"And I, God, said: Let there be light; and there was light." (Moses 2:3)

The nature of the light referred to in this verse is not explained.

Several possibilities have been suggested.

Some see this event as consonant with the prevailing scientific view

that describes the birth of our universe as a sudden burst of light and

energy of an unimaginable scale. Others see this phrase as referring to

a "local" event whereby the natural light of the sun was created.

In contrast to such naturalistic readings is the notion that the light

was the result of God's presence. President John Taylor wrote that God

"caused light to shine upon (the earth) before the sun appeared in the

firmament; for God is light, and in him there is no darkness (1 John

1:5). He is the light of the sun and the power thereof by which it was

made; he is also the light of the moon and the power by which it was

made; he is the light of the stars and the power by which they are made."

Doctrine and Covenants continues this description, making it clear this

light was something over and above mere physical light as generally

conceived, since it not only "enlighteneth your eyes" but also

"quickeneth your understandings," governs and "giveth life to all

things," and "proceedeth forth from the presence of God to fill the

immensity of space."

Related to these concepts is the idea that the heavenly hosts were part

of the light on Day One of the Creation. For example, the Jewish book of

Jubilees reports that on the first day God created various ranks of

angels along with "all of the spirits of his creatures which are in

heaven and on earth" (O. S. Wintermute, Jubilees, 2:2).

Jeffrey M. Bradshaw is author of "In God's Image and Likeness, Ancient

and Modern Perspectives on the Book of Moses."