turning to God for forgiveness. It is motivated by love for God and the sincere desire to obey His commandments….If you have sinned, the sooner you repent, the sooner you begin to make your way back and find the peace and joy that come with forgiveness” (For the Strength of Youth). Through repentance, obedience, and keeping covenants we get back on track headed “in the right way” (see Moroni 6:4).
Paul’s plea to the Romans is for each of us today, “now it is high time to awake out of sleep: for now is our salvation nearer than when we believed. The night is far spent, the day is at hand: let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armour of light” (Romans 13:11-12) that we may work in the light.
*What does it mean to you to work in the light?