Some hymns represent a personal testimony, even though we sing them as a group. We use the first person singular, indicating that we believe these words apply to each of us individually. For example, Psalm 27 opens with the following statement:
The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear?
the Lord is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?Psalm 27:1
Isaiah wrote a psalm with a similar message:
God is my salvation; I will trust, and not be afraid: for the Lord JEHOVAH is my strength and my song; he also is become my salvation.Isaiah 12:2, 2 Nephi 22:2
These psalms teach the same truth declared by Abinadi, and repeated by the Savior during His visit to the American continent, that He is “the light and the life of the world” (Mosiah 16:9, 3 Nephi 9:18, 3 Nephi 11:11). But there is something powerful in acknowledging that His salvation is personal, that He blesses each of us individually. He is not only the light, He is my light!
James Nicholson, who attended the Wharton Street Methodist Episcopal Church in Philadelphia in the mid-1800s, wrote a hymn based on these passages from Psalms and Isaiah. John Sweney, director of music at Bethany Presbyterian Church in Philadelphia, set it to music. Here is a video of a choir from Provo, Utah, singing an arrangement of this hymn, “The Lord Is My Light:”
Today, I will remember the personal nature of the Atonement of Jesus Christ. It blesses the whole world, but its effect is personal and individual. I will be grateful for the light, strength, and salvation that the Savior brings into my life.