"And the Lord said unto Moses, Write thou these words.... And he wrote upon the tables the words of the covenant, the ten commandments" (Exodus 34:27-28).The Ten Commandments are most commonly referenced from Exodus 20:3-17. Moses, a prophet of God, received the two stone tablets with the Ten Commandments written upon them by the finger of the Lord. Although some of God's commands are more fully expounded upon with additional clarification, I've simplified them as follows.
The Ten Commandments
- Thou shalt have no other gods before me.
- Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image.
- Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain.
- Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy.
- 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... any thing that is thy neighbour's.
The Ten Commandments in All Four Books of ScriptureMoses repeats the Ten Commandments in Deuteronomy 5:6-21, and later the Lord gave us the Ten Commandments in each of the other books of scripture, although not always exactly in the same form:
- The New Testament: Matthew 5:17-37
- Book of Mormon: Mosiah 13:12-24
- Doctrine and Covenants: 42:18-29; 59:5-9
We Cannot Break the Ten CommandmentsThe Old Testament Institute Manual is an excellent resource for studying the Ten Commandments more fully. The manual quotes Cecil B. DeMille, producer of the movie The Ten Commandments, as saying:
"If man will not be ruled by God, he will certainly be ruled by tyrants- and there is no tyranny more imperious or more devastating than man's own selfishness, without law.The Ten Commandments are not a lower law, but are the basic foundation of law that the gospel of Jesus Christ is built upon. Not only are the Ten Commandments essential to our salvation but they teach us the importance of our relationship to God, our family, and our fellowmen.
"We cannot break the Ten Commandments. We can only break ourselves against them- or else, by keeping them, rise through them to the fulness of freedom under GOd. God means us to be free. With divine daring, He gave us the power of choice."1
1. Commencement Address, Brigham Young University Speeches of the Year, Provo, 31 May 1957. Quoted in Old Testament: Genesis-2 Samuel, (Religion 301) Student Manual, 1981, pg 127.