Light of Christ a refuge from danger


POSTED: Saturday, June 20, 2009

My father fished the ocean to supply us with much needed and appreciated sustenance. The ocean was a frequent friend, with tides systematically rising and falling. Waves gently lapped against warm grains of sand. At times we helped Dad fish; but at other times we played in the warm Pacific Ocean. Sea life flourished and each fishing trip produced food.

April 1, 1946, started as an ordinary day in Haleiwa. On this particular school morning, I remember wearing a white dress draped with a green pinafore and tied in the back with a large bow. I left home carrying my shoes in hand since I preferred being barefoot to wearing shoes. My 10-year-old brother and I left home just as we did every school morning for the one-mile walk from home to school.

April 1, 1946, suddenly became quite unordinary. Something inside told me things were not quite right. A quiet eeriness permeated the air. There was no morning breeze. Chattering from birds was indistinct. Nature was unusually silent—too silent!

Walking on our lane leading to Kamehameha Highway, we curiously watched a large wave wash over the highway stringing fish and seaweed along. The salt water then receded, exposing rock, coral and the bottom of the ocean. Stranded fish flipped and flopped, desperately seeking salt-water refuge.

Frightened by the uncommon circumstances, I told my brother we needed to return home. Something was not right. I did not know what those eerie signs meant, but my 11-year old mind had the presence to know it should not have been that way.

Once we reached home, I told my parents what we noticed. My father recognized the warning signs and immediately evacuated our family to higher ground. From the heights of Pupukea on Oahu, our family watched destructive tsunami waves roll into our sleepy country town, leaving a wake of devastation and ruin.

What is this sense that I felt as a child?

Created in the image of God, we as His children have been blessed with the Light of Christ. We call it by other names, the Spirit of God, the Spirit of Christ, the Spirit of the Lord or the Light of Life. This power helps us discern between good and evil, helping us recognize what is of Christ and what is not. Often referred to as our conscience, the Light of Christ affords us an opportunity to prudently judge between good and evil.

The Light of Christ was the very sense that helped me discern between safety and danger so many years ago. This power encouraged me to seek refuge in the safety of my parents. Likewise, we must trust in Jesus Christ and seek refuge in the safety of His true gospel.


Ruth Kauihou Forsythe is a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Makakilo Stake, Kapolei Ward.