Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Christ as the power by which the Sun was made

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. (D&C 88:7)

If we look at this only scientifically, it seems absurd. Suns form with gravitation that pull all that hydrogen together, and suns shine because of nuclear fusion.

But looking deeper, I think I can see spiritual principles hiding in the science.

What is gravity, but greatness attracting others into itself over greater distances? The spiritual force of gravity comes from the commandment to “Love the Lord with all our heart, might, mind, and strength” and “draw near unto God.”

What is fusion, but the process of achieving unity between two separate things in such a way as to produce synergistic energy?  That sounds to me a lot like reconciliatory atonement. It says something about what marriage could be too.

Not that all the mathematical details are revealed in above verse, but in its masterful summary, it gives a way we can orient the science toward the gospel, according to a divine pattern.

Also we get this little statement—“which truth shineth.”  To me, this says something about truth as information, and how it acts.  It shines. It also says to me that the shining is the medium or way truth is transmitted.  To communicate truth, you need the message and the medium.  Truth is the message, light is the medium, and it acts so as to increase the energy of the destination system by little packets.  With reference to suns, light is the medium that gives us the message that that fusion is taking place there.  Light is the sign (or message) of energy release.

But what about other truth? We get truth from little marks on a page. The medium is the marks—their shape and order—and the message is the thing they communicate. If it increases the energy and edification in your system, it’s truth.

All of this can get very philosophical pretty quick and go over our heads. Explanations can get more difficult to follow than the plain words of the scriptures. (Heck, when I read over what I wrote above, my mind is a bit boggled too.) But I think we each have a duty to try to unpack the meaning for ourselves and test how far the patterns fit or don’t. 

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; (D&C 88:11)

Just like light comes in little packets (quanta), we are enlightened in packets of truth, which eventually show us patterns of how things are.  Everything we read, everything we see adds or diminishes our knowledge of how things are. Every word on the page adds up to a thought that enlightens us or darkens us.  And it seems that is why God wants us to learn so many things—so we can grasp the underlying patterns and learn the laws of nature and choose to live the celestial laws so we can receive celestial glory.