Therefore, hold up your light , that it may shine unto the world. Behold, I am the light which ye shall hold up, that which ye have seen me do. Behold, ye see that I have prayed unto the Father, and ye all have witnessed. And ye see that I have commanded that none of you should go away, but rather have commanded that ye should come unto me, that ye might feel and see; even so shall ye do unto the world. And whosoever breaketh this commandment suffereth himself to be led into temptation (3 Nephi 8:8). “When admonished earlier to let your light so shine before this people, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father who is in Heaven (3 Nephi 5:21), what the Lord meant is that it is He who should be held up. He alone. Not you, or your good intentions, your conspicuous acts or philanthropy. Not you at all. Him.”
The obligation to hold up a light is circumscribed by God’s direction that He is the light which ye shall hold up — nothing and no one else. He is the lifeline. Therefore, when anyone offers, preaches, teaches, exhorts, and expounds, He must be at the center of the prophesying, or the one “prophesying” is engaging in priestcraft (see 2 Nephi 11:17). The Lord prayed unto the Father (3 Nephi 8:4) in the Nephites’ presence. His example points to how prayer is to occur and to whom it is addressed. They all witnessed this and knew for themselves how it was to be done. He did not tell any of those who were present to go away. He brought the same message to all. He gave them His example of liberality : Ye see that I have commanded that none of you should go away, but rather have commanded that ye should come unto me (3 Nephi 8:8). No one was refused. All were welcomed. Whether those in the multitude thought someone was unworthy or whether there were some with conflicts, it did not matter. All were invited. None were refused. They were all commanded that [they] should come unto [Him].
“What is the reason we are commanded to come to Him? It is so ye might feel and see. So that you might know Him. So that you can also be a witness of His physical evidence of suffering, crucifixion and death. The wounds He bears could not be received without death. His body testifies that He died. His body also testifies of His resurrection. Despite the wounds which memorialize His suffering and death, He lives! He stands before you in life! He has risen! As you testify of Him, you must invite others to likewise come that [they] might feel and see Him. This is how witnesses of Him are commanded to do unto the world. This is their ministry, their burden, their witness, and their command from Him. When they fail to testify, teach, and proclaim, they break this commandment and suffer themselves to be led into temptation. This is why the Lord required at my hands the book The Second Comforter. That is how He directs all those who are commanded to come unto Him, that they might feel and see. It will not be in vague innuendo or veiled language. It may not be in a published book, and may well be in private. But they will all be required to invite others to likewise come unto Him that everyone might feel and see our Risen Lord. He is accessible. He invites. More than that, He commands. All are commanded and none of you should go away. We think it a great thing when someone testifies of Him. Yet He wants all to come so that everyone might feel and see Him.”1
Anyone who has had the Lord appear to them should testify as a witness to that fact. That is paramount. It is important for witnesses to declare He lives, and that they have seen Him. What is not appropriate for disclosure are details that go beyond what the Lord has chosen to make public already through the scriptures or ordinances. He controls that. Though He may reveal much to a person and place them under a different standard than what is given openly to mankind, that is His decision. Until He commands, the line is drawn between witnessing He lives — which is required — and disclosing what He alone reserves for Himself to reveal — which is forbidden. “I have said and I do believe our Lord has a continuing ministry. But that is His, not mine. Like anyone with a testimony of the Lord, I testify to help my fellow man increase in faith in Jesus Christ. I have an obligation to do so. We all do.”2 Everyone has a duty to testify of the truth and to teach one another the doctrines of the kingdom. Therefore, all are under some obligation to declare what they believe, explain why, and defend it using the scriptures and declarations of the prophets.3
1 “3 Nephi 18:24–25,” Nov. 15, 2010, blog post.
2 “Interview By My Wife,” Feb. 20, 2012, blog post.
3 “Reply to Questions,” Oct. 20, 2011, blog post.