Speaking of Projects, this is one that I pulled out of my cedar chest earlier today. the above photo is of a cross stitch sampler that was one of the very first handiwork projects that I completed, when I was about 9 years old. Back in the day, every young girl in Primary (our church's children's organization) was taught how to do cross stitch by completing a sampler such as this. We were given the sampler (paid for by our parents I presume) and we chose our own color of floss. This was the theme of the Gaynote class: "I will bring the light of the gospel into my home." Many of our weekly lessons during primary were centered around this theme of how we could be a light in the darkness of the world.
Back in those days the world didn't always appear as dark as it sometimes does today, at least not to a young girl like me. Yes, there were cloudy days, dark nights, scary news on TV about war and violence, but for the most part my childhood was happy, surrounded with family and relatives and friends, good neighbors, kind pets, sunshine, and faith in God. My biggest worries were getting good grades, good natured teasing, and getting over the most recent cold and sore throat, and falling asleep at night.
In the present day I still sometimes get colds, and still sometimes have trouble falling asleep. I also often find myself waking into a dark world, sometimes 5:30, oftentimes at 4:30; I will wake and feel the heavy darkness around me. There is usually not a good reason for me to wake this early. I no longer have children to care for and drive to early morning seminary or school or to deliver newspapers. There is usually no obvious good reason for me to feel the darkness that I do. These dark mornings bring with them a vague sense of dread. All is not right with the world.
I know that others feel this same darkness, and not just in the early morning hours. We've discussed it at times. Perhaps you feel it too. How do you deal with it? It's tempting for me to just pull the covers over the head and try to go back to sleep, hopefully to more pleasant thoughts and dreams. But I believe that part of the purpose of life is to add light to this world. Each person and each life has the potential to add much goodness and light to the world. Darkness cannot exist where there is light. Faith will conquer fear. So I will turn on the light in my room. I will find a way to bring not only physical light, but also spiritual light into my life and into the lives of others, not only in the dark early mornings, but throughout the day.
Begin the day by reading scripture and praying
Look around for someone who needs help, a visit, a phone call, a card or a letter
React with kindness to others
Reach out to others with a smile or kind words
Share a treat or something even more valuable and needed
Share uplifting thoughts and the good works of others
Look for the good in life
Be on time, be honest, have integrity
Listen to and share uplifting music
Attend the temple
Search out your ancestors and perform ordinances for those who have gone before
I'm sure most people in our world are full of light and have much to give and to share.
How do you bring light to our troubled world?