“Jesus taketh with him Peter, and James, and John, and leadeth them up into an high mountain apart by themselves: and he was transfigured before them.”
“And his raiment became shining, exceeding white as snow; so as no fuller on earth can white them. And there appeared unto them Elias with Moses: and they were talking with Jesus” (Mark 9: 2-7).
Matthew’s account of Christ’s transfiguration adds these details:
“And [He] was transfigured before them: and his face did shine as the sun, and his raiment was white as the light. . . . behold, a bright cloud overshadowed them: and behold a voice out of the cloud, which said, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased; hear ye him” (Matt. 17: 2, 5).
At the mount of transfiguration, the exceeding shine of the Lord’s white light gives us a glimpse of the radiant glory in store for all who follow Jesus.
“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).
In a vision of “new Jerusalem,” John the Revelator foresees this shining city upon “a new heaven and a new earth” (Rev. 21: 1, 2). So powerful and bright is the Lord’s exalted light, that the “new Jerusalem” is illuminated by the light of the Son:
“And the city had no need of the sun, neither of the moon, to shine in it: for ” (Rev. 21: 23, 24).
The very earth upon which we stand will be glorified by the light of the Lord, and will become the Celestial Heaven–the highest of three Heavens. Seven centuries before John the Revelator recorded his vision of the earth’s transformation to Celestial glory–becoming like a “sea of glass”–Isaiah saw the same future vision of “new earth.”
“The sun shall be no more thy light by day; neither for brightness shall the moon give light unto thee: but the LORD shall be unto thee an everlasting light” (Isaiah 60: 19-20).
It is fascinating to note that earthly opposition will cease in the Celestial heaven, to include the ending of evening as we know it–“for there shall be no night there” (Rev. 21: 25). Thus, the following words of Jesus will ultimately and literally be fulfilled in terms of spiritual and visual light:
“I am come a light into the world, that whosoever believeth on me should not abide in darkness” (John 12: 46).
Every scriptural Testament contains the theme of the Lord’s light. From the Old Testament comes this delightful imagery:
“For thou wilt light my candle: the LORD my God will enlighten my darkness” (Psalm 18: 28).
In the New Testament, the Apostle Paul gives this description of Divine light:
“For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ” (2 Cor. 4: 6).
Contained in Another Testament of Christ, revelations recorded by prophets of ancient American offer this account of the Christ’s clarifying influence:
“For behold, my brethren, it is given unto you to judge, that ye may know good from evil; and the way to judge is as plain, that ye may know with a perfect knowledge, as the daylight is from the dark night. . . . And now, my brethren, seeing that ye know the light by which ye may judge, which light is the light of Christ, . . . I beseech of you, brethren, that ye should search diligently in the light of Christ that ye may know good from evil” (Moroni 7: 15-19).
The guiding influence of the Lord’s light is the theme of beloved Mormon Hymns:
Hymn #89, The Lord is My Light
“The Lord is my light; then why should I fear?
By day and by night his presence is near.”
“The Lord is my light, His is my joy and my song.
By day and by night he leads, he leads me along.”
Hymn #97, Lead Kindly Light
“Lead kindly light amid the encircling gloom; Lead thou me on!
The night is dark and I am far from home; Lead thou me on!”
“Keep thou my feet; I do not ask to see
The distant scene–one step enough for me.”
Hymn #305, The Light Divine
“The light of god rests on the face Of brook and flower and tree
And kindles in our happy hearts The hope of things to be.”
“The light of faith abides within The heart of every child;
Like buds that wait for blossoming, It grows with radiance mild.”
The Remedy for Apostasy: The Lord’s Unifying Light
In the garden of Gethsemane, the Lord of Light prayed to the Father “that they may be one as we are one.” Today, with diverse doctrines taught by a myriad of differing denominations, the Lord’s prayer for unity is far from being realized. But this is precisely why Christ has given light to the world: the Lord’s light shines bright as a guiding beacon to “the way, the truth, and the life”–the way to unity and oneness! As we all “fall short,” His light leads us back . . . to Him.
“Jesus said unto them, Yet a little while is the light with you. Walk while ye have the light, lest darkness come upon you: for he that walketh in darkness knoweth not whither he goeth. While ye have light, believe in the light, that ye may be the children of light” (John 12: 35, 36).
So that seekers of truth might be supported in their quest, the Lord of Light has revealed His truths through prophets from the beginning. However, because of the world’s disbelief and refusal to receive the perfecting message of repentance and obedience, the prophets of God have been killed time after time.
During His mortal ministry, the Savior established His Church so that the “saints” would not be “tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine” (Eph. 4: 11-14). Sadly, the prophets and apostles that Christ called to lead His Church were murdered, just as the prophets of old.
After the crucifixion of Christ and the death of the Lord’s chosen leaders, there was a gradual apostasy from the Lord’s light–a “falling away” from Christ’s pure doctrines. With no living prophets to preach and protect the Lord’s truth, the inhabitants of the earth were eventually tossed to and fro by the doctrines of men.
Happily, The light of Christ that has shined in all the world from the beginning, continues to shine brightly today. After centuries of apostasy as prophesied by Paul (2 Thes. 2: 1-3) and Isaiah (Isa. 24: 5), the Lord of Light has begun the “times of refreshing”–Christ has commenced His “restitution of all things” (Acts 3: 19-21).
This is the “marvelous” message of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (the “Mormon” Church): that the Lord of Light has personally appeared in these latter days, and has again called prophets to proclaim His unifying gospel of love and light.