Saturday, February 27, 2016

Scripture Commentary: John 1:1-5

1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
 2 The same was in the beginning with God.
 3 All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.
 4 In him was life; and the life was the light of men.
 5 And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not.
God's word existed before the creation. We err if we suppose that God's word is completely contained in any book of scripture. "...I speak forth my words according to mine own pleasure. And because that I have spoken one word ye need not suppose that I cannot speak another; for my work is not yet finished; neither shall it be until the end of man, neither from that time henceforth and forever." (2 Nephi 29:9.)

It is interesting that the KJV (and most other translations) make Christ the agent of creation. The CEV instead makes the agent of creation God's word: "And with this Word, God created all things. Nothing was made without the Word."

Speaking of God's interactions with the people of Moses, Nephi said: "And it came to pass that according to his word he did destroy them; and according to his word he did lead them; and according to his word he did do all things for them; and there was not any thing done save it were by his word." (1 Nephi 17:31.) Moroni describes that God created the earth and man through the power of his word (see Mormon 9:17). Jesus performed miracles during his earthly ministry through the power of his word, "for his word was with power" (Luke 4:32). If God created the world through his word, and did all things for all people in scripture through his word, surely he continues to act through his word today.

The CEV renders the tail end of verse 3 through verse 5 as: "Everything that was created received its life from him, and his life gave light to everyone. The light keeps shining in the dark, and darkness has never put it out." God's light and truth flows in and through all things, even those things that do not recognize him. Darkness truly does not comprehend (or recognize or acknowledge) God, and yet he still not only exists, but is the power behind the actuation of all things in the universe. An analogy: A child does not realize their bodies are a collection of chemical reactions. Yet, their ignorance of that fact does not cause the reactions to cease. Their ignorance of the fact likewise does not prevent one who knows and understands chemistry to take advantage of that knowledge to induce favorable circumstances in the body. Those who recognize and learn from God's light and truth are able to ascend to a greater degree of glory here and now, taking greater advantage of a universal channel that is available to all: "And thus they have been called to this holy calling on account of their faith, while others would reject the Spirit of God on account of the hardness of their hearts and blindness of their minds, while, if it had not been for this they might have had as great privilege as their brethren. Or in fine, in the first place they were on the same standing with their brethren;" (Alma 13:4-5).

All life, all intelligence in our creation, stems from Christ. All life on this earth comes through a chain stemming to the sun and moon. These bodies receive their light from Christ:
7 Which truth shineth. This is the light of Christ. As also he is in the sun, and the light of the sun, and the power thereof by which it was made.
 8 As also he is in the moon, and is the light of the moon, and the power thereof by which it was made;
 9 As also the light of the stars, and the power thereof by which they were made;
 10 And the earth also, and the power thereof, even the earth upon which you stand.
 11 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;
 12 Which light proceedeth forth from the presence of God to fill the immensity of space—
 13 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. (D&C 88)