One of our sons, Cassidy, is a professional videographer and photographer. He’s had the great fortune to travel the world for his work, and we always love to see the amazing images he captures, whether in Morocco or Singapore, India or Brazil.
Last October I saw him getting drone images over a vineyard in Italy, and his wife recently posted a beautiful shot on Instagram, where he captured both her image and her shadow in a sliver of light in Florence. “Cassidy,” she wrote, “always chasing light…”
Like Scot Proctor, whose magnificent photos have appeared in Meridian Magazine, our son loves the Golden Hour. This highly prized time– the first hour of light after sunrise, and the last hour of light before sunset—yields color, depth, and texture you can’t get at other times of the day. It also provides the warmth and diffused light that takes your pictures to the next level.
For serious photographers, that lighting is like a magnet. They’re drawn to it with unwavering devotion, as it blankets the world around them in a glow that begs to be captured.
There is another moment when we can all feel that same lift to a higher plane, that same sense of being bathed in beauty—it’s when we immerse ourselves in the light of the Lord.
This can happen in the temple as we perform ordinances, or while doing Family History work on our computers at home.
It can happen when we serve those in need and feel that warmth in our chest, that we’re doing the right thing with our time.
We feel it when we pray and really connect, when we pause to listen for God’s answers and inspiration.
We feel it in our homes when we put others first, when we forgive, and when we make sacrifices.
We definitely feel it when we’re sharing the gospel—that tingly elevation to a happier state of being.
Even repenting, which has the odd reputation of being sad, shameful, or embarrassing, is exactly the opposite: It’s joyous, cleansing, and exhilarating.
We can feel immersed in holy light when we study our scriptures and feel a witness of their truthfulness. We make course corrections as we apply them to our lives, and again feel warmed by a glowing, heavenly hearth.
In John 8:12 Jesus said, “I am the light of the world” and it is His light we share as we follow Him. We don’t need to wait for a magical hour; it’s there whenever we wish to enjoy it.
It can find us in our darkest hour, and in our most depressed moments. President Dieter F. Uchtdorf has told us, “God’s light is available to all. It has the power to soften the sting of the deepest wound.”
Elder Robert D. Hales said, “Light and darkness cannot occupy the same space at the same time. Light dispels darkness. When light is present, darkness is vanquished and must depart.”
Each of us was born with the Light of Christ. And each of us can be reached by it. In one of the most inspiring and comforting talks Elder Jeffrey R. Holland has given, he said this: “However late you think you are, however many chances you think you have missed, however many mistakes you feel you have made or talents you think you don’t have, or however far from home and family and God you feel you have traveled, I testify that you have not traveled beyond the reach of divine love. It is not possible for you to sink lower than the infinite light of Christ’s Atonement shines.”
When we draw close to the light of Christ, we then become a candle ourselves, light emanating from us. I recall the story of the time when the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints arranged with officials in Jerusalem to build our Jerusalem Center there. We had to agree not to proselyte, which we promised. But then, one of the officials who knew our people very well, said he knew we’d keep our agreement, “But,” speaking of the students who would attend there, “what are we going to do about the light that is in their eyes?”
C. S. Lewis once said, “Don’t shine so others can see you. Shine so that through you, others can see Him.” This is what students, missionaries, and members all over the world are doing. By setting our sites on Christ, we can actually have much more than a Golden Hour. We can deliberately chase that light, and have a Golden Lifetime.
Hilton is an award-winning playwright and the author of many best-selling Latter-day Saint books. Those, her humor blog, and YouTube Mom videos can be found on her website.