Kevin Redd, the BYU-Idaho campus recreation advisor, gave his devotional address, “Aligning with the Light,” on Aug. 10.
Redd encouraged students to turn to Jesus Christ and His everlasting light for support and comfort during difficult times.
“Whatever the circumstances we find ourselves in when we experience trials, we will be able to handle them much better if we can turn our focus to the everlasting light,” Redd said. “Jesus Christ is the everlasting light that ‘shineth in darkness.’ There is no darkness that can ever suppress, extinguish, overpower or defeat that light. Our Heavenly Father freely offers that light to you. You are never alone.”
In his youth, Redd worked on a farm. He described times while working at night when he had to leave the comfort of his tractor and step into the darkness to fix problems that occurred.
“I would turn off the tractor lights and then walk in the darkness to another vehicle,” Redd said. “Almost every time, no matter how long I had to spend in the darkness, fear of the unseen and unknown would drift into my mind. This fear would remain until I was able to get back into the light.”
Redd related this to spiritual darkness. This occurs when someone is cut off from the light of Jesus Christ, causing those same emotions to build within them: fear, uncertainty and loneliness.
Redd quoted Sister Sharon Eubank, the first counselor in the Relief Society General Presidency, who said, “One of the fundamental needs we have in order to grow is to stay connected to our source of light — Jesus Christ. He is the source of our power, the Light and Life of the World. Without a strong connection to Him, we begin to spiritually die. Knowing that, Satan tries to exploit the worldly pressures we all face. He works to dim our light, short-circuit the connection, cut off the power supply, leaving us alone in the dark. These pressures are common conditions in mortality, but Satan works hard to isolate us and tell us we are the only one experiencing them.”
Redd referred to the hymn, “Brightly Beams Our Father’s Mercy.” He explained that, in this hymn, a lighthouse represents God’s mercy and love. He described how lighthouses provide hope, comfort and direction to ships in the water and lead them safely to the harbor. He further explained that, in order for ships to find a safe passageway through potentially dangerous waters at night, they must align their course with a lighthouse.
He compared the ships in need of a safe passageway to people who are struggling in their mortal journey who are in need of a refuge. Redd invited students to align themselves with the light of Christ so they can be a source of light and guidance for people around them.
“As we align ourselves with the light of the Savior through daily, prayer, scripture study and service to others we can be a lower light that will shine in the darkness,” Redd said. “As we do so, we can be an instrument in the Lord’s work to guide others around the mud and help them when they feel stuck.”