When I was ten years old, our family had the honor of hosting Elder L. Tom Perry of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles while he was on assignment in my hometown. This pie is delicious. My compliments to the chef had the closest the day our family and the Perry sat down in the living room to enjoy my mother’s delicious Apple pie. While Elder Perry recounted stories about the Saints around the world, I was enthralled.
It was getting late when my mother called me into the kitchen and asked a simple question, Bonnie, did you feed the chickens? My heart fell. No.
You know what that means. It was very dark outside, and I was afraid and didn’t want to go outside by myself. Inside was an Apostle. The Lord telling stories. It was easy to decide where I’d rather be.
I suggested that the chickens could fast until morning, my mother said no. Just then, Elder Perry entered into the kitchen and with his booming, enthusiastic voice, asked, Did I hear someone needs to feed the chickens? My son and I could help.
Oh, what an absolute joy it now became to feed the chickens. I ran to get the large yellow flashlight. Excited, I let out, skipping over the wellworn path to the chicken coop. With flashlights swinging from my hand, we crossed through the wheat field, reaching a small irrigation ditch that crossed the path. I instinctively jumped over it as I had done many nights before.
I was oblivious to Elder Perry’s efforts to keep up on an unknown path without a steady light to see, he stepped directly into the water. I panicked. I turned around to see my new friend remove his soaking wet foot from the ditch and shake the water from his heavy leather shoe.
With a soaked and sloshing shoe, Elder Perry helped me feed the chicken.
When we were through, he lovingly instructed, Bonnie, I need to see the path. I need the light to shine where I am walking. Sorry, no problem, dear. I was shining my light, but not in a way that would help Elder Perry. Now, knowing that he needed my light to safely navigate the path, I focused a flashlight just ahead of his steps, and we were able to return home with confidence.
As I’ve looked back over the years, this simple experience has become more and more meaningful. Our Savior Jesus Christ has asked us to let our light so shine before this people that they may see our good works and glorify our Father, who is in heaven. This invitation is not just about randomly waving a beam of light and making the world generally brighter. It is about focusing our light so others may see the way to Christ. It isn’t an earnest invitation from the Lord to be more intentional about helping others see the next step forward in making and keeping sacred covenants with God.