Come Follow Me Book of Mormon Central Taylor Tyler

Come, Follow Me Insights with Taylor and Tyler | Old Testament Lesson 21: May 16–22 “Beware Lest Thou Forget the Lord” Deuteronomy 6–8; 15; 18; 29–30; 34 | Book of Mormon Central


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Come, Follow Me
Old Testament Lesson 21:
May 16–22
“Beware Lest Thou Forget the Lord”
Deuteronomy 6–8; 15; 18; 29–30; 34

Deuteronomy 6: Moses proclaims, The Lord our God is one Lord, and, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God—The children of Israel are commanded to teach their children—Moses exhorts them to keep the commandments, testimonies, and statutes of the Lord that they may prosper.

Deuteronomy 7: Israel is to destroy the seven nations of Canaan—Marriages with them are forbidden lest apostasy result—Israel has a mission as a holy and chosen people—The Lord shows mercy unto those who love Him and keep His commandments—He promises to remove sickness from the children of Israel if they obey.

Deuteronomy 8: The Lord tested the children of Israel in the wilderness for forty years—Eating manna taught them that man lives by the word of God—Their clothing did not wear out—The Lord chastened them—If they serve other gods, they will perish.

Deuteronomy 15: Every seven years, all debts are to be released—The people are admonished to care for the poor—Hebrew servants are to be released and given gifts during the seventh year—The firstling males of herds and flocks are the Lord’s.

Deuteronomy 18: How priests are supported—Divination, spiritualism, and the like are abominations—A Prophet (Christ) will arise like unto Moses.

Deuteronomy 29: The children of Israel make a covenant with the Lord under which they will be blessed if they are obedient, and cursed if they are disobedient—If they are disobedient, their land will be as brimstone and salt.

Deuteronomy 30: The scattered Israelites will be gathered from all nations when they remember the covenant—Moses places life or death, blessing or cursing, before the people.

Deuteronomy 34: Moses sees the promised land and is taken by the Lord—Joshua leads Israel—Moses was Israel’s greatest prophet.

Come Follow Me Insights – Deuteronomy: Book of Covenants – powered by Happy Scribe

I’m Taylor.

And I’m Tyler.

And I’m Jan Martin.

This is the Book of Mormon Central’s. Come follow me. Insights today, the Book of Deuteronomy.

This is this is an amazing book, and we are so grateful to have our friend and colleague Jen join us today. She is an expert in the King James Version of the Bible. And it’s a pleasure to have you join us today as we address this book that quite frankly, many people, when they hear, oh, we’re in Deuteronomy today, many people their knee jerk response would be boring. It’s a second telling of the law. I was bored the first time, maybe, and why do I want it again? Here we go again. But honestly, this book is a gold mine for all kinds of things that provide a foundation not just for the rest of the Old Testament, but for the New Testament and even for the Book of Mormon and for our covenantal connection with God today. So let’s take a minute and set the stage with context really quickly where we are in the Book of Deuteronomy. We’ve spent 40 years wandering in the wilderness. We’re ready to go into the promised land. Moses is still with them, and he’s going to sit down with all the children of Israel after these 40 years.

And he’s going to give the second telling of the law. This is the rising generation that many of them weren’t there at Mount Sinai. Many of those people didn’t come through the Red Sea or come out of slavery in Egypt. So he’s going to remind them of some things. Hence the second telling of the law. But in the process, you’re going to get some very powerful phrases, concepts, teachings that are going to once again permeate through the rest of our scriptural history moving forward.

Well, we’re really excited about the Book of Deuteronomy. It’s largely a covenantal book. And so what we have to do if we’re going to appreciate it, is understand that it’s a Covenant book. But then look at the Covenant language. And the language throughout here can be a little bit off putting. There are some words that can give us the wrong idea. But once we put it in our Covenant context and suddenly it all opens up and it makes sense and we don’t need to be offended or bugged, we can actually really jump in and embrace it and get excited. It’s very exciting.

Are there certain words that you think people should know in advance that we all think we know what the words are, but in a Covenant or contact have much more important meaning?

Yeah, we start with love. Obviously, hate is another one. I’m going to throw in the word fear because it plays an important part in developing the kind of relationship in a Covenant that we want. But we misunderstand fearless. Jealousy is another one of those. But in a Covenant context, it just opens it out and helps you understand God’s personality and what he’s actually saying of us. So we can just start with those. There’s plenty of words, but I think those will.

Yeah. So love is an interesting one. We all think we know what the word love is, but in a Covenant context. Jan. Yeah. What does love mean in scripture, in this Covenant of context?

Well, the way that the people in the ancient Near East had relationships with each other, it was all about making a Covenant. And you actually don’t have a group of people anywhere in the Middle East that aren’t making covenants with each other. You don’t just live next to your neighbors, you Covenant with your neighbors, and then you have a relationship. And so these people are really used to this. And so the way I express love in Covenant language is I’m in the Covenant, I’m committed to the Covenant. I love the Covenant. But if I break my Covenant, I’m sending the message that I hate the Covenant or I hate the person I’ve covenanted with and I’m violating all of those relationships fear we can talk about in a little bit if you want to have more to do with respect and then jealousy has more to do with how I’m viewing what’s going on here and not me being jealous in the way that we would mean it. It’s not this green with jealousy. It has to do with how I’m perceiving what’s happening with the Covenant.

Maybe even the word committed. Yeah, I’m not sure if I spelled that right. This is really important because context matters. We’ve mentioned this before that we’ll write this down. We are reading the text of the Scriptures, and without the context, the text can just be a Con where we can be tripped up by the language and think we know what’s going on and miss it. So the context matters. And building on what Jan David about all these covenantal relations going on in the ancient Middle East during the time of the Israelites, let me share the scripture from Second Nephi 31, verse three. For the Lord God giveth light unto the understanding, for he speaketh unto man according to their language, unto their understanding. So when the ancient Israelites heard Covenant the language, they were already familiar with the conventions and the meaning of the terminology of what was going on. Now, we all have not been trained in ancient Near Eastern covenantal language. So today we’re actually going to talk about that a bit. So we can see in Deuteronomy how God is using very common covenantal, contractual legal language that everyone would have been familiar with in the ancient Middle East to convey important messages.

And to use an example, if in English, I wrote out the phrase the people in the United States and throughout the world, most people would recognize that this is the beginning of the Constitution, which is a covenantal contract. It’s a very modern covenantal contract and it’s interesting. This Covenant or contract, it was written in 1789, has now been the inspiration for 193 constitutions around the world. So you go anywhere in the world. Most people understand what constitutions are, and they generally have a sense of the language that goes on in constitutions and the expectations and obligations that governments and people have to one another. So similarly, in the ancient world, those kinds of things were going on. We have hundreds and hundreds of examples of what we might call ancient constitutions or ancient Covenant or contracts. And God wanted to impress upon his people’s minds in their hearts that he wanted to be their God. He wanted them to be his people. And he used this language to impress upon their minds that he was going to be in this Covenant with them. He was going to love them. He wanted their love back. So that structure can be very helpful for us to consider.

Now we’re going to pause for just a moment. We’re going to put on screen a chart that you can take a look at which shows you the covenantal structure that shows up in Deuteronomy. We find it in Joshua, parts of the Book of Mormon, even the doctrine of covenants. So this covenantal structure of God declaring how he wants to be our God and he wants us to be his people. We see the structure throughout the scriptures. So we’ll just pause, let you look at that briefly, and you can see how that Covenant’s context is structuring what we’re talking about here in Deuteronomy.

All right. Well, as we’ve seen with that lovely chart on the covenants, and you were talking about the Nephi being able to have God speak to them in a way that they understood and that God speaks to people like that. So I was just thinking about Covenant language in the Book of Mormon. One of our prophets, Samuel the Lehmanai, comes and preaches right before the birth of Christ, and he’s talking to the Nephi, inviting them to repent. And he just uses some really great language. So in helium 15, verse three, he says to the people of Nephi, except they shall repent when they shall see all these signs and wonders which shall be shown unto them. For behold, they have been a chosen people of the Lord. That’s a covenanted people. Yea, the people of Nephi hath he loved. So right here isn’t just this warm, fuzzy feeling that I love. My knee fights. This is a direct indication that he’s entered a Covenant, and they are in the Covenant. And then Samuel goes on to say, even though they’ve been in the Covenant, the Lord’s had to chase in them. They’ve had to repent because they’ve had some iniquities, but he chasing them because he loves them.

But this is a Covenant context, not just you’re, my kids, and I feel warm and fuzzy.

It’s part of the obligations of the legal contract. When we read Deuteronomy, you will see that God lays out, okay, I’m going to give you this land and I want you to live in peace and prosperity in the land. That’s my obligation is to give that to you. Your obligation in return is to keep the Commandments to love your neighbor, to not abuse people on and on. And if you don’t love and follow me, if you don’t see a connection, I will actually have to punish you or actually have to remove some of the blessings for a while to encourage you to get back into the Covenant.

We now have Samuel saying to about his own people, this is what’s interesting. And some of you may have been offended by these passages because listen to the contrast says, but behold, my brother and the Lehmanites has he hated. And suddenly our hackles go up and we get all worried about what is God doing here. Is he exclusive? Is he picking on people he likes and not liking it? But what he’s saying is because of the choices of Lehman and Lemuel back in the day, they broke the Covenant and he now perceives them as outside that Covenant. And he explains why he’s hated them. Their deeds have been evil continually. But then he says, because of the iniquity of the tradition of their fathers. So they’ve been taught to be outside the Covenant. And what he wants is to bring them back in the Covenant and then without carrying on with this part. But Samuel Knight then explains how the lamenites are currently actually behaving in such a way that they’re inside the Covenant in contrast to what the new fights are doing. So that’s a place where we could easily be offended. But the Covenant context then helps us feel really comfortable with in and out.

And we now know how we can be in and out of covenants as well. So this context is really important to understanding ancient scripture.

So if you look at the Scriptures, they’re really about Covenant obligations and God wanting to be in a relationship with us. If we can boil it down, God wants us back with him and he sent his son, Jesus Christ to pave the way to make that possible. And sometimes we get lost in the weeds. There’s so many words and concepts. If you just remember, it’s all about God is your father and he wants to be an eternal relationship with you. And the invitation is, if you choose to follow Jesus, you will have that.

This is very helpful, this background. And let’s never, ever forget the fact that Jesus is the messenger of the Covenant. All of those connections that we’ve been talking about here, they all find their fulfillment, they find their delivery, they find their perfection in Christ. Well, same thing applies to us. If I ever hope to be in a Covenant with God and ever hope to be able to stay covenantly, loyal to him. And when I mess up, how do I fix it? Well, I don’t fix it. The Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, helps me fix it. He’s the one who becomes the means whereby we enter in and stay in and come back to that covenantal connection with God. So let’s jump in. In the book of Deuteronomy, you get again the context where we’re ready to turn pass the baton to Joshua and Moses is going to have this last opportunity to teach the children of Israel. And in chapter three, he goes up on Mount Pisga where he’s able to look over and see the promised land, and he can see much of it, but he’s not going to enter in. He’s going to be translated before they get to go in.

And so that’s in chapter three. And then four. Beautiful in the context of what Jan and Taylor have been talking about, this beautiful covenantal language. Look at verse 27. Let’s start there. And the Lord shall scatter you among the nations, and Ye shall be left few in number among the heathen Whither the Lord shall lead you, and there Ye shall serve gods, the works of men’s hands, wood and stone, which neither see nor hear nor eat nor smell. So God’s saying, look, if you’re not going to keep the Covenant, if you’re not going to stay in my love, abide in the arms of my mercy and the Kafar, the covering that I’m offering you, you’re going to leave the Covenant and go somewhere else. Well, you’re going to be scattered among the nations. But think heaven. The chapter doesn’t end there. Verse 29. But if from fence, thou shalt seek the Lord thy God. Did you notice that significant little two letter word? If so, if you find yourself in a scattered condition, in a scattered place away from God, out of the covenantal safety and connection, if you’re in there in that condition and you seek the Lord thy God, thou shalt find him.

I don’t know if there’s significance to the King James text here, but you might find him, or odds are that pretty good chance you’re going to find him.

Yeah. The thing that strikes me here is that God wants to be in a Covenant relationship with us, and even when we don’t want to be and we go wandering off somewhere and then we discover that wandering off was a bad idea because we don’t then have access to all of the help and the power that this God can give us, and we come to ourselves per se. And then we come back and are looking for God. He’s findable and he wants us to renew the Covenant. He’s not like, well.

He wants to be famous.

He’s been gone for a long time. So I’m going to punish you for a while or give you the silent treatment. He wants to be found. But look, as you’ve said, if you come back and you’re seeking me, you shall find me. If here’s the other qualification. You seek me with all of your heart and soul. So now we’re going back to the status of the Covenant. Why are you here? What are you wanting? And covenants are always about our hearts and about our relationship to God. Yes, he wants you back. But now we’re going to have to do some things to reignite that relationship and make things the way they should be.

Isn’t it interesting what John’s pointing out there? It’s with all your heart and with all your soul. This is so much more than just a checklist on the wall of I need to pray, read my scriptures, go to Church and be nice. It’s more than just doing the right things. God doesn’t just want good actions. He wants our heart and ultimately our entire soul so that we’re doing the right things for the right reason, with the right intent, which is to connect us with God. Now, if any of you have spent time outside of the Covenant or have loved ones who have not wanted to be in that Covenant connection with God, look at verse 30. When thou art in tribulation and all these things are come upon thee even in the latter days, if thou turn to the Lord thy God and shalt be obedient unto his voice and then he gives you a parenthetical statement. There. He says he will not forsake thee. He’s a merciful God. He’s not going to forsake you. He’s not going to turn you away. There’s beautiful covenantal promise there. Even when we’ve totally rejected the Covenant, totally broken, it totally turned our back on God.

He doesn’t seem to ever completely turn his back on us.

In fact, if you don’t mind, I’m just going to back us up to the beginning of chapter four. There’s a great verse with this really great question, verse seven. He says, for what nation is there so great? Who has God so nigh unto them as the Lord our God is in all things that we call upon Him. For even when I’ve been gone, those questions still apply. He’s still nigh. He’s still waiting. He’s still wanting me. But this is an active agency. He will not force us into a Covenant. But when we want to come back into it, he welcomes us with open arms. He’s still nigh and looking and such beautiful language in here. It’s a brilliant book.

Powerful to finish off chapter four, look at verse 37. And because he loved thy fathers, therefore he chose their seed after them and brought thee out in the sight, in his sight, with his mighty power out of Egypt. Did you catch that God loved us first? God is never asking us to do things that he hasn’t perfectly modeled and put in place originally. I wonder if all of these Covenant obligations that he’s given us are simply invitations to become more like Him, not just tasks to keep us busy during mortal sojourn on the Earth. But rather, these are things that will shape our mind, our heart and our soul to becoming more like him, a being who is capable of keeping covenants and loving perfectly.

And I just want to remind us that when we’re looking at verse 37, it’s really easy to say he loved me emotionally, and that’s true. But again, here’s the Covenant love. God made those covenants with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. He loved them in a Covenant sense. And he’s the one who came. They’re seeking after him, of course, but he’s the one who always initiates the Covenant and says, okay, you want to be close to me, this is how it works. And so he loved them in that Covenant sense. And I just want to link 37 back to verse 30. Even in the latter days, this Covenant has been going on, and with the restoration of the gospel, we restored this Covenant. And so Moses isn’t just preaching for his people. He can see way out to us that when we’re in the same situations, he’s loved our fathers. And that Covenant is the reason he’s still reaching out. Great.

I wonder if that helps us better understand what President Nielsen has said, that there is nothing that is taking place on this Earth that is more important than the gathering of Israel. Well, what are we gathering them to? The Covenant into the Covenant. We’re bringing them into the arms of safety, into the heart and soul of God. That’s the whole point, because God has shown us what it looks like to love somebody with all your heart might, mind and strength in this covenantal. Connecting sort of a context. Now we go to chapter five, and Moses is going to retell the Ten Commandments. He’s going to repeat them and give a little bit of commentary on some of them, which then leads us into chapter six, which coincidentally is probably one of the favorite chapters of the entire Old Testament for the Jewish people. They love chapter six for some very specific reasons. There is a section in here called The Shaman, which is the word for hear or listen or give ear. Pay attention. Look at verse four. Let’s start with verse three here. That’s Shamah here, therefore, O Israel, and observe to do it, that it may be well with thee and the Ye may increase mightily, as the Lord God of thy fathers hath promised thee in the land that floweth with milk and honey.

Remember what Taylor was talking about? The obligation of giving them land and prosperity and peace in order to have posterity to then be able to spread and bless every nation kindred tongue and people on the Earth. So God’s doing this part. Now we get another here. Verse four. Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God is one Lord, and thou shalt love Covenant, the Lord thy God with all thy heart. And with all thy soul and with all thy might.

Yes, I’m going to be involved in this Covenant with everything that I have, and I show that by the way I behave. And so again, it’s about who I am and what I’m becoming and keeping my side of the deal.

It’s powerful. Now, these verses here or combinations, various combinations of these Martin in verse four down through verse nine or eight, depending on the sect of Judaism today, they will recite this as a prayer in some contexts, morning and evening, every day. This is their go to most often repeated scripture ever. And they recite it. So you’ll notice, verse six gives us some context as to why Jewish people may want to really focus in on this particular section of Scripture. Verse six says, and these words which I command thee this day shall be in thine heart.

Here we go again. We’re thinking about Covenant, Covenant, house, connecting.

And by the way, a Covenant, again in a latter day or a modern cultural context feels like it’s focused on the individual. We’ve mentioned it before, but in antiquity, it’s all about the group. It’s the community. It’s the tribe of Israel or the family of Israel. It’s this collective that they’re focused on. So it’s not enough for God to make a Covenant with me. Their emphasis is on Salvation is about as many of my loved ones as I can bring along with me. It’s not just me being saved when he does that.

And I’m sure this is where you’re headed with verse seven, we’ve made this Covenant. And then he says, and thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children. So this is about a family of God being saved in the Covenant, not just individual people. And so whenever you see this, if you even think of the Covenant that was made with Lehi in second Nephi, chapter one, it’s not just Lehi, it’s Lehi and his children and anyone else who comes there and has children. So God is not exclusive. He really wants all of us in here.

I love how you focused on this teaching diligently in the ancient Israelite context of learning and teaching, they would often use rods. And if you think about the tree of life, so Rod was a way of disciplining, you think about the tree of life, you have this iron Rod, and it’s discipline. And the word disciple and discipline come from the same word. It’s this discipline that you are brought onto Jesus. And if you think about the tree of life story, it’s all about this family trying to make their way covenantly, holding onto the word of God, which is the covenantal instructions for how to show that you’re in the Covenant. If you hold on long enough, you will find yourself back in the presence of God. So all this stuff ties in, and this is the beauty of the scriptures. All this stuff is packed in here. It’s just the Bible writers don’t always give us a bunch of footnotes explaining all this incredible meaning they have packed into the text.

Which uses the tree of life analogy. Isn’t it fascinating that Lehigh the first thing he does after partaking the fruit instead of just basking in oh, this is so fulfilling for me. This tastes so good, I could just sit here for no. What does he do? First thing he does is he cast his eyes around about looking for his family because Salvation is a family affair. Exaltation. It’s this idea of trying to pull as many people into that Covenant with you as absolutely possible.

It is part of the Covenant expectation that if you receive the Covenant, it is your obligation to invite others that are in your family, the immediate family or the family of humans into that Covenant. God wants us to be bearers of his love to others.

So now how do we put that whole concept into practice in a Jewish context? You’ll find verse eight and nine, thou shalt bind them for a sign upon thy hand, and they shall be as front looks between thine eyes. Many of you have probably heard of Jewish philanthropy. They were in practice at the time of Jesus. He talks about them in Matthew 23. This idea of putting the word of God in little boxes and binding it in a place where it’s near your heart and putting it on a place near your eyes as front lips. And you can see why they’re doing that with this fairly literal interpretation of this passage here from Deuteronomy six. That is, how much they value the word of God and their covenantal connection with him is they’re taking it very literally and binding it on their heart, on their arm, next to their heart and on their forehead. And one step further, verse nine. And thou shalt write them upon the posts of thy house and on thy gates. So you’ve seen movies where any person, any Jew going into a room or a house rather, would touch the little box on the side of the door.

It’s all coming back here to do drowning six.

Yeah. When you think about the Covenant idea here of living inside the Covenant, and he’s having them think about this. When you think about where my eyes are focused, I should be looking at my life through the Covenant and where it is next to my heart. I should be feeling everything through this Covenant. And then I’m putting it on my gates. Well, where am I going and where am I coming back from? And the Covenant is helping me make these decisions about where I’m headed and where I return from and what I’ve got. And so, again, this message that we want this Covenant to really be the focus of your whole life and the imagery here is just incredible.


Which, by the way, Jen, this is probably a good place to mention. We need to be really careful moving forward because we live in a world that sometimes looks at other traditions or other beliefs or practices with a critical eye. So to use a concept taught by Christ, this idea of Holy envy. Quite frankly, for me, this is a Holy envy place in the scriptures where I see how seriously many people who practice their Jewish religion take this concept of being in the Covenant with putting the words of God on their mind and in their heart and at their gate and their doors, their comings and their goings. Maybe some Holy envy would be what could I do to maybe be a little more intentional and a little more constantly reminded of and focused on my Covenant with God? We do that with the Sacrament once a week. We do that with other practices. But wow, I think there’s probably even room for us to grow in that area. Yeah.

And as you were talking about having respect for other religions and especially for the Judaistic tradition that our scriptures are in, but I was just thinking about our own modern day scripture and the setting up of the house of the Lord in section 109 of the doctrine Covenants. And look what he says. It just really harkens back to this. You’re going to set up this house, this house of order in the house of God, but that your incomings may be in the name of the Lord, that your outgoings be in the name of the Lord, that all your salutations be in the name of the Lord. That’s coming from here and your uplifted hands to the most high God. You’ve really got God just embracing the past and really showing respect for the tradition of the Covenant and the way that it was done. And here it is in modern days and very similar imagery.

Now, you’ll notice that he goes on in verse ten and eleven to give them a warning. They’re about to go in to a land, this promised land, and they’re about to inhabit cities that they didn’t build. They’re about to go in and start living in houses that they didn’t construct. And so God’s reminding them in verse twelve, then beware, lest thou forget the Lord which brought thee forth out of the land of Egypt from the house of bondage, thou shalt fear the Lord thy God and serve him, and shall swear by his name. Back to the beginning, that word fear. Does he really want the Israelites going around with their knees shaking together and their teeth chattering?

No. When you actually read the book of Deuteronomy, the word fear comes up 34 times. And as I’ve gone and analyzed it, there are two ways of talking about fear. You have the fear of when I’m terrified or we have this other kind of fear that’s Covenant based and in the book of Deuteronomy, 24 of the 34 are this other type of fear. So in chapter six, as we’ve been looking at it, appears in verse two. It also appears again in verse 13. So I just want to take a minute and help you understand as you’re reading here and you’re watching this repeated theme of fearing the Lord come up, we need to understand it correctly. And the KJV translators really got this. And as they’re looking at the Hebrew, which does allow for a little bit of this fear, they see it as awe, not fear, destruction, maybe reverence, respect, Holy awe. It’s a deep reverence for a God that you are seeing clearly in his divine character and feeling love for because of that divine character. In fact, Neil Maxwell said one time that in the presence of Jesus, you’re not going to be standing.

You’re going to be kneeling because you can’t approach a divine exalted being and be in any way arrogant about it. And so the fear that you read in Deuteronomy is this awe, reverential awe that comes from understanding what you’re seeing in its power and its Majesty and feeling reverence for that. And one Bible commentator I read said that this type of fear is about the heart. And here we go again with the Covenant language of love coming from the heart and the Covenant is helping me develop this kind of reverential awe for deity. So as you’re reading through Deuteronomy, don’t read it as God wants me to be scared of him. He wants me to be reverentially in awe of what he can do and what he will do for me.

In fact, to build on that. Jen, if you look at the various motivations that we use are the motivators for certain actions. You can scare people into action. You can drive fear into people to get them to do things you want them to do. But I love this idea that you keep bringing it back to its love is the driving motivator that God’s using with us. And the fear that he’s asking is once again not I better obey because I don’t want to be destroyed. I want to obey because God is so good.

Yes. In fact, when you study this word fear from the KJV standpoint, they say in here that this fear that you have, this reverential awe causes you to love God more and to shun anything that would make him be disappointed in you, that you shun evil, you shun anything voluntarily because you know it would be offensive. That is the reason we’re obedient is because we love and because we don’t want to disappoint someone, not because we’re quaking that we’re going to be punished or something. So this just raises us to a whole different level in our relationship with God, which is what the Covenant is supposed to do.

That reminds me of the phrase I don’t remember it, but the paraphrase from President Ezra Tough Benson when he said, when our obedience ceases to be an irritant.

Then God will endow us with power.

I love that concept. So if you’re struggling with a commandment, whether it be tithing or the law of chastity or not, bearing false whatever commandment you’re struggling with, instead of seeing it as I have to keep this commandment because God’s going to be mad at me if I don’t, but rather, oh, my efforts to keep this commandment that I’ve been struggling with are a show of my appropriate fear of God, my reverence to Him and respect for Him. And it’s a sign that I love him and that I’m trying a little harder to be a little better.

And the beautiful thing about this is when we realize that we’re struggling with a commandment that we know he would like us to keep the Covenant relationship then allows me to go to Him and say, Can I have some divine power that President Benson was talking about? Because this is no longer an irritant. I genuinely want to obey this Covenant, but I’m weak. And this commandment is hard for me, but I want to for the right reason. It’s not an irritant. Then God can endow me with the capability of keeping it. That’s the enabling, strengthening power or the healing power of the atonement, whichever one you need. And the Covenant allows you then to do things for the right reasons, assisted by divinity.

Isn’t that fun? Isn’t it fun? The Covenant path, honestly, should not be drudgery. There are obviously some hard times, there are some difficulties, and those aren’t fun. I get that. But all in all this unfolding of God’s goodness and his mercy and His Grace, and the fact that he’s willing to give us these Commandments being a sign of His Grace, this is exciting. It is.

It’s exciting. It just turns the Old Testament into a place you want to be instead of a place that you’re grudgingly drudgingly, not fall asleep here.

This is exciting. What I love is how God he has rebuilt his character to the people. And then he says, if you want all these things, you can’t try to get this from some other God. So if you look at the end of verse 13, he says, you shall swear only by the name of the Lord, meaning you should only make covenants in his name. When you partake of the Sacrament, you are swearing in the name of the Lord, you are making a Covenant in his name. And then what does he say? Verse 14, Ye shall not go after other gods so no other God can give you all these things. No other God is so full of Grace and mercy and love because there is no other God. And if you think there is, if you try to go make a deal with them, you won’t get anything. And that’s what God is saying is if you want the full totality of prosperity and peace in the land, you have to be in this Covenant with me. And if you are disloyal to me and you try to be loyal to anything else, you will never get the totality of everything I have to offer you, because I can only give that to you if you’re in the Covenant with me.

Yeah, and then you’re just leading us right into verse 15, which is he’s just warned you against other gods. And then the word for often means because in scriptural text. So I like to read it that way because the Lord that God is a jealous God. Now, suddenly we have this offensive word that we’re like, okay, God is perfect. How can he possibly be jealous in Covenant language? This is about commitment. God is a committed God among you. And he’s made these promises, but he’s also informed us of the consequences that come when we don’t keep our promises. And those are his anger. We have, again, this troubled word with anger. But God’s anger is manifested in natural consequences. And so if you understand God’s so committed, he’s so committed that he’s given us blessings and consequences for our behavior. And those consequences are naturally going to come, not because I’m punishing you, but because you abandoned me. And that’s what’s going to happen.

It’s interesting how God created the Earth. He owns it. He’s inviting us to live on it in peace and prosperity. If we choose not to be in His Covenant, the only option he has is to not allow us to inherit the Earth, which is what he says, you’ll be destroyed from out the face of the Earth. Now, we get like, destroyed, but we could just use the language. You just don’t get the blessings of the Covenant.

And actually what you will get then is something less. You’ll get something. It just will be less. And as a God who’s committed to us, he wants us to have all, not less. And so, again, let’s get in this Covenant. Let’s be connected, because then I end up with all in the end, not less.

That’s powerful. Now, keep in mind, let’s go back one more time to that context of Moses. At the end of a long life. He’s ready to be translated. He’s the one who’s giving them this information. Moses had an experience or two within the Covenant in his relationship with God. He’s not just teaching feelgood ideas. He’s teaching things. He has proven over and Oliver and over again in his relationship, his covenantal connection with God. And there’s something really powerful about turning to the prophets who aren’t just sharing their hopes and their desires, but their deeply rooted experiences and pure testimony of God’s goodness. I love that context. Now, the rest of Deuteronomy from chapter six, moving forward is going to be this venerable Prophet, one of the greatest prophets of all time, the great lawgiver of the Old Testament. He is going to be giving them all of these pieces of counsel of how to stay in that Covenant connection and not anger the Lord in that covenantal way but going after other gods. So you’ll notice he says, verse 16, Ye shall not tempt the Lord your God as you tempted him in Masah.

Which the Hebrew word means to tempt her to try.

Yes. So by the way, that verse might sound a little bit familiar to some of you because it ties into Matthew chapter four, verse seven, with the second temptation, when Jesus is on a pinnacle of the temple and the devil comes and sits next to him, and coincidentally, the devil quotes scripture to Jesus to tempt him. Scripture from their songbook the Psalms about throwing himself down and the Lord has given his Angels charge concerning thee. And the way Jesus overcame that temptation is he looks at the tempter and he quotes Deuteronomy, chapter six, verse 16, Ye shall not tempt the Lord your God, which is amazing how he overcame that temptation. By the way, fun fact, verse 13, just three verses earlier, thou shalt fear the Lord thy God and serve him and swear by his name. And you’ll not go over or go after other gods. Verse 13 and 14.

And Satan is trying to be another God.

Yes, he is.

Satan is setting himself up as a God in temptation number three. So you could cross reference verse 13 and 14 with Matthew chapter four, verse ten, so he overcomes temptation number two and three by quoting Deuteronomy six. And by the way, the very first temptation to turn the stones into bread. If you turn over momentarily to chapter eight, verse three. The second half of the verse says, man doth not live by bread only, but by every word that proceeded out of the mouth of the Lord, doth man live. I don’t know about you two, but I find it amazing that when God establishes this Covenant with us, he knows that there’s opposition. He knows that there’s an adversary who’s going to provide that temptation that enticement to go after all these other things, desires, appetites, and passions that would lead us away from the Covenant. I find it amazing that Jesus as our perfect exemplar, gives us a pattern here, three temptations, and he overcame all three of them by quoting scripture. And Ironically, all three scriptures came out of Deuteronomy.

Now something that strikes me as well is you have Moses, who’s in the wilderness. He’s up on this mountain. He’s looking over the promised land. He hasn’t entered there. He’s not going to. And then you put Jesus in the wilderness of Judea having these temptations before he enters into his formal Ministry, where these promises and these covenants he’s made pre mortally and before he came are now going to be fulfilled. So you can’t miss that. You’ve got this Deuteronomy book, that’s wilderness. And here we go into this new life and you have Jesus wilderness. Here I go into this Ministry. And then if you remember prophecies of Jesus, he’s going to be a Moses to their people. And look what he’s doing. He’s quoting the very things that Moses said as the children of Israel moved forward. So you have to disconnect all this, that the lawgiver is Jehovah. He knows his own laws. And when he’s in his mortal experience, he’s going back and doing exactly what Moses was teaching, too, when he’s out in his own wilderness. You just can’t not love this.

He’s declaring his Covenant of faithfulness just for fun. The word Moses in Egyptian means son, and the real Son of God is this new Moses character, Jesus, who demonstrates that he is totally within God’s Covenant and he invites all of us to join with him.

Yeah. And as you were talking about all those temptations, they are really invitations to come outside of the Covenant, to break your promises, to misuse your power, to not be trusted. And the Lord, Lord Jesus comes back with the law. Let me remind you, I’m covenanted and I keep my promises powerful. Yeah.

Once again, isn’t this fun? Now, we mentioned that there are all of these additional teachings that Moses is going to give to the people. So if you turn over to chapter seven, he opens up with the seven groups, the seven nations that live in the promised land where the Israelites are about to go. And he keeps listing these seven different Peoples that live there. And notice the warning that he gives to the children of Israel in verse three. Neither shalt thou make marriages with them, thy daughter shall not thou shalt not give unto his son, nor his daughter shall thou take unto thy son. Why? Verse four. For they will turn away thy son from following me, that they may serve other gods. So will the anger the Lord be kindled against you and destroy thee suddenly.

So when the Israelites are now going to enter into this promised land, there’s obviously people around. And you see that in verse one, the people around and how the Lord wants them to behave in relation to these people. But look at the prohibition here in verse two. Don’t make the traditional covenants. Remember what we said, that every group of people, wherever they live, they relate to their neighbors by covenants. So the Lord’s asking them to kind of act outside their culture and not do that. And then he explains a little bit more, I don’t want you just making relationship covenants, but I don’t want the more marital covenants either, because in verse four, once you’ve made a general Covenant and now these are marriageable people for you, then this is what’s going to happen. They’re going to turn you away from following me to their other gods, which are all regional gods in the world, are regional, and they’ll get you kind of connected to them. And now we’ve lost the Covenant. So again, this is all about covenants, and it’s all about how I relate to the people around me with Covenant.

And it ties right back into the Abrahamic Covenant that God took upon himself. Genesis 15, God put himself under Covenant’s obligation to give to Abraham and his descendants peace and prosperity in the land. And look at how God is explaining to the Israelites the Covenant, the logic of why he’s doing what he’s doing. Verse eight, verse nine. But because the Lord loved you Covenant love, and because he would keep the oath which he had sworn unto your father’s. Again, look at Genesis chapter 15, particularly the end of that chapter, like verse 17, he kept the oath which he had sworn unto your fathers, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. Hath the Lord brought you out with a mighty hand and redeemed you out of the house of bondman from the hand of Pharaoh killing Egypt. And I’ll pause here. If you look at Exodus two, God explains again his Covenant, the logic of why he saved the Israelites. He was covenantly, obligated to bring them out and offer them the Covenant that he had promised to their fathers and to their posterity. Then verse nine, know therefore, that the Lord thy God, he is God, the faithful God, always keeping the Covenant which keep in the Covenant and mercy with them that love him in Covenant language again, there you go, 1000 generations, which is like forever.

So the Covenant of the logic here is unmistakable. God put himself under eternal obligation to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob and their descendants that they could always have peace and prosperity in the land if they chose God. God’s obligated off the Covenant, and that is his work. And he’s trying to explain to these, this is my work, this is my work and my glory to bring to pass the mortality internal life of man. But you guys have some obligations, too. And here’s what I expected you to be faithful to me in this Covenant.

Yeah. And then if you just carry it one more verse, notice here’s this hate word and repeat them that hate him to their faith. This is not because he hates anyone. These are the people that are outside the Covenant or that have broken the Covenant, and they will not be part of this Covenant because of their deeds, because of their disobedience. And so let’s just remember, I work with covenants and I work with people through covenants and the love and the hate is inside and outside the Covenant. And that theme just keeps going. And we just really need to make sure we see it and understand that that’s powerful.

Now, if you turn over to chapter eight, you’ll notice that Moses makes something very clear that even if you are in a Covenant connection with God, even if you’re doing everything you can to keep the Commandments and be diligent and faithful to God, it doesn’t mean that you’re going to have everything just magically and perfectly work out for you. 100% of the time there will be tribulation. Look at this wording here, starting in chapter eight, verse three. And he humbled thee and suffered thee to hunger and fed thee with Mana. Now we understand the context here. It was those twelve spies that went in, and ten of them gave the evil report, and they provoked the Lord in that context. And so they then had to do this wilderness wandering. But notice how he goes on to say, verse five, thou shalt also consider in thine heart that as a man chasin’his son, so the Lord thy God chasing thee.

Tyler, can I just add one thing that you’ve done so well? If you jump up and look in verse two again, write three or four lines down, you’ll see the 40 years in the wilderness. The point, as you’ve said, is to humble them, but to prove them as well. And then this little bit to know what was in thine heart. Now it’s fine to enter into a Covenant, because we can all do that. We all get excited. We want to be baptized, we want something. We go to the temple, we make these covenants. But the Lord is interested in after we’ve made the Covenant, how are we going to handle adversity and the things that are hard? Are we really dedicated to this Covenant? Do we really love God? And so sometimes we get frustrated that things don’t work out all the time for us. But we just need to remember the point of adversity is to know what is in your heart and to give you these experiences like the Manna where you can recognize that God is helping and keeping his part of the Covenant during your adversity. But the adversity serves a purpose, and it’s all about why are you in this Covenant with me?

And I’d like you to be there for the right reasons, and I’m going to test that, which is why verse five is so great. I’m going to chase in the heart and see what’s here.

I love it.

It’s like God wants a testimony. He wants evidence that we’re committed to him at the end of verse three, whether thou would keep his Commandments or no. So here’s the way that you’re going to show me that you’re truly committed. I’m going to challenge you or test you again. The word testimony and test come from the same word. So how do you have a testimony of anything? You get tested on things, and maybe I’d be a little bit playful with words, but God is looking for a testimony that we are faithful to him, and therefore he gives us Commandments, gives us tests to see are we faithful to those things.

And I would just add there that we’re not doing this in order to teach God something about us. I think God is allowing these things to happen for us. To learn things about us and about him. God already knows everything. He knows past, present and future, but we don’t. And so he gives us these opportunities to learn and grow. And ultimately, once again, we come back to our grand exemplar, the only perfect example of all of these principles being the Lord Jesus Christ. I love this one verse over in the Book of Hebrews. And by the way, you’re noticing how the Epistle to the Hebrews in the New Testament is harkening back so forcefully on things in the life of Moses and the teachings of Moses and the law of Moses. Listen to chapter five, verse eight in the Epistles of the Hebrews speaking of Jesus, though he were a son, yet learned he obedience by the things which he suffered. I love that perfect example of even though Jesus is suffering, it didn’t turn him against God the Father. It actually bound him even closer to God. I think there’s a lesson for us to learn in our own sufferings.

Those sufferings may be personal health in nature. They may be relational in nature. They may be associated with struggles with finances or with educational pursuits that maybe didn’t work out, or it can be anything. But instead of having those things that we suffer turn us away from God, they can actually serve to help us learn even greater obedience, as Jesus demonstrated throughout his life and as pointed out here by the Epistles to the Hebrews. So if you turn over to chapter eleven, now skip ahead to chapter eleven and you look at verse 29. The Lord gives Moses this command to pass on to the people that once they have gone into the promised land, he wants a very visual reminder given to them of their Covenant or obligation to him. Look at verse 29, and it shall come to pass when the Lord thy God hath brought thee in unto the land, whether thou goest to possess it, that thou shalt put the blessing upon Mount Garrizine and the curse upon Mount Ebal. It’s this idea where once they go in and you get the two groups of Israelites up on these two mountains, Mount Garazim, where the people are pronouncing all these blessings that come from keeping a Covenant, and the people on Mount Ebol are pronouncing all of the curses that will come when you break the Covenant.

And it provides this foundation for Joshua to basically say, choose you this day?


Who are you going to serve?

In fact, if you look at verse 26, chapter eleven, you see that I set before you this day a blessing, and I’m going to use this mountain and all of these people on it as a really great visual that there’s a lot of blessings to be had on this side. But as I come out of the Covenant, I withdraw myself from the divine assistance that God has to give. And then I’m dealing with curses or what we would call natural consequences. Sometimes we’re too much like God’s got a magic wand and he’s going around cursing people. The curse language here is, again, covenantal. And it’s about consequences that come when I’m outside the Covenant. So I’m going to put some people on the other side of this mountain and I’m going to have them representing the significant difficulties that come when I’m outside of the Covenant. And I can’t then as easily go call on God to help me with things. So if you’re a visual learner, this is where you’re going to be.

And every time you travel pasteball, you’re going to be reminded of this great lesson. Now skipping forward now to chapter 13. We get some interesting language here in chapters 1317 and 18. But once again, I’m not an expert in this, but there’s enough possibility here to consider how some of the chief priests at the time of Jesus could have used scripture. Oh, the irony is thick scripture given by Christ in the Old Testament context as Jehovah, the great law giver to Moses, as he’s giving him this stuff, how they’re now possibly using some of these very things that he gave to Moses and now using them against him. Let me show you what I mean. Look at chapter 13, verse one. If there arise among you a Prophet or a dreamer of dreams and giveth thee a sign or a wonder, the chief priest watched Jesus performing all kinds of miracles and they couldn’t explain them away. And they’re scratching their heads saying, what do we do with this? Look at what it says. And the sign or the wonder come to pass whereof he spoke unto thee, saying, Let us go after other gods which thou hast not known, and let us serve them.

So they’re claiming that Jesus is committing blasphemy multiple times because he’s declaring himself to be the son of God, which would fit this definition.

Verse two, that you’re doing these signs and wonders to lead us away from the God that we know to worship a false God, which is you.

That’s right. So he’s given a higher law, the Mount of the attitudes, the Sermon on the Mount, they seem see him as totally disregarding and disrespecting the Sabbath day because he’s doing signs and wonders miracles on the Sabbath. They see him as he cleanses the temple. It’s almost an attack on the law of Moses.

The temple is the center of their worship. So you go there and you’re dismantling their whole soul basically.

That’s right. Now look at what the consequences for somebody who fits their interpretation of what Jesus is doing. Look at verse five. And that Prophet or that dreamer of dreams shall be put to death because he hath spoken to turn you away from the Lord your God, which brought you out of the land of Egypt and redeemed you out of the house of bondage, to thrust thee out of the way which the Lord thy God commanded thee to walk in, so shalt thou put the evil away from the midst of thee. I find it ironic. Again, I don’t know. I wasn’t in the meetings with the Sanhedrin when they’re making these final judgments on Jesus, but it makes me wonder if they’re using phrases like this to say, see, we’ve got to destroy him in the name of God to preserve the good name of the Lord God of Israel. Ironically, with the very person that they’re destroying, being the Lord God of Israel.

We should tie this into the Book of Mormon. You have a Benadi who’s a Jesus charter who also comes teaching. And just like the Sanhedrin, the bad priests of King Noah want to put a benidae to death because they claim he’s a false Prophet and therefore they understand the Book of Deuteronomy, therefore you deserve to die. And here is also the massive irony Abededa’s face shown like Moses did when Moses received these covenantal instructions. And what does Obinidae end up teaching the people he reviews with them? The Ten Commandments. And what do we see happen to King Noah’s people? They get put into bondage because they had broken the Covenant. Everything you see going on here in Deuteronomy, the chief priests of Enoch understood, but they actually did not live or teach people to be covenantly faithful to God. And therefore we see in the Book of Mormon that God allowed the people to suffer the natural consequences of a broken Covenant. And eventually the Covenant is renewed with Alma the Elder and then his son. And we see that Covenant continue on throughout the Book of Mormon. So it’s really fascinating that if you really want to understand the Scriptures, the Old Testament, the New Testament, the Book of Mormon, even the doctrine covenants Deuteronomy is the foundation, the covenants that God made with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob and the Covenant God then offered to the people at Mount Sinai.

It’s repeated here that’s the foundation for understanding Scriptures. And it all points us to Jesus who wants to bring us to God.

So as we tie this part together to finish it off, you recognize that the chief priests as King Noah and his priests make this judgment. And at the time of Jesus, they don’t have the authority to execute. So it’s that small group of people. It’s not all the Jews, it’s just a small group of leaders who then condemn him ultimately and turn him over to the Romans for execution under their law. And when Pilate can’t find any fault in him, he says he’s innocent and they say he has blasphemed God, he’s worthy of death, crucify him. You can very clearly see that they’ve spent some time in their law justifying exactly what they’re doing.

And before we leave this chapter, it’d be very interesting to point out the last two verses because some of us may have this question, how do I know. Look at verse 21. If thou say in thine heart, how shall we know the word which the Lord hath not spoken? How do I know when someone claiming to speak for God is either speaking for God or not speaking for God? And I think the Pharisees were asking that question, people asking if Jesus really from God or not, and some of them are interpreting that he’s not. But look at the answer that’s given in verse 22. When a Prophet speaketh in the name of the Lord, if the thing followed not nor come to pass, that is the thing which the Lord hath not spoken, but the Prophet has spoken, it presumptuously, thou shalt not be afraid of him. So Jesus was always very good at pointing out, You’ve seen me. The healing I do have been done, and the things I’m teaching are applicable and they work. And so that great comparison. How can a house stand when it’s fighting against itself? I’m not here to destroy myself.

So your question of am I really from God is really obvious here. If you’ll just stop and think about it and not get so tied up in worrying, we can discern when a Prophet is speaking for God and we can see when people are false and it’s up to us to do that work. But the Scriptures are very helpful in helping us want to do that work powerful.

Now as we follow the story of Christ going through that condemnation from the chief priests of the people and then ultimately from the Roman leadership, you’ll notice that chapter 21 contains a very fascinating statement that’s directly related here. Look at verse 22. And if a man have committed a sin worthy of death, and he be to be put to death, and thou hang him on a tree. Now let me make something very clear. We know that it’s much later, this tradition of crucifixion, of fastening somebody to a cross, or as Peter and Paul both refer to the crucifixion of Christ, they don’t say that he was hanged on a cross. Peter and Paul in the New Testament later on, both use the phrase hanged on a tree. That’s the phrase they use, which to me seems to harken back to this Deuteronomy 21 passage. Notice you’re going to hang him on a tree, verse 23. His body shall not remain all night upon the tree, but thou shalt in any ways bury him that day. Now, can you see the context of why the chief priests of the people went to Pilate late in the afternoon when Christ and the two malefactors are hanging on the cross, and they say, you can’t leave them on the cross overnight and it’s going to be the Sabbath.

So they go and break the legs of the two malefactors and then drive the spear into the Savior’s heart and he’s already dead. Why? Because you can’t leave a dead body on a tree and if they were to die right before sundown. Now it’s this idea of we are created in the image of God. That rabbinical tradition of it would be unholy to let the image of God be out in the open overnight, hanging on a tree. But now, here’s the critical part. But thou shalt in any wise bury him that day, for he that is hanged is a cursed of God. That phrase right there is going to show up later on. That concept of it makes it kind of difficult for some of these early missionaries in the Christian movement in the New Testament to teach Jewish people about our God, Jesus Christ. He was hanged on a tree. Well, to the Jews, that’s foolishness, because he who is hanging on a tree is cursed. It’s this deep irony, this symbolic beauty, a haunting symbolic beauty that’s going on.

Yeah. And he’s taking upon himself the curses or consequences of our misdeeds and weaknesses and mistakes and things that happen and paying the price for that. But when you just think about, yes, I suffer when I make mistakes, but because of the Savior, I don’t suffer nearly as much as I would have if it hadn’t been for him. And so we have a lot of reasons to look at this concept of him being accursed and hanging there and take us back to that reverent awe, the deep understanding of the nature of God and the love that he has for us. And Neil there in just that beautiful reverence and gratitude for what he’s done. That’s because you’re understanding the true nature of God now.

Well, this has been a wonderful discussion. And Jan, we’re sure grateful that you were willing to come and share your testimony, share your perspective and your expertise with us on this incredible book of Deuteronomy. To finish, let’s turn to chapter 26 and review one more time. This concept of the Abrahamic Covenant given to Abraham and Sarah and all of their posterity, which wasn’t intended just to bless Abraham and Sarah, it’s intended to bless everybody, all nations, kindreds tongues and people. Moving forward. Book of Verse 17. Thou hast avouched the Lord this day to be thy God, and to walk in his ways and to keep his statutes and his Commandments and his judgments and to hearken unto his voice. And the Lord hath avouched thee this day to be his peculiar people. Did you notice it? He’ll be our God, will be his people. In this context, a peculiar chosen set apart, treasured people.

And that word of vouch, again, is this Covenant language that you’ve promised and I’ve promised. Sometimes when we see this concept of testify in modern day understanding, we just think we’re standing up and saying something and bearing our testimony. But testify to them is a legal thing. And I’m testifying by making the Covenant.

It’s more binding.

Yes. It’s not me just setting up, saying, I know the Church is true. This is about me legally testifying that what I’m entering into is something I intend to do. So we need to keep in mind the legal language.

And this is where you get the commandment, thou shalt not take the Lord by God’s name, in vain or with emptiness. And so when you’re testifying or vouching, you actually are doing this in the name of the Lord. And if you don’t have real intent, if you’re just kind of just flippantly saying the words, I don’t really intend to keep this Covenant, that’s actually really bad. So when we partake of the Sacrament, we are invited to testify. We’re entering into this legal obligation where with real intent we’re saying, Lord, I want to be in relationship with you. Yes, I acknowledge I’m not perfect, I make mistakes. But my intention is to be loyal to you at all times.

And that legalness that document, even though there’s not a document, but there’s a document in the concept of a legal binding agreement. I intend to do my best to keep that, even though I won’t do it very well. My intention is to keep it. And again, it’s a matter of the heart, what we’re looking at.


So now let’s go back to verse 18 again. And the Lord hath avowed should be this day to be his peculiar people as he hath promised thee, and that thou shouldst keep all his Commandments, not half of them, not your favorite ones, not the ones that are easy. It’s our promises. We’re going to strive to keep all his Commandments and to make the high above all nations, which he hath made in praise and in name and in honor, and that thou mayest be unholy people unto the Lord thy God as he hath spoken. So Moses then concludes in these coming chapters his final counsel to the people before he is then taken up in chapter 34. Now here it speaks of him dying in verse five and being buried in a Valley. But we learn in the Book of Mormon and in Restoration Scripture that he has actually taken up retains his physical body, but in a translated state, not unlike the people of Enoch and Elijah later on. Interesting that Moses is going to be one who comes to the Mount of Transfiguration to pass on keys. It makes you wonder if there’s something about the physicality of Elijah and Moses being translated rather than dying and being buried in order to then come and give those keys before they’re resurrected.

Something to think about.

Yeah. And as you’re talking about that translation, you’re raising somebody from one state to another state to a higher and holier state. I just want to take us back to the end of 2016 19. Why are we entering these covenants that thou mayst be unholy people? Now remember what I was teaching you about fear. Fear is this awe and reverence acknowledging the Holiness and Majesty and power of the God that we worship, that God wants to transfer that to make us like that. So to me, changing Moses to a little bit of a higher state So he can fulfill these other obligations, it’s just this continuation of the concept of covenants change me, open me up to God’s power So that I can then start becoming like him in that Majesty and power and truly be Holy. Wow. So this whole book just brings you right back to the intention that God has with us Is to make us like him by degrees, obviously, and through the power of the atonement, but that’s the object is to become as Holy as him.

That’s amazing insight, powerful.

So as we now conclude, I hope that the message you walk away with from the book of Deuteronomy Isn’t one of discouragement or one of wow. This Covenant obligation is heavy. I don’t know if I can do that. We hope that you allow the Lord to be connected with you in keeping that Covenant. Keep in mind he sets the bar up perfection So that you recognize right from the get go that you’re not intended to keep the Covenant in isolation from him. You can’t it is impossible. It would be heavy. The whole point of the Covenant is a oneness with he who is perfect at keeping covenants. He who doesn’t just help you overcome sin, but who can help you overcome temptation and discouragement and despair and loss and all of the struggles and the sufferings that we have to pass through that we hope you walk away from the book of Deuteronomy Saying how great thou art, o Lord, my God, and that the day will come when each one of us will have that opportunity, as we’ve already discussed, to come into his presence. And as Jen mentioned, Neil, none of us will stand there or run up and just give him a big hug.

We’ll all fall to the ground on our knees and maybe on our faces and plead with him for his mercy and his love to be shed forth upon us and he is a God who is mighty to save and a God who loves you with all of his heart might, mind and strength in the name of Jesus Christ Amen know that you are loved.


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