A response to Denver Snuffer’s January 2020 article under the same title:
Written By Chris Layton
February 19, 2020
“And the people went forth and witnessed against them, testifying that they had reviled against the law, and their Lawyers and Judges of the land, and also all the people that were in the land; and also testified that there was but one God and that he should send his Son among the people, but he should not save them; and many such things did the people testify against Alma and Amulek. And it came to pass that it was done before the Chief Judge of the land.
And it also came to pass that Zeezrom (the chief prosecuting attorney) was astonished at the words which had been spoken; and he also knew concerning the blindness of the minds which he had caused among the people, by his lying words; and his soul began to be harrowed up, under a consciousness of his own guilt; yea, he began to be encircled about by the pains of hell.”
The scriptures particularly in Galatians 3:24 teach us that the Law such as was given by Moses was given to be a schoolmaster for the purpose of leading us to Christ. The question is, when Christ came to fulfill the law, did the law come to an end? There are many scriptures that seem to indicate that this is the case and I’ll quote the first verse given in Denver’s treatise which curiously has it listed as NC Alma 14:15, the very chapter in my Book of Mormon where Zeezrom is convicted for perjury in a court of law.
“Yea, and they did keep the law of Moses; for it was expedient that they should keep the law of Moses as yet, for it was not all fulfilled. But notwithstanding the law of Moses, they did look forward to the coming of Christ, considering that the law of Moses was a type of his coming, and believing that they must keep those outward performances, until the time that he should be revealed unto them. Now they did not suppose that salvation came by the law of Moses; but the law of Moses did serve to strengthen their faith in Christ; and thus they did retain a hope through faith, unto eternal salvation, relying upon the spirit of prophecy, which spake of those things to come.” (Alma 25:15-16)
If the Law came to an end, can it be renewed?
Does God have the right to command and revoke? Are there scriptural incidences of this?
Yes there are plenty. You’ve got the example of King Hezekiah who God told the prophet Isaiah in chapter 38 to tell him to “set his house in order that he will die and not live” Hezekiah weeps and testifies that he kept God’s word with perfectness of heart, so God changed his mind and gave him an additional 15 years.
“Behold I the Lord, command; and he that will not obey shall be cut off in mine own due time, after I have commanded and the commandment is broken. Wherefore I, the Lord, command and revoke, as it seemeth me good; and all this to be answered upon the heads of the rebellious, saith the Lord.” (D&C 56:3-4)
“For if I will, saith the Lord of Hosts, raise up seed unto me, I will command my people; otherwise, they shall hearken unto these things”(Jacob 2:30)
If the law came to an end which was of performances and ordinances after Jesus’ death and resurrection, why then do we still baptize if Christ was baptized to fulfill the law?
“But John refused him, saying, I have need to be baptized of thee, and why comest thou to me?
And Jesus, answering, said unto him, Suffer me to be baptized of thee, for thus it becometh us to fulfill all righteousness. Then he suffered him.
And John went down into the water and baptized him.” (JST Matthew 3:42-44)
We can therefore see plainly that Jesus equated this ordinance (baptism) to righteousness which requirement He fulfilled.
This is as Jesus said, he did not come to do away (destroy) the law but to fulfill it. By the same token, the law of sacrifice wasn’t ended. The law of sacrifice was exalted to a higher law which is that we must offer upon the altar of sacrifice our hearts. The law of circumcision wasn’t ended because it too was our hearts that must be circumcised. The law forbidding adultery wasn’t ended but was exalted to: “Whosoever looketh upon a woman has committed adultery with her already in his heart”. We’re still under the very same obligation to keep the law of God written in our hearts and expressed in all that we do that we might be made in the image of God just as Jesus did who both gave and fulfilled the law.
Jesus testified that He was the one who gave the law and fulfilled the law which He gave.
He is that very same lawgiver who gave the law (given to him by His Father and God because that is the pattern) to the children of Israel whom He suffered with in the wilderness:
“Behold, I say unto you that the law is fulfilled that was given unto Moses. Behold I am he that gave the law, and I am he who covenanted with my people Israel; therefore the law in me is fulfilled, for I have come to fulfill the law, therefore it hath an end. (3 Nephi 15:4-5)
And God is the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the ending just as He testified throughout the scriptures.
All to which Denver Snuffer concludes in his closing remarks:
“The Law of Moses was not part of the original faith taught in the Garden of Eden to Adam, and believed by the first fathers. But rather, “the law was added because of transgressions” NC Gal. 1:10” (Snuffer)
(which according to our Bible is actually Galatians 3:19. I cannot remark on the changes he apparently made to his scriptures due to the verse variations since I’ve not seen his altered version yet.)
“… which is why it would be fulfilled, come to an end, and it would no longer be expedient for mankind to follow. The process of restoring will not include a return to practicing the law of Moses. God intends to preach again the Gospel to us, which He also preached to Abraham when he was restored to the covenant: “God… preached before the gospel unto Abraham. (NC Gal 1:7)” (Snuffer)
(Galatians 1:7 ironically in the King James version says “Which is not another; but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ”)
“…Abraham believed and received the covenant, but did not know or obey the Law of Moses” (Snuffer)
(If the Law of Moses was revealed as actually being the Law of Jesus Christ since it was He who gave the Law, would you suppose that Abraham was ignorant of Jesus Christ and His law?)
“…There is a great deal left to be restored. But among the many things still to be done, renewing the Law of Moses is not among them.” (Snuffer)
God has the right to both command and revoke so the question arises, will there be “ordinances and performances” again like it was in the days of Adam and Moses?
If there would not come that day, why then did Ezekiel see in vision the temple of New Jerusalem (which is not yet upon the earth but soon to come) where there would be once again the sacrifice of animals on the altars as described by Ezekiel?
“And the chambers and the entries thereof were by the posts of the gates, where they washed the burnt offering. And in the porch of the gate were two tables on this side, and two tables on that side to slay thereon the burnt offering and the sin offering and trespass offering… eight tables, whereupon they slew their sacrifices. And the four tables were of hewn stone for the burnt offering….whereupon they laid the instruments wherewith they slew the burnt offering and the sacrifice. And within were hooks, a hand broad, fastened round about; and upon the tables was the flesh of the offering.” (JST Ezekiel 40: 38-43)
I’m grateful that Denver was brave enough to put his opinions in writing and publish them but how else can we learn to “rightly divide the word of truth” if we didn’t have the scriptures to prove him as either a true or false prophet? He has a testimony of Jesus Christ I’m sure of that and has testified as much and even said he met Jesus. Did he? Does Denver have a correct understanding of his nature and attributes as taught in the Lectures on Faith? Do his teachings bear testimony of this or do they bear testimony of a man ignorant of the character and nature of God?
That’s for each of us to decide: “for out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks.” –(Matthew 12:34)