Elder Taylor Dearden
South Carolina Columbia Mission
110 Oak Park Drive, Suite B
Irmo, SC 29063


Monday, December 21, 2015

The Light of Christ

Hello everyone!

I'm doing fantastic. Last week was sort of slow. Nothing much happened. Lots of people have either been really busy or out of town. We had a few lessons with some people, but nothing groundbreaking. 

This week will be great, I am super excited to skype home on Christmas! I always love doing that! I feel a little nervous, I've realized my personality has changed a bit the past 7 months and It might be awkward for a few minutes adjusting to conversation with family. 

THANKS EVERYONE who sent me letters and stuff for Christmas! I so appreciate it!

Hey I was super excited to get pics of Nicole and Coert! What an amazing day!! It doesn't ever get better than the temple! I am so grateful to have such amazing extended family! 

I had some interesting thoughts come to me about the Light of Christ last week. I figured I would share them with ya'll. 

The Light of Christ

Over the past week I have felt some very interesting impressions.
One of which instructed me in the doctrine of the Light of Christ. My mind's eye was opened to see in more clarity the meaning, purpose, and functions of the Light of Christ and it's relation to the Atonement of our Lord.

We are taught by Moroni that the Light of Christ is given to every man who is born on this earth. Moroni instructs us that we must "... search diligently in the light of Christ that ye may know good from evil; and if ye will lay hold upon every good thing, and condemn it not, ye certainly will be a child of Christ." (Moroni 7:19)
Moroni defines the Light of Christ as something that "... inviteth andenticeth to do good continually". (Moroni 7:13)

During the Atonement, Christ was able through divine power to descend below everything, to comprehended everything, and ultimately to literally have influence in all things. One of the effects of His atonement is this influence called The Light of Christ. Which according to the guide to the scriptures is, "Divine energy, power, or influence that proceeds from God through Christ and gives life and light to all things." 

D&C 88: 6-7
"He that ascended up on high, as also he descended below all things, in that he comprehended all things, that he might be in all and through all things, the light of truth; which truth shineth. This is the light of Christ."

The above verse says that when Jesus Christ performed the Atonement (he descended below all things, in that he comprehended all things) in order (that he might be in all and through all things, the light of truth). 

The doctrine is straight forward, the Light of Christ would not have been "given to every man, that he may know good from evil" (Moroni 7:16) had the Atonement not been accomplished.

The Lord Jesus Christ was born on this earth, he remained completely faithful to the Truth and Light of his Father. He never fell. He and the Father were one in Light and Truth. He was the only one who lived that was able to maintain this perfection. Jesus loves us, so he chose to accept the Fathers invitation to descend below all of us, so he could comprehend and know how to succor his people. He performed the Atonement in which He descended below all things (experienced all pain, suffering, any form of negativity). Because of this he literally felt everything that could be felt, thought everything that could be thought, experienced everything that could be experienced, in totality He went in and through all things. In going through all things he confronted all darkness and chaos, conquered it with the Truth and Light of His Father's Love, through his suffering which caused him to bleed at every pore, he invited all things to return to Heavenly Father.
His influence, invitation, and enticement to all things is the profound effect of the Atonement in which all things that exist may know that they are loved. 

"Everything which inviteth and enticeth to do good, and to love God, and to serve him, is inspired of God" (Moroni 7:13). 

Our souls are given options of action from only two sources. One is our Heavenly Father, the Other is our fallen brother. If we will pay close attention as we experience every moment of every day, we will recognize that there is a distinct judgement that occurs in our soul between Good and Evil. The only reason this occurs is because we are constantly presented two options.

Take a second to realize that whenever you have done anything good, you were first invited to do so by the Light of Christ. The origin of any good thought is from the Light of Christ, which is in turn from the Atonement of Christ. Father Lehi gave a sermon to his Children reminding them that "man could not act for himself save it should be that he was enticed by the one or the other." (2 Nephi 2:16

With these scriptures in perspective we can draw an absolute conclusion that no man would have the power to do anything good without the influence of the Light of Christ. We are fallen from the presence of Heavenly Father whose Glory "is intelligence, or, in other words, light and truth".  Through Christ we regain access to that glory.

The Light that proceeds from Christ is the power that first illuminates what is good so that we can discern between the good and bad. Without this Light effect of the Atonement, we would be left to ourselves, knowing only bad, never tasting the truth.

There is a false notion among mankind that they alone have power to do good. It being true that the Light of Christ is the source of ALL that is good, and it being given because of the Atonement, the idea that man has power unto himself to do good crumbles. Agency never meant that we could chose what was right and what was wrong, we were given the power to chose between options. Agency would collapse if we removed the atonement from the picture. It is the very act of the Atonement that even gives us the possibility to even discern what is right! How else could we do what is good if we first didn't even know what 'good' was? The blessing of the Atonement extends to us the power to judge between good and evil.

What a humbling realization it is to recognize that we personally cannot act for ourselves in goodness without the Atonement of Jesus Christ! Let all the world hear it! For those who think that they can "change" and become a good person without the Light of the Savior, let their reasoning be consumed in the Glory of God, that they may see that they wouldn't even have the desire to do good had Jesus Christ not performed the Atonement! 

Without the Light of Christ, we would be left with only with the Lies from the fallen one, being led into unreliable distortions and false reality. No matter the belief, the opinions, the religions, or confusions of man, the Lord of all, Jesus Christ through His light, is the source of all that is good. You can be a muslim and still your desires for good originate from the Holy One of Israel. You can be a buddhist, but still your desires wether or not you know it, come from the Prince of Peace! The Day will come, when every knee shall bow, and every tongue confess that Jesus is the Christ. All shall bear witness that they could have accomplished no good save it be for the atonement of our Elder Brother.

The Light of Christ is the beginning of experiencing the Power of His Infinite atonement. It is the recognition of the need for repentance. It is the mysterious influence that shows us in clarity what is right and wrong. 

What a beautiful gift! The Son of God descended below us all, walked our paths, felt our pains, our griefs, our infirmities, our sicknesses, our sorrows! While literally experiencing our life with us, bleeding and crying, His spirit reaching in love and his Heart breaking, he simply Invites us to do better! He pleads to us every moment our of existence. What does he say? He tells us what is right and what is wrong, then he asks us to chose the better part. This is the Light of Christ.

D&C 50:24
"That which is of God is light; and he that receiveth light, and continueth in God, receiveth more light; and that light groweth brighter and brighter until the perfect day."

D&C 88:11-13
"And the light which shineth, which giveth you light, is through him who enlighteneth your eyes, which is the same light that quickeneth your understandings;  Which light proceedeth forth from the presence of God to fill the immensity of space--The light which is in all things, which giveth life to all things, which is the law by which all things are governed, even the power of God who sitteth upon his throne, who is in the bosom of eternity, who is in the midst of all things."

2 Nephi 2:26
"And because that they are redeemed from the fall they have become free forever, knowing good from evil."

Ya'll have a great week!

Elder Dearden

1 comment:

    Elder Pace's sister here (Brittany) I'm literally listening in on the Christmas phone call with Elder Pace's family as I type.
    I see that Ya'll are having a blast on the mission! Trent is an awesome guy, and I'm SO happy that you are getting out an about in the S.C.! I Live in GA and have mad love for the South. I hope you and the little brother are living it up, teaching the WORD of GOD and eating well. Say HI to me bro and keep up the awesome blog! I like getting the low down as to what is going on since all Elder Pace says is "The mission is INTERESTING!!! "
    Love you Brother!!!