Sermon Illustrations

A Child’s Fascination with the Refrigerator Light

As a child I was fascinated one day by’ the fact that when you open the refrigerator, there is always a light burning. I was fascinated by it because I wanted to know whether that light was on when the door was closed as well as when it was open. And so I began to experiment. First I tried to stick my head in and then close the door; well, all I got for my troubles was a mashed ear and the smell of leftover fish. Then I tried to peek in the edge of the door while I closed it, real slow. But I still could not see the light go out; it stayed on until I could not see inside at all, although I did learn that squinting at the edge of a refrigerator door will fog up your glasses pretty quickly. Finally I had a really good idea about how to research this monumental question, this thing I just had to know, whether the light stays on when you close the refrigerator door. I put my hand on the door handle; I planted my feet – get ready, get set, open the door as fast as you can! See, I though maybe I could sort of surprise the bulb and I could get the door open before it had time to go on. Open, close, open, close, but it seemed as though the light was always on. Never did see the refrigerator bulb dark.

Now I did find out that the inside of my room was dark, however, when my mother discovered her melting ice cream and a full set of fingerprints on the freezer door. But I just concluded that for some unknown reason a light burned in that refrigerator all the time, illuminating the milk and butter and eggs for no reason at all. Odd that anybody would put a light in there and then hide it. Why have a light if no one sees it?

And Jesus pointed out the same reality. Why have a light if no one sees it? "You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hid. Nor do men light a lamp and put it under a bushel basket, but on a lampstand, and it gives light to all in the house". Why have a light if it is to be hidden away? Why have a light if it is to be covered over with a bushel basket or a refrigerator door? Why have a light if it is not going to give light to all who are in the house?

From a sermon by Joseph Smith, Living the Gospel: Speak Up! 11/20/2009

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