Christ is Light

Within the Creation of the earth itself, we see the essentials to life on earth. The Creation accounts found in Genesis, Moses, and Abraham base the Creation around essential principles and substances that are indispensable to life on earth. Not surprisingly, each of these essential ingredients is a type of its creator. The Creation accounts begin with light. “And God said, Let there be light: and there was light. And God saw the light, that it was good: and God divided the light from the darkness” (Genesis 1:3–4).


Written by Mark A. Shields, author of Gospel Symbols Finding the Creator in His Creations

Light and The Creation 

Why does the Creation begin with light? Light represents Jesus Christ, as He is the Light of the World (see John 8:12; 9:5; Mosiah 16:9; Alma 38:9; 3 Nephi 9:18; 11:11; 18:16; D&C 10:70). In the Americas, the earthly arrival of the Light of the World was marked by a day, a night, and a day with no darkness (see Helaman 14:4; 3 Nephi 1:8, 15). Likewise, when the Light of the World was taken, darkness covered the earth for the space of three days (see 3 Nephi 8:20–23). In these cases, the physical light and darkness were a representation of the Light of the World coming into and then departing from the world.

As Elder Bruce R. McConkie taught,

Gospel light is the mental and spiritual enlightenment from God which enables men to receive truth and knowledge and gain salvation.

Light is an attribute of Deity and shines forth from him; in it is found its fulness and perfection. “. . . God is light, and in him is no darkness at all” (1 John 1:5); he is “the Father of lights.” (James 1:17).

Christ is the light of the world, and the gospel is his message of light and salvation to all men. “I have sent mine everlasting covenant into the world,” he said, speaking of the restoration of the gospel, “to be a light to the world, and to be a standard for my people, and for the Gentiles to seek to it.” (D&C 45:9) (1)

Christ is more than just the source of gospel light. According to John Taylor (and not surprising given the light and darkness that accompanied the Savior’s birth and crucifixion), Christ is also the source of literal light. “God is light and in him there is no darkness. He is the light of the sun and the power thereof by which it was made; he is also the light of the moon and the power by which it was made; he is the light of the stars and the power by which they were made. He says it [light] is the same light that enlightens the understanding of men. What, have we a mental light and a visual light, all proceeding from the same source? Yes, so says the scripture, and so says science when rightly comprehended.” (2)

All light, like its Source, has the same purpose: to illuminate, lead, and give life. Parley P. Pratt explained:

This is the true light, which in some measure illuminates all men. It is, in its less refined particles, the physical light which reflects from the sun, moon and stars, and other substances; and by reflection on the eye, makes visible the truths of the outward world.

It is, also, in its higher degrees, the intellectual light of our inward and spiritual organs, by which we reason, discern, judge, compare, comprehend and remember the subjects within our reach.

Its inspiration constitutes instinct in animal life, reason in man, vision in the Prophets, and is continually flowing from the Godhead throughout all His creatures. (3)

There is no life without light. There is no vision without light. No life- sustaining plants can grow without light. Quite simply, there is no life in the world without the Light of the World.


Written by Mark A. Shields, author of Gospel Symbols Finding the Creator in His Creations

  1. McConkie, Mormon Doctrine, 444.

  2. John Taylor, Journal of Discourses, 18:330; accessed via

  3. Parley P. Pratt, Key to the Science of Theology, (Salt Lake City:

    Deseret Book, 1855), 41; accessed via