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FHE: Signals of Safety

Shauna Gibby - July 02, 2012

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"Look to the lighthouse of the Lord. . . . There is no fog so dense, no night so dark, no gale so strong, . . . but what the lighthouse of the Lord can rescue." -Thomas S. Monson

Conference Talk:
For more information on this topic read “Believe, Obey, and Endure”, by President Thomas S. Monson, Ensign, May 2012, 126.

Thought:
Look to the lighthouse of the Lord. . . . there is no fog so dense, no night so dark, no gale so strong, no mariner so lost but what the lighthouse of the Lord can rescue. It beckons through the storms of life. It calls, “This way to safety. This way to home.”

(President Thomas S. Monson, “Believe, Obey, and Endure”, Ensign, May. 2012, 126.)

Song:
“Master the Tempest is Raging,” Hymns, #105

Scripture:
Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.

(Proverbs 3:5–6)

Lesson:
Preparation: Get a picture of a lighthouse.

Message: Show the picture and explain the information below. Lighthouses have stood for centuries, signaling a true and consistent message to travelers. The Egyptians completed one of the world’s largest lighthouses in Alexandria. Over four hundred feet high, it guided ships for more than fifteen hundred years until it was destroyed in an earthquake. Atop each lighthouse is a beacon of powerful and distinctive light. Special lenses in the beacon increase the intensity of light from the inner lamp and allow the light to travel further and communicate the position of the shore to ships. These beacon lights guide ships safely away from danger and to shore.

Beacons are used not only in lighthouses but anywhere there is a need to guide or warn. We have been given spiritual beacons to help us travel safely through our earth life. Each of these beacons relies on the same source of light or truth—the eternal truths of the gospel of Jesus Christ. Christ himself acted as a beacon of that light during his life here upon the earth. He was the perfect beacon.

(“The Beacons of His Light” by Mary Ellen W. Smoot, Every Good Thing: Talks from the 1997 BYU Women’s Conference, [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 1998].)

Story:
After [having our flight to Amsterdam delayed we finally took off and had a very rough flight]. We turned out the lights, rolled up in the undersized blankets, squirmed into as comfortable a position as possible, and tried to make the best of a difficult situation.

We dozed fitfully, changing position as aching muscles cried out for periodic relief. The plane finally outran the storm and the engines quieted into a dull, steady drone.

After a seemingly interminable few hours, the bleary-eyed passengers were aroused by another cockpit announcement: “Folks, due to unexpectedly strong tailwinds, we’ve made up quite a bit of time. We’re now only about forty-five minutes behind schedule.”

A weak cheer went up from the exhausted passengers. A few people clapped halfheartedly. The captain continued, “However . . . “

An apprehensive silence settled over the cabin.

“I’ve got good news and bad news.”

Ron and I turned to each other and said simultaneously, “Tell us the bad news first!”

As if in obliging reply, the captain declared, “I’ll give you the bad news first. Schipol International Airport in Amsterdam is reporting very dense fog.”

Loud groans erupted from irritated passengers who had been taxed beyond the limits of ordinary endurance.

The captain interrupted the chorus of complaints, as if he could hear the expressions of displeasure through the closed cockpit door. “Wait a minute! Now let me tell you the good news. As you know, Schipol is the major air hub for continental Europe. It’s often fogged in. But,” he added, “it’s equipped with the world’s most up-to-date electronic instrument-guided landing system. That means planes with advanced avionics such as ours can be landed there in virtually zero-zero conditions: in other words, no ceiling with an ‘R.V.R.’—Runway Visibility Range—down to 300 feet or less.”

A cautious hope began to dawn.

The captain continued. “This Instrument Landing System, I.L.S. for short, can just about land the plane itself. We lock onto the ground based homing signal and our three onboard autopilot computers pretty much do the rest. So we’re going to go right straight in!”

He concluded, “Every other plane will be doing exactly the same thing, timed and spaced perfectly. We’ve done this hundreds of times. It’s actually quite routine. In fact, you probably won’t see the ground until we touch down and start taxiing toward the terminal.”

Ron raised the window shade. Sure enough. In the thin, gray light of early dawn, all we could see was an impenetrable fog.

“Ertensoep,” Ron muttered, recalling long dormant Dutch from his missionary days in the Netherlands.

“What?” I exclaimed.

“Pea soup,” he replied. “It’s as thick as pea soup.”

I smiled a bit nervously. “I’ve never done this before.”

“Well, neither have I. But, fortunately, the pilot has!”

We felt the telltale whine and thump as the landing gear was deployed, then sensed a subtle change in engine pitch as the plane descended on its final approach.

It was one of the gentlest landings I’ve ever experienced. The wheels brushed the runway, then
firmly bit into the tarmac as the jet’s reverse thrusters roared. The plane braked smoothly and coasted slowly up to the gate. No sweat.
“Good landing,” I mumbled to Ron in grateful relief. We gathered our overcoats and carry-on bags. As we filed toward the hatch door, I spied the captain.

“Nice landing,” I repeated.

He was casual, almost nonchalant. “Thanks. But the I.L.S. computers really did it all.”

“Could you see?”

“Not a thing. Fog was too thick. In fact, you passengers could see before we could. The cockpit’s
still up in the soup when the rear wheels touch down.”

I persisted. “But what about the landing beacon? Don’t you have some sort of a screen or
something so you can see it?”

“Oh, that. Sure,” he replied matter-of-factly. “It’s a computerized electronic display. Shows our
position, proper flight path, and exactly where the center of the runway is. Autopilot flies the plane right down the thing.”

Amazing. I shook my head in wonder as we hurried through the jetway in the customary mad dash for Passport Control and Baggage Claim.

Ron and I have discussed that experience many times. It was certainly unnerving to sit in the cramped, confined cabin during that long, stormy flight, then to land when we couldn’t even see the ground.

Our apprehension clearly wasn’t shared by the captain. He could see the beacon that was completely invisible to us. He trusted the accuracy of the I.L.S. system and the reliability of his onboard computers. . . . The strong, ceaseless signals from the electronic beacon on the ground guided our plane more surely than the pilot’s own visual sightings could ever have done.

So it is with the influence of the Holy Spirit. It will not fail us if we lock onto its homing beacon. We can indeed land safely, time after time after time.

(Anne Osborn Poelman, Simeon Solution: One Woman’s Spiritual Odyssey, [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 1994].)

Activity:
Play one or more flashlight games.

Flashlight Stomp: Shine the flashlight on the floor and let your child try to stomp on the light before it moves. Also try shining it on walls or furniture while your child tries to “tag” the light.
Make-Your-Own Constellations: Cut pieces of black paper to fit the end of your flashlight. Poke or punch holes in the paper in a design of your choice. Tape the paper to the end of the flashlight, shine it on the ceiling, and check out your very own constellation!

Guess My Shape: Use your flashlight to “draw” a shape, letter, or number on the wall or ceiling. See if your child can guess what you drew. Take turns drawing and guessing.

Flashlight Dance: Put on some music and lay on the floor or in bed. Shine your flashlights on the ceiling and make them dance to the beat!
Refreshment
Lemon Surprise
Makes 12 to 14 servings

1 (18.25-ounce) package yellow or white cake mix
1 (6-ounce) package cook-and-serve lemon pudding and pie mix
1 (8-ounce) container frozen whipped topping, thawed

Prepare cake mix and bake in a 9 x 13-inch cake pan. Cool. Prepare lemon pudding according to
package directions. Spread warm lemon pudding over top of cooled cake. Refrigerate several hours until chilled. Before serving, spread whipped topping over pudding layer. Store cake in refrigerator.

(Lion House Cakes and Cupcakes, [Salt Lake City: Shadow Mountain, 2011], p. 71.)

© LDS Living, 2012.
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