Commandments are instructions given by God to His children to prepare them for eternal life in the world to come.
The Ten Commandments
The Ten Commandments are familiar to most Christian and Jewish denominations. The word command means “to direct with specific authority or prerogative”. The Ten Commandments were given to Moses, to be used by the Israelite people after the Lord released them from their bondage in Egypt.
- Thou shalt have no other gods before me.
- Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth:
- Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the Lord thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me;
- And shewing mercy unto thousands of them that love me, and keep my commandments.
- Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain; for the Lord will not hold him guiltless that taketh his name in vain.
- Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy.
- Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work:
- But the seventh day is the sabbath of the Lord thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates:
For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the Lord blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it.
- Honour thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be long upon the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee.
- Thou shalt not kill.
- Thou shalt not commit adultery.
- Thou shalt not steal.
- Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbour.
- Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour’s house, thou shalt not covet thy neighbour’s wife, nor his manservant, nor his maidservant, nor his ox, nor his ass, nor any thing that is thy neighbour’s. (Exodus 20:3-17)
It is important to note that although we no longer live the Law of Moses, we still observe the Ten Commandments. Many other commandments have been given. Specifically Jesus Christ during his ministry described two, which if followed, essentially circumscribe all commandments perfectly.
- And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment.
- And the second is like, namely this, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. There is none other commandment greater than these. (Mark 12:30-31)
If we truly love our Heavenly Father than we would observe the Sabbath and would never take his name in vain or refuse his word. Likewise, if we love on another we wouldn't do anything that would hurt or offend.
Commission and Omission
There are typically two types of sins that we need to be mindful of. There are sins of commission. These are acts, such as theft, or lying.
Secondly, there are sins of omission. These are things that you are not doing. Such as paying tithing, being kind and loving, or acting with charity.
We are free to choose whether or not to follow the commandments.
- Therefore, cheer up your hearts, and remember that ye are free to act for yourselves—to choose the way of everlasting death or the way of eternal life. (2 Nephi 10:23)
Some might think that following the commandments seems burdensome or restrictive. They might believe they are loosing freedom, when in reality if we follow the commandments the Lord has given us, we will be entitled to more freedom and opportunity in the long run. Our Heavenly Father wishes us to have eternal life by becoming joint-heirs with Christ (Romans 8:17)
If we follow Lucifer, he will lead us down a path where we are no longer free to choose for ourselves.
- O that ye would awake; awake from a deep sleep, yea, even from the sleep of hell, and shake off the awful chains by which ye are bound, which are the chains which bind the children of men, that they are carried away captive down to the eternal gulf of misery and woe. (2 Nephi 1:13)