Hymn text by Matilda Watts Cahoon, 1881-1973. View the full text of this hymn.

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)

The teachings of Christ frequently use light as a symbol. Christ is the light of the world. We receive light and truth through revelation. So it’s no surprise that we have hymns about light as well.

The Light Divine teaches of the “light of God.” Scriptures teach that the light of Christ is a divine influence available to all of us, leading us toward Christ. It inspires a desire for a better world, for improvement and order and peace. The light of Christ plants the seed of hope—hope for forgiveness, hope for a better world, hope for reunion with deceased loved ones.

And kindles in our happy hearts
The hope of things to be.

The light of Christ also instills faith. It encourages us to believe in God even when we cannot see all the answers. There is an intrinsic desire in each of us to believe in something, to find meaning in our lives. Faith is a complex topic, but ultimately faith in Christ is simply choosing to believe in Christ, whatever the circumstances. That ability to believe in difficult circumstances is strengthened over time as we witness its fruits, but the light of Christ plants the seed of faith, nudging us to “give it a try.”

The light of faith abides within
The heart of ev’ry child…

Light not only leads us to hope and believe; it also encourages us to act. The light of Christ inspires kindness, patience, peace, and gentleness. It leads us to be more Christ-like, to emulate the love that he has for all mankind. In addition to the faith and hope discussed above, it encourages us to have charity.

Dear Father, make us pure in heart;
To us thy will reveal.

As we follow the light of Christ, it will lead us toward Christ. It will guide us to make covenants that will give us greater access to divine influence and assistance, enabling us to emulate Christ to a greater degree. We can choose to ignore it, or we can choose to follow it, developing our abilities to sense this light through continued effort.

Father, let thy light divine
Shine on us, we pray.
Touch our eyes that we may see;
Teach us to obey.
Ours the sacred mission is
To bear thy message far.
The light of faith is in our hearts,
Truth our guiding star.

One comment on “Hymn #305: The Light Divine”

    Dear BJ,
    This song is one of my all-time favorites. Doctrinally, it covers so much ground, but it has other wonderful qualities, also. It begins by pointing out that God’s light is upon all of his creations, particularly the beautiful physical world He has created for us. Seeing the wondrous and inspiring sights of the natural world–a sunset, a landscape, flowers–tells us of God’s love for us and inspires faith in Him and in our future, both mortal and eternal. “The hope of things to be” is a part of faith, the belief in things that are not seen, which are true. Thus what we see that God has created for us helps us to cultivate faith in the promise of Eternal life, which we do not see as yet, but which is the greatest of all the gifts of God.

    We, along with every child born into mortality, are born with the light of faith within us, which will bloom and grow as we grow, to light the world around us.
    With faith in God we can become pure as Christ is pure, and do his will by listening with faith to the whisperings of the Holy Ghost.

    We pray constantly to have the light of truth in our lives, faith to see and understand the truth, and strength to understand and obey God’s will. It is our sacred duty to share the message of truth with all of God’s children, setting the example by living by faith, according to the testimony we have been given by God. It should be evident to all, by our lives, that we live by faith the commandments of God.

    The lilting melody of this song was composed by Mildred Petit, who also composed “I Am a Child of God.” This sweet music fittingly reflects the beauty of God’s world and inspires us to increase our faith by recognizing God’s light in our lives.

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