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Insight Archive

Saturday, November 30, 2013

Light of the World

I staffed at a scout camp for four summers. Two, out of those four, I taught scouts. The first time I taught the scouts orienteering. I, however, struggled with knowing how to teach them to their understanding. I tried to help them retain it. I was naturally a competitive person. It is a part of me. I noticed I learn better when I compete. Thus, I taught them with competition. I, however, could not share with them all the things pertaining to orienteering. For the most part, it worked. I later became infamous around the camp for my teaching style, however.
Christ, the master teacher, also has an infamous way of sharing with us many insights to the Character of God and how the kingdom of heaven will be. The way he did this was often through parables. Parables are hard to understand. It would be nice if He just came out and said it. So, His disciples asked, "Why speakest thou... in parables?" He answer their question with, "Because it is given unto you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it is not given. For whosoever hath, to him shall be given, and he shall have more abundance: but whosoever hath not, from him shall be taken away even that he hath. Therefore speak I to them in parables: because they seeing see not; and hearing they hear not, neither do they understand." (Matt 13: 10-13) Understanding parables makes us more accountable to God.

Thus understanding them may bless us, or condemn us (2 Nephi 31: 14). A unique property of Hebrew (especially in the scriptures) is that sentences, words, and/or phrases have multiple meanings. The same is found in some parables Christ taught. One of which is found in Luke 19: 11-27. This is the parable of the ten pieces of money. There may be many ways each of these may be taken. I, however, want to look of a similar (not the same) parable in a different account. This one is found in Matt 25: 14-29. This one is known as the parable of the talents. I enjoy this one because a talent is a piece of money. To summarize this up, two servants invested it and got more. The last saved it and it was taken away. Sure, this can be some financial advice to everybody (you can't make money without spending money), but there is a deeper purpose to this parable and the way it is written.

Talent, not only means a piece of money, but, in the English language, means a special ability. For example, Micheal Jordan had a talent of playing basketball. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven." (Matt 5: 14-16) Just as a candle is useless under a bushel, our talents are useless by suppressing them. We must let our light shine forth and use our talents to guide those around us. The Doctrine and Covenants teaches, "he that receiveth light, and continueth in God, receiveth more light; and that light groweth brighter and brighter..." (D&C 50: 24) Kuha'o is an excellent example of Christ's teaching. My invitation echoes President Erying's at the end of this short video, "My challenge to you is to pray to know the gifts we have been given, to know how to develop them, and to recognize the opportunities to serve others that God provides us." However, Micheal Jordan did not play basketball very well to begin. He had to practice, which was probably a talent. He used one, and got another. The same is for us when Christ gave unto us that parable. Then comes the question, "What do you do with those talents you have earned?" Christ taught that we "are the light of the world... Men [do not] light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house."

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