I absolutely loved the above video by David and Emily. Section 88 is one of my all-time favorite sections of the Doctrine and Covenants. It is just chock-full of priceless gems. I love that they referred to a talk by Elder Neal A. Maxwell, “Encircled in the Arms of His Love,” which you can find here. They mention that talk, at the 33:42 mark, when they refer to these verses from Section 88:
43 And their courses are fixed, even the courses of the heavens and the earth, which comprehend the earth and all the planets.
44 And they give alight to each other in their times and in their seasons, in their minutes, in their hours, in their days, in their weeks, in their months, in their years—all these are bone year with God, but not with man.”
I agree with David and Emily, people can give off light as well as planets. We give off light in our times and seasons, according to where God has placed us, in our social constellations. Here’s what Elder Maxwell said in his talk that relates to this:
“Recall the new star that announced the birth at Bethlehem? It was in its precise orbit long before it so shone. We are likewise placed in human orbits to illuminate. Divine correlation functions not only in the cosmos but on this planet, too. After all, the Book of Mormon plates were not buried in Belgium, only to have Joseph Smith born centuries later in distant Bombay.
“The raising up of that constellation of ‘wise’ Founding Fathers to produce America’s remarkable Constitution, whose rights and protection belong to ‘every man,’ was not a random thing either (see D&C 101:77–78, 80). One historian called our Founding Fathers ‘the most remarkable generation of public men in the history of the United States or perhaps of any other nation’ (Arthur M. Schlesinger, The Birth of the Nation , 245). Another historian added, ‘It would be invaluable if we could know what produced this burst of talent from a base of only two and a half million inhabitants’ (Barbara W. Tuchman, The March of Folly: From Troy to Vietnam , 18).”
I love that! Yes! I think the “invaluable” thing is God’s hand, to produce that talent. He inspired the parents of those Founding Fathers to raise those men a certain way. I have seen God working in my life, to place me next to people who I can help with my light, and to place me where I can see better because of other people’s light. It reminds me of Elder Rasband’s General Conference talk, “By Divine Design, ” below.
I’m not sure how agency fits into all of this, if we are chess pieces on what Elder Rasband refers to in the talk as the Lord’s chessboard. I guess it’s basically, as He says in the talk, that He gives us promptings to act, and if we respond, we are moved by Him as pieces on the board. I’ve seen it play out in my own life. Our years in AZ, nearly 5, were for certain social reasons. God wanted me to hear some things from people down there, and also to get away from a social situation in the place we moved from. Then when we moved back to Utah a year ago, it was because God wanted us to meet new people up here. I’ve felt the Holy Spirit witness to me that this is true. I invite you to ponder your own life. I believe you will see evidence of God inspiring you to meet people and then avoid other people, all ultimately for your good.