Last week, my husband and I took our children to visit my maternal grandmother (Mormor) in central Utah. She has a comfortable home filled with love and we always enjoy our visits with her. I also took a copy of a story to give to her that I wrote about an experience I once had while visiting her and Morfar. When we received a card from Mormor in the mail the other day, I knew before opening it that it was to thank us for our visit. But included in the card was this message to me: “Vibeke, I loved what you wrote about your experience in the Manti Temple. Morfar & I always loved your visits with us.” It brought tears to my eyes (I blame the pregnancy). That short message made up for the rejection letter this story received and reminded me that I’m writing for the people who matter most in my life. It also made me willing to share the story here.
About ten years ago, I started a tradition of visiting my Danish grandparents twice a year to attend the temple of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Manti, Utah, with them. When Mormor and Morfar immigrated to the United States, they settled in Salt Lake City, Utah, where they attended the Salt Lake Temple every Wednesday morning to perform work for the dead. They moved to central Utah after retirement and continued this practice in the Manti Temple. My visits with Mormor and Morfar—especially the time we spent at the temple—are some of my most cherished memories.
During one of our temple trips, I looked up at one of the temple’s many chandeliers. The beauty of the light and colors coming through the crystal prisms filled me with joy and peace. At that moment, a realization touched me. We, Heavenly Father’s mortal children, are like the prisms of a chandelier. By ourselves we are nothing more than clear, unremarkable glass. But when we allow the light of Christ to shine through us, we become things of immense beauty, full of life, light, and color. Jesus Christ can—and will—enrich our souls and make us beautiful.
With this light that we receive, we are also given a responsibility. In The Book of Mormon we read: “Therefore, hold up your light that it may shine unto the world. Behold I am the light which ye shall hold up—that which ye have seen me do” (3 Nephi 18:24).
In this world of increasing darkness, we are meant to show our brothers and sisters that they, too, can fill their souls with the light and beauty of Jesus Christ. The Lord instructs us: “Verily I say unto you all: Arise and shine forth, that thy light may be a standard for the nations” (Doctrine & Covenants 115:5).
There have been many changes in my life since that long-ago day in the temple. Morfar has passed away and I have since married and had children. Along the way, I have learned to appreciate the different ways in which God’s children radiate and spread His light. Still, every time I am in a temple, I look at the chandeliers and remember what I learned years ago. I admire the beauty of the colors that the light brings out in the prisms and feel the strength that Jesus Christ brings into my life. I will always be grateful to Mormor and Morfar for the opportunity to not only grow closer to them, but to also grow closer to the Lord. I know that in His light, I can spread that light and do greater things than I could ever do alone.
Originally Published September 2018