In addition to speaking of Christ as a person, the scriptures offer
a very different set of images: Christ as a cosmic force or the personification
of principles such as life, truth, and love. Joseph Smith's "Olive
Leaf" revelation teaches that Christ is the light of the sun, moon,
and stars—the light that is in all things and gives life to all
things as well as the law by which they are governed (D&C
88:6-13). On the basis of this passage, B. H. Roberts called Christ
the Immanent God: the ominpresent love-manifesting power that indwells
and sustains all creation. An image from the Book of Moses portrays Christ
as the word of power by which God speaks the universe into being (Moses
The "Olive Leaf" revelation teaches that Christ is both the
light that illumines our eyes and the light that quickens our understanding.
Christ is the light of truth or, as another revelation expresses it, the
Spirit of truth (D&C 93:24, 26). The Spirit
or light of Christ is the capacity that all people have to discern good
from evil (Moro. 7:16, 18). Whatever is truth,
and whatever is light, is the Spirit of Christ (D&C
84:45). Christ is the source of every good thing and of every influence
that leads people to do good (Ether 4:12). B.
H. Roberts believed that Christ is present in our own consciousness, in
our knowledge, and in our love.
|B. H. Roberts: We know
not, perhaps, on what bright sphere, as a personality He makes His
home, but wherever He is, as a personality, the Christ is as He left
the earth—after His resurrection . . . It is also possible at the
same time to regard Him as a universal presence and power—which men
rightly call God—proceeding forth from the personal presence of the
Christ, also from the presence of God the Father, and from the presence
of the Holy Spirit—there goes forth into the space depths, the Spirit
which emanating from these Holy Personages fills the immensity of
space with the very presence and power of God. That presence and power
is constantly maintained, too, and is actual presence of God in all
consciousness, in seeing, hearing, feeling, knowing, and loving. .
. . In this manner God in-dwells in his worlds, and those worlds in
which God in-dwells shall fulfill and accomplish the purposes of God.
This is the immanent Deity of which men in our day have so much to
say . . .
Report, April 1916, 138
|B. H. Roberts: Jesus,
the Christ, is both the Redeemer of the world and, under the direction
of the Father, the Creator of it and the sustaining power of it; also
the vital force, that gives life to all things; and likewise the intelligence-inspiring
power; and above all the love-manifested power; the love revealed
that God has for all the children of men, in which manifested love,
we may hope for the continuation of effort upon the part of the Divine
powers, to bring the children of men unto God.
Report, April 1923, 65