In the gospel according to John, we read:
“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was made. In him was life; and the life was the light of men . . . the true Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world” (John 1: 1, 3-4, 9).
The magnificent power and influence of heavenly Light is beyond the ability of mortal minds to comprehend, and beyond the ability of words to describe. Consider the prophet Joseph’s account of divine Light:
“I saw a pillar of light exactly over my head, above the brightness of the sun, which descended gradually until it fell upon me. . . . When the light rested upon me I saw two Personages, whose brightness and glory defy all description, standing above me in the air. One of them spake unto me, calling me by name and said, pointing to the other—This is My Beloved Son. Hear Him!” (JS-H 1: 16-17).
In a volume of scripture called “The Doctrine and Covenants” (a book of modern-day revelation from God), these wonderful words are written about His Light:
“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. . . . 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 space—The light which is in all things, which giveth life to all things” (D&C 84: 7, 11-13).
It is impossible for mortals to comprehend the infinite reality of divine Light via philosophical reasoning. The prophet Joseph Smith writes of the inadequacy of intellectual learning compared to one small glimpse of heavenly Light:
“Could you gaze into heaven five minutes, you would know more than you would by reading all that ever was written on the subject” (TPJS, p. 324).
After witnessing God’s glory in a vision, the overwhelming awe of Christ’s light and might, caused Moses to greatly marvel and wonder; then, being left to himself, Moses reflected:
“Now, for this cause I know that man is nothing, which thing I never had supposed” (Moses 1: 10).
To be clear, “man is nothing” without the redeeming grace of God; unless we abide in His love and light, we “can do nothing” (John 15: 5). Conversely, through the Lord’s redeeming light, all sons and daughters of God become His “work and glory” (Moses 1: 39).
The importance of divine Light in everyday life is this: His Light will lift us, and fill us, and shine from us, as we “draw near” to Him. The Doctrine and Covenants declares:
“Draw near unto me and I will draw near unto you; seek me diligently and ye shall find me; . . . 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. Therefore, sanctify yourselves that your minds become single to God” (D&C 88: 63, 67-68).
The Savior invites us to “let your light so shine” (Matt. 5: 16), but the light that shines from us is not really ours, . . . but His. When the resurrected Christ appeared to his “other sheep” (John 10: 16) in the Americas, he taught the following truth:
“Therefore, hold up your light that it may shine unto the world. Behold I am the light which ye shall hold up—that which ye have seen me do” (3 Nephi 18: 24).
It is by following His example that we reflect and “shine” His divine light to the world. Echoing this true principle, recall the phrase that follows let your light so shine: . . . “that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.” This means we cannot fully bask in His life-giving light unless we actively live His law:
“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” (John 8: 12).
By doing “good works” and “following Him,” Light draws near. Faith in Christ is manifest through following, and those that faithfully follow are promised the glowing guidance of His Love and Light.