“Bound Down Under a Foolish and a Vain Hope”

Joseph F. McConkie, Robert L. Millet

Here Korihor seeks to make the believers self-conscious for holding forth a belief in that which is to come, in the unseen, in that which mortal ear has not heard. He plays upon their sense of security by suggesting that they are bound down, yoked, by their acceptance of specific religious beliefs and practices.

Few things are more threatening to a people than to suggest that they are blindly obedient or, worse yet, that they are slaves to their religious way of life. The natural man is prone to lash out with: “No. I am not a slave. I can do as I please. Just watch this...” Korihor, like his modern counterparts, offers to liberate us from what he thinks of as our naive worldview, to set us free from ourselves.

On the other hand, the wisest among us—those who find satisfaction in serving God, in keeping his commandments, those whose system of values and feelings of personal worth derive from sources vertical rather than horizontal—say:

“I obey because I choose to do so. I do these things because they are what I truly want to do. I am free to choose, and this is what I choose to do.”

Doctrinal Commentary on the Book of Mormon, Vol. 3