On December 7th the country of Colombia observes the Dia de las Velitas.
This day is the unofficial start of the Christmas season in the country
(however Christmas decorations have been in the stores since the end of September!)
On this day, starting at dusk, people place candles and paper lanterns on their windows, balconies, porches, sidewalks, streets, parks and squares...true to the strong Catholic tradition here in Colombia, this is in honor of the Virgin Mary and her immaculate conception, which is remembered as a Colombian holiday the following day, Dec 8.
But it made my thoughts turn to the prophecies in the Book of Mormon...
In 1 Nephi 11:15-22 we read:
Nephi, what beholdest thou?
And I said unto him: A virgin, most beautiful and fair above all other virgins.
And he said unto me: Knowest thou the condescension of God?
And I said unto him: I know that he loveth his children; nevertheless, I do not know the meaning of all things.
And he said unto me: Behold, the virgin whom thou seest is the mother of the Son of God, after the manner of the flesh.
And it came to pass that I beheld that she was carried away in the Spirit; and after she had been carried away in the apirit for the space of a time the angel spake unto me, saying: Look!
And I looked and beheld the virgin again, bearing a child in her arms.
And the angel said unto me: Behold the Lamb of God, yea, even the Son of the Eternal Father! Knowest thou the meaning of the tree which thy father saw?
And I answered him, saying: Yea, it is the love of God, which sheddeth itself abroad in the hearts of the children of men; wherefore, it is the most desirable above all things.
And he spake unto me, saying: Yea, and the most joyous to the soul.
I am grateful to this faithful woman who "found favour with God" Luke 1:30 and who through her example taught us that "with God nothing shall be impossible"Luke 1:37..."Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it unto me according to thy word" Luke 1:38
Here are a few pictures from our Noche de Velas in front of our building
Just one small way to let your light shine!