The term “farmer’s tan”, means that someone has a tan on limited parts of the body, much like a farmer would have when working outdoors in the hot summer sun. Typically that means the arms and the neck. The rest of the body, on a Caucasian, will be pasty white! Interestingly, I found out that there are also “Trucker, Franciscan, Biker, and other assorted professional occupational tans. (Wikipedia) All have in common the exposure of the sun rays on limited parts of the human body. A Farmer, could of course, expose himself to more of the sun’s ray’s by not wearing a shirt, or putting on shorts instead of overalls. But he doesn’t because he is comfortable with the limited exposure he wants from the sun.
Many years ago I sat across from a man who wanted a “spiritual” farmer’s tan. As we sat and talked I asked him of his religious background. He said he had been raised in a Christian home, but by the age of fifteen he had discontinued his attendance to organized meetings. He felt “religion” was something personal. Something private between a person and their God. I told him I could understand that because often we don’t get answers to some of life’s most puzzling questions from our religious leaders. We spent the next hour talking about some of those questions. I introduced to him the restored gospel’s answers to the mystery of the trinity, the identity of God, the beauty of eternal marriage and eternal families. I spoke to him of the apostasy and the need for a restoration of all things. I presented, in brief form, the plan of salvation in all it’s beauty and marvel. After each point I asked him if he had ever wondered about these things. He replied, “Well, I never really thought much of it.” I asked him if that was because he had never gotten any answers. He shrugged and said, “I just never think about that stuff.” And after we were done it was clear to me that, not only didn’t he think about those important questions, he didn’t really seem to care to find out the answers. He was happy with the limited knowledge and understanding he had and was content to be that way. And, there are many people in this life who are like that. They are happy with a spiritual “farmer’s tan”; with limited exposure to the Son’s Rays. And, thankfully, Heavenly Father has given to all of us, his children, agency, which allows us the choice.
After leaving that home I was reminded of how critical it is to have a “desire” to have a full body exposure to the spirit of God. To want to “bask” in the spiritual rays of the Holy Ghost! To want to feel His presence in our lives! We do have that choice. When you look at the establishment of Christ’s church, its foundation is littered with men and women who were searching for God. They weren’t men and women looking for a “spiritual” farmers tan, they wanted a tanning booth experience with the spirit! They searched for answers to the questions of life and they were rewarded.
Let us all be “seekers” of spiritual knowledge. Let us “desire” to learn from the spirit of God. He will teach us. He will guide us and give us comfort in knowing that there is purpose to this life. Let us be desirous in having a “full body” tan, courtesy of the Son’s rays!