William Monahan
Exposed under a unique light, scorpions glow bright yellow.

Exposed under special light, scorpions can’t hide their true nature. In like manner, the light of the Holy Ghost exposes spiritual dangers to protect our souls.

During the Arizona summers, my grandchildren love a scorpion hunt. We take a black light and start inside the house, then sweep the special light across the back wall of our citrus grove, searching for the pesky "devil" scorpions.

Exposed under the unique light, scorpions glow bright yellow. Once exposed, these pests are no match for a determined shoe and a desire to protect our family.

Without the special light to expose them, scorpions are master blenders, lying in wait in the nooks and crannies to sting unsuspecting victims with searing venom.

Notably, the special light can’t expose the danger unless all other interfering glare is eliminated: the blare of the TV, the flash of the Internet or the borrowed light from an adjoining room.

The Holy Ghost

In much the same way that focused light reveals danger before a scorpion strikes, so it is with the illuminating protection of the Holy Ghost. Sin is like distracting glare: it blocks our ability to focus the light of the spirit.

To ensure the spirit’s focused protection, we must follow Christ and keep his commandments: "And if your eye be single to my glory, your whole body shall be filled with light" (Doctrine and Covenants 88:67).

According to Elder Bruce R. McConkie in "Mormon Doctrine," the companionship of the Holy Ghost "is the greatest gift that mortal man can enjoy." In an article in the May 1996 Ensign, Elder Keith B. McMullin, the second counselor in the presiding bishopric, has said, "That which is received of him (the Holy Ghost) has a more powerful effect upon the soul than anything else received in any other way."

So precious is the light of the spirit that even "angels speak by the power of the Holy Ghost" (2 Nephi 32:3).

The Holy Ghost testifies, purifies and protects. Sin lies, pollutes and attacks.

Whether exposing scorpions before they strike or protecting against the toxins of the natural man, special light exposes the danger, reveals true nature and protects by prevention what no amount of anti-venom can soothe. Eliminate the false light of sin’s allure and seek the pure, protecting light of the spirit.

William Monahan is a BYU law school graduate. An Air Force veteran and former Phoenix stake president, he teaches law and serves as a high councilor for Queen Creek Arizona Chandler Heights Stake. He begins service July 2012 as a mission president.