“I Am the Light of the World”

The Life and Teachings of Jesus and his Apostles, Instructor’s Guide (Rel 211–12), (2000), 37–38


Theme

The light of Christ enables mankind to clearly choose between the kingdom of God or spiritual darkness.

Theme Analysis

  • A.

    The light of Christ is in and through all things and assists all who will yield to its influence to receive more light and truth.

  • B.

    He that will follow the Savior shall not walk in darkness but receive the light of eternal life.

    1. 1.

      Those who come not to him die in their sins.

    2. 2.

      Those who do come to him receive revealed truth which makes them free forever.

  • C.

    Men are free to choose eternal life or captivity and death.

Study Sources

New Testament Reading Assignment

Luke 9:51-56; John 7-10:21

Course Manual

Chapter 15, “I Am the Light of the World”

Standard Works

D&C 88:6-13. How is the light of Christ the law and life of all things?

2 Nephi 2:26, 27. What are the only two choices men ultimately have?

D&C 93:31. What is the condemnation of man?

D&C 93:39. How do men lose light and truth?

D&C 1:33. Can men lose even the light previously received?

D&C 88:63. What does the Lord promise those who draw near unto him?

D&C 11:11-14. To what will the Spirit lead and what will it do?

D&C 88:66, 67; 84:45-47. If one does not fight against the light, what will be the result?

D&C 50:23-25. How does one become perfect by receiving light and truth?

Alma 19:5, 6. What is the effect on one who accepts a fulness of light?

3 Nephi 18:24. What light are we to show forth?

Basic Library

Jesus the Christ, pp. 398-422. For what reason was the man born blind?

Teachings, p. 49. What is the relationship between agency and the “free independent mind”?

Teachings, p. 187. Can the devil compel mankind to do evil?

A of F, pp. 52-58, 71, 473. What is the foundation of the rights of man?

DS, 1:49-54. What is the relationship between the Holy Ghost and the light of Christ?

DS, 1:58-61, 64-65, 70. Why can there be no salvation without agency?

Gos. Doc, pp. 47-51. What blessings does God bestow only upon a rightful exercise of agency?

Discourses, pp. 223-37. What is the effect of obedience versus disobedience?

M of F, pp. 218-19. Why does one forfeit all light by disobedience?

Additional Sources

Joseph Fielding Smith, Answers to Gospel Questions, 1:190. Analysis of the scriptural account of the adulterous woman.

David 0. McKay in CR, Oct. 1965, pp. 6-11. The interdependence of free agency and responsibility.

Brigham Young in Journal of Discourses, 16:74-75. How to know the voice of the good shepherd.

Media Suggestions

Cassette tape (President Spencer W. Kimball), So Many Kinds of Voices (5:47)

Some Suggestions for Presentation

(Ideas Other Teachers Have Used)

The Consequences of Any Meaningful Choices Brings One Closer to Spiritual light or Darkness

The instructor may wish to have the class consider that almost every choice, even a seemingly small one, is important because it affects for good or bad our ability to receive the Spirit of the Lord. One method the teacher could use is to have a student demonstrate how easily a single toothpick can be broken, but that it is impossible to break a number held together by an elastic band. It also could be pointed out that one action is not isolated or independent, but it reflects what we are totally or what we are trying to become.

Another way to point out that any choice brings one either spiritual light or darkness is to use scriptural analysis. Among others, the teacher could list on the chalkboard the following scriptures:

Matthew 12:30; Luke 11:21-26; 2 Nephi 2:27-29; 10:23; Helaman 14:31; Alma 34:34.

The question Ultimately, what are the only two choices one makes? could then be asked, and the students would independently or collectively analyze these scriptures to find the answer. This could then be used as a springboard into a discussion of the proper use of moral agency.

Light and Truth Are Received Through Obedience to the Voice of the Master

The concept that by obeying the Lord ,we receive light and truth may be introduced by reviewing the symbolism between Palestinian sheepherding and the Lord’s designation of himself as the Good Shepherd. The teacher may wish to review with the students reading 15-6 in the student manual. The following quote could also be used:

“The following quotation from Hartley’s ‛Researches in Greece and the Levant,’ p. 321, is strikingly illustrative of the allusions in John 10:1-16: ‛Having had my attention directed last night to the words in John 10:3, I asked my man if it was usual … to give names to the sheep. He informed me that it was, and that the sheep obeyed the shepherd when he called them by their names. This morning I had an opportunity of verifying the truth of this remark. Passing by a flock of sheep, I asked the shepherd the same question which I had put to the servant, and he gave me the same answer. I then bade him call one of his sheep. He did so, and it instantly left its pasturage and its companions and ran up to the hands of the shepherd with signs of pleasure and with a prompt obedience which I had never before observed in any other animal. It is also true in this country that a “stranger will they not follow, but will flee from him.” The shepherd told me that many of his sheep were still wild, that they had not yet learned their names, but that by teaching them they would all learn them.’” (William Smith, Smith’s Bible Dictionary, rev. ed., s.v. “sheep.”)

The teacher could then read various newspaper clippings he has gathered which contradict one another and the gospel. Popular press items on subjects such as the population explosion or woman’s liberation, for which arguments can be found on either side, might illustrate the point. He could then ask, With so many voices how can the sheep recognize the voice of the Master? President Spencer W. Kimball’s address in CR, Apr. 1971, pp. 6-11, and Brigham Young’s remarks in JD, 16:74-75, may prove helpful. The teacher could ask the class, What is the voice of the Shepherd and how do the sheep respond to it? The following scriptures would prove helpful in the discussion: D&C 88:66; 93:26, 18:34-36.