“Old Things Are Done Away and All Things Have Become New”

Brant Gardner

Probably these verses were dropped because “publican” had no New World context and also because they reprise the astounding statement that the people should be more righteous than the Pharisees, which was also removed. By now, the seemingly impossible task of being more righteous than the Pharisees is easier to understand. By moving past legalism and into heartfelt gospel principles, they could become better than the Pharisees. The Pharisees loved those who loved them and saw themselves as following the law. Jesus points out that this is only natural. Even the publicans, who were much less respected than the Pharisees, could live that simple law. But more was expected of his disciples.

Second Witness: Analytical & Contextual Commentary on the Book of Mormon, Vol. 5