Exodus 18-20 – “All That the Lord Hath Spoken We Will Do”

God covenanted with his people at Sinai that they would be a peculiar treasure to him, and they promised to obey him. We are part of that covenant; covenant belonging gives us capacity to become more than we are. It produces faith unto life and salvation. 

 

 “Darkness, Light, and the Lord: Elements of Israelite Theophanies,” Kerry Muhlestein, Ascending the Mountain of the Lord: Temple, Praise, and Worship in the Old Testament, BYU Religious Studies Center 

In Exodus 19 and 20, there seem to be “four elements associated with the divine presence: smoke, light, thunder, and quaking… It would seem that the Israelites understood that God’s presence is something beyond man’s capacity to withstand.”

“Ten Commandments,” Bruce T. Verhaaren, Encyclopedia of Mormonism 

The Ten Commandments are part of the covenant made on Sinai between God and the children of Israel but they are carried into all later dispensations. This brief overview tells the history of these laws and how Christ expanded on them.  

“Theophany on Sinai,” Amy Blake Hardison, Ascending the Mountain of the Lord: Temple, Praise, and Worship in the Old Testament, BYU Religious Studies 

“Seven weeks after their deliverance from Egypt, the children of Israel arrive at Sinai, where they will remain for the better part of a year. On the very day they arrive, Moses ascends the mountain of God (Exodus 19). In this second theophany, God invites Israel to enter into a covenant relationship with him. This invitation sheds additional light on the nature of God, particularly revealing his desire for an intimate relationship with his people.” 

“No Other Gods before Me,” S. Michael Wilcox, Ensign, January 1994

There is no other god like our Father. In truly worshipping him, we will strive to be worthy of all that we are and can become. 

“Refusing to Worship Today’s Graven Images,” Dennis Largey, Ensign, February 1994 

The shapes of the idols may have changed since the days of Moses, but the basic principle, allegiance to God above all else, is still the commandment. 

“Honoring His Holy Name,” Robert L. Millet, Ensign, March 1994

When we truly appreciate our divine origins and heritage, we will shun the taking of the Lord’s name in vain. 

“Remember the Sabbath Day,” D. Kelly Ogden, Ensign, April 1994

Observance of the Sabbath is not a restriction but a source of strength and protection. 

“Planting Promises in the Hearts of the Children,” Bruce C. Hafen, Ensign, June 1994

Honoring father and mother in the fullest sense of the fifth commandment not only brings eternal blessings to families but also builds enduring societies. 

“Thou Shalt Not Commit Adultery,” W. Jeffrey Marsh, Ensign, July 1994

No matter what the world may teach, the Lord’s standard of fidelity in marriage has never changed. 

“Thou Shalt Not Kill,” Arthur R. Bassett, Ensign, August 1994

The sixth commandment’s injunction to avoid murder is the minimum standard. The Savior’s example points to a higher level” enhancement of life for others.

“Thou Shalt Not Steal,” Richard D. Draper, Ensign, September 1994

The eighth commandment prohibits theft in all forms. The Lord’s law of love teaches us the commandment’s positive side: Respect the rights and property and needs of others. 

“Thou Shalt Not Bear False Witness,” Robert J. Matthews, Ensign, October 1994

Obedience to this commandment frees us from the fear, insecurity, doubt, torment, and eventual condemnation that are the fruits of deceit. 

“Thou Shalt Not Covet,” Brent L. Top, Ensign, December 1994

The tenth commandment teaches that anything we permit to come between us and the Lord  (possessions, power, pleasure, or people) is a spiritual stumbling block. 

“Covenant Belonging,” Gerrit W. Gong, General Conference, October 2019

Covenant belonging gives us capacity to become more than we are. It produces faith unto life and salvation. Keeping our covenants with God. 

“We Are Christians Because,” Robert E. Wells, Ensign, January 1984

Our Church closely follows each of the Ten Commandments.