So far, the most we can say Alma 28 explicitly has told us is that the Light of Christ is â€œunto lifeâ€(vs 14). Moroni 7, says the Light of Christ is the â€œSpirit of Christâ€ which is â€œgiven to every man, that he may know good from evilâ€ (vs 16) and so that he may â€œlay hold of every good thingâ€.(vs 19) Moroni 7 still says man has to judge rightly, even though he has this light with which to judge. (vs 18) This is just a brief recap of what ground we have already covered. Now, letâ€™s move on.
D&C 88 also tells us what the Light of Christ is, and it gets a bit more complicated. It says, in a single sentence: this is the light of Christ. , but the question which first must be answered is â€œWhat is this?â€
Just before â€œThis is the light of Christ.â€ is the following run-on sentence.
This Comforter is the promise which I give unto you of eternal life, even the glory of the celestial kingdom; Which glory is that of the church of the Firstborn, even of God, the holiest of all, through Jesus Christ his Sonâ€” 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.
Preceding that sentence was the announcement of this other Comforter, which is, perhaps thanks to the efforts of Bruce R. McConkie, commonly considered having oneâ€™s calling and election made sure, where Christ, the other Comforter, gives a promise of eternal life, or of guaranteed entry into the celestial kingdom. (At this point, I can only imagine how this idea connects with temple ordinances along the same lines, but that is a subject for another time) So this sentence begins as describing what the comforter is (the promise of eternal life) but then decided to stop to describe what eternal life is (the glory of the celestial kingdom) but then stops to describe said glory (that of the Church of the firstborn, the holiest of all (another imbedded descriptor), through Jesus Christ his son) We then have to describe who Jesus Christ is (He that ascended and descended, that he could comprehend all things so that he could be the light of truth in and through all things) and of course we have to describe the light (it shines).
And he has to tell you itâ€™s the light of Christ. And then he has to describe that, of course.
So lets restate.
Jesus ascended above all things and descended below all things, or in other words, he comprehended all things. He comprehended all things so he could be the light of truth in and through all things. This is the light of Christ.
This is followed by two more descriptors, as previously mentioned. One is comprehensible, the other is not (to me)
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; And the earth also, and the power thereof, even the earth upon which you stand.
Huh? Buh? Wha? I think itâ€™s just rhetoric for him being in and through all things, and is trying to expand the analogy to explain how he is in and through all things, but it still isnâ€™t really clear to me.
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; Which light proceedeth forth from the presence of God to fill the immensity of spaceâ€”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 light of Christ is the light which shineth, so we know we are talking about that, and not moonlight or sun light, or star light (or the earth).
Hereâ€™s what we get here:
What the Light is:
1. It is through him who enlightens your eyes.
2. It comes from the presence of God
3. It fills the immensity of space
4. it is in all things
5. it is the law by which all things are governed
6. it is the power of God
What the Light Does:
1. It quickens your understanding
2. It gives life to all things
Here #1 perhaps ties back to Moroni 7â€™s conception of the light of Christ, where a â€œquickened (made alive?) understandingâ€ is one which can judge between good and evil.
The question is how does #2 mean the light which shines gives life to all things? There are 2 alternatives.
1. Celestial bodies, we are told do not have blood but have light. The light is a tangible real thing, the sustenance of celestial beings.
2. Alma 28 notes that the Light of Christ leads unto life, meaning eternal life, thus it gives life to all things.
I prefer the second definition.
Before I conclude, I do want to mention that while D&C 88 diverts away from the light of Christ, it does bring it back a few more times in key scriptures, which are worthy of mentioning. I will briefly bring up each here with a brief synopsis.
Vs 40 For intelligence cleaveth unto intelligence; wisdom receiveth wisdom; truth embraceth truth; virtue loveth virtue; light cleaveth unto light; mercy hath compassion on mercy and claimeth her own; justice continueth its course and claimeth its own; judgment goeth before the face of him who sitteth upon the throne and governeth and executeth all things.
Not that light is listed among a list of personal attributes each individual can have. The Light of Matt can cleave unto the Light of Christ, and so onâ€¦
(Vs 41-42) He comprehendeth all things, and all things are before him, and all things are round about him; and he is above all things, and in all things, and is through all things, and is round about all things; and all things are by him, and of him, even God, forever and ever. And again, verily I say unto you, he hath given a law unto all things, by which they move in their times and their seasons;
This obviously is a throw back to the Christâ€™s ascending and descending again. It is interesting that here it is definitely God (the Godhead or Christ?) who definitely has given us the law by which the universe (as we understand it) works. The Light of Christ is the law (see above)
The next mention of light is in 49
(vs 49-50) The light shineth in darkness, and the darkness comprehendeth it not; nevertheless, the day shall come when you shall comprehend even God, being quickened in him and by him. Then shall ye know that ye have seen me, that I am, and that I am the true light that is in you, and that you are in me; otherwise ye could not abound
Due to context, here we know that the light here is God (the Godhead or Christ?) himself (the preceding verse notes that those that have seen God have not comprehended him)
And then he throws out the parable, mentioning the light of the countenance of the Lord. And the Light is the Lord.
There is one more pertinent mention in D&C 88
(vs 66-67) Behold, that which you hear is as the voice of one crying in the wildernessâ€”in the wilderness, because you cannot see himâ€”my voice, because my voice is Spirit; my Spirit is truth; truth abideth and hath no end; and if it be in you it shall abound. And if your eye be single to my glory, your whole bodies shall be filled with light, and there shall be no darkness in you; and that body which is filled with light comprehendeth all things.
The Spirit of Christ, the light of Truth, the Light of Christ. Godâ€™s (the Godhead or Christ?) Voice, coming to us without us seeing God. With it we abound (unto life?) and comprehend all things (have a quickened understanding? Knowledge of good and evil?)
God is the light of Christ himself, and he communicates himself unto us by various means. The more we take of him unto ourselves, the greater our understanding and the closer we are to achieving eternal life.
Questions: Is God here Christ or the whole Godhead? What does he mean by all that “as he is in the sun” stuff? Does filling the immensity of space just mean he is infinite (assuming Space is infinite?)