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Background

The LDS perspective of the Creation is that there was a spiritual creation (Genesis 1; Moses 2; Abraham 4:1-5:3) and a physical creation (Genesis 2:4-6; Abraham 5:4-6; Moses 3:4-6).

First of all creation, either spiritual or physical, was light.. Not a sun, not stars in the heavens, just light. I suspect most people believe (as I did) that what He created were photons or, if you consider the spiritual creation in terms of we mortals developing a video game, an off-screen light source.

But while studying today I read D&C 88:4-13 which concludes:

And the light which shineth, which giveth you light, is through him who enlighteneth your eyes, which is the same light that quickeneth your understandings; 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 bosom of eternity, who is in the midst of all things.

We learn more about this "light" from D&C 84:45-52, which begins:

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. 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.

The Church describes the "Light of Christ" (also the "Spirit of Christ," something distinctly different from the Holy Ghost) as:

The Light of Christ is the divine energy, power, or influence that proceeds from God through Christ and gives life and light to all things. … In the scriptures, the Light of Christ is sometimes called the Spirit of the Lord, the Spirit of God, the Spirit of Christ, or the Light of Life.

Conclusion: When God declared, "let there be light," He wasn't creating photons (spiritually or physically). What He did was establish the "Light of Christ" (e.g., "let there be the light/power of My influence"), a framework of power and authority that provides the spiritual infrastructure for physical life and the Plan of Salvation.

 

Question

Is there a doctrinal basis (scriptures, Church teachings, or the writings of prophets) against this conclusion?

  • "But before anything was created, whether spiritual or physical, there was light." Do you have a doctrinal basis for this claim? – NeutronStar Jul 4 '18 at 13:59
  • @Joshua, no, and it was poorly said (for which I apologize). It should have been, "First of all creation, spiritual and physical, was light." Thanks for pointing that out. – JBH Jul 4 '18 at 14:38
  • It would probably make more sense to ask if this is an accepted interpretation in the LDS. There are of course many things that Mormons would consider "scripture" that can be used to argue against this view, such as John 1, but presumably you aren't interested in the arguments of trinitarians. – Nathaniel Jul 4 '18 at 19:22
  • Could you clarify the distinction (if any) between creating "The Light of Christ," and creating Christ Himself? – JDM-GBG Jul 4 '18 at 21:50
  • @JDM-GBG, If I could do that I would answer my own question. In LDS theology, Christ is an individual, a person distinct from the Father and the Holy Ghost, and he pre-existed the creation (both spiritual and physical). He did not have the authority He has today until accepted at the Council in Heaven. If receiving His authority constituted the advent of the Light of Christ, then my conclusion would be completely sensible - the phrase "let there be light" representing the moment Christ was granted authority over this Plan of Salvation. – JBH Jul 4 '18 at 22:23
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Regardless of what I believe, since you asked for arguments against:

In Abraham 4, which talks about the spritual creation and which mirrors Genesis 1, the Gods (that is, God the Father, Jesus Christ, the Holy Ghost, and us) plan the creation of the Earth. The intelligences are already formed, the council in heaven has taken place. What the spiritual creation is presented here as is planning of the physical creation, although there seems to be the element of creating/organizing the spirits of plants/animals etc. as well, which leads you to your conclusion.

Depending on whether you see the council in heaven as part of the spiritual creation or not, one could argue that at that point the Light of Christ must already have been there, since Christ was there.

  • In LDS theology, Jesus is not independent of the Father. He was spiritually begotten like all the Father's children and had no authority in and of Himself, only that given Him by the Father. Therefore, the "Light of Christ" could not (perhaps "should not" as there isn't a scriptural record) have existed before Jesus received the authority to delineate it, which would have happened (at the earlest) at His investiture during the Council in Heaven. Interesting point, though. – JBH Jul 10 '18 at 13:26

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