For verily I say unto you that I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the light and the life of the world—a light that shineth in darkness and the darkness comprehendeth it not.
1. Lead, kindly Light, amid th’encircling gloom;
Lead thou me on!
The night is dark, and I am far from home;
Lead thou me on!
Keep thou my feet; I do not ask to see
The distant scene–one step enough for me.
2. I was not ever thus, nor pray’d that thou
Shouldst lead me on.
I loved to choose and see my path; but now,
Lead thou me on!
I loved the garish day, and, spite of fears,
Pride ruled my will. Remember not past years.
3. So long thy pow’r hath blest me, sure it still
Will lead me on
O’er moor and fen, o’er crag and torrent, till
The night is gone.
And with the morn those angel faces smile,
Which I have loved long since, and lost awhile!
Start with the following activity! You’ll need candles or small lights. Go into the darkest room of your home and try to eliminate as much light as possible. Once everyone is in the dark, as them what they can see. Then, light a single candle or turn on a small, hand-held light. Ask the question again. Light each candle, and continue asking the question. When all the candles have been lit, turn on the lights and gather for the lesson.
Read aloud: If we were to sit for long enough in the darkness with lit candles, our eyes would adjust and we would eventually be able to see everything in the room. With more candles, the brighter the room would become.
We can relate this to Jesus Christ and what He teaches us. There are many dark things in our lives that make us sad or scared, but with the light Jesus brings to our lives, we can have happiness and understanding.
Ask: Have you ever felt like you were in a dark place? This can be a time when you were sad, scared, or upset. Tell me about it.
Read aloud: When we have dark times, we need to do our best to add light into our life. When we were in the darkness and lit a candle, the darkness slowly went away. No matter how dark things may seem, the darkness will never extinguish the light. When we follow Jesus Christ and keep His commandments, we are adding light into our life.
Share a personal experience when you were going through a hard time and were able to add some light into your life.
Read aloud: Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ want us to be happy and experience joy. They have given us many ways to survive and learn from the hard times in our lives.
Ask: What are some ways you can add light into your life? What can we work on as a family to encourage each other and help chase away the darkness in our lives?
Finish the lesson by bearing your testimony of the power of Christ to help us overcome dark times.
*For Teenagers and Adults*
Begin by reading D&C 45:7 (found at the top of this lesson) and ask how light represents Jesus Christ. After discussing, read the following quote by David J. Ridges:
The word “comprehendeth” can have at least two meanings. One is that those who are not spiritually sensitive do not understand the light of the gospel or even realize it is there for them.
Another meaning of “comprehend” is to surround or overcome. It is comforting to know that spiritual darkness cannot ultimately win over Christ and the righteous. Perhaps you have noticed that, upon opening an outside door at night, darkness does not stream in to the house and obliterate the light. Light always penetrates darkness, rather than the other way around. There is simple, powerful symbolism in this natural state of things. The darkness of Satan and his evil hosts cannot overcome or “comprehend” Christ, the light and life of the world.
Ask: What causes spiritual darkness? What causes spiritual light to come into our life?
Read aloud: When we have spiritual light in our life, we can endure trials that would normally seem insurmountable. Elder L. Whitney Clayton told the story of Sailor Gutzler, a seven-year-old girl whose small airplane, piloted by her father, crashed in the Kentucky wilderness. Sailor was the only survivor and walked through the 38 degree rough terrain, through ditches, briers, and creeks, to the house of a man a mile away. She reached him because she small the small light inside of his house and began walking towards it. Elder Clayton said of her experience:
Sailor survived because she saw a light in the distance and fought her way to it—notwithstanding the wild countryside, the depth of the tragedy she faced, and the injuries she had sustained. It is hard to imagine how Sailor managed to do what she did that night. But what we do know is that she recognized in the light of that distant house a chance for rescue. There was hope. She took courage in the fact that no matter how bad things were, her rescue would be found in that light.
Few of us will ever endure an experience as harrowing as Sailor’s. But all of us will, at some time or another, have to traverse our own spiritual wilderness and undertake our own rugged emotional journeys. In those moments, however dark or seemingly hopeless they may be, if we search for it, there will always be a spiritual light that beckons to us, giving us the hope of rescue and relief. That light shines from the Savior of all mankind, who is the Light of the World.
Ask: How can we take courage and fight to reach spiritual light? Has there been a time in your life when the spiritual light of Christ has blessed your life?
Finish the lesson by sharing personal experiences and bearing testimony.
Fudge Bites or Honey Almond Granola
-3 cups semisweet chocolate chips (dairy free, if needed)
-3/4 cup full-fat coconut milk
-2 tablespoons coconut oil
You can also top with nuts, coconut, salted caramel, or other favorite toppings.
Place the chocolate chips in a large bowl.
Combine the coconut milk and coconut oil in a small pan, and bring to a boil, whisking occasionally to ensure the coconut oil melts fully, and the milk warms evenly.
Pour the hot coconut milk/oil mixture over the chips, and let sit for 2 minutes. Whisk until totally smooth.
Line a mini muffin pan with liners, and grease liberally. Fill each liner to the top (a heaping tablespoon of the chocolate).
Sprinkle sea salt on top (or any of the other toppings listed above). If using caramel, drizzle 1/2 teaspoon on each fudge bite, and use a toothpick to swirl.
Freeze (1 hour) or refrigerate (2-3 hours) until set.
(Courtesy of Veggie and the Beast)
-1 cup almonds, divided
-3 cups old fashioned oats
-1/2 teaspoon salt
-1/3 cup brown sugar
-1/3 cup honey
-3 tablespoons coconut oil
-1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
-1/8 teaspoon almond extract
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
In a food processor or blender, pulse half of the almonds until they are very finely chopped. Pour them into a large bowl. Then chop the other half of the almonds coarsely, and pour them into the same bowl.
Pour the oats, salt, and brown sugar into the bowl with the almonds and stir to combine.
In a small microwaveable bowl, combine honey and coconut oil, and heat for 40 seconds. Stir to dissolve the coconut oil, and add the vanilla and almond extract.
Pour the honey mixture over the oats, and stir so that they are evenly coated.
Pour the oats evenly onto a Silpat or parchment lined baking sheet (helpful if it has sides).
Bake the oats for 5 minutes, and then stir them around. Return to the oven for 5 more minutes.
Pour the granola and onto a piece of wax paper to cool. Spread it out into a thin layer.
After it cools completely, break the granola into clusters and store in an airtight container.
(Courtesy of Lovely Little Kitchen)
Flashlight Firefly or Paint Slip and Slide
This is a fun version of Hide and Seek! Pick someone to be the “firefly”, give them a flashlight, and have them go hide while everyone closes their eyes. Turn off the lights and go look! Whenever someone yells firefly, the person hiding has to flash the flashlight briefly. The first person to capture the firefly wins!
Paint Slip and Slide
Use your slip n’ slide or make one with cheap tarps or plastic sheets. Cover in colorful, non-toxic paint and have everyone get messy! For extra fun, wear white shirts!