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Question

 

Gramps,

If Nephi was a Jew he was under the Law of Moses. When did the Law of Moses get replaced with the doctrine of Christ and replace sacrifice with baptism? In the Bible the Levites were baptizing. When did this start?   I’m confused. I thought it was one or the other not both baptism and sacrifice at the same time. Thank you Gramps.

Ruby

 

Answer

 

Dear Ruby,

At the time of Lehi, the kingdom of Judah was still subject to the Law of Moses, with all its statutes and ordinances. Just to drive this point home, Laman and Lemuel railed against their father for his accusations against a people who kept the law of Moses. Lehi’s descendants remained subject to this law as well, and we find it frequently brought up in The Book of Mormon. Lehi offers a thank offering at the safe return of his sons, and generations later a Mosaic offering is made at the temple to set the tone for King Benjamin’s sermon. Nephi recognized the importance of observing the law with exactness, which he also taught his people. Jarom specifically calls out Sabbath observance under this law. Abinadi takes wicked priests to task for neither teaching nor obeying this law.

Lehi’s descendants kept the law of Moses until Jesus Himself came and rescinded it.

Now, earlier I said Nephi observed the law of Moses with exactness, but the New World differed from the Old in two ways. First, as the Nephite culture lacked any Levites, the rites were performed by a different (but still legitimate) priesthood. Second (and most significant), they recognized the law’s purpose to bring them to Christ. Again and again, the prophets testify that they find the Savior through keeping the Mosaic law. Naturally, some of the best sermons on Christ come from prophets testifying of typology in the law.

Finally, I’d like to address one additional misconception you seem to be carrying. Baptism preceded the law of Moses, as is testified by Adam’s example.

 

Gramps

 

 

 

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