3 Nephi 15:1-8Couldit be any clearer!The Law of Moses hath an end in me (v.8). Thestrict ceremonies, observances and offerings, peculiar to the Law of Moses.Note, it was Jesus Christ who instituted, fulfilled, and announced the fulfillment of the Law of Moses.Fundamental doctrines of the gospel did not change with the fulfilling of the Law of Moses.
Thedoctrine of the atonement is unchanging, but the procedure for how we remember the atonement changed from sacrifice to sacrament. “Keep in mind that the principles of the gospel of Jesus Christ are divine. Nobody changes the principles and doctrines of the church… But methods change as the inspired direction comes to those who preside at a given time. If you will analyze that the fundamental doctrines of the church are not changing. The only changes are in the methods of teaching that doctrine to meet the circumstances of our time” (Harold B. Lee,Ensign, January 1971, 10).
3 Nephi 15:9“Behold, I am the Law, and the Light” (Galations 3:16).You will not discover the superiority of the gospel over the law of Moses if you think the law of Moses was harder to live than the gospel.
Thefollowing statement by Elder Neal A. Maxwell helps illustrate this:“One of the ironies which is fostered, at times innocently, in the Church, is the feeling we have that the spirit of the law is superior to the letter of the law because for some reason it seems more permissive or less apt to offend others. The reverse if true. The spirit of the law is superior because it demands more of us than the letter of the law. The spirit of the law insists that we do more than merely comply superficially. It means, too, that we much give attention to the things that matter most and still not leave the others undone” (For the Power Is In Them, 46-47).“True enduring therefore represents not merely the passage of time but also the passage of soul --- and not merely from A to B, but amid ‘mighty change’ all the way from A toZ. Toendure in faith and do God’s will thus involves much more than putting up with a circumstance”(Neal A. Maxwell,Men and Women of Christ, 69-70).
Israelcommanded:Be holy, live righteously, love thy neighbor, and keep the commandments.Sounds a lot like General Conference.Enchantments, wizardry, prostitution, and all evil practices forbidden.
Leviticus19:15Ye shall do no unrighteousness in judgment.Matthew 7:1Judgein righteousness!Leviticus 19:23“Fruit thereof as uncircumcised”It could have been a simple reminder that until dedicated to God all things remain unfit for use by God’s holy people.
Leviticus 19:28“Marks upon you”Selfinflicted wounds, tattoos etc.Leviticus 19:29“Do not prostitute thy daughter”
Self inflicted scars and infirmities, tattoos, piercings.President Spencer W. Kimball said:The body will be free from all imperfections and scars and infirmities which came to it in mortality which were notself-inflicted. Wouldwe have a right to expect a perfect body if we carelessly or intentionally disfigured or damagedit? Weshall have our resurrected perfected bodies through eternities. They were given to us…
…We had little to do with getting them. It then becomes our duty to protect them from hazards, from mutilation, or disfigurement. We should treat them well building them with proper foods, proper rest, proper exercise, and keep them strong, robust, beautiful, and undamaged and live on and on till called home by our Lord” (Teachings of Spencer W. Kimball, 36-37).
Sacredprostitution was quite common among heathen worshipers, and often priestesses in the temples to such goddesses of love as Venus or Aphrodite were there only to satisfy and give religious sanction to immoral sexual desires.John C. Bennett--- SpiritualWiferyLeviticus 19:31“familiar spirits”The Hebrew word for familiar spirit means “ventriloquist.” Those today who would be called spiritualists, or spirit mediums.Doctrine & Covenants 129“Three Grand Keys”
Feasts and HolidaysLeviticus 23
ThePurpose of HolidaysThreereasons:1.Tolift the spirits of the Israelites2. To rest the body3. To point the Israelites to Christ
The Sabbath (Shabbat)
On the Sabbath day mankind was to remember three important events:1. That the creation was an act of the Lord JesusChristfortheadvancement of mankind.2. That the release of Israel from Egyptian bondage wasaccomplishedthrough the power of Jehovah.3. That the resurrection of Christ would bring the promiseofimmortality for all mankind.(Bruce R. McConkie,The Promised Messiah394-96)
The Holy Days of Ancient Israel
Althoughthe ancient Israelites had many days in the year set apart for festivities or fasting and prayer, four besides the Sabbaths were of particular importance:1. The Feast of Passover2. The Feast of Pentecost (Weeks)3. The Feasts of Tabernacles4. The Day of Atonement
These days were set down for Israel by the Lord.During these days every male Israelite was commanded to appear “before the Lord they God” (meaning at the tabernacle or later, the temple)as a symbol of his allegiance to his Maker(Deut. 16:29-34).Israel was given a chance four times a year to pause and reflect on the blessings of God.Further, each holy day was organized to emphasize a particular aspect of the nature and mission of the Lord Jesus Christ.
The Feast of Passover
Togetherwith the feast of Unleavened Bread, commemorated the Israelites’ deliverance from Egyptian slavery.It was in the latter part of March, every family or group sacrificed a lamb.The lamb was slain in the evening before the celebration began. The blood was sprinkled on the door post and lintel (the horizontal beam forming the upper member) of a door or window frame of the home.
Thelamb was roasted whole, no broken bones. The members of the family stood and atehastily. Anyportions of the lamb remaining were to be burned.To remind Israel of the days of bondage in Egypt and to remember their deliverance by the Lord.Unleavened bread was eaten for seven days and the people awaited the signal to begin their journey to their freedom.Yes, to remember their deliverance, but also the Deliverer!
The Feast of Pentecost (Weeks)
Pentecostin Greek means “the fiftieth day.”The festival isone dayand came seven weeks, or forty-nine days, after Passover (late May or early June).It marked the beginning of the harvest of the newwheat.Godwas the real giver of the increase.One purpose was so that all of Israel would truly say, “The earth was the Lord’s and the fullness thereof; the world, and they that dwell therein” (Psalm 24:1).The sacrifices (five animals) indicated thatthe purpose of the feast was for Israel to gain a remission of sins and obtain a reconciliation with God.
The Day of Atonement
On the tenth day of the seventh month (mid to late September).This was the most solemn and sacred of all religious days. All manual labor stopped, and there was no feasting or frolicking. It was a day to “afflict” or to fast. A day for prayer, meditate, deep contrition (Leviticus 16:29).It was the heart and center of the whole Mosaic law, namely, the Atonement of the Lord Jesus Christ.Two goats were selected, lots were cast, one goat received the name of Jehovah, the otherAzazel the scapegoat. The Lord’s goat was sacrificed, symbolic of the ultimate sacrifice.But upon the scapegoat all the sins of the people, which burden the scapegoat was then carried away into the wilderness.The chosen High Priest was privileged to enter the Holy of Holies and sprinkle blood from the sacrifice on the Mercy Seat.
The Feast of Tabernacles
Alsocalled the feasts of Booths or the feast of Ingathering occurred five days after the Day of Atonement (late September or early October).It began and ended on a Sabbath and so it was eight days in length.They erected booths or temporary huts for the duration of the feast. This was to remind Israel of the goodness of the Lord during their forty-year sojourn in the wilderness of Sinai and the blessing that was theirs to live permanently, if they were obedient, in the promised land.It celebrated the completion of the full harvest symbolizing the gospel reality that it was the mission of the house of Israel to gather all nations to Jehovah.
Includedin the Feast of the Tabernacles was a holy convocation, which in this instance was called also asolemn assembly.In our modern solemn assemblies we give the Hosanna Shout, which is associated with the Feast of Tabernacles anciently.They waved palm branches instead of white handkerchiefs.
Leviticus 21-22TheLaws of cleanliness for thePriesthood:All members of the priesthood had to marry virgins of their ownpeople.Prostitutes, adulterous women, or even divorced women, were excluded, thus avoiding the least doubt about personal purity.The priest could not marry “profane” women (non-Israelites; v.7, be defiled by contact with a dead person other than close relatives (v. 1-3), or allow a daughter to be a prostitute.Such strictness was to remind the people that Christ, the true Mediator between God and his children, was perfect in every respect.
Leviticus 24:17-22Wasthe Law of Moses really and eye for an eye?First, it was intended to be a law of exact justice, not of revenge.Second, it was not private vengeance, but public justice.Third, by excluding murder from the crimes for which ransom is permissible it makes it probable that compensation for injuries was often or usually allowed to take the form of a fine” (Guthrie and Motyer,Bible Commentary: Revised, 164).
Leviticus 25The Sabbatical and Jubilee YearThe Israelite was told that once in every seven years he was to trust wholly in God rather than in the fruits of his own labor for sustenance.The land, too, was to have its Sabbath rest, and no plowing, sowing, reaping, or harvesting was to take place.Once every fifty years the land would have a double rest.
Theseventh sabbatical year (the forty-ninth year) was to be followed by a jubilee year.God had delivered Israel from bondage of Egypt, forgiven their numerous debts to him, and given them and inheritance in the land of promise. Now the Israelites must do the same.Slaves or servants were to be freed, the land returned to it original owner, and debts forgiven.
Leviticus 27:32“Whatsoever passeth under the rod”When a man was to give the tithe of his sheep or calves to God, he was to shut up the whole flock in one fold, in which there was one narrow door capable of letting out one at a time. The owner, about to give the tenth to the Lord, stood by the door with a rod in his hand, the end of which was dipped in vermilion or red ochre. The mothers of those lambs or calves stood without: the door being opened, they young ones ran out to join themselves to their dams; and as they passed out the owner stood with his rod over them, and counted one, two, three, four, five &, and when the tenth came, he touched it with the colored rod, by which it was distinguished to be the tithe calf, sheep, etc. and whether poor or lean, perfect or blemished, that was received as the legitimate tithe.