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Light and Truth – Doctrine and Covenants 93

Light and Truth – Doctrine and Covenants 93 August 29, 2021

My all-time favorite Church class lesson from my teenage years (to be honest, I don’t remember any lesson at church as a child,) was a lesson on Light and Truth by my Aunt Maylene Call who was our young women president at the time.  She told us her scripture study focused on light and truth and felt impressed to share what she learned with us.

I remember feeling the irony of the subject because our classroom was in the darkest spot in the chapel — a classroom off the stage without windows that was pitch black without flipping a light switch. I remember where I sat in the semicircle of teenage girls. I remember how I felt when Aunt Maylene explained what light and truth was, how to find it, how to apply it, how to become it.

That classroom became one of my first experiences with the super-luminous darkness principle that I wrote about recently. Light emanated from a source and pierced my soul as I approached within a dark space.

At some point during that timeframe, I read Doctrine and Covenants 93, latched onto its profound and extraordinary light and truth verses, and it’s been my uncontested favorite Doctrine and Covenants section ever since.

I love Section 93 for even more reasons now but wanted to highlight verses and phrases that taught me about light and truth in the first part of the section—pretty much everything.  What have you learned or hope to learn from Section 93?

Light and Truth in Doctrine and Covenants 93

Verily, thus saith the Lord: It shall come to pass that every soul who forsaketh his sins and cometh unto me, and calleth on my name, and obeyeth my voice, and keepeth my commandments, shall see my face and know that I am;

And that I am the true light that lighteth every man that cometh into the world;

And that I am in the Father, and the Father in me, and the Father and I are one

The Father because he gave me of his fulness, and the Son because I was in the world and made flesh my tabernacle, and dwelt among the sons of men.

I was in the world and received of my Father, and the works of him were plainly manifest.

And John saw and bore record of the fulness of my glory, and the fulness of John’s record is hereafter to be revealed.

And he bore record, saying: I saw his glory, that he was in the beginning, before the world was;

Therefore, in the beginning the Word was, for he was the Word, even the messenger of salvation—

The light and the Redeemer of the world; the Spirit of truth, who came into the world, because the world was made by him, and in him was the life of men and the light of men.

10 The worlds were made by him; men were made by him; all things were made by him, and through him, and of him. [I can’t resist adding these lines from my second favorite section in the Doctrine and Covenants, 88: ‘That he might be in all and through all things, the light of truth; Which truth shineth. This is the light of Christ.‘]

11 And I, John, bear record that I beheld his glory, as the glory of the Only Begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth, even the Spirit of truth, which came and dwelt in the flesh, and dwelt among us.

12 And I, John, saw that he received not of the fulness at the first, but received grace for grace;

13 And he received not of the fulness at first, but continued from grace to grace, until he received a fulness;

14 And thus he was called the Son of God, because he received not of the fulness at the first.

15 And I, John, bear record, and lo, the heavens were opened, and the Holy Ghost descended upon him in the form of a dove, and sat upon him, and there came a voice out of heaven saying: This is my beloved Son.

16 And I, John, bear record that he received a fulness of the glory of the Father;

17 And he received all power, both in heaven and on earth, and the glory of the Father was with him, for he dwelt in him.

18 And it shall come to pass, that if you are faithful you shall receive the fulness of the record of John.

19 I give unto you these sayings that you may understand and know how to worship, and know what you worship, that you may come unto the Father in my name, and in due time receive of his fulness.

20 For if you keep my commandments you shall receive of his fulness, and be glorified in me as I am in the Father; therefore, I say unto you, you shall receive grace for grace.

21 And now, verily I say unto you, I was in the beginning with the Father, and am the Firstborn;

22 And all those who are begotten through me are partakers of the glory of the same, and are the church of the Firstborn.

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

24And 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 GodIntelligence, 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.

Every verse contains a million lessons, epiphanies, and ahas for me. I know I still don’t understand everything the Lord is willing to teach or actually said, and I am willing and eager to comprehend it someday, grace for grace.

That day through her lesson, Aunt Maylene fanned a tiny spark into a fire that became my foundational quest in every scripture study, or other learning moment, to perceive/receive/become light and truth. For the ensuing 34 years, every time I intentionally experience a book or podcast or art or music or lesson or anything, it is to discern light and truth. I’m so grateful for Aunt Maylene’s personal study that inspired her to teach that specific lesson in a dark, nondescript room one random Sunday in my life.

light and truth like a river
The Mora River during a fleeting moment midafternoon

And because I love words, here are some definitions to ponder.

Light

Greek: phainó meaning to bring to light, to cause to appear. Usage (a) I shine, shed light, (b) I shine, become visible, appear, (c) I become clear, appear, seem, show myself as

Hebrew: or meaning to be or become light; break give, show light, set on fire, shine A primitive root; to be (causative, make) luminous (literally and metaphorically) — X break of day, glorious, kindle, (be, en-, give, show) light (-en, -ened), set on fire, shine

1828 Websters Dictionary: light meant that ethereal agent or matter which makes objects perceptible to the sense of seeing; that flood of luminous rays; day; life, anything that gives life; illumination of mind, instruction, knowledge; means of knowing; open view; explanation, means of understanding; God, the source of knowledge; Jesus Christ; joy, comfort, felicity; saving knowledge; prosperity, happiness; support, comfort, deliverance; the gospel, understanding or judgment; gifts and graces of Christians; bright, clear, not dark or obscure;not burdensome, easy to be lifted; not oppressive, easy to be suffered or endured; to kindle, to inflame, to set fire to; to illuminate, to fill or spread over; to ease of a burden

Truth

Hebrew: emeth meaning firmness, faithfulness, truth from aman meaning to confirm or support, sure

Greek: In ancient Greek culture, (alḗtheia) was synonymous for “reality” as the opposite of illusion, i.e. fact.  truth, but not merely truth as spoken; truth of idea, reality, sincerity, truth in the moral sphere, divine truth revealed to man, straightforwardness.         

alēthḗs (“what can’t be hidden”) stresses undeniable reality when something is fully tested, i.e. it will ultimately be shown to be fact           

alētheúō (literally, “to truth”) includes Spirit-led confrontation where it is vital to tell the truth so others can live in God’s reality rather than personal illusion.

1828 Websters Dictionary: truth meant conformity to fact or reality; exact accordance with that which is, or has been, or shall be; veracity; exactness; Jesus Christ; honesty, virtue

 

 

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