Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Ranking the Law of Moses

Having discussed the laws associated with various kingdoms, one might wonder where the law of Moses fits into this scheme.

Using D&C 76:103 as a basis, we can examine the law of Moses for its treatment of liars, sorcerers, adulterers, and whoremongers.

The Law of Moses is actually fairly lenient to liars:
16 If a false witness rise up against any man to testify against him that which is wrong;
17 Then both the men, between whom the controversy is, shall stand before the Lord, before the priests and the judges, which shall be in those days;
18 And the judges shall make diligent inquisition: and, behold, if the witness be a false witness, and hath testified falsely against his brother;
19 Then shall ye do unto him, as he had thought to have done unto his brother: so shalt thou put the evil away from among you.
(Deuteronomy 19:16–19)
There are also ways to atone for falsehoods:
2 If a soul sin, and commit a trespass against the Lord, and lie unto his neighbour in that which was delivered him to keep, or in fellowship, or in a thing taken away by violence, or hath deceived his neighbour;
3 Or have found that which was lost, and lieth concerning it, and sweareth falsely; in any of all these that a man doeth, sinning therein:
4 Then it shall be, because he hath sinned, and is guilty, that he shall restore that which he took violently away, or the thing which he hath deceitfully gotten, or that which was delivered him to keep, or the lost thing which he found,
5 Or all that about which he hath sworn falsely; he shall even restore it in the principal, and shall add the fifth part more thereto, and give it unto him to whom it appertaineth, in the day of his trespass offering.
6 And he shall bring his trespass offering unto the Lord, a ram without blemish out of the flock, with thy estimation, for a trespass offering, unto the priest:
7 And the priest shall make an atonement for him before the Lord: and it shall be forgiven him for any thing of all that he hath done in trespassing therein. (Leviticus 6:2–7)

For sorcerers and the like, the law was less forgiving:
Thou shalt not suffer a witch to live. (Exodus 22:18)
And the soul that turneth after such as have familiar spirits, and after wizards, to go a whoring after them, I will even set my face against that soul, and will cut him off from among his people. (Leviticus 20:6)
A man also or woman that hath a familiar spirit, or that is a wizard, shall surely be put to death: they shall stone them with stones: their blood shall be upon them. (Leviticus 20:27)
So sorcery gets the death penalty.

For adulterers, the law was also not lenient:
And the man that committeth adultery with another man’s wife, even he that committeth adultery with his neighbour’s wife, the adulterer and the adulteress shall surely be put to death. (Leviticus 20:10)
If a man be found lying with a woman married to an husband, then they shall both of them die, both the man that lay with the woman, and the woman (Deuteronomy 22:22)
Adultery also gets the death penalty.

Whoremongers fair no better than adulterers. One passage suffices to illustrate:
11 And the man that lieth with his father’s wife hath uncovered his father’s nakedness: both of them shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be upon them.
12 And if a man lie with his daughter in law, both of them shall surely be put to death: they have wrought confusion; their blood shall be upon them.
13 If a man also lie with mankind, as he lieth with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination: they shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be upon them.
14 And if a man take a wife and her mother, it is wickedness: they shall be burnt with fire, both he and they; that there be no wickedness among you.
15 And if a man lie with a beast, he shall surely be put to death: and ye shall slay the beast.
16 And if a woman approach unto any beast, and lie down thereto, thou shalt kill the woman, and the beast: they shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be upon them. (Leviticus 20:11–16)
Whoremongers also get the death penalty.

So liars are allowed to make up for their lies, but sorcerers, adulterers and whoremongers--all candidates for the telestial kingdom--are not permitted to live. They are not permitted under the Law of Moses. This brings us back to the Doctrine and Covenants:
he who cannot abide the law of a terrestrial kingdom cannot abide a terrestrial glory. (Doctrine and Covenants 88:23)
If the Law of Moses is not a celestial law (D&C 84:19-27), it is at least terrestrial law.