Monday, July 9, 2012

Nephi and the Law of Moses

I have been intrigued recently by the fact that Nephi and his descendants obeyed the law of Moses, even when it is apparent that they understood the fullness of Christ's gospel.

Nephi's understanding of the plan of salvation is impressive, given that he lived six hundred years before the coming of Christ, and he lived in Jerusalem in a time when the Jews did not even understand the Law of Moses.

And, notwithstanding we believe in Christ, we keep the law of Moses, and look forward with steadfastness unto Christ, until the law shall be fulfilled. For, for this end was the law given; wherefore the law hath become dead unto us, and we are made alive in Christ because of our faith; yet we keep the law because of the commandments.

It is significant that Nephi said the law of Moses was dead to them because they knew that it was only a type of Christ, a reminder of what was really important.

I believe this is one of the reasons Lehi and his family were led to the promised land. They understood that the law of Moses wasn't the important part of the gospel. The important part was faith in Christ and his atonement and sacrifice.

Nephi understood that the law of Moses would be fulfilled.

Wherefore, we speak concerning the law that our children may know the deadness of the law; and they, by knowing the deadness of the law, may look forward unto that life which is in Christ, and know for what end the law was given. And after the law is fulfilled in Christ, that they need not harden their hearts against him when the law ought to be done away.

Nephi and his brethren took care to teach their children that the law of Moses was only a type of Christ, and a way to be reminded of His coming. It was important to them to teach their children tha the law of Moses is "dead" and that life is found only in and through the Savior, Jesus Christ. They wanted to make sure that when Christ finally came their children would be willing to accept Christ's fulfillment of the law of Moses, rather than harden their hearts toward the Savior, as the Jews in Jerusalem would do when he came.

Why do you think it is significant that Nephi described the law of Moses as being "dead"? Why did they continue living the law of Moses when they knew of the fullness of the gospel?
- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone


  1. I've always looked at the Law of Moses as training wheels of sorts. Training wheels can help you learn to ride a bicycle, but you can't keep using training wheels if you ever want to really ride a bicycle. Similarly, the law of Moses was put in place to get the Jews to understand obedience and faithfulness but was only to be a guide, never a means to salvation unto itself. You can rely on training wheels too much and never learn to balance, to ride independently. And entire generations of Jews held too tightly to the Law of Moses, unwilling to see it for the type and shadow it was to lead them to Christ and in being unwilling to see, they suffered spiritual death, separation from God as they rejected their Savior.

    The Nephites understood the fulness of the gospel, including the fulness of the Lord's timing. They understood the utility and preparative purpose in exact obedience, in doing things in the correct time and season. If they would have been willing to set aside the Law of Moses ahead of schedule, they would not really have understood it, for part of the purpose of the Law of Moses is patience, waiting upon the Lord.

    We all have our own preparative points in our lives, our training wheels, things that we can't rush through or set aside ahead of schedule because we need the schooling, the guiding in obedience, in patience, in waiting upon the Lord to be able to grow into the fulness of joy in His plan for us.

  2. It seems to me that this is what Paul was trying to teach in many of his epistles. Nephi and the prophets of the Book of Mormon perfectly teach the proper balance between works (for them keeping the law of Moses) and grace (the true source of our salvation).


What makes your soul delight? This is my invitation to you to share your thoughts right here on my blog. I read every one of them, and I appreciate them!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...