Jesus laid “down his own life that he may draw all men unto him.” He invites each of us to “come unto him and partake of his goodness.” In order to receive his blessings and partake of his goodness we must “choose works of…light.” There are many who “yield unto the devil and choose works of darkness” in an effort to “set themselves up for a light unto the world, that they may get the gain and praise of the world.” Heroes know “that the Lord God worketh not in darkness” and that “He doeth not anything save it be for the benefit of the world; for he loveth the world.” Heroes follow the light of Christ and “seek…the welfare of Zion” rather than seeking the gain and praise of the world.
As heroes “labor for Zion” they choose works of light and do them. Heroes keep the commandments. The Lord made the works of darkness we should avoid very clear in verse 32. However, determining “that which is good” and what works of light we should engage in is not always an easy decisions. There are so many good things we can choose to do. Heroes choose and do works of light by remembering that “the Lord God hath given a commandment that all men should have charity, which charity is love.” Heroes choose works of light by choosing works of love. They apply the two great commandments of love by asking:
- Does this activity* show my love for the Lord and strengthen my relationship with Him?
- Does this activity* show my love for my family, friends, or neighbors and strengthen my relationships with them?
*“this activity” = this thought, this word, this action, this song, this book or article, this TV show or movie, this internet site, this use of my time, etc.
If the answer is yes, then heroes do it. If the answer is no, then heroes ask “What can I think, say, do, or be to show my love for and strengthen my relationship with this person? Is there something better you would have me think, say, do or be?” Often the Lord refines our good intentions by inspiring us to do something better that will be best for us and our relationships at that time.
Another way heroes choose works of light and love is by prayerfully asking the Lord:
- What can I do to strengthen my spirit and my relationship with Thee?
- Who can I reach out to and love today?
- What can I do for or with this person to lift him or her and strengthen our relationship?
Jesus Christ is our perfect example of charity. He always took time to listen and lift one on one. Whether it was dining with Zacchaeus shortly before his death or blessing the Nephite children “one by one” after his resurrection, Jesus focused on people not projects or programs. When we take time to give love and lift those around us, the Lord fills our lives with greater light and our hearts with greater love. He also creates more time for us to accomplish those things that are important to us and to Him. He truly will direct us and inspire us as we choose works of light.
I have had the opportunity to serve as a Ward Relief Society President for three years now and I am so grateful for the lessons I’ve learned and continue to learn about choosing works of light and love. I’ve learned that love truly is synonymous with TIME and how important it is to spend time one on one. I’ve learned how much the Lord truly loves each of us and that He is mindful of our every need. I’ve learned the truth expressed by President Spencer W. Kimball that “God does notice us, and he watches over us. But it is usually through another person that he meets our needs. Therefore, it is vital that we serve each other in the kingdom….So often, our acts of service consist of simple encouragement or of giving mundane help with mundane tasks, but what glorious consequences can flow from mundane acts and from small but deliberate deeds!” (“Small Acts of Service,” Ensign, Dec. 1974).
It is awe-inspiring to visit with a sister in her home one on one and listen to her joys and sorrows and then see how the time, comfort, and love shared lightens her burdens, lifts her soul, and fills her mind and heart with increased light and strength to press forward. In our works of light and love, it is the light of Christ that we are holding up (see 3 Ne. 18:24). By so doing, we encourage those in need to “look forward unto Christ with steadfastness” knowing that “he shall heal them, and they shall have peace with him.” He is the solution. He has the answers to solve their problems. I can’t fix things. You can’t fix things. Our simple works of light and our small efforts of love are just a reminder of how much He loves and cares for them.
When I visit with a sister, I am amazed at how much love I feel for this woman I hardly know. As I feel the Savior’s love for her, my ability to connect with her and love her grows. Charity is truly a gift of the Spirit that is given to those who ask and those who act. “It doesn’t come without effort, and it doesn’t come without patience, but…in the end it is a gift” (Jeffrey R. Holland, “How Do I Love Thee,” BYU Devotional, Feb. 15, 2000). It is a gift of love from the giver of love. And what a wonderful gift it is that we receive. For as we choose works of light and spend time with others we create bonds and relationships of light and love that brighten and bless our lives now and for eternity (see Doctrine and Covenants 130:2).
*Share a time when you were blessed by choosing a work of light.
*How do you choose which works of light to engage in when there are so many good things to do each day?
Click here to read how my friend, Sarah Slade, chooses works of light.
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I liked what you wrote and how you said that heroes choose works of light by choosing works of love (or something to that effect). As I have thought lately about some of the trials I go through, I know Heavenly Father is wanting me to learn to have charity for everyone. Thanks for the reminder in your beautiful message.