“The Spirit of Christ Enlightens Men”

Doctrine and Covenants 84:45–48

45 For the word of the Lord is truth, and whatsoever is truth is light, and whatsoever is light is Spirit, even the Spirit of Jesus Christ.
46 And the Spirit giveth light to every man that cometh into the world; and the Spirit enlighteneth every man through the world, that hearkeneth to the voice of the Spirit.
47 And every one that hearkeneth to the voice of the Spirit cometh unto God, even the Father.
48 And the Father teacheth him of the covenant which he has renewed and confirmed upon you, which is confirmed upon you for your sakes, and not for your sakes only, but for the sake of the whole world.

President Joseph Fielding Smith wrote:

“Every man born into this world receives the guidance of the Light of Christ, which is also called the light of truth, and the Spirit of Jesus Christ [see D&C 84:45–48]. This light of truth is not in any sense to be confounded with the Holy Ghost. It is the light or Spirit which emanates from God and fills the immensity of space. It is by this power that men are guided to right from wrong, for it quickens their understanding. If they will heed this Spirit it will lead them to the gospel and then they may receive the greater light, even the Holy Ghost. It is the light which shineth and the power by which worlds are made and governed throughout the universe.

“‘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 midst of all things’ [D&C 88:12–13].

“President Joseph F. Smith has drawn a clear distinction between the light of truth, or Spirit of Christ, and the Holy Ghost in these words:

“‘The question is often asked, Is there any difference between the Spirit of the Lord and the Holy Ghost? The terms are frequently used synonymously. We often say the Spirit of God when we mean the Holy Ghost; we likewise say the Holy Ghost when we mean the Spirit of God. The Holy Ghost is a personage in the Godhead, and is not that which lighteth every man that cometh into the world. It is the Spirit of God which proceeds through Christ to the world, that enlightens every man that comes into the world, and that strives with the children of men, and will continue to strive with them until it brings them to a knowledge of the truth and the possession of the greater light and testimony of the Holy Ghost’ [Gospel Doctrine, 5th ed. (1939), 82].”

(Church History and Modern Revelation, 2 vols. [1953], 1:339–40.)

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