See Also: Moroni 7:16; D&C 88:7, 13, 88:6, 84:45-47, 93:9; John 1:4-9; John 1:5; John 1:9
Elder [Royden G.] Derrick spoke of an early childhood incident in which he absent-mindedly took an apple from a grocery store. Frightened to realize he had stolen an apple, he ran home and hid under the porch. “I knew I had done wrong, and I knew that my Heavenly Father knew that I had done wrong,” Elder Derrick said.
“I have often reflected upon how I suffered from a remorse of conscience at such an early age. The Light of Christ, which lights every man that comes into the world, was evident that day, which in later years caused me to ponder about how the Light of Christ can influence our lives.” — General Conference, October 1984, Church News, October 19, 1996, p. 14
Every soul who walks the earth, wherever he lives, in whatever nation he may have been born, no matter whether he be in riches or in poverty, had at birth an endowment of that first light which is called the Light of Christ, the Spirit of Truth, or the Spirit of God – that universal light of intelligence with which every soul is blessed. Mormon spoke of that Spirit when he said:
“For behold, the Spirit of Christ is given to every man, that he may know good from evil; wherefore, I show unto you the way to judge; for every thing which inviteth to do good, and to persuade to believe in Christ, is sent forth by the power and gift of Christ; wherefore ye may know with a perfect knowledge it is of God.” (Moroni 7:16) — President Harold B. Lee quoted by Thomas S. Monson, “To Truly See,” Ensign, February 2005, p. 5
The Light of Christ is defined in the scriptures as “the Spirit [which] giveth light to every man that cometh into the world” (D&C 84:46); “the light which is in all things, which giveth life to all things, which is the law by which all things are governed” (D&C 88:13; see also John 1:4-9; D&C 84:45-47; 88:6, 93:9). . . .
The First Presidency has written, “There is a universally diffused essence which is the light and the life of the world, ‘which lighteth every man that cometh into the world,’ which proceeded forth from the presence of God throughout the immensity of space, the light and power of which God bestows in different degrees to ‘them that ask him,’ according to their faith and obedience.” (“Receiving the Holy Ghost,” Improvement Era, Mar. 1916, p. 460) — Elder Boyd K. Packer, “The Light of Christ,” Ensign, April 2005, pp. 8, 9
The wicked comprehend not the things of God; they cannot know them, for they are spiritually discerned. “The things of God,” says the Apostle Paul, “knoweth no man only by the Spirit of God;” or, in other words, carnal man knows not the things of God, neither can he understand them. The unbelieving world cannot see as the Saints see; they walk in darkness, but the Saints are the children of light, even as many as keep sacred their covenants with God. The wicked love darkness rather than light, because their deeds are evil. This was true of the first century of the Christian era, when the Savior uttered it; it is true today. As the light shone in darkness and the darkness comprehended it not, so might the same be said today. We are called to be the children of light. Blessed are they who continue in the light, for the day of the Lord will not overtake them as a thief in the night; but woe unto them that depart from, or reject that light that shines in the midst of the darkness, for the day cometh, and that speedily, when they will be overtaken as by a whirlwind. The command of the Lord to the Saints is to watch, for we know not the day nor the hour when the Son of man shall come. — Erastus Snow, Journal of Discourses, 20: 373-374
Life will have its storms. We can and must have confidence. God our Heavenly Father has given us the right to know the truth. He has shown that the way to receive that truth is simple, so simple that a child can follow it. Once it is followed, more light comes from God to enlighten the understanding of His faithful spirit child. That light will become brighter even as the world darkens. The light that comes to us with truth will be brighter than the darkness that comes from sin and error around us. A foundation built on truth and illuminated by the light of God will free us from the fear that we might be overcome. — Elder Henry B. Eyring, “A Life Founded in Light and Truth,” Ensign, July 2001, p. 6
The great religious leaders of the world such as Mohammed, Confucius, and the Reformers, as well as philosophers including Socrates, Plato, and others, received a portion of God’s light. Moral truths were given to them by God to enlighten whole nations and to bring a higher level of understanding to individuals. . . .
We believe that God has given and will give to all peoples sufficient knowledge to help them on their way to eternal salvation. — Statement of the First Presidency regarding God’s Love for All Mankind, February 15, 1978
We believe there is a spiritual influence that emanates from the presence of God to fill the immensity of space. (See D&C 88:12.) All men share an inheritance of divine light. God operates among his children in all nations, and those who seek God are entitled to further light and knowledge, regardless of their race, nationality, or cultural traditions.
Elder Orson F. Whitney . . . explained that . . . “[God] is using not only his covenant people, but other peoples as well, to consummate a work, stupendous, magnificent, and altogether too arduous for this little handful of Saints to accomplish by and of themselves.” — Conference Report, April 1921, pp. 32–33. Elder Joseph B. Wirthlin, “The Lord’s Side,” Ensign, March 1993, p. 69
It is my hope and my belief the Lord never permits the light of faith wholly to be extinguished in any human heart, however faint the light may glow. The Lord has provided that there shall still be a spark which, with teaching, with the spirit of righteousness, with love, with tenderness, with example, with living the Gospel, shall brighten and glow again, however darkened the mind may have been. And if we shall fail so to reach those among us of our own whose faith has dwindled low, we shall fail in one of the main things which the Lord expects at our hands. — President J. Reuben Clark, Conference Report, October 1936, p. 114
When the time shall come that the Spirit of the living God shall be poured out upon all flesh, in a very few moments of time the Lord could unlock the mysteries and treasures of the earth, so that we could understand not only the geographical surface of the earth, but be able, by the power of vision, to behold every particle of it inside as well as outside, and also the law that governs its elementary portions, nearly all of which is now closed from our mortal vision.
We can only go about so far with our natural sight; but there is a faculty in every man and woman which is now sleeping in a dormant state; and as soon as it is touched by the Spirit of the Lord, we shall be enabled to see a new world of things as it were, mysteries will be opened up, and we will perceive naturally as if they were written, and in this way we shall be able to learn very rapidly indeed. If we want a knowledge of this world or of ourselves, when our spirits were born, or if we desire to know things that took place before the foundations of the world were laid or the nucleus was formed, when the sons of God shouted for joy, if we desired to know these things it would only be necessary for the Spirit of the Lord to touch the vision of our minds and light up our understanding, and we could gaze upon things past for thousands of generations of worlds before the earth was made, and we could see the succession of worlds that have been and were in existence long before this earth was formed; we could see the ordeals through which they had passed, see them brought into existence and passing through their several changes and finally become glorified celestial mansions in the presence of God. By this same Spirit . . . we could look forward into the distant future and behold new worlds formed and redeemed, and not only this, but see and understand the laws by which they were made, and the object and end of all these creations, being touched by the finger of the Almighty and lighted up by the Holy Ghost. — Elder Orson Pratt, Journal of Discourses, December 2, 1877, 19:178
Remember that “the Spirit giveth light to every man that cometh into the world” (D&C 84:46). Every man is born with the light of Christ in his soul, and it is only when he chooses to reject that light which would guide him through the world that he becomes carnal and sensual and devilish. All of the scriptures agree on this point. Not only do I want you to remember that “the Spirit giveth light to every man that cometh into the world,” but remember also that “the Spirit enlighteneth every man through the world, that hearkeneth to the voice of the Spirit,” and that “every one that hearkeneth to the voice of the Spirit cometh unto God, even the Father” (D&C 84:46–47). — President Marion G. Romney, “Guidance of the Holy Spirit,” Ensign, January 1980, p. 2
This work is of God; established by him, by the voice of revelation. It is the truth. It has been my joy, throughout the years of my life, to discover from time to time, that every principle, every doctrine, every historic event in the building of this great latter-day kingdom, are in harmony with every discovered and revealed truth. This is the truth, and we must rely upon it, learn to understand that it is the truth; otherwise the great joy that the Lord has offered us in this work will not be ours. I agree with Brigham Young that another name for the gospel might well be truth.
Along with truth comes light. Light is never found except in the presence of truth. The Lord in his latter-day revelations said over and over again that truth and light go together. We who receive truth have light to point the way, to solve our problems, to tell us where we are going, and to give us an enlightening faith to help us in the journey of life.
Truth also does something else for us: It gives us power, not only principles and doctrines of truth and light, but it also gives power to accomplish the work of the Lord in these latter-days. — Elder John A. Widtsoe, Conference Report, April 1948
. . . to Thomas B. Marsh [the Lord said]: “Pray always, lest you enter into temptation and lose your reward.” (D&C 31:12.) . . .
The purpose of prayer . . . is not to appease a vindictive Deity; nor is it to court favors from an indulgent Father. It is to attune oneself with the spirit or light which “proceedeth forth from the presence of God to fill the immensity of space.” (D&C 88:12) In that light is to be found sure answers to all our needs. — President Marion G. Romney, Ensign, May 1978, p. 48
Our heavenly Father has designed that His Spirit should dwell in us to comfort and cheer us in our onward march through life, in times of adversity, to give us strength and courage to bear up faithfully under all trials that may be brought upon us, that we may maintain our integrity to the end. — Elder George F. Richards, Conference Report, October 1906, p. 68
On those days when we have special need of heaven’s help, we would do well to remember one of the titles given to the Savior in the epistle to the Hebrews. Speaking of Jesus’ “more excellent ministry” and why He is the mediator of a “better covenant” filled with “better promises,” this author – presumably the Apostle Paul – tells us that through His mediation and Atonement, Christ became “an high priest of good things to come.”
Every one of us has times when we need to know things will get better. Moroni spoke of it in the Book of Mormon as “hope for a better world.” (Ether 12:4) For emotional health and spiritual stamina, everyone needs to be able to look forward to some respite, to something pleasant and renewing and hopeful, whether that blessing be near at hand or still some distance ahead. It is enough just to know we can get there, that however measured or far away, there is the promise of “good things to come.” My declaration is that this is precisely what the gospel of Jesus Christ offers us, especially in times of need. There is help. There is happiness. There really is light at the end of the tunnel. It is the Light of the World, the Bright and Morning Star, the “light that is endless, that can never be darkened.” It is the very Son of God Himself. In loving praise far beyond Romeo’s reach, we say, “What light through yonder window breaks?” It is the return of hope, and Jesus is the Sun. To any who may be struggling to see that light and find that hope, I say: Hold on. Keep trying. God loves you. Things will improve. Christ comes to you in His “more excellent ministry” with a future of “better promises.” He is your “high priest of good things to come.” — Elder Jeffrey R. Holland, “An High Priest of Good Things to Come,” Ensign, November 1999, p. 36
The ability to have an unsettled conscience is a gift of God to help you succeed in this mortal life. It results principally from the influence of the Light of Christ on your mind and heart. The Light of Christ is that divine power or influence that emanates from God through Jesus Christ [see Topical Guide, “Light of Christ,” p. 290]. It gives light and life to all things. It prompts all rational individuals throughout the earth to distinguish truth from error, right from wrong. It activates your conscience [see Moroni 7:16]. Its influence can be weakened through transgression and addiction and restored through proper repentance. The Light of Christ is not a person. It is a power and influence that comes from God and when followed can lead a person to qualify for the guidance and inspiration of the Holy Ghost [see John 1:9; D&C 84:46-47]. — Elder Richard G. Scott, “Peace of Conscience and Peace of Mind,” Ensign, November 2004, p. 15
When we reflect that light and intelligence have beamed forth from the heavens, that God in his mercy has made manifest His will to the human family; that in the plenitude of His mercy and goodness He has restored the Holy Priesthood, and placed us in communication with Himself; that he has taught us not only how to pray but how to approach unto him for the forgiveness of our sins, for the reception of the Holy Ghost, for instruction and guidance in relation to all matters pertaining to our fathers, relative to this world and to the world that is to come, we certainly have great cause of gratitude to our Heavenly Father for the many mercies and blessings He has conferred upon us. — President John Taylor, Journal of Discourses, 11:21
The Spirit of the Lord enlightens every man that comes into the world. There is no one that lives upon the earth but what is, more or less, enlightened by the Spirit of the Lord Jesus. It is said of him, that he is the light of the world. He lighteth every man that comes into the world and every person, at times, has the light of the spirit of truth upon him. — Discourses of Brigham Young, 32
For a man to undertake to live a Saint and walk in darkness is one of the hardest tasks that he can undertake. You cannot imagine a position that will sink a person more deeply in perplexity and trouble than to try to be a Saint without living as a Saint should – without enjoying the spirit of his religion. It is our privilege to live so as to enjoy the spirit of our religion. That is designed to restore us to the presence of the Gods. Gods exist, and we had better strive to be prepared to be one with them. — Discourses of Brigham Young, 227
In every man there is a candle of the Lord which burns with a clear light; and if by the wickedness of a man it is extinguished, then farewell for ever to that individual. — Brigham Young, Journal of Discourses, 9:104
The Gospel of Jesus Christ . . . teaches that it is the privilege of every Saint so to live and walk before their God, as to enjoy the light of the spirit of truth from day to day, from week to week, and from year to year through their whole lives. — Discourses of Brigham Young, 14