The Light of Faith

It took a very long time for me to realize that faith is not wishful hoping. Many times in prayer I found myself clenching muscles and teeth in a display to God that I really meant it – that I really wanted something. Perhaps to this day that instinct still rears up when I am desperate, but faith is so much greater than that. If we learn the principle, then we know how to act in it.

In a sense, the principle of faith is really two things. It’s something you possess, and it is something you do. And this is because what you possess enables you to do something.

That thing is light. And everyone has a portion. It may be bright or it may be buried deep inside you. But we all have light within us. This is the light of God and is the core of both who and what you are.

It is the light within you that enables you to act. It enables you to perceive. Just as physical light allows you to perceive the physical world, spiritual light enables you to see the spiritual world. Physical light allows you to see “things as they are” physically, and spiritual light allows you to see “things as they are” spiritually.

When we have spiritual darkness within us we are acted upon by darkness. It oppresses us. It is the source of fear. And we are controlled by the darkness. It dims our perception and distorts our understanding of reality.

The light of God rescues us from fear. It fills us full of hope and we are enabled to see things as they are. We can then act in light, which is to say, we can act for ourselves and not be acted upon. To the degree I am full of light I can act for myself and have power to choose more light. If we continue to choose light amongst the darkness, we will grow in that light until we are perfected in it.

That which is of God is light; and he that receiveth light, and continueth in God, receiveth more light; and that light groweth brighter and brighter until the perfect day.

D&C 50: 24

Perhaps this is a definition of faith – to yield to light not yet in our possession. Light from God, that is sent to us, and that we actively and intentionally receive, that exists outside of the realm of our current light of understanding.

So, the light you now possess is faith. It is faith because it enables you to receive more. The more light you have, the more you are capacitated to receive more. The less light you have, the more difficult it is to act on light to receive more because of the oppression, chaos, and confusion the darkness within us produces.

Doubt, fear, darkness, confusion, chaos – these are all products of the darkness within. But we also always have light. It is through identifying that light within, and acting in it, and choosing to yield to light outside of us, that we exercise faith to displace darkness and to receive greater and greater light. This is how we become full of faith (light).


Consider the diagram above. The light you possess is the degree of faith you possess. Notice there is a boundary between the light and the darkness where three things are happening. There is light within the sphere, darkness beyond the sphere, but there is also light from God that comes through the darkness and presents itself on the outer boundary of your possessed light.

This is where the act of faith occurs. This is where we exercise faith. It is when we yield to light that we do not yet possess. When we do this, our outer boundary expands and we become more full of light.

Unfortunately, the opposite things can happen as well. Both darkness and light can be found on the outer boundary. If we choose to yield to darkness instead of light then the darkness in us increases and our light fades. We begin to lose light and our understanding becomes distorted. Our inner world grows in deception and chaos.

If we have just a particle of light we have potential to be a being full of all light. Just like a mustard seed, one little particle of light within us has the potential of filling the universe. And this little particle of light is the spark of God. It gives us a place to act. No matter how much darkness we feel, or how much darkness our past has produced, searching out a particle of light within us and giving attention to it, and using it to seek out more light of God, in mercy and grace we can grow in the principle of intelligence until we receive all that the Father has.

In order to receive more light and knowledge and be perfected in that light, we must learn how to live on the boundary of our faith. Notice that on the boundary both light and darkness are present. It is acting on the light – yielding to it – in the presence of darkness that our sphere of light expands and darkness is displaced. This is how we increase in faith. It is the same thing as increasing in light. We must constantly focus on that boundary where the light of our understanding meets darkness; and then push into the darkness by yielding to light.


Sometimes our circumstances force us to this place and confront the unknown. This will always be a natural part of mortality. But if we choose to go to that place, and humble ourselves before God and his light, and learn how to live on the boundary of our faith by our own free will and choice, it enables God to compound the infusion of light and truth in much faster ways than we can imagine. When we take initiative to go to the outer boundary of our faith and are diligent in seeking greater light and truth, he opens doors for us and endows us with his intelligence. We then are liberated from the darkness of this world and are brought into the light of God.

Author: Todd McLauchlin

This is an LDS site that is dedicated to the invitation of the gospel of Jesus Christ to awake and arise to the great promises of redemption and transformation. My name is Todd Mclauchlin and I am a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. I have a love of the Gospel of Jesus Christ and would like to share openly my feelings, testimony, and personal perspectives of the Doctrine of Christ. I currently reside in Draper, Utah.

3 thoughts on “The Light of Faith”

  1. Hi Todd,

    I’m always amazed at how articulate your articles are. You always look under all the rocks as you reach for the greatest understanding of each principle you are rehearsing and so generously share with others. By doing so you invited me to reflect on what you are teaching with my own eyes, which always causes me to apply principles from my own search and discovery missions.

    I have learned that it is wise to invite the scriptures, Prophets, Apostles, and favorite teachers who added to my spiritual stature over the last 50 years.

    In this case here are some scriptures, which might add to understanding, what comes to my mind as I read your amazing article: I am certain you are familiar with all these scriptures, so thuey won’t be new to you.

    Matt 6:22 “The light of the body is the eye; if therefore thine eye be single to the glory of JST God, thy whole body shall be full of light?

    Luke 11:36 “Take head therefore that the light which is in thee be not darkness. If thy whole Luke 11:37 body is full of light, having no part dark, the whole shall be full of light, as JST when the bright shinning of a candle lighteth a room and doth give the light in all the room

    Moroni teaches the same principles to a different audience with a similar message

    Moroni 7:12 Wherefore, all things which are good cometh of God
    …and that which is evil cometh of the devil
    for the devil is an enemy unto God.

    Moroni 7:13 But behold, that which is of God inviteth and enticeth to do good continually; wherefore everything that inviteth and enticeth to do good, and to love God, and to serve Him, is inspired of God.

    Moroni 7:16 For behold the spirit of Christ is given to every man , that he may know good from evil; wherefore I show unto you the way to judge; for everything which inviteth to do good, and to persuade to believe in Christ; wherefore ye may know with a perfect knowledge it is of God.

    Moroni 7:17 But whatsoever thing persuadeth men to do evil, and believe not in Christ, and deny him, and serve not God, and deny him, then ye may know with a perfect knowledge it is of the devil; for after this manner doth the devil work, for he persuadeth no man to do good, no, not one; neither do his angels; neither do they who subject himself unto him.

    Once we have a sound understanding of light and darkness, then choice becomes available and more refined as described in Either 4. To me “faith” and “belief” are cousins which are sound standards for light and truth to be revealed according to the timing of the Lord. Listen to the promises of the Lord to those who exercise faith and light and truth, which is powerful fire under the no nonsense word, belief.

    Ether 4:7 And in that day that they shall exercise faith in me,

    saith the Lord,

    even as the brother of Jared did, that they did become sanctified in me,

    then will I manifest unto them the things which the brother of Jared saw,

    even to the unfolding unto them all my revelations,

    saith Jesus Christ, the Son of God, the Father of the heavens and of the earth, and all things that in them are.

    Ether 7:13-14 Read carefully

    Ether 7:15 Behold, when ye shall rend that veil of unbelief

    which doth cause you to remain in your awful state of wickedness, and hardness of heart, and blindness of mind,

    then shall the great and marvelous things which have been hid up from the foundations of the world from you

    yea, when ye shall call upon the Father in my name, with a broken heart and a contrite spirit, then shall ye know that the Father hath remembered the covenant which he made unto your fathers, oh house of Israel

    Ether 7:16 And then shall my revelations that I have caused to be written by my servant John be unfolded in the eyes of al the people…

    Todd, this is how I see what you so eloquently shared with me in you expose on light and darkness. I appreciate all the hard work you put into your essays. You should write a book Todd. Thank you for inviting me to study these amazing promises to the faithful once again.

    John

    Like

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