Reconciled unto Christ, Part 4

Baptism begins a new life. If you follow Christ to that point, then what follows is to keep His commandments. As Christ tells us: “For if you keep my commandments you shall receive of his fullness and be glorified in me as I am glorified in the Father. Therefore, I say unto you, you shall receive grace for grace.” (T&C 93:7)

Keeping commandments has a deeper meaning and serves a much higher purpose than public acts intended to for notice. We must worship God by keeping the commandments and growing thereby in light and truth and grace. “And no man receives a fullness unless he keeps his commandments. He that keeps his commandments receives truth and light until he is glorified in truth and knows all things.” (T&C 93:9)

Jesus Christ grew up in a society that was governed by the Law of Moses. That law established objective standards of conduct: “Thou shalt not kill,” for example. It is easy to comply by not killing someone. But Christ raised the bar and taught a much higher standard. He contrasted the standard He established for us with the Law of Moses:

“Ye have heard that it hath been said by them of old time, and it is also written before you, that thou shalt not kill, and whosoever shall kill shall be in danger of the judgment of God. But I say unto you that whosoever is angry with his brother shall be in danger of his judgment. And whosoever shall say to his brother, Raca, shall be in danger of the council, and whosoever shall say, Thou fool, shall be in danger of hellfire.
“Therefore, if ye shall come unto me, or shall desire to come unto me, and rememberest that thy brother hath aught against thee, go thy way unto thy brother and first be reconciled to thy brother, and then come unto me with full purpose of heart and I will receive you.
“Agree with thine adversary quickly while thou art in the way with him, lest at any time he shall get thee and thou shalt be cast into prison. Verily I say unto thee, thou shalt by no means come out thence until thou hast paid the uttermost [cent]. And while ye are in prison, can ye pay even one [cent]? Verily, verily I say unto you, nay.” (RE 3 Ne. 5:24-26)

Christ also elevated the commandment of the Law of Moses, “thou shalt not commit adultery,” into something much higher. Christ moved the battle ground from outward behavior into internal thoughts and feelings. He said:

“Behold, it is written by them of old time that thou shalt not commit adultery; but I say unto you that whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery already in his heart. Behold, I give unto you a commandment that ye suffer none of these things to enter into your heart, for it is better that ye should deny yourselves of these things, wherein ye will take up your cross, than that ye should be cast into hell.” (3 Ne. 5:27)

The Law of Moses was intended to allow an orderly society to function. But it was never intended to produce the kind of society that God could visit. Abinadi prophesied, “I say unto you that the time shall come when it shall no more be expedient to keep the law of Moses.” (Mosiah 8:1)

Salvation was never to be obtained through the Law of Moses, but was always through Jesus Christ. The Law pointed to Christ, and was intended to help people believe in Christ generations before He would be born. As one prophet explained about those living the Law of Moses before Christ’s birth, “believing that they must keep those outward performances until the time that he should be revealed unto them. Now they did not suppose that salvation came by the law of Moses, but the law of Moses did serve to strengthen their faith in Christ.” (Alma 14:15)

After His resurrection, Christ explained: “Marvel not that I said unto you that old things had passed away and that all things had become new. Behold, I say unto you that the law is fulfilled that was given unto Moses. Behold, I am he that gave the law, and I am he who covenanted with my people Israel. Therefore, the law in me is fulfilled, for I have come to fulfill the law; therefore, it hath an end.” (3 Ne. 7:2)

Christ gave us a new, higher standard. His life demonstrated that standard. He asks us to follow Him. Anyone with the conviction that Christ is who He claimed to be, will choose to follow Him. He explained, “My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me.” (John 6:29)