Sunday, January 18, 2015

2 Nephi 5:10

And we did observe to keep the judgments, and the statutes, and the commandments of the Lord in all things, according to the law of Moses.

Why does Nephi not simply say, "And we kept the commandments?" What does adding "we did observe to keep the commandments" imply? Perhaps from this semi awkward phrasing we are supposed to learn that truly keeping the commandments requires a watchfulness, a mindful attitude of recognizing what we are doing and why. Adam and Eve were certainly keeping the law of sacrifice when the offered the firstlings of their flock. But the Lord was not content with leaving them in the dark about why He had given them this law. Thus He sent an angel to instruct them. So I find myself wondering, "Am I mindful of the commandments as I kept them? Am I waiting on the Lord to give me further light and knowledge as I keep the commandments or am I just obeying out of habit (which is probably better than not, but is it what the Lord wants)?"

From this verse we also need to ask why Nephi said they kept the judgments, statutes, and commandments? Again, why didn't he just say, "And we kept the commandments?" How are these three things different. I admit, after comparing usage and definitions from several dictionaries, I'm flummoxed.

Judgments seems to be the law as given by the Lord (our judge). Statutes are written laws. Commandments are divine decrees.

Perhaps they are just three ways of saying the same thing. So why list all three?

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