Lesson 16: Jesus Christ, the Life and Light of the World

Aaronic Priesthood Manual 3, (1995), 60–62


Objective

Each young man will come to understand that Jesus is literally the life and light of the world.

Preparation

  1. 1.

    Prayerfully study John 1:1–16; 3:16; 14:6; 1 Corinthians 15:40–42; Mosiah 3:8; Helaman 14:12; Mormon 9:13; Moroni 7:15–19; and Doctrine and Covenants 11:28; 19:16–19; 76:70–71, 81, 96–98; 84:44–47; 88:7–13; 93:6–20, 39.

  2. 2.

    Materials needed:

    1. a.

      Copies of the scriptures (each young man should bring his own).

    2. b.

      Pencils for marking scriptures.

  3. 3.

    Prepare the two lists of scriptures for the group activity in the lesson.

Suggested Lesson Development

The Relationship between Life and Light

Discussion

  • What would happen to life on the earth if the earth were cut off from all sources of light?

Help the young men bring out that all forms of life would die without light. Without light, plants would die; without plants, animals would die; without plants or animals, people would die. Without light, the earth would freeze.

Adviser presentation

Explain that just as there is a relationship between light and life in the natural world, there is also a relationship between light and life in spiritual matters. The Lord compares resurrected bodies and degrees of spiritual power and glory with different degrees of light.

Have the young men read Doctrine and Covenants 76:70–71, 81, 96–98, and 1 Corinthians 15:40–42. As you discuss these verses, put the following chart on the chalkboard:

Type of Resurrected Life

Type of Light

Celestial

Sun

Terrestrial

Moon

Telestial

Stars

Explain that those who are resurrected with a celestial body receive a glory or life that is compared with the light of the sun, which is a fulness of light. Those who are resurrected with a terrestrial body are compared with the moon, whose light is only a reflection of the sun. They receive of God’s glory “but not of its fulness.” Those who are resurrected with a telestial body are compared with the stars, whose light appears dim compared to the sun and moon.

Jesus Is the Life and Light of the World

Scriptures and discussion

  • What is the source of physical and spiritual light and life?

If the young men suggest that the sun is the source of physical light, ask where the sun gets its light.

Have the young men read and mark Doctrine and Covenants 88:7–13.

  • What do these verses say about the source of light? (That Jesus Christ is the source of the light and life of all things.)

Have the young men read and mark Doctrine and Covenants 11:28.

  • In what sense is Jesus Christ the light and life of the world?

Group activity

Divide the young men into two groups, and give each group one of the following lists of scriptures. Allow about ten minutes for them to look up the scriptures and be ready to explain what each passage teaches about Jesus being the light and life of the world.

Ask each group to summarize what they have learned from these scriptures. Place each of the following numbered items on the chalkboard as the ideas are summarized, using the questions as necessary to guide the discussion:

  1. 1.

    Jesus Christ is the light of the sun, moon, and stars.

    Explain that although we do not understand how, we know that Jesus is the source of the light of the sun, moon, and stars.

  2. 2.

    Jesus Christ is the Father of heaven and earth.

    Explain that because Jesus was the Creator, he is called the Father of heaven and earth (see Mosiah 3:8 and Helaman 14:12). Without these creations there would be no light or life.

  3. 3.

    Jesus Christ is the source of physical life in us and in all living things.

    • What does John 1:4 teach about Christ?

  4. 4.

    Jesus Christ is the light of reason, understanding, and conscience.

  5. 5.

    Jesus Christ is the source of resurrection, or immortality.

  6. 6.

    Jesus Christ is the source of eternal life.

    • What does John 3:16 say about eternal life?

Help the young men understand that Jesus is not only the Father of the Resurrection but also the Father, or giver, of eternal life. Jesus suffered for the sins of all people, making forgiveness and eternal life available to all who will repent (see D&C 19:16–19).

We Receive Life and Light As We Come unto Christ

Scriptures and discussion

Have the young men read Doctrine and Covenants 93:11–20.

  • How did Jesus receive a fulness of life, light, and glory?

Have the young men read John 14:6.

  • How can we obtain a fulness of life, truth, light, and glory?

Help the young men understand that we must come unto the Father by coming unto Jesus Christ. Jesus taught, “I am the way, the truth and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me” (John 14:6). We must come to Christ just as he came to his Father. Then we will be glorified in Christ as he is glorified in the Father.

  • What does it mean to come to Jesus Christ? (To recognize his voice in the scriptures, to pray to the Father in his name, to repent of our sins, to receive the ordinances of salvation, and to endure all trials and temptations for his sake.)

Explain that we can lose the light and truth we have. Have the young men read and mark Doctrine and Covenants 93:39.

  • In what ways can we lose light and truth?

On the other hand, we gain greater light and knowledge by receiving the truths of the gospel of Christ and continuing in our worship of God. Have the young men read and mark Doctrine and Covenants 84:44–47.

Conclusion

Testimony

Testify that it is in Christ that we have life, truth, and light. We owe our lives and opportunity for eternal life to Jesus Christ; and we should put our trust and faith in him, not in ourselves or others. That is why we obey his commandments and pray to Heavenly Father in the name of Christ. That is why we humble ourselves and pray to the Father to help us become Christlike. Christ is the only way by which we can eventually get back to Heavenly Father.