“Had Appointed Priests to Teach the People That Thereby They Might Hear and Know the Commandments of God”

Alan C. Miner

In Mosiah 6:3 it says that king Benjamin "had appointed priests to teach the people, that thereby they might hear and know the commandments of God, and to stir them up in remembrance of the oath which they had made" to renew the terms from time to time. According to Hugh Nibley, it was Solomon Zeitlin, the old editor of the Jewish Quarterly Review, who showed that synagogues did not first develop after the fall of the temple to take its place. They were just plain meeting houses, and they had them all along right from the first, "to stir them up in remembrance of the oath which they had made." The people had taken a covenant and an oath, so the priest is to stir them up. . . . They don't repeat the ceremony. You only receive an endowment. You only take the oath once, but you remember it after. That's why in the sacrament they always "remember him that they may keep his commandments which he has given them, and always have his spirit to be with them." The people renew the covenants, not by going through them again, but by a different ordinance. That ordinance renews the covenants we made of remembrance. "This do in remembrance of me," as the Lord said in the sacrament in the New Testament. [Hugh W. Nibley, Teachings of the Book of Mormon, Semester 2, pp. 12, 71]

Step by Step Through the Book of Mormon: A Cultural Commentary