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
1 Verily, thus saith the Lord: It shall come to pass that every soul who his and cometh unto me, and on my name, and my voice, and keepeth my commandments, shall my and that I am;
2 And that I am the true that lighteth every man that cometh into the world;
3 And that I am the Father, and the Father in me, and the Father and I are one—
4 The Father he me of his fulness, and the Son because I was in the world and made my , and dwelt among the sons of men.
5 I was in the world and received of my Father, and the of him were plainly manifest.
6 And saw and bore record of the fulness of my , and the fulness of record is hereafter to be revealed.
7 And he bore record, saying: I saw his glory, that he was in the , before the world was;
8 Therefore, in the beginning the was, for he was the Word, even the messenger of salvation—
9 The 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 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 of truth; Which truth shineth. This is the .‘]
11 And I, John, that I beheld his , 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 at the first, but received for grace;
13 And he received not of the fulness at first, but continued from to grace, until he received a fulness;
14 And thus he was called the , because he received not of the fulness at the first.
15 And I, , 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 .
16 And I, John, bear record that he received a fulness of the glory of the Father;
17 And he received , 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 of the record of John.
19 I give unto you these sayings that you may understand and know how to worship, and 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 you shall receive of his , and be in me as I am in the Father; therefore, I say unto you, you shall receive for grace.
21 And now, verily I say unto you, I was in the with the Father, and am the ;
22 And all those who are begotten through me are of the of the same, and are the of the Firstborn.
23 Ye were also in the beginning with the Father; that which is , even the Spirit of truth;
24And is of things as they are, and as they were, and as they are to come;
25 And whatsoever is or less than this is the spirit of that wicked one who was a from the beginning.
26 The Spirit of is of God. I am the Spirit of truth, and John bore record of me, saying: He a fulness of truth, yea, even of all truth;
27 And no man receiveth a unless he keepeth his commandments.
28 He that his commandments receiveth and , until he is glorified in truth and all things.
29 Man was also in the with God. , or the of , was not or made, neither indeed can be.
30 All truth is independent in that in which God has placed it, to for itself, as all intelligence also; otherwise there is no existence.
31 Behold, here is the of man, and here is the condemnation of man; because that which was from the beginning is unto them, and they receive not the light.
32 And every man whose spirit receiveth not the is under condemnation.
33 For man is . The elements are , and and element, inseparably connected, receive a fulness of joy;
34 And when , man cannot receive a fulness of joy.
35 The are the of God; yea, man is the tabernacle of God, even ; and whatsoever temple is , God shall destroy that temple.
36 The of God is , or, in other words, and truth.
37 Light and truth forsake that .
38 Every of man was in the beginning; and God having man from the , men became again, in their infant state, before God.
39 And that cometh and away light and truth, through , from the children of men, and because of the of their fathers.
40 But I have commanded you to bring up your in 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.
And because I love words, here are some definitions to ponder.
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
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