The creation of Light, continuing on the theme of creation in 3 Nephi—to identify it and apply it to myself.
I felt such an eagerness to look at Light.
Light: something that makes vision possible, a source (i.e. a celestial body), sight, a spiritual illumination, truth, a set of principle, standards, or opinions, a medium (such as a window) through which light is admitted. From Latin luc-, lux light, lucere to shine, Greek leukos white.
More definitions include: Life. Means of knowing. Open view; a visible state; a state of being seen by the eye, or perceived, understood or known. Explanation; illustration; means of understanding. Point of view; situation to be seen or viewed. In scripture, God, the source of knowledge. Christ. Joy; comfort; felicity. Prosperity; happiness. Support; comfort; deliverance. The gospel.
Every one of these definitions of light illuminates 3 Nephi 11.
Let There Be Light
And I, God, said: Let there be light; and there was light. And I, God, saw the light; and that light was good. And I, God, divided the light from the darkness.
Behold my Beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased, in whom I have glorified my name—hear ye him.
They saw a Man dressed in white descend from heaven.
Behold I am Jesus Christ, whom the prophets testified shall come into the world. And behold, I am the light and the life of the world; and I have drunk out of that bitter cup which the Father hath given me, and have glorified the Father in taking upon me the sins of the world, in the which I have suffered the will of the Father in all things from the beginning.
There before them was the Source of Light, the Creator of Light. They viewed Him in a visible state, a state of being seen by the eye or perceived.
The Savior’s words caused the multitude to fall to the earth and remember prophecies about Christ’s personal visitation to their people. This was light—an explanation and means of understanding.
Come That Ye May Know
Then, Jesus said the words I long to hear.
Arise and come forth unto me, that ye may thrust your hands into my side, and also that ye may feel the prints of the nails in my hands and in my feet, that ye may know that I am the God of Israel, and the God of the whole earth, and have been slain for the sins of the world.
And it came to pass that the multitude went forth, and thrust their hands into his side, and did feel the prints of the nails in his hands and in his feet; and this they did do, going forth one by one until they had all gone forth, and did see with their eyes and did feel with their hands, and did know of a surety and did bear record, that it was he, of whom it was written by the prophets, that should come.
And when they had all gone forth and had witnessed for themselves, they did cry out with one accord, saying:
Hosanna! Blessed be the name of the Most High God! And they did fall down at the feet of Jesus, and did worship him.
“Life. Means of knowing. Means of understanding. Situation to be seen or viewed. God, the source of knowledge. Christ. Joy. Happiness. Comfort.”
The Lord then organized His church with Nephi at its head. He called other disciples to bear special witness of Him. He gave them priesthood power to baptize and expounded gospel doctrines like the nature and purpose of the Godhead, condemnation, repentance, baptism, revelation, salvation. He charged the twelve to share the message He shared to the ends of the earth.
Let YOU Be Light
Chapter 12 opens with Jesus exhorting the people to listen to the twelve, be baptized, and share the message with others. He then gives a “Sermon on the Mount” sermon, including references to light.
Light can come from a source (the sun) or an object can reflect light from a source (the moon.) During the creation, the source is created first and then those things that reflect it. In this creation scenario, Jesus is the source and commands them to shine as well—not to reflect, but to shine.
Verily, verily, I say unto you, I give unto you to be the light of this people. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hid.
Behold, do men light a candle and put it under a bushel? Nay, but on a candlestick, and it giveth light to all that are in the house;
Therefore let your light so shine before this people, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father who is in heaven.
The people could be lights, because He lighted them first.
And that I am the true light that lighteth every man that cometh into the world….
Isaiah exhorted his people and readers to be light.
Arise, shine; for thy light is come, and the glory of the Lord is risen upon thee.
The Nephites experienced great darkness and upheaval, trials and opposition, before the Light manifested Himself. And there was light. He was light. They were light.
And they (the Gods) said: Let there be light; and there was light. And they (the Gods) comprehended the light, for it was bright; and they divided the light, or caused it to be divided, from the darkness.
When Jesus visited the people, the Gods divided the Nephites from the darkness. He offers the same commandment to be light to us. He promises the same blessings if we do.
My light is but a little one,My light of faith and prayer;But lo! it glows like God’s great sun,For it was lighted there.Shine on, shine on, shine on bright and clear;Shine on, shine on now the day is here.I may not hide my little light;The Lord has told me so.’Tis given me to keep in sight,That all may see it glow.Shine on, shine on, shine on bright and clear;Shine on, shine on now the day is here.
The day is here. Shine on.
(This article previously posted at Patheos.com.)
I am a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I have moved 64 times and have not tired of experiencing this beautiful earth! I love the people, languages, histories/anthropologies, & especially religious cultures of the world. My life long passion is the study & searching out of religious symbolism, specifically related to ancient & modern temples. My husband Anthony and I love our bulldog Stig, adventures, traveling, movies, motorcycling, and time with friends and family.