I Am the Light That Ye Shall Hold Up
By Sister Naomi Ruth Kroeger
I knew from a very young age that I wanted to serve a mission because I wanted others to experience the happiness that comes from being a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. My parents often shared the life-changing miracles and the peace and happiness they found in living the gospel. I am forever grateful that they chose to raise my siblings and me in a home centered around the teachings of Jesus Christ. Their commitment has created a sense of safety that will stay with me forever.
Growing up, I was very involved in Church and school activities. I was always striving to do my best and help lift others. People would tell me that I had “a different light” about me. I attributed this light to my own doing.
As I got closer to graduating from high school, I was still trying to decide which direction to take. One day I read a scripture I had often read, but this time it struck me and immediately changed my perspective. In 3 Nephi 18:24, Jesus Christ says, “Therefore, hold up your light that it may shine unto the world. Behold I am the light which ye shall hold up - that which ye have seen me do. Behold ye see that I have prayed unto the Father, and ye all have witnessed.” The phrase that rang in my heart and my mind was, “I am the light which ye shall hold up.” I suddenly realized the source of my light. It was never fully my own efforts and energy; the source of my light was and always will be my Savior, Jesus Christ. At that moment, I didn’t want to hold up my light; I wanted to share Christ’s light.
“All those who have a true desire to serve a mission shouldn’t be discouraged by finances. Do what you can, and then trust that Heavenly Father, through the generosity of His children, will take care of the rest.”—Naomi Ruth Kroeger
I dedicated the next year of my life to saving money and preparing for my mission. I worked three jobs, trying to save as much as I could. Despite my best efforts, I ended up short of my goal. Members of my family and those in my ward helped with what I couldn’t do myself. I am so very grateful for them and for others who donate to the General Missionary Fund.
When I read that I had been called to the Salt Lake City Temple Square Mission, my heart and soul filled with joy. I wasn’t quite sure what kind of mission it was, but I kept hearing in my mind, “You are going on a special mission.” After being out for 10 months, that quiet whisper has become a sure knowledge in my mind and heart.
Many missionaries choose a word to describe their experience. The first word that comes to my mind is testify. People come from all over the world thinking this is just a tourist attraction, but those who come with an open mind and a desire to find what’s missing in their lives discover a Church, a God, and a Savior who are waiting to embrace them with open arms.
Donors and the Church as a whole make it possible for all who desire to serve the Lord to do so! It is my testimony that if we put our best foot forward and do all we can, the Lord will always make up for that which we can’t do ourselves. He does that through His people. To the generous donors who contribute to the General Missionary Fund, thank you for being an example of the gospel in action as you commit to being an instrument in the Lord’s hands.
“After all that has been said, the greatest and most important duty is to preach the Gospel.”- Joseph Smith (Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Joseph Smith , 330)