“Notwithstanding They Believed in a Great Spirit They Supposed That Whatsoever They Did Was Right”

Bryan Richards

Mormon’s commentary contrasts the belief system of the Nephites and Lamanites. For the Nephites, inherent in their belief of God was the strict requirement to keep the commandments according to the Law of Moses. Under the Lamanite tradition, they also believed in a God, but that didn’t mean that they were bound to live by a specific code of behavior. Rather, they supposed that whatsoever they did was right. This is a religion of convenience. This doctrine does not make the individual accountable for their actions and is similar to the doctrine of the Nehors by which all mankind should be saved at the last day (Alma 1:4). It is also similar to many religions of today which are quick to acknowledge God but slow to require their congregations to live according to the Law of the Lord.

That a true religion must make great demands on its members was taught by Joseph Smith who said, “I…spoke to the people, showing them that to get salvation we must not only do some things, but everything which God has commanded. Men may preach and practice everything except those things which God commands us to do, and will be damned at last…It mattereth not whether the principle is popular or unpopular, I will always maintain a true principle, even if I stand alone in it.” (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, p. 322)