“Ye Must Keep the Performances and Ordinances of God”

Brant Gardner

Nephi concludes that the Nephites must follow two important paths. The first is belief in the Messiah and the second is adhering to the “performances and ordinances of God” as defined in the law of Moses. His people are to behave like Jews of the Old World but are to add and emphasize the Messiah’s mission. Nephi saw this as a return to Hebrew religion from a time prior to Josiah’s reforms. From the Old World, Lehi brought the understanding that Yahweh was the expected Messiah and ascribes the atoning mission to him. (See 1 Nephi, Part 1: Context,Chapter 1, “The Historical Setting of 1 Nephi.”) Perhaps as part of Nephi’s vision of the future of his people, he understood that the apostasy from the belief in the Atoning Messiah would be one of the greatest causes of strife among those future descendants.

Text: The chapter ends here in the 1830 edition.

Second Witness: Analytical & Contextual Commentary on the Book of Mormon, Vol. 2