Notes for my writing

This blog is made up of notes on the gospel as found in the only true and living church, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. This includes notes that are either excerpts from or ideas for books I either have in draft or may yet write.

Thursday, August 13, 2015

The law of Moses and Christ's teachings

Reading Numbers 35 one is struck by how wildly different it is than what we would consider godly principles. Don't get me wrong, I know it is the law of Moses. It was a lesser law than the gospel we now enjoy. But it is certainly a bit surprising that if you killed someone and it was murder you were to be tried and executed, but if it was not murder then you still had to live your life in one of 6 designated refuge cities until the current high priest died. If you were found outside one of those refuge cities by the right person related to the one who died, then they could rightfully take your life.

That is really different than what we are used to. There is an academic interest in whether this appears without us noticing it in the Book of Mormon (because they lived the law of Moses, albeit with some modifications under continuing revelation, e.g. there were no bond servants and not being able to pay your debts was handled differently). But those sorts of things, while curious, are a long way a way from any sort of spiritual depth.

What is more interesting is how completely different Christ's teachings in the new testament are from the law of Moses. His teaching of "love your enemies, bless them that curse you" really stand in stark contrast to what we find in the law of Moses. The law of Moses seems to lay a ground work of honesty, sexual purity, keeping the Sabbath, and justice. It also has many practices that are reminders or one sort or another, such as sin offerings and other sacrifices. But on issues of right and wrong it is mostly justice mitigated by not very much mercy. It appears that a people that are more hard hearted need more justice and less mercy to find their way through life without cutting themselves off from God.

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