D&C 88:7-13 The Light of Christ: A Practical Application

3.  88:7-13  He is the light and life of all things

88:7-13 The Light of Christ is what we think and reason by.  We also live by the Light of Christ.  Socrates in Plato’s Republic (see here: http://classics.mit.edu/Plato/republic.html )- asks, “what makes good government?”  The governor who rules according to eternal ideals, justice, mercy and fairness is a good governor.  Socrates is asked, “how will you know what is true?”  Socrates says he isn’t sure but that there are forms, or ideals… morality, truth, order, fairness, goodness – Socrates calls the medium by which man governs goodness… Socrates should have talked to Joseph Smith – the medium is the light of Christ.  This light gives light and life to that person.  Without the sun we are all extinct – the sun is the life of the earth, but it is also the light of the earth… when Jesus says that he is the light and the life of the earth, he is saying it is true symbolically, but it is also literal.  Without Jesus, nobody thinks, nobody reasons, and we cease to exist.

Jesus says, “Every act of reason comes through me, and everything exists because of me… just like the sun gives me light and life.”  So the Son of God gives me light and life – how do you teach this to a young person?  Liken the Savior to the Sun.  He is the bringer of all order in our lives.

Light: a practical application

We observed slides of the universe as taken by the Hubble telescope to get the students minds ready to perceive the greatness of the glory of God.  (see:http://hubblesite.org/)

We discussed how the light that emanates from the moon really is just reflected light from the sun.  We are much like this – we emanate light that comes from Christ.  We are always either emanating light, or hiding our light.  Which we choose is up to us.  The key to happiness is to emanate that light from the Savior, to show others Him through us.

The following story by Lawrence Heywood illustrates this:

Who was this stranger? Why was he here? And how did he know my name?

I was standing outside the chapel waiting for church to begin when he walked up to me, called me by name, and asked, “Do you know why I’m here?”

His pointed query caught me by surprise. Who is this guy? He looks familiar, but I sure don’t know him. And why should I know why he’s here? “No,” I answered, feeling a little awkward.

“I’m here because of you,” he said bluntly.

That got my attention. Though there was a vague familiarity, I couldn’t remember ever meeting him before. I had no idea who he was, yet he was standing there saying he was at church because of me.

My face must have revealed my incredulity. “We have the same gym class at college,” he explained, “and I’ve been watching you.”

Watching me? What does he mean by that?

“I noticed right off that you were different,” he continued. “You never swear. You don’t lose your temper. You don’t smoke. You never tell dirty jokes or even listen to them. You don’t get involved in all the filthy talk that goes on. I really admire you. You’re exactly the kind of person I want to be,” he said. “So I started asking around about you. I found out your name, that you’re a Mormon, and that this is where you go to church. That’s why I’m here.”

There are probably a dozen words I could use to describe how I felt at that moment. I just tried to live the way I’d always been taught, and I probably hadn’t done that especially well. I was preparing to go on a mission, but I certainly wasn’t perfect. And he’d been watching me. That was the scary part. Had I done anything I should be ashamed of? I hoped not.

He stayed for church, and over the next few weeks he took the missionary lessons and was baptized. A year later, just before I left on my mission, he left on his. He served faithfully, returned, and was married in the temple. He is one of the happiest and most peaceful persons I know.

I take no credit for his conversion. I was just trying to live the standards I’d always been taught and believed were right. It wasn’t really me he was watching—it was those standards.

Today, every time I read the Savior’s admonition to “let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven” (Matt. 5:16), I remember the day a stranger walked up to me and said, “I’m here because of you.”  (Lawrence Heywood, Because of You, New Era, August 1995)

I asked the students the following: Has someone been like this for you in your life?  Who were they and what did they do?

This generated a great discussion in class!

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About LDS Scripture Teachings

I write about ways scripture applies in our lives: LDSScriptureTeachings.org
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