The Salt of the Earth – The Light of the World

Matthew 5 : 13-16 KJV

13. Ye are the salt of the earth: but if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be salted? it is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be trodden under foot of men.

14. Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid.

15. Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house.


It is surprising how much difference a sprinkling of salt makes in the flavor of what we eat. And yet salt is one of the least expensive and simplest ingredients.

In the book of 2 Kings, we read of “a little maid” who was captured by the Syrians and became a servant to the wife of Naaman, captain of the Syrian army. She was as salt; she was young, of no worldly importance, and her life as a slave in a foreign country was clearly not what she had hoped for.

However, she spoke two sentences with the power of God, testifying to Naaman’s wife: “Would God my lord were with the prophet that is in Samaria! for he would recover him of his leprosy.”

Her words of faith were relayed to Naaman, who acted on her words, allowing him to be healed both physically and spiritually.

We often focus on the servants who convinced Naaman to bathe in the river Jordan, as the prophet Elisha directed, but Naaman would not have even been at Elisha’s door without “a little maid.”

You may be young or feel of no importance, but you can be as salt in your family, at school, and in your community.

April 2022 General Conference – Susan H Porter Lessons at the Well

To Be the Salt of the Earth

Salt loses it savor when it is defiled by impurities. To be the salt of the earth, we must be pure and undefiled. We defile ourselves as we take upon ourselves the popular teachings of the day while ignoring the promptings of the Holy Spirit and the teachings of his words and the words of his chosen leaders. We defile ourselves when we place our own judgement over the Lord’s. We defile ourselves through sin thinking – it’s not a big deal. We defile ourselves when we watch movies and television shows which portray as normal, lifestyles and language we should not have part in. It is imperative as Christians that we dedicate our life to doing the works that Christ would have us do which are not the works the world would want us to do.

Ye are the Salt of the Earth

“Ye are the salt of the earth,” said He. Salt is the great preservative; as such it has had practical use since very ancient times. Salt was prescribed as an essential addition to every meat offering under the Mosaic law. [524] Long before the time of Christ, the use of salt had been accorded a symbolism of fidelity, hospitality, and covenant.[525] To be of use salt must be pure; to be of any saving virtue as salt, it must be salt indeed, and not the product of chemical alteration or of earthy admixture, whereby its saltiness or “savor” would be lost;[526] and, as worthless stuff, it would be fit only to be thrown away. Against such change of faith, against such admixture with the sophistries, so-called philosophies, and heresies of the times, the disciples were especially warned.

— James Talmage on the Salt of the Earth – Jesus the Christ Chapter 17

[524] Lev. 2:13; compare Ezra 6:9; Ezek. 43:24.

[525] Note the expression “covenant of salt,” indicating the covenant between Jehovah and Israel, Lev. 2:13; Numb. 18:19; compare 2 Chron. 13:5.

[526] Salt of the Earth.—Dummelow’s Commentary, on Matt. 5:13, states: “Salt in Palestine, being gathered in an impure state, often undergoes chemical changes by which its flavor is destroyed while its appearance remains.” Perhaps a reasonable interpretation of the expression, “if the salt have lost his savor,” may be suggested by the fact that salt mixed with insoluble impurities may be dissolved out by moisture, leaving the insoluble residue but slightly salty. The lesson of the Lord’s illustration is that spoiled salt is of no use as a preservative. The corresponding passage in the sermon delivered by Jesus to the Nephites after His resurrection reads: “Verily, verily, I say unto you, I give unto you to be the salt of the earth; but if the salt shall lose its savor, wherewith shall the earth be salted? The salt shall be thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men.” (3 Nephi 12:13.)

To Be the Light of the World

Never hide who you are. As a disciple (follower) of Christ, it is imperative that others know it. It should be part of your daily conversations. It should be demonstrated in your daily routines. People who know you need to know you are living a life patterned after Jesus Christ. As they know who you are, and know what you are, you become the light. Those who long for the Savior but are not yet converted will see your good works and the light in your eyes and desire for themselves to be converted and come unto Jesus.

The Salt and the Light

Salt and light, symbols of the saints: salt because it has a seasoning, purifying, preserving power; light because it manifests the good works and wise words of the true believers! The saints, as the salt of the earth, are set forth to season their fellowmen, to keep society free from corruption, to help their fellow beings become wholesome, pure, and acceptable before the Lord. The saints as the light of the world, are to set an example of good works and charitable deeds, so they may say to all men, as does their Master, ‘Follow thou me; and I will lead you in sure paths her and to heights above the clouds hereafter.’

–Bruce R. McConkie – The Immortal Messiah Vol 2 Chapter 41