Teachings Concerning
The Light of Christ

D&C 88:7-12

  7 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.

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

  9 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.


D&C  93:23-40

23 Ye were also in the beginning with the Father; that which is Spirit, even the Spirit of truth;

24 And truth is knowledge of things as they are, and as they were, and as they are to come;

25 And whatsoever is more or less than this is the spirit of that wicked one who was a liar from the beginning.

26 The Spirit of truth is of God. I am the Spirit of truth, and John bore record of me, saying: He received a fulness of truth, yea, even of all truth;

27 And no man receiveth a fulness unless he keepeth his commandments.

28 He that keepeth his commandments receiveth truth and light, until he is glorified in truth and knoweth all things.

29 Man was also in the beginning with God. Intelligence, or the light of truth, was not created or made, neither indeed can be.

30 All truth is independent in that sphere in which God has placed it, to act for itself, as all intelligence also; otherwise there is no existence.

31 Behold, here is the agency of man, and here is the condemnation of man; because that which was from the beginning is plainly manifest unto them, and they receive not the light.

32 And every man whose spirit receiveth not the light is under condemnation.

33 For man is spirit. The elements are eternal, and spirit and element, inseparably connected, receive a fulness of joy;

34 And when separated, man cannot receive a fulness of joy.

35 The elements are the tabernacle of God; yea, man is the tabernacle of God, even temples; and whatsoever temple is defiled, God shall destroy that temple.

36 The glory of God is intelligence, or, in other words, light and truth.

37 Light and truth forsake that evil one.

38 Every spirit of man was innocent in the beginning; and God having redeemed man from the fall, men became again, in their infant state, innocent before God.

39 And that wicked one cometh and taketh away light and truth, through disobedience, from the children of men, and because of the tradition of their fathers.

40 But I have commanded you to bring up your children in light and truth.



First Presidency Statement (Joseph F. Smith, Anthon H. Lund, Charles W. Penrose)

There is a universally diffused essence which is the light and life of the world, which proceedeth forth from the presence of God throughout the immensity of space, the light and power of which God bestows in different degrees to "them that ask him," according to their faith and obedience, but the Holy Ghost, which Christ said He would send to His apostles from the Father (John 14:26) was and is a "personage of spirit," and was not to come until Christ went away (John 16:7). Also the endowment from that divine being, the third person in the Holy Trinity, called "the gift of the Holy Ghost," is a special blessing sealed upon baptized repentant believers in Jesus Christ, and is "an abiding witness." The spirit of God may be enjoyed as a temporary influence by which divine light and power come to mankind for special purposes and occasions. But the gift of the Holy Ghost, which was received by the apostles on the day of Pentecost, and is bestowed in confirmation, is a permanent witness and higher endowment than the ordinary manifestation of the Holy Spirit. (Messages of the First Presidency, 6 vols, comp. James R. Clark [1965-75], Vol.5, p.4)


Bruce R. McConkie 
(1915-1985) Quorum of the Twelve Apostles

There is a spirit - the Spirit of the Lord, the Spirit of Christ, the light of truth, the light of Christ - that defies description and is beyond mortal comprehension. It is in us and in all things; it is around us and around all things; it fills the earth and the heavens and the universe. It is everywhere, in all immensity, without exception; it is an indwelling, immanent, ever-present, never-absent spirit. It has neither shape nor form nor personality. It is not an entity nor a person nor a personage. It has no agency, does not act independently, and exists not to act but to be acted upon. As far as we know, it has no substance and is not material, at least as we measure these things. It is variously described as light and life and law and truth and power. It is the light of Christ; it is the life that is in all things; it is the law by which all things are governed; it is truth shining forth in darkness; it is the power of God who sitteth upon his throne. It may be that it is also priesthood and faith and omnipotence, for these too are the power of God.

This light of truth or light of Christ is seen in the light of the luminaries of heaven; it is the power by which the sun, moon, and stars, and the earth itself are made. It is the light that proceedeth forth from the presence of God to fill the immensity of space." It is "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." It is the agency of God's power; it is the means and way whereby "he comprehendeth all things," so that "all things are before him, and all (A New Witness for the Articles of Faith [1985], pp. 257-258)

 

From True to the Faith: A Gospel Reference
(Published by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 2004)

The Light of Christ "proceedeth forth from the presence of God to fill the immensity of space." It is "the light which is in all things, which giveth life to all things, which is the law by which all things are governed" (D&C 88:12-13; see also D&C 88:6-11). This power is an influence for good in the lives of all people (see John 1:9; D&C 93:2). In the scriptures, the Light of Christ is sometimes called the Spirit of the Lord, the Spirit of God, the Spirit of Christ, or the Light of Life.

The Light of Christ should not be confused with the Holy Ghost. It is not a personage, as the Holy Ghost is. Its influence leads people to find the true gospel, be baptized, and receive the gift of the Holy Ghost (see John 12:46; Alma 26:14-15).

Conscience is a manifestation of the Light of Christ, enabling us to judge good from evil. The prophet Mormon taught: "The Spirit of Christ is given to every man, that he may know good from evil; wherefore, I show unto you the way to judge; for every thing which inviteth to do good, and to persuade to believe in Christ, is sent forth by the power and gift of Christ; wherefore ye may know with a perfect knowledge it is of God. … And now, my brethren, seeing that ye know the light by which ye may judge, which light is the light of Christ, see that ye do not judge wrongfully; for with that same judgment which ye judge ye shall also be judged" Moroni 7:16, Moroni 7:18). [p. 96]

Marion G. Romney (1897-1988) First Presidency

There are three phases of the light of Christ that I want to mention. 

The first one is the light which enlighteneth every man that cometh into the world;
The second phase is the gift of the Holy Ghost;
And the third is the more sure word of prophecy.  ("The Light of Christ,"  Ensign, May 1977, p. 43)

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Joseph F. Smith (1838-1918) President 

The Holy Ghost as a personage of Spirit can no more be omnipresent in person than can the Father or the Son, but by his intelligence, his knowledge, his power and influence, over and through the laws of nature, he is and can be omnipresent throughout all the works of God. It is not the Holy Ghost who in person lighteth every man who is born into the world, but it is the light of Christ, the Spirit of Truth, which proceeds from the source of intelligence, which permeates all nature, which lighteth every man and fills the immensity of space. You may call it the Spirit of God, you may call it the influence of God's intelligence, you may call it the substance of his power, no matter what it is called, it is the spirit of intelligence that permeates the universe and gives to the spirits of men understanding, just as Job has said. (Job 32:8; Doc. and Cov. 88:3-13.) [Gospel Doctrine, p.61]




Parley P. Pratt
(1807-1857) Quorum of the Twelve Apostles


The omnipresence of God must therefore be understood in some other way than of his bodily or personal presence.    

This leads to the investigation of that substance called the Holy Spirit, or Light of Christ.

This Spirit "giveth light to every man that cometh into the world and the spirit enlighteneth every man through the world, that hearkeneth to the voice of the Spirit."    


As the mind passes the boundaries of the visible world, and enters upon the confines of the more refined and subtle elements, it finds itself associated with certain substances in themselves invisible to our gross organs, but clearly manifested to our intellect by their tangible operations and effects.    

The very air we breathe, although invisible to our sight, is clearly manifested to our sense of feeling. Its component parts may be analyzed. Nay more, the human system itself is an apparatus which performs a chemical process upon that element. It is received into the system by the act of respiration, and there immediately undergoes the separation of its component parts.    

The one part, retained and incorporated in the animal system, diffuses life and animation, by supplying the necessary animal heat, etc., while the other part, not adapted to the system, is discharged from the lungs to mingle with its native element.    

There are several of these subtle, invisible substances but little understood as yet by man, and their existence is only demonstrated by their effects. Some of them are recognized under several terms, electricity, galvanism, magnetism, animal magnetism, spiritual magnetism, essence, spirit, etc.    

The purest, most refined and subtle of all these substances, and the one least understood, or even recognized, by the less informed among mankind, is that substance called the Holy Spirit.    


This substance, like all others, is one of the elements of material or physical existence, and therefore subject to the necessary laws which govern all matter, as before enumerated.    

Like the other elements, its whole is composed of individual particles. Like them, each particle occupies space, possesses the power of motion, requires time to move from one part of space to another, and can in no wise occupy two spaces at once. In all these respects it differs nothing from all other matter.    

This substance is widely diffused among the elements of space. This Holy Spirit, under the control of the Great Eloheim, is the grand moving cause of all intelligences, and by which they act.    

This is the great, positive, controlling element of all other elements. It is omnipresent by reason of its infinitude of its particles, and it comprehends all things.    

It is the agent or executive, by which God organizes and puts in motion all worlds, and which, by the mandate of the Almighty, or any of his commissioned servants performs all the mighty wonders, signs and miracles ever manifested in the name of the Lord, the dividing of the sea, the removing of a mountain, the raising of the dead, or the healing of the sick.

It penetrates the pores of the most solid substances, pierces the human system to is most inward recesses, discerns the thoughts and intents of the heart.  It has power to move through space with inconceivable velocity, far exceeding the tardy motions of electricity, or of phyisical light.


It comprehends the past, present and future, in all their fullness.  Its inherent properties embrace all the attitributes of intelligence and affection.

It is endowed with knowledge, wisdom, truth, love, charity, justice and mercy, in all their ramifications.

In short, it is the attributes of the eternal power and Godhead.  


Those beings who receive of its fullness are called sons of God, because they are perfected in all its attributes and powers, and, being in communication with it, can, by its use, perform all things.    

Those beings who receive not a fullness, but a measure of it, can know and perform some things, but not all.    

This is the true light, which in some measure illuminates all men. It is, in its less refined existence, the physical light which reflects from the sun, moon, and stars, and other substances; and by reflection on the eye, makes visible the truths of the outward world.    

It is, also, in its higher degrees, the intellectual light of our inward and spiritual organs, by which we reason, discern, judge, compare, comprehend and remember the subjects within our reach.    

Its inspiration constitutes instinct in animal life, reason in man, vision in the Prophets, and is continually flowing from the Godhead throughout all his creations.    

God sits enthroned in the midst of all his creations, and is filled and encircled with light unapproachable by those of the lower spheres.    

He associates with myriads of his own begotten sons and daughters who, by translation or resurrection, have triumphed over death.    

His ministers are sent forth from his presence to all parts of his dominions.    

His Holy Spirit centers in his presence, and communicates with and extends to the utmost verge of his dominions, comprehending and controlling all things under the immediate direction of his own will, and the will of all those in communication with him, in worlds without end! (Key to the Science of Theology [1891], pp.38-42)   




Joseph Fielding Smith (1876-1972) President 

Richard G. Scott  Quorum of the Twelve Apostles

The ability to have an unsettled conscience is a gift of God to help you succeed in this mortal life. It results principally from the influence of the Light of Christ on your mind and heart. The Light of Christ is that divine power or influence that emanates from God through Jesus Christ [see Topical Guide, "Light of Christ," p. 290]. It gives light and life to all things. It prompts all rational individuals throughout the earth to distinguish truth from error, right from wrong. It activates your conscience [see Moroni 7:16]. Its influence can be weakened through transgression and addiction and restored through proper repentance. The Light of Christ is not a person. It is a power and influence that comes from God and when followed can lead a person to qualify for the guidance and inspiration of the Holy Ghost [see John 1:9; D&C 84:46-47]. ("Peace of Conscience and Peace of Mind," Ensign, Nov. 2004, p. 15)

 

Joseph B. Wirthlin (1917-2008) Quorum of the Twelve Apostles

As the sun gives life and light to the earth, a spiritual light gives nourishment to our spirits. We call this the Light of Christ. The scriptures teach us that it "lighteth every man that cometh into the world" (John 1:9; see also Moro. 7:16; D&C 84:46). Thus, all mankind can enjoy its blessings. The Light of Christ is the divine influence that allows every man, woman, and child to distinguish between good and evil. It encourages all to choose the right, to seek eternal truth, and to learn again the truths that we knew in our premortal existence but have forgotten in mortality.

The Light of Christ should not be confused with the personage of the Holy Ghost, for the Light of Christ is not a personage at all. Its influence is preliminary to and preparatory to one's receiving the Holy Ghost. The Light of Christ will lead the honest soul to "hearkeneth to the voice" (D&C 84:46) to find the true gospel and the true Church and thereby receive the Holy Ghost. ("The Unspeakable Gift," Ensign, May 2003, p. 26)