A total solar eclipse occurs when the moon moves between the earth and the sun, almost completely blocking any light from the sun’s surface.
The last time the US saw a total solar eclipse like this was in 1918.
The fact that this can happen and can be witnessed by us mere mortals is great and marvellous to behold. If we can try and compare the sun to being the size of a standard bicycle wheel, in comparison the moon would be the size of a marble.
How is it possible that the sun, the very source of our warmth, light, and life could be so greatly hidden by something relatively minor in size?
Although the sun is 400 times larger than the moon, it is also 400 times farther away from the earth. From earth’s perspective, this geometry makes the sun and moon appear to be the same size. When the two are aligned just right (as in a total solar eclipse) the moon seems to hide the entire sun.
Just like a solar eclipse can affect or disturb the earth’s atmospheric conditions for a period of time, the moon can block out the magnificence of the sun, smothering its light and warmth presenting a dark and cold environment.
The same can happen to us as we face the challenges and trials of our daily lives. These difficulties can get so close that they block out the light and the warmth of Jesus Christ and his gospel in our lives. This can be referred to as a ‘spiritual eclipse’.
To help protect us against a spiritual eclipse we would need to ensure that we have some guidelines to ensure our spiritual safety.
When viewing a solar eclipse it is important that you wear special filtered glasses so that you are not blinded by the effects of the eclipse. The word of God can provide us with the spiritual protection that one needs so that we are not blinded by the philosophies of men and by the discouragement and frustrations of our trials
“Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth.” (John 17:17)
Knowing God’s word will also fortify us against the lies and deceptions of the devil, who lies in wait to deceive us. The truth is manifested in His word.
“And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” (John 8:32)
As we view our daily lives through our ‘gospel glasses’ the damaging effects that a spiritual eclipse can impose upon us can be avoided.
How do we put on our gospel glasses?
Simply by regularly reading and studying the word of God, regular prayer and thanksgiving and giving of our substance and service to the needy.
These basic tasks will bless us to see with our spiritual eyes so we do not become blinded by the spiritual eclipse and fall into temptation and sin being overcome by the darkness in the light.
“They meet with darkness in the day time, and grope in the noonday as in the night.” (Job 5:14)
When you put on gospel glasses, you find a better perspective, focus, and vision in the way you think about your priorities, your problems, your temptations, and even your mistakes. You will see a brighter light that will light your path and provide you with a clearer view, so you can avoid the pitfalls and obstacles as you journey through life. Jesus Christ and his everlasting gospel is the light in the lives of men and can show each of us the way we should go. We can be the light in the darkness and be a light to others who wander in the spiritual eclipse of their lives.
“In him was life; and the life was the light of men. And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not. (John 1:4-5)
“…a solar eclipse is indeed a remarkable phenomenon of nature during which the beauty, warmth, and light of the sun can be completely covered by a comparatively insignificant object, causing darkness and chill.
A similar phenomenon can be imitated in a spiritual sense, when otherwise small and minor matters are drawn too close and block the beauty, warmth, and heavenly light of the gospel of Jesus Christ, replacing it with cold darkness.
Eyewear designed to protect the sight of those in the zone of a total solar eclipse can prevent permanent damage and even blindness. Gospel glasses comprised of a knowledge of the gospel principles and ordinances provide a gospel perspective that can similarly provide greater spiritual protection and clarity for someone exposed to the hazards of a spiritual eclipse.
If you discover anything that seems to be blocking the light and joy of the gospel in your life, I invite you to place it in a gospel perspective. Look through a gospel lens and be vigilant not to allow insignificant and petty matters in life to obscure your eternal view of the great plan of happiness. In short, don’t let life’s distractions eclipse heaven’s light.”
(Gary E Stephenson – Quorum of The Twelve Apostles)
I pray that we may all look at life with our spiritual eyes so that we may see the goodness of our God in all things and that his light may radiate in our lives daily even in the darkness of the eclipses in our lives.
“Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.” (Matthew 5:16)
- John Mateara
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints