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"In Remembrance of God and Their Duty Towards Him," Mosiah 13:27-35

Mosiah 13:27-35

This is to me a very striking revelation, and leaves me appreciating the purpose for the law of Moses: to keep the people in remembrance of their God and their duty towards Him. So striking to me is this at this moment in time where I'm considering Priesthood duties and responsibilities, that it almost causes me to wonder why it was ever taken away. The remembrance of our God and our duties towards Him are of paramount importance in matters of salvation and enduring to the end. However, without a knowledge and proper understanding of the atonement of Christ, these reminders and the whole law has no significance. Moses understood this though when he gave the law.
For behold, did not Moses prophesy unto them concerning the coming of the Messiah, and that God should redeem his people? Yea, and even all the prophets who have prophesied ever since the world began—have they not spoken more or less concerning these things? (vs. 33
 Now perhaps I've come across as too much of an proponent of the Mosaic law, because though these two points of remembrance are of great importance, Abinadi earlier states that the law was given because of the hardheartedness of the people (see vs. 29-32). Herein then is the importance of understanding why the law was done away. The Lord does not desire to have a people who are slothfully compelled to righteousness. Rather it is pleasing to the Lord that we choose of our own accord to keep ourselves in remembrance of our God and our duties toward Him.

This passage seems useful also in illustrating the distinction between our view of laws and redemption. Those of a New Testament understanding of faith, mercy, and redemption too frequently frame the LDS doctrine as being closer to a Mosaic doctrine of works than an even split between works and faith, also with the emphasis on Christ.

Here are a few other doctrines that are noteworthy from this passage.
  • All prophets who have prophesied have spoken more or less concerning the coming of a Messiah and that God should redeem his people. (vs. 33)
  • God shall take upon himself the form of a man, and come down among men, and go forth in power upon the face of the earth. (vs. 34)
  • Were it not for the atonement, which God should make for the sins and iniquities of his people, all man kind should perish. (vs. 28)