Monday, May 18, 2009


I learn best by visuals--little images to which my mind can cling and make the intangible and obscure more concrete and memorable. One I think on often came from an extraordinary missionary, author and humanitarian named Fred Babel who served twice by President Ezra Taft Benson's side--once as a missionary companion in pre-WWll Germany, and again after the war when Secretary of Agriculture Benson returned to succor the people of that nation.

He's gone now, but he was the dear friend of my dear friend, and so I had the privilege to hear him speak on several occasions here in the DC area. His unique understanding of the Gospel has left several of these "visual imprints" in my mind. One I love best is his analogy of the "Light Within" each of us.

To put it simply, he said we each are like a light bulb, and we gather or lose light with every choice we make. Therefore, some of us make the effort to increase our light through study, prayer, service--the exercises of faith--increasing our "wattage" until some of us become 40 watt-ers, some 75 or 100. We can also make choices that cause us to fluctuate like a strobe light, falsely hoping God will call for us on one of our "brighter" days, or we can simply make little effort at all, choosing to allow our inner light to dim.

I think of that light bulb analogy, and then I think of Matthew 5:14-16 which reads, "Ye are the light of the world. A city which is set on a hill cannot be hid. Neither do men light a candle and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick, and it giveth light unto all that are in the house. Let your light so shine before men that they may see your good works and glorify your father which is in heaven."

Sometimes it all seems a little too amorphous . . . too vague or huge to conceive, let alone to do. But then I think of that light bulb inside of me. Maybe I can glow one watt brighter today. Who knows? Maybe I can brightly beam more than that! This I understand. This I can do! Thank you, Brother Babel!

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