Jesus Christ is the Son of God, the Light of the World. LDS/23011258
The Saviour Jesus Christ is our light, our life, and our way – yesterday, today, and forever, writes By President M. Russell Ballard, Acting President of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles.
the sun set on another Sunday in 1948, I found myself walking down the side of
the Trent River in Nottingham, England. As a 20-year-old missionary, I had
recently been called as district president. It had been a long, exhausting day
filled with meetings and ministering, but I was happy and satisfied in the
I walked along the river, I said a prayer in my heart. Hoping to feel some
guidance from the Lord, I asked, “Am I doing what You want?”
overwhelming feeling of peace and understanding came over me. At that precise
moment, I came to know that Jesus Christ knew me and loved me. I didn’t see a
vision or hear a voice, but I could not have known of Christ’s reality and
divinity any more powerfully had He stood before me and called out my name.
sweet and tender experience has shaped my life. From that day to today, every
significant decision I have made has been influenced by my knowledge of the Saviour.
Over the years and throughout most of the world, I have testified that Jesus
Christ is the Son of God, the Light of the World. It is a privilege for us to
come unto Him, to follow Him, and to feel His light in our lives.
of the world
night many years after that memorable missionary experience, my wife, Barbara,
and I were gazing at the sky. As we did so, I looked up in awe at the millions
of stars, which seemed exceptionally bright and beautiful that night. My
thoughts turned with wonder to the Lord’s words to Moses: “And worlds without
number have I created; and I also created them for mine own purpose; and by the
Son I created them, which is mine Only Begotten” (Moses 1:33).
the Saviour came the power that created and that lights the sun, moon, stars,
and earth (see Doctrine and Covenants 88:7–10). He can rightfully declare, “I
am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but
shall have the light of life” (John 8:12; see also John 9:5).
the words of President Dallin H. Oaks, First Counselor in the First Presidency,
“Jesus Christ is the light of the world because he is the source of the light
which ‘proceedeth forth from the presence of God to fill the immensity of
space’ (Doctrine and Covenants 88:12).” The Saviour’s light is “the true light
that lighteth every man that cometh into the world” (Doctrine and Covenants
93:2; see also 84:46). With this light, we may know how to judge “good from
evil” (Moroni 7:16). This universal light is known as “the light of truth,”
“the light of Christ,” and “the Spirit of Christ” (Doctrine and Covenants 88:6;
88:7; Moroni 7:16).1
Apostle John said, “The light shineth in darkness; and the darkness
comprehended it not” (John 1:5). In our day, Satan is working overtime to lead
God’s children into darkness, shutting out “the light, and the life, and the
truth of the world” (Ether 4:12).
cannot fully comprehend—or appreciate—the Saviour and His gospel when we lose
His light and truth. But as we repent and obey, serve, and worship Him, we
conquer darkness. His light returns and removes the shadows of the world from
our midst and our minds.
by the light
our world becomes darker and more unsettled, feeling the Lord’s light in our
lives may seem like a challenge. But President Russell M. Nelson has reminded
us, “The increasing darkness that accompanies tribulation makes the light of
Jesus Christ shine ever brighter.”
have found that His light burns brighter in my soul when I make time for things
of the Spirit during still, quiet moments like that night with Barbara. That is
when spiritual impressions, guidance, and light come to us. That is when we
come to understand how truly blessed we are to have a Saviour.
the Light of the World, the Saviour lights the path of our mortal journey with
His example and teachings (see John 8:12). He lightens our load with His love
and compassion (see Matthew 11:28–30). He lightens our hearts with hope and
healing through His Atonement (see Moroni 7:41). And He enlightens our minds
with “the Spirit of truth” (Doctrine and Covenants 6:15; see also 11:13).
David A. Bednar of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles has said, “In every season
of our lives, in all of the circumstances we may encounter, and in each
challenge we may face, Jesus Christ is the light that dispels fear, provides
assurance and direction, and engenders enduring peace and joy.”3
up your light
privilege of sharing the light of the Savior with others and inviting them to
come unto Him and feel His love for them has always been special to me. I loved
being a missionary in England. I loved being a mission president in Canada. And
I love my current calling as a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles. My
calling gives me opportunities to testify of Jesus Christ and share the message
of the Restoration throughout the world.
the Saviour told His disciples:
are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid. …
your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify
your Father which is in heaven” (Matthew 5:14, 16).
the people of Nephi, He said, “Behold I am the light which ye shall hold
up—that which ye have seen me do.” He added, “Ye know the things that ye must
do in my church; for the works which ye have seen me do that shall ye also do”
(3 Nephi 18:24; 27:21).
our day, the Saviour likewise expects His disciples to use His light to “chase
darkness from among (us)” (Doctrine and Covenants 50:25). Our light shines as
we love as Jesus loved. Our light shines as we share our testimony of the
Restoration and our hope in Christ. Our light shines as we lift our voices in
defense of truth. And as our light shines, we attract others to the source of
selfless service, and you will feel His light in your heart. Humbly pray for
opportunities to share the gospel, and you will be guided to those ready to
accept His light. Love others in small and large ways, and you make this world
better and brighter.
light that is endless
am eternally thankful for the experience I had as a young missionary in England
when I came to know for myself that Jesus is the Christ. I know this more
surely today as I have experienced life with all of its trials and joys.
service in the Church has blessed me with remarkable and special spiritual
experiences too numerous and some too sacred to discuss. There is no gift more
important and precious that I can give to my children, grandchildren,
great-grandchildren, and you, my friends throughout the world, than my sure
witness that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of our Eternal Father, the Saviour
and Redeemer of all mankind.
precious wife, Barbara, passed away in 2018. How grateful I am to know that
because of our temple sealing and because of Jesus Christ, we will be together
again, with our family, for all eternity.
times, I become weary. In those moments, I stop and look at a picture of the Saviour.
I think of Him in Gethsemane, and then, suddenly, I am no longer tired. I know
in my heart that because He overcame the world, “darkness is past, and the true
light now shineth” (1 John 2:8).
know that Jesus Christ lives. “He is … a light that is endless, that can never
be darkened” (Mosiah 16:9). He is our light, our life, and our way—yesterday,
today, and forever. May we be steadfast in following Him and shining His light
before the world.