A friend of mine, a physicist, has said that there is no such think as darkness, it is simply the absence of light.
This thought, coupled with experience, fascinates me.
A few years ago our family stumbled on a place called "Lewis & Clark Caves" just north of Yellowstone.
A steep hike took us to the mouth of the caves, where we were guided through and down into the earth.
The history was intriguing and we laughed to learn that Lewis & Clark themselves had never even seen these caves, they were just named for them because nothing at the time was named in their honor. "It was before everything and their dog would be named for them," our cute twenty-something guide told us.
As we hiked down more than a mile below the earth, soon our path was lit by modern technology: electric lights and flashlights.
Eventually our guide turned the lights OFF and told us we were now experiencing something called "Absolute Darkness". As we were far enough below the surface of the earth, there was no trace of light that made it this far down.
What has stuck with me was that, in the midst of this phenomenon, my eyes searched for light; they worked hard to find it. They were working so hard that eventually I closed my eyes, in order to ease their efforts in searching for something my mind knew they wouldn't find.
Just like it was a natural reaction for my eyes to search for light, I believe that our spirits long for light as well. It is a natural thing, though so often we shut off or ignore that instinct. But because we are fundamentally spiritual beings, we cannot ever completely extinguish that desire.
As a convert, I know and remember the light that appeared when I was introduced to the Gospel. Questions I hadn't even formally asked were answered. The information the missionaries presented just made sense, in a way that I have since thought was more like I was being reminded and caused to remember, rather than being taught.
Within the light of the Gospel is the sure knowledge of the purpose to life. It is of who we are and why we are here. It is of who we have always been. It is that we have Heavenly parents, who love us and have established a plan, giving it to us through prophets, so that we might have joy and be truly happy here.
Within that light is the existence of a perfect example; a Savior who overcame both physical and spiritual death on our behalf. He did what he did for each individual, not for mankind collectively. And should it have been any one of us who needed his gifts, He would have done all that he did, just for the one.
I remember my experience so deep within the caves in Montana and feel a deep sense of gratitude for the light that is available to me and each of us, if we will just open our eyes.