The Light which Shineth in Darkness (D&C 6:21 and more)

I have been studying the Doctrine and Covenants lately, and there is something that has been sticking out to me. It starts here…

“Behold, I am Jesus Christ, the Son of God. I am the same that came unto mine own, and mine own received me not. I am the light which shineth in darkness, and the darkness comprehendeth it not.” – Doctrine and Covenants 6:21

Jesus Christ often testifies of himself in the Doctrine and Covenants. He reminds us that He is the Son of God. In this verse, he testifies of His mortal ministry on the earth – among the Jews. He then tells: “I am the light which shineth in darkness, and the darkness comprehendeth it not.”

I have always liked that. And we hear it often – Jesus Christ is the light and the life of the world. However, I’ve noticed how often this phrase – that Jesus is the light which shineth in the darkness, and the darkness comprehendeth it not – is repeated in the Doctrine and Covenants. Here are a few examples:

“I am the light which shineth in darkness, and the darkness comprehendeth it not.” – Doctrine and Covenants 10:58

“My son Orson, hearken and hear and behold what I, the Lord God, shall say unto you, even Jesus Christ your Redeemer;

The light and the life of the world, a light which shineth in darkness and the darkness comprehendeth it not;”Doctrine and Covenants 34:1-2

“Hearken and listen to the voice of him who is from all eternity to all eternity, the Great I Am, even Jesus Christ—

The light and the life of the world; a light which shineth in darkness and the darkness comprehendeth it not;” – Doctrine and Covenants 39:1-2

“For verily I say unto you that I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the light and the life of the world—a light that shineth in darkness and the darkness comprehendeth it not.” – Doctrine and Covenants 45:7

“The light shineth in darkness, and the darkness comprehendeth it not; nevertheless, the day shall come when you shall comprehend even God, being quickened in him and by him.” – Doctrine and Covenants 88:49

You get the idea.

For some reason Christ wanted to emphasize that He was the light of the world – that it would shine in the darkness, and the darkness would not comprehend it.

And, as I read, I realized that this image is so powerful because at that time, when Joseph Smith was receiving these revelations, the world was covered in darkness – spiritual darkness known as the Great Apostasy.

It had been prophesied by Isaiah (see Isaiah 60:2) and confirmed by the Lord in the Doctrine and Covenants:

” 23 Verily, verily, I say unto you, darkness covereth the earth, and gross darkness the minds of the people, and all flesh has become corrupt before my face.” – Doctrine and Covenants 112:23

So much of what the Lord was revealing had been lost for centuries, and his truth, his light could not be comprehended by darkness. Yet His light penetrated the darkness and found it’s way into the hearts of the early saints.

I love this concept, and I love knowing that the Lord teaches us in ways that we can understand. He reminded Joseph Smith that He is the light. Joseph Smith didn’t need to remain in darkness, and neither did any of God’s children.

We can apply this to ourselves, too. Christ is the light – of our lives. We don’t have to struggle in confusion or sin. We can seek Him: His light. His light cannot be replicated by any other source. It will give us life and understanding. Truly, Christ is the Light that Shines in darkness.

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1 Comment

  1. I never noticed how OFTEN he says that in the D&C, very interesting stuff.

    Reply

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