D&C 93:1-5 “I Am the True Light”
This revelation was given in May 1833, during a time of both persecution and apostasy in Ohio and in Missouri. But the Church moved forward, led by the Prophet Joseph Smith and under the direction of the Savior, Jesus Christ.
Verse 1 is another instance of the Lord’s invitations to come unto Him and to see Him one day (see also D&C 67:10; 88:68). What are the things in D&C 93:1 that the Lord asked us to do, in preparation for this great blessing?
Note the Savior’s teachings about Himself in verses 2-5: He is the true light that lighteth every man; He is one with the Father; He came into the world and through Him the works of the Father were plainly manifest. Indeed, we plainly see the Father’s works through the works and words of Jesus (see also verse 31).
D&C 93:6-20 The Record of John
Before the First Vision, the true knowledge and doctrine of the Godhead, including Their nature and character, was lost to the world. Through the Prophet Joseph Smith, the Lord revealed Himself anew. This is supported by D&C 93:19, in which the Lord declared (speaking of the previous verses), “I give unto you these sayings  that you may understand and know how to worship,  and know what you worship,  that you may come unto the Father in my name,  and in due time receive of his fulness.” (See also John 17:3.) Without the latter-day Restoration, we would be without the ability to come unto Christ and receive these great blessings.
Also, the previous verses include things that John “saw and bore record of” (verse 6). It is not made clear if this is referring to John the Beloved or John the Baptist, and various commentators have disagreed. Perhaps the most satisfying conclusion is that both Johns are involved. In other words, it is likely that the John who “saw and bore record” (verse 6) is John the Baptist, then John the Beloved probably either copied from John the Baptist’s own written record or originally recorded it in his Gospel. Then, the record which the Lord says “is hereafter to be revealed” (verse 6) may be that of either or both of these faithful servants. This pattern is similar to the first chapter of the Gospel of John, wherein the writer, John the Beloved, is quoting the speaker, John the Baptist, and both are testifying of Christ (see Jonn D. Claybaugh, Ensign, Oct. 1999).
D&C 93:6-20 contains the following significant truths:
- Jesus Christ was “in the beginning” as a person of glory (verse 7; see also verse 11).
- Jesus is “the messenger of salvation,” “the light and the Redeemer of the world;” and “the Spirit of truth” (verses 8-9).
- Jesus created the worlds, He created all mankind, and He created “all things.” He is the source of life and light for all mankind (verses 9-10; see also D&C 76:24; 88:13).
- As the Only Begotten of the Father (in the flesh), Jesus was and is full of grace and truth (verse 11).
- Jesus received the fulness “grace for grace” (verse 12) as well as through “grace to grace” (verse 13). His growth was a gradual, ascending pattern, rather than possessing a fulness of grace from the beginning (see also verses 14, 26). Verse 12 could also be interpreted to mean that we too may grow “grace for grace” (rather than “grace to grace”), being blessed with greater grace from God as we extend grace to others. Thus, we too can eventually come to a fulness (see verses 20, 27).
- At the baptism of Christ, the Father’s voice was heard from heaven declaring Him to be His beloved Son (verse 16; see also Matthew 3:17; Mark 9:7; Luke 9:35).
- The Savior eventually received a fulness of the glory of the Father, including all power in heaven and on earth (verses 16-17).
- The Lord promised additional revelation regarding the record of John, based upon our faithfulness (verse 18).
D&C 93:21-40 Truth and Light
Go through these verses and write a summary of the key points, as was done with verses 6-20 above. Consider these questions:
- What stands out most for you, and why?
- What do you learn that is new for you?
- What do these verses teach about our pre-mortal life?
- Based on these verses, how would you define “Truth,” “Light,” and “Intelligence”?
D&C 93:40-44, 47-50 “Bring Up Your Children in Light and Truth”
In these verses the Lord admonishes all three members of the First Presidency (Joseph Smith, Sidney Rigdon, and Frederick G. Williams), as well as one of the two Presiding Bishops (Newel K. Whitney), in regard to their family duties.
He says the following:
- “You have not taught your children light and truth, according to the commandments … and this is the cause of your affliction” (verse 42).
- “If you will be delivered you shall set in order your own house, for there are many things that are not right in your house” (verse 43).
- “In some things he [Sidney] hath not kept the commandments concerning his children” (verse 44).
- “You have not kept the commandments, and must needs stand rebuked…. Your family must needs repent and forsake some things” (verses 47-48).
- “What I say unto one I say unto all; pray always lest that wicked one have power in you” (verse 49).
- Bishop Whitney “hath need to be chastened, and set in order his family, and see that they are more diligent and concerned at home” (verse 50).
The Lord calls upon all parents—regardless of how heavy their church responsibilities may be—that they must not neglect their responsibilities in the family. Read again the “The Family: A Proclamation to the World” (Ensign, Nov. 1995), looking for ways you can better contribute to the Lord’s plan for families—regardless of your current family circumstances. Consider the following quotes about righteous parenting:
Brigham Young: “I will here say to parents, that kind words and loving actions towards children, will subdue their uneducated nature a great deal better than the rod, or, in other words, than physical punishment…. Children who have lived in the sunbeams of parental kindness and affection, when made aware of a parent’s displeasure, and receive a kind reproof from parental lips, are more thoroughly chastened” (Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Brigham Young, p. 339).
Elder J. Ballard Washburn of the Seventy: “We go to the temple to make covenants, but we go home to keep the covenants that we have made. The home is the testing ground. The home is the place where we learn to be more Christlike” (Ensign, May 1995, p. 12).
President Marion G. Romney: “I feel certain that if, in our homes, parents will read from the Book of Mormon prayerfully and regularly, both by themselves and with their children, the spirit of that great book will come to permeate our homes and all who dwell therein. The spirit of reverence will increase; mutual respect and consideration for each other will grow. The spirit of contention will depart. Parents will counsel their children in greater love and wisdom. Children will be more responsive and submissive to that counsel. Righteousness will increase. Faith, hope, and charity—the pure love of Christ—will abound in our homes and lives, bringing in their wake peace, joy, and happiness” (Ensign, May 1986, p. 6).