Posted in Gospel Doctrine 2015

Gospel Doctrine 2015 – Lesson 15 – I am the Light of the World

John 8:12 ¶Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.

“In this age we are blessed daily by electrical light. It takes a power failure to remind us how much we take that blessing for granted. As Jesus told his followers in the above passage, however, there is never a spiritual power failure when the gospel ‘casts away the veil of unbelief’ and dispels ‘the cloud of darkness,’ thus producing an endless daytime of understanding and rejoicing. The gospel can ‘light up [our] minds,’ so that we can function as illuminated individuals-without interruption. (See Alma 19:6.)” (Elder Neal A Maxwell, A Wonderful Flood of Light [Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1990], 53.)

“We can all find ourselves in places of darkness from time to time. We may wander into dark, spiritual caverns when we make foolish choices, admit harmful influences into our lives, or turn away from the light of the gospel to embrace the world just a little longer. It may seem harmless at first—just a little exploring, that’s all. Before we know it, we become separated from the light and left in darkness alone. Why do we remain in darkness when such rescuing light awaits us? Let us bask in the warm and illuminating light provided by the gospel of Jesus Christ. Let the Savior’s kindly light lead us one step at a time. Let covenants and commandments keep us safe as we follow the gospel pathway to our heavenly home”. (Virginia U Jensen, General Conference, October 2000.)

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Psalm 27:1 The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The Lord is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?

David’s followers called him ‘the lamp of Israel’ but David here acknowledges, that there is a greater light than he. As our light, the Lord shows us the path, gives us comfort as we walk along it and illuminates the obstacles in our way. When we walk in His light, we do not stumble. Enemies are not able to hide in the dark and catch us by surprise.

Isaiah 2:5 O house of Jacob, come ye, and let us walk in the light of the Lord.

“As you appropriately seek for and apply unto the spirit of revelation, I promise you will “walk in the light of the Lord” (Isaiah 2:5; 2 Nephi 12:5). Sometimes the spirit of revelation will operate immediately and intensely, other times subtly and gradually, and often so delicately you may not even consciously recognize it. But regardless of the pattern whereby this blessing is received, the light it provides will illuminate and enlarge your soul, enlighten your understanding (see Alma 5:7; 32:28), and direct and protect you and your family.” (Elder David A Bednar, General Conference, April 2011)

As this verse comes at the end of a section including the well-known verses about the mountain of the Lord’s house being established in the tops of the mountains, it seems to me that Isaiah is inviting us to walk in the light, or knowledge, provided by the Lord in his holy houses, the temples.

Alma 38:9 And now, my son, I have told you this that ye may learn wisdom, that ye may learn of me that there is no other way or means whereby man can be saved, only in and through Christ. Behold, he is the life and the light of the world. Behold, he is the word of truth and righteousness.

“That was [Alma’s] first great witness to his sons: that he knew, in the only way men can know—that is, through the Spirit—that God lives, that Jesus is the Christ, and that through him the penitent can be born again.” (Marion G Romney, General Conference, October 1975)

3 Nephi 15:9 Behold, I am the law, and the light. Look unto me, and endure to the end, and ye shall live; for unto him that endureth to the end will I give eternal life.

“The world is full of people who are willing to tell us, “Do as I say.” Surely we have no lack of advice givers on about every subject. But we have so few who are prepared to say, “Do as I do.” And, of course, only One in human history could rightfully and properly make that declaration. History provides many examples of good men and women, but even the best of mortals are flawed in some way or another. None could serve as a perfect model nor as an infallible pattern to follow, however well-intentioned they might be.

Only Christ can be our ideal, our “bright and morning star” (Rev. 22:16). Only he can say without any reservation, “Follow me; learn of me; do the things you have seen me do. Drink of my water and eat of my bread. I am the way, the truth, and the life. I am the law and the light. Look unto me and ye shall live. Love one another as I have loved you” (see Matt. 11:29; Matt. 16:24; John 4:13–14; John 6:35, 51; John 7:37; John 13:34; John 14:6; 3 Ne. 15:9; 3 Ne. 27:21).

My, what a clear and resonant call! What certainty and example in a day of uncertainty and absence of example.” (Howard W Hunter, General Conference, April 1994)

D&C 88:6 He that ascended up on high, as also he descended below all things, in that he comprehended all things, that he might be in all and through all things, the light of truth;

Which truth shineth. This is the light of Christ. As also he is in the sun, and the light of the sun, and the power thereof by which it was made.

As also he is in the moon, and is the light of the moon, and the power thereof by which it was made;

As also the light of the stars, and the power thereof by which they were made;

10 And the earth also, and the power thereof, even the earth upon which you stand.

11 And the light which shineth, which giveth you light, is through him who enlighteneth your eyes, which is the same light that quickeneth your understandings;

12 Which light proceedeth forth from the presence of God to fill the immensity of space—

13 The light which is in all things, which giveth life to all things, which is the law by which all things are governed, even the power of God who sitteth upon his throne, who is in the bosom of eternity, who is in the midst of all things.

“The sun is 93 million miles from the earth. Imagine the energy that the sun perpetually produces. It takes the light from the sun a little less than eight and a half minutes to get to the earth. What power there is in the sun no mortal can possibly comprehend. Christ’s power is not only in the light of the sun-it is also the power by which it was made. What knowledge must one have to create a sphere as large as the sun and put power into it, not for an hour or a day or one giant explosion, but for time unknown. What creative abilities did this Jesus have who could control the energy of the sun so it would be consistent from day to day, year to year, even millennium to millennium and beyond. As President Harold B. Lee stated, “The sun ripens the smallest bunch of grapes as though it had nothing else to do.” We honor and glorify inventors of laser instruments, spacecrafts, heat-seeking missiles, atomic power facilities, television, and a multitude of other inventions. What are they compared to the sun, the earth, the moon, and the stars?”(Vaughan J Featherstone, The Incomparable Christ: Our Master and Model [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1995], 35 – 36.)

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