Touching Gray

A while back I listened to a woman as she expressed how she wished she could handle "touching the gray like normal people."  Her statement struck me, not as funny, but as worrisome. Her statement brought me to ponder the concept of light and dark, and gray when the two mix.

What do I mean by "touching gray?"  Well let's first examine what the word actually means.

Webster defines gray as the following:

1.             of a neutral tone, intermediate between black and white, that has no hue and reflects and transmits only a little light
2.            dismal or dark, esp from lack of light; gloomy

On one end of the spectrum we have white or light which is clean and unstained from the world; which is pure and untainted from sin.  It represents the Light of Christ and everything that is virtuous and of Grace.  On the opposite end we have black or dark which represents the darkness and impurity of the world.  It represents the ultimate culmination of sin and utter abandon into the grasp of the dark ones grip.  Our goal in this life is to get as close to white as possible.  Perfect whiteness or perfect purity will not happen in this lifetime as we know, but we have the wonderful gift of agency so we can get as close to white as possible before appearing before the judgment seat.

White (purity) mixed with even the tiniest amount of black (influence of the adversary) is going to bring some level of gray.  So the question is, why, when our goal is to be as close to white as possible on this earth, would we want to knowlingly and willingly mix with dark in order to "touch gray?"

For me, prior to recovery (and even now sometimes - because I'm not yet perfect), I'd do it because it is enticing and exciting, or sometimes because of peer pressure and even because I was actively rebelling.  I don't know how many times I have watched a show and thought "oh it's ok as long as I fast forward through the sex scenes" or "this show is ok because they bleep out all the bad words (as if my mind doesn't auto fill in the blanks)"... In fact, just the other day I was justifying darkness when I was listening to a classic 80's song that I have loved for so long "Red Red Wine"...  It came on the radio station as I was driving home from work and I immediately turned it up and began belting the lyrics "Red Red Wine you make me feel so fine, you keep me rockin all of the time."  Immediately the Spirit spoke to me and I knew this is not something I should be listening to.  So I turned the station.  This is not to say I don't have my mourning periods over things I have had to give up that taint my Spirit gray... oh do I ever.  I remember having to delete all of my Britney Spears and Lady GaGa from my iPod.  I was not happy.  Yes it was full of sexual content, lust and full on raunchiness but I thought I couldn't live without it because I absolutely LOVE dance music and no one does it better than Britney and Lady GaGa.  But I finally came to a point that the love I felt for my Savior and my desire to be near Him outweighed my love for dance music and my desire to wiggle it just a little bit.  And yes, for a week or few after deleting all my innappropriate music I did miss it.  But did I survive?  Yes.  Do I miss it now?  No.  Am I offended  by it when it comes on the radio now?  YES.  Not just offended, but actually embarrassed that I used to like it. 

We may wonder if it's worth sacrificing something that is 99% white (good) if only 1% black (dark) is making it gray. 

1 Nephi 10:21 

Wherefore, if ye have sought to do wickedly in the days of your probation, then ye are found unclean before the judgment-seat of God; and no unclean thing can dwell with God; wherefore, ye must be cast off forever.

Does Heavenly Father expect perfection?  No, and good thing.  But He does expect progression.  All He wants is for us to keep working to do better.  Did it take me upwards of a year into recovery before I gave up my Britney and Lady GaGa?  Yes.  But that's how it worked for me.  If someone had made me give it up, I would have been upset and resentful.  But because I came to the knowledge on my own, through progression, that it was time to give it up and by then I did so willingly. 

This world is full of darkness that will taint our light gray.  But I also know that the Light of Christ can reside in each of us - and purify us from within if we let Him - so that the light we seek will forever be in us and not be reliant on what is around us.  We can each be Christ's fireflies as He charges each one of us and we go out into the world and create light for others who may be in dark places.  So long as we remain in the presence of our Savior for rescue, refuge and rest and to be recharged, our light will forever burn bright and never ever dim.


  1. Great insight! Thanks so much for sharing

  2. But I paid money for them! You've inspired me to go through and delete most of my Maroon 5 collection. Sadly, I can hardly listen to the radio anymore.

  3. I just taught our kids a FHE lesson on this subject. I just felt I really needed to talk about light vs dark and how we sacrafice for things to be better. We watched the Mormon Messages of Elder Bednar talking about light. IT's beautiful.

    It's hard to give up things and I recently was inspired to give up a part time job that in and of itself isn't bad but because I used to use it as an excuse for my addictions and because a couple relationships associated with that are toxic for my recovery I gave it up. God is good because He knows what will help us progress. I felt overwhelmed just a few short days later that I am to go back to school and he'll open up opportunities for me and my family. Ok Lord you got this! :)


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