“Therefore, What Manner of Men Ought Ye to Be? Verily I Say Unto You, Even As I Am”

Ed J. Pinegar, Richard J. Allen

This statement is among the most cited of all the passages in the Book of Mormon. It articulates with precision the essence of how we should live—according to the pattern shown us by our Exemplar and Mediator with the Father, even the Great Jehovah whose name also is I Am:

And Moses said unto God, Behold, when I come unto the children of Israel, and shall say unto them, The God of your fathers hath sent me unto you; and they shall say to me, What is his name? what shall I say unto them?

And God said unto Moses, I AM THAT I AM: and he said, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, I AM hath sent me unto you. (Exodus 3:13–14)

Thus we are to become even as “I AM”—the Unchangeable One, the Anointed One, the Savior of Mankind, Immanuel, the Lamb of God, the Great Judge. What more perfect system of perfectibility could there be than to follow in the footsteps of this perfect Being and follow His commandment: “Therefore, what manner of men [and women] ought ye to be? Verily I say unto you, even as I am” (3 Nephi 27:27).

Commentaries and Insights on the Book of Mormon, Vol. 2