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A Lesson in Sunshine

Living in Arizona makes one practically an expert in sunshine, at least expert enough to confidently comment, “It’s hot” when the thermometer hits triple digits. But, for me recently, it took a trip to Tucson, a bit of rain and comments from an apostle to drive home some powerful lessons about sunshine.

At the time, I was basking in a bit of glow of my own—recently engaged and unbelievably happy, I had arrived in Tucson for what I expected would be an exciting day—the groundbreaking of the Tucson Arizona Temple. Little did I know it would also be a lesson in weathering life.

The day was beautiful, with enough cloud cover to get Beehive photographer, John Power, and others who knew about such things, excited about the diffused lighting that would guarantee some nice pictures. At least that’s how it looked at first, until someone on the dais commented on the nice weather. Almost on cue, the clouds started to do more than diffuse the lighting. It started to rain—and not just a timid drizzle—a nice enough downpour that the highly prepared groundbreaking committee had to break out their garbage-can full of umbrellas.

So much for keeping my notes and souvenir program dry—or my clothes or my hair. Even my spirits got a tiny bit damp as I wondered why such an historic and otherwise flawless event would be hampered with rain—we were in Arizona after all.

Then, it was Elder Dieter F. Uchtdorf’s turn to take the mike, and to teach a quick lesson in meteorology and in matters of spirit-filled living. By then the rain had all-but stopped and the warm reminders began.

“We call this liquid sunshine,” he quipped. And his smile punctuated those words with added rays of positivity.

“We’re from Germany,” he added, noting they were grateful for “any kind of sunshine.”

He continued, saying the rain shower was like the short storms we each experience in life. “They come and they go,” he said.

Just that quickly, he taught me and turned my thoughts back to sunshine and warmth, to the blessings of being sustained through adversity and to the “but for a small moment” promise of always being able to look forward to sunnier, more peaceful days ahead.

His words immediately parted the wispy clouds that had started to gather in my mind, and left me more open to hear what he taught next. Next came the messages of eternity, instructions for how to handle every storm. In his remarks that followed, he taught about temples and testified about the one true way to deal with any type of tempest, which is by turning to the Son. “Listen to the voice of the Spirit and be ready to follow the Savior. … This will be His house and He will be happy to welcome you to his house.”

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