"No obstacles are insurmountable when God commands and we obey"
- - Heber J. Grant
May 29, 2013
Hidden in Plain Sight
by Kathryn Grant

On June 23, 1981, Sherleen Jaussi took off from the Grand Junction airport in Colorado on what was supposed to be a fairly routine flight -- in fact, the middle leg of her qualifying solo flight for her pilot's license. Little did she dream that 15 minutes later she'd be caught in series of deadly downdrafts and that the plane would crash.

By a miracle, Sherleen found herself still alive after the impact. However, because she was severely injured and unable to walk, she had no choice but to wait for rescue. Meanwhile, she survived on an apple, chewing gum, and continual faith and prayer.

When Sherleen was discovered missing, air search-and-rescue teams were immediately dispatched. Over the next four days, Sherleen saw search planes flying overhead many times. She tried everything she could to attract their attention, but nothing worked.

Finally, on the fifth day, a ground search was organized in a last-ditch effort to find Sherleen. Several groups drove to their assigned areas outside Grand Junction, and one came to an area that was fenced off. They couldn't see how to get inside, but they saw someone they thought was a sheepherder and decided to ask her if she could let them in. It was a good thing they did, because as they got closer their "sheepherder" turned out to be Sherleen. They had been looking right at her and hadn't realized it.(1)

I've reflected many times on this part of Sherleen's story. The searchers came close to missing the very person they were looking for. It wasn't because they didn't see her; it was because they didn't recognize what they were seeing.

Who knows how often this happens to us in all areas of our lives? By definition, we don't know we haven't recognized something until we finally do recognize it.

I have this type of experience with scripture study. I may read the same verse two, five, or ten times, and then suddenly the eleventh time I see something I never saw before. This isn't unusual, and it's probably one of the reasons the Lord counsels us to "search the scriptures" (John 5:39).

This article introduces a new column, Light for My Path (see Psalm 119:105). Its purpose is to share insights from the scriptures and ideas for a more enjoyable, interesting, and enriching scripture study.

The first tip is a simple one, and I wish I remembered how I first learned about it, because it didn't originate with me. But it's a great way of finding scriptural treasures that may be hidden in plain sight.

When you read a verse that seems particularly meaningful, try reading it a number of times with emphasis on different key words. For example, in John 8:12, Jesus says to His listeners, "I am the light of the world." Consider some insights that come from focusing on certain words:

"I am the light of the world." (Jesus is the one true light, the ultimate source of all light.)

"I am the light of the world." (Jesus brings radiant light into our lives, light that overcomes darkness and error.)

"I am the light of the world." (Jesus is the light of the entire world. Since He is the light of the world, it's our privilege and responsibility to hold up His light and share it with others. See 3 Nephi 18:24.)

As we recognize enlightening and encouraging truths hidden in plain sight in the scriptures, we can say with Jeremiah, "Thy word [is] unto me the joy and rejoicing of mine heart" (Jeremiah 15:16).


(1) Sherleen's experience is recounted in the book Solo by Patricia O'Brien King.

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About Kathryn Grant

Kathryn Grant is a user assistance professional with a passion for usability and process improvement. She also loves family history and enjoys the challenge and reward of building her family tree.

As a child, she lived outside the United States for four years because of her father's job. This experience fueled her natural love of words and language, and also taught her to appreciate other cultures.

Kathryn values gratitude, teaching, learning, differences, and unity. She loves looking at star-filled skies, reading mind-stretching books, listening to contemporary Christian music, attending the temple, and eating fresh raspberries.

Kathryn teaches Sunday family history classes at the BYU Family History Library, and presents frequently at family history events. For more information, visit her Family History Learning Resources page

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