The Olive Leaf, Part 1, Lesson 34: Section 88:1–61

“The Olive Leaf, Part 1, Lesson 34: Section 88:1–61,” Doctrine and Covenants Instructor’s Guide: Religion 324–325 (1981), 67–68

“Lesson 34,” Doctrine and Covenants Instructor’s Guide, 67–68

The Olive Leaf, Part 1

Lesson 34

Section 88:1–61


The light of Christ, which proceeds from God to fill all things, is the source of all life and is the law by which all things are governed and the means by which we may obtain a fulness of celestial glory.

Theme Analysis

  1. Through the light which emanates from him, Christ is in all things and upholds and controls all things (see D&C 88:6).

    1. The light of Christ is the power by which all things were made.

    2. Physical light and the light of understanding both come from Christ.

    3. The light of Christ gives life to all things.

    4. The light of Christ is the law by which the universe is governed and given order.

  2. Christ has provided the means for our redemption and eternal inheritance.

    1. The earth abides by celestial law and will therefore be prepared to be inhabited by celestial beings and crowned with the presence of the Father.

    2. The kingdom inherited by an individual is determined by the law he is able to live.

    3. The nature of a person’s spirit at the time of his resurrection will determine the degree of glory which he attains.

    4. The Lord’s people may obtain a comforter, through which they are sealed up to eternal life.

  3. All kingdoms are governed by law.

    1. There is no space in which there is no kingdom.

    2. All beings must abide the conditions of the law given to a kingdom or they are not justified in inhabiting that kingdom.

    3. The law preserves and sanctifies all who conform to it.

  4. Christ has dominion over all things.

    1. Christ has given a law to all things.

    2. The majesty and power of Christ are manifest by his creations.

    3. Each kingdom in its turn is visited by Christ, that it may be glorified.

Study Sources

Student Manual

Section 88:1–61; Enrichment D, “Contributions of the Doctrine and Covenants to an Understanding of Jesus Christ”; Enrichment G, “The Nature and Purpose of Law”

Use material from Historical Background and Notes and Commentary to teach this revelation in its historical context.

Standard Works

Basic Library

  • Teachings, pp. 149–51. Explanation of the Second Comforter.

  • Teachings, pp. 330–31. What must we do to be exalted? Teachings, p. 54. What is God’s purpose in giving his laws to us?

  • Teachings, p. 181. What is the destiny of the earth? See also Discourses, pp. 100–102; DS, 1:87–89; 2:26; 3:66.

  • Discourses, p. 1. What is the nature of gospel law?

  • Discourses, pp. 368–69. Life is an inherent part of all matter.

  • DS, 1:49–55. What principles are involved in obtaining the fruits of the light of Christ?

  • DS, 2:36–37. How do we obtain a fulness of light and truth?

  • Marion G. Romney, in CR, Apr. 1977, pp. 59–63. What are the three phases of the light of Christ?

Additional Sources

  • Bruce R. McConkie, Mormon Doctrine, pp. 446–47. The light of Christ is defined and explained.

  • Bruce R. McConkie, Promised Messiah, pp. 207–9. Principles concerning the light of Christ.

  • Orson Pratt, in Journal of Discourses, 17:322–25, 331–32. Commentary on Doctrine and Covenants 88:6–13, 36–68. The light of Christ fills the universe and is its governing power. It is the source of life and enlightenment for all things. Expounds the parable of the Lord visiting kingdoms.

  • Joseph Fielding Smith, Answers to Gospel Questions, 2:153–56, “Is the Spirit of the Lord with every man?”

  • Joseph Fielding Smith, Answers to Gospel Questions, 5:133–37. Distinction between the light of Christ and the Holy Ghost.

Some Suggestions for Presentation

(Ideas Other Teachers Have Used)

The Three Phases of the Light of Christ (Discussion, Chalkboard Illustration)

Help students understand the workings of the light of Christ by discussing sequentially the three ways in which the light of Christ is manifest to individuals as they spiritually progress: (1) the light which enlighteneth every man that comes into the world (source of conscience); (2) the gift of the Holy Ghost (the Holy Ghost can work through the light of Christ or by personal contact; see Smith, Doctrines of Salvation, 1:54); and (3) the more sure word of prophecy, which is obtained by making one’s calling and election sure (see Smith, Teachings, pp. 149–51; Marion G. Romney, in Conference Report, Apr. 1977, pp. 59–63).

Students often do not understand the relationship between the light of Christ which is given to all men and the gift of the Holy Ghost which is given to members of the Church. Compare the ways in which each is manifest. Show that the light of Christ leads receptive individuals to receive the gospel by covenant, which enables them to receive the gift of the Holy Ghost and its blessings. Then teach the students that they, by responding to the enticings of the Holy Ghost, may continue to progress until they have made their calling and elections sure and can receive the Second Comforter. The following chalkboard illustration can help students visualize this concept:

Receiving the Fulness of the Light

A fulness of the glory of the Father

Conscience (light of Christ)

Gift of the Holy Ghost

More sure word of prophecy and the Second Comforter

Birth into mortality

Birth into the kingdom of God (being born again)

Birth into the presence of God

“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 Majesty and Power of Christ (Film, Discussion)

Show the 16-mm film This Is My Glory (15:00) which presents material concerning the vastness of the universe and God’s creations. It brings out the fact that all things were created for the benefit and exaltation of individual sons and daughters of God. Discuss the omnipotence of Christ and the fact that he created and upholds the whole universe. He is the light and life of the world and has provided the only means whereby we may be redeemed. He has given us laws whereby we may be nurtured and developed until we are able to receive celestial glory. He has ample power and means to bring us back into his presence as exalted beings if we are willing to rely on him and follow him. National Geographic, May 1974, pp. 589–625, has an article entitled “The Incredible Universe” which can provide excellent insights into the vastness of the universe.

God’s Kingdom Is One of Law and Order (Discussion)

Using Enrichment G, “The Nature and Purpose of Law,” from the student manual, lead a discussion concerning the eternal nature of law and its importance to our progression. Show that laws are for our benefit and use and that by them we can obtain a fulness of joy. Discuss also the fact that the order and consistency of the universe is a powerful testimony of the existence and omnipotence of God. (See Alma 30:40–44; Jay M. Todd, “In the Beginning,” Improvement Era, Jan. 1970, pp. 33–48.)