Photo courtesy of Your Mom, with permission from Tyson

When we are kids, sometimes we learn things the hard way.  My brother Tyson, coincidentally the founder of this blog, learned a valuable lesson when he was younger. This was rather unfortunate for him, but hilariously fortunate for all of us. Here is the story of the photo seen above.

He was playing the game “prison break” one night in a basement with no lights on. Apparently, there is a reason its not called “prison break in a well lit basement” Not just any basement, but another friend’s basement that he was not familiar with.

In his adrenalin fueled excitement, and while running full speed, escaping capture and certain death, he proceeded to collide, at full speed, into Jared Bennett’s thick head, who also happened to be running at full speed in the exact opposite direction, thus doubling the force. It would have made any  fighting ram or linebacker proud. But, being ill equipped in the helmet or horn department, His soft cartilaginous nose took the whole brunt of the force from the head on collision.

As many street hardened fighters know, your nose is not the hardest part of your body, nor does it tend to hold up well when it is the leading part of your body mass slamming into an oncoming object such as someone else’s forehead. Needless to say, Jared Bennet’s forehead walked away victorious and relatively unscathed, other than some rather significant blood spatter. Tyson’s nose, on the other hand, became somewhat larger, flatter, and bloodier that night.

During the ensuing weeks we were treated with a daily reminder of this spectacular event. Each time we gazed upon his swollen countenance, this moment was relived over and over again. It is still funny. With two eventual black eyes he could hardly open, and a large swollen nose, he was quite a stunning reminder of the fragility of nasal cartilage.

The moral of the story?

Either wear a helmet when running around playing in the dark, or….Turn on the lights!

Even a little light is better than no light.

Darkness is part of life. Its part of our daily life. Every day the sun comes up, and the darkness recedes, only to once again give way to the light of the morning. Man has dealt with darkness since the beginning by trying to maintain some form of light to be able to see in times of darkness.

In the early days, it was torches, or fires. Later, man graduated to lamps, and lanterns. Then, on to light bulbs and electricity. Now, there are cities that never sleep.

But, how often do we still run around in the dark, hoping to avoid running into each other and bloodying our noses?

In the scriptures we can learn a lot about spiritual darkness, its perils, and also the benefits of staying close to, and benefiting from the light.

In the Book of Mormon we learn about Lehi’s vision of the tree of life, and the “dark and dreary waste” through which he must wander. In Lehi’s dream, that represented the course of our lives. In that same vision, even those who were attempting to hold on to the iron rod were also surrounded by the “mists of darkness“.

In the days preceding Christ’s visit to the Nephites, the whole land was covered in literal darkness, so dark they could feel it. It was described as a “vapor of darkness” so that “there could be not any light at all”.

Joseph Smith experienced pure darkness immediately before he experienced his vision. He described being seized upon by some power and that felt a “thick darkness gathered around [him]”.

In all of these accounts, we learn about the inevitability of darkness. We can’t completely avoid it, so how do we defeat it? We do it, just as man has always done it- with light.

Physically, we make torches, lanterns, fires, and turn on the lights! We do what it takes so that we can see clearly, so we don’t lose our way, and run into speeding objects and break our noses.

Spiritually, how do we do it? Joseph Smith’s experience demonstrates how spiritual darkness is defeated. He said that in the very moment he was about to succumb to the darkness and be destroyed, that he saw “A pillar of light..above the brightness of the sun” In that pillar of light was God the Father and Jesus Christ.

That is how we defeat this type of darkness. We invite the light of Christ in. This light becomes our torch, our lantern, our fire, or our sunshine. Then, we keep it going to last through the night, or darkness in our life. In the very moment that Christ comes, the darkness is gone. Its exactly as the hymn says, “The morning breaks, the shadows flee!”

The scriptures explain this concept even better than I can.

“The light of the body is the eye: if therefore thine eye be single, thy whole body shall be full of light”

Mathew 6:22 

“Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.”

John 8:12 

“Behold, I am Jesus Christ, the Son of God… I am the light which shineth in darkness…

D&C 6:21

Sometimes, when its dark, and we feel isolated, alone, or even scared, or we just can’t seem to see whats in front of us, we need to just…..turn on the lights, and invite Him in.