“Be Home Before Dark!”


“Be home before dark!” That’s what my Mom would say when I would leave to play as a young boy. I would promise that I would. Then I would leave and spend the day exploring the woods, the creek, or play with some of my friends that lived around the block. Time would always pass too quickly and I would soon find that the sun began to set in the sky. Sometimes I would be close to home and it was no big deal to make it back. At other times I would be some distance from home and I would start to worry as I either ran or pedaled my bike home. I’m sure all of us remember the feelings you get of fear when darkness falls and you are left alone on a journey back home. Something happens when it gets dark. It gets a lot more dangerous to be riding a bike on the road or walking roadside. Darkness shrouds our vision and things that go “bump” in the night seem to be everywhere. Nevertheless, sometimes when you are having fun, your better judgement seems to go out the window. But, if you are smart, you learn that when the sun starts to set, you head home.

The sun certainly is setting on the world, however, none of us know when total darkness will fall upon our individual lives. Julie Beck told this story.

“My niece Katie was a hopeful 20-year-old university student with many talents and plans for the future. Four years ago Katie died in an auto accident. Though our family still feels much homesickness for her, we know that we will be with her again, and we are not worried about her. In Katie’s wallet was her temple recommend, given to her by her bishop so she could be baptized for her ancestors. Katie was worthy. Not long before Katie died she wrote these words: “If this were my last day on earth, this is the record I would leave. Make each day meaningful. … Stay close to the Lord. Gain all the knowledge you can about the scriptures, the gospel, the creations of the Lord. … Give of yourself … and always remember Christ for His example and His Atonement and strive each day to be like Him.” Katie had entered in the way that leads to eternal life, and she had stayed in.” (Julie B. Beck, “There Is Hope Smiling Brightly before Us,” Ensign, May 2003, 103).

Because we do not know how long our sojourn will be on this earth, it is best to “stay close to home.” By staying close we will not find ourselves far from our “heavenly” home when the hour of darkness suddenly falls. Then with serenity, we will be able to see our porch light illuminating the outlines of our heavenly parents in the doorway waiting to welcome us to celestial eternity.

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