Brighten the World - Sunday, August 9, 2015
Moonlight, with its soft, silver tones and the enchanting mood it casts, has captured our fancy for centuries. It has been the subject of countless poems, songs, serenades, and evening walks. We marvel at how bright a full moon can seem sometimes, even though we know it is merely reflecting the light it receives from the sun. In fact, our full moon, at its very brightest, only reflects about 12 percent of the light that reaches it.
All around us, objects reflect or absorb light. Snow reflects almost all the light that reaches it, while black asphalt absorbs it, which explains why roads get so hot on sunny days.
And what about us? How much light do we reflect? Do we brighten the world for others and share the hope and cheer of a sunny outlook? Or do we only take, pulling in energy but never giving any back?
There are countless ways to share light with others. When we extend a helping hand, when we take time to listen, when we give a sincere compliment, when we teach a child, we are reflecting light. Mother Theresa said, “Every time you smile at someone, it is an action of love, a gift to that person, a beautiful thing.”1 Yes, even something as simple as a smile bounces light and love back into the world.
We are drawn to people who reflect joy and optimism. They seem to have a luster, a light, a glow about them. We find ourselves not only wanting to share their company but also striving to emulate their example, to shine with similar brilliance.
Unlike the moon, snow, or asphalt, we can choose how much light we give. We can decide to reflect the good around us and help others see “the bright side.” Very often, when our goal is to provide as much light as we can, we inspire others to do the same. If everyone made this simple choice, perhaps our collective radiance would be enough to light up the entire world.
1. In Gwen Costello, comp., Spiritual Gems from Mother Theresa (2008), 4.
Aug. 9, 2015, Broadcast Number 4,482
Mormon Tabernacle Choir
Orchestra at Temple Square
Hallelujah Chorus, from Christ on the Mount of Olives
Ludwig van Beethoven
I Will Sing with the Spirit
In Joyful Praise
A. Laurence Lyon
Consider the Lilies of the Field
Roger Hoffman; arr. A. Laurence Lyon
“Give,” Said the Little Stream
William B. Bradbury; arr. Ryan Murphy
Thou Lovely Source of True Delight