My husband and I have been trying to get our house in order. This means cleaning out closets, going through boxes, and taking a whole slew of things to the D.I. It has been quite the undertaking and is still a work in progress. But as I have gone through some boxes of things I haven’t seen in a very long time I came across a t-shirt, in fact I came across way to many t-shirts. Most of them I put in a box to carry downstairs and sort them later. One of the t-shirts ended up in my drawer. It was a shirt given to me as part of an extended family reunion. I have many of these kinds of shirts all with a different acronyms on them. I was unable to attend this specific reunion but still was given a shirt.
The back of the shirt reads like this:
The other night I chose it as the shirt I was going to wear to bed and I quickly remembered what those letters represent – Be Righteous in the Dark. At first glance I felt like I knew what our reunion was about even without being in attendance but then my brain started stewing over this seemingly simple phrase. What did it really mean or what could it mean?
So today I decided to ponder this a little and came up with four different ways to look at Being Righteous in the Dark. Many questions floated around in my head and ended up here as well. And of course with my love of the meaning of words I decided to look up the word dark.
1 - One meaning of the word dark is hidden or secret –
Are you righteous behind closed doors? Are you righteous in your hidden thoughts? Are you righteous in the darkness of your own solitude?
We must learn to be righteous when we are alone.
2 - Another meaning of the word dark is evil or wicked -
Are you seeking for righteousness in the darkness of this evil world? Are you taking to heart the phrase “be in the world but not of it”? Do you shun evil and worldly things and seek after the things of God? Do you stand up for what you believe even when you stand alone?
We must learn to be righteous amid the evils of the world.
3 – Another meaning of the word dark is gloomy or cheerless.
Are you righteous when in the midst of your trials and days of gloom? Do you seek the healing power of the atonement? Do you pray more fervently? Or do you question the love of God and forget to turn to Him in your times of need?
We must learn to be righteous during the battle of our trials.
4 – The last meaning I chose for the word dark is hard to understand or obscure.
Are you righteous and filled with faith even when a doctrine of the Gospel or the weight and purpose of a trial are hard to understand? Do you follow the words of the Prophet or other church leaders even when at first the purpose may seem unclear or unnecessary to you?
We must learn to be righteous and have a greater faith in God’s plan for us.
Brigham Young was the one to make this statement, “…we must learn to be righteous in the dark.” (Brigham Young’s Office Journal, 28 January 1857.)
What a powerful and true phrase that is. It is and will more profoundly continue to be a necessity, a must, an essential to Be Righteous in the Dark.
I challenge us all to find our greatest struggle in the dark and become more righteous there.