Chapter 23: The Congregation
Moses speaks to the congregation and outlines who can and cannot enter into the congregation and more importantly the Tabernacle of Israel. This of course from previous chapters and books includes all unclean things, including those who disobey and do not follow the commandments of God.
Moses also outlines the laws of servants/slaves, usury and vows.
Moses states that if a slave comes into the midst of the children of Israel and the slave master comes to claim his slave/servant that the children of Israel can give refuge to the servant/slave that has escaped. (verse 15-16) and he states that they (the children of Israel) should not oppress the slave, or in other words the slave is now free among them.
Then in verses 19-20 Moses speaks about Usury, and that among strangers it is ok to have usury. Now I interpreted what Moses said, as the children of Israel were to not have interest rates, or very low interest rates among themselves on people who borrow money. But among outsiders whom were not part of the family that they would offer money to borrow at higher interest rates. Essentially helping out those who were family to you.
Chapter 24: Laws of Moses
Moses outlines the law of divorce, saying;
“When a man hath taken a wife, and married her, and it come to pass that she find no favour in his eyes, because he hath found some uncleanness in her: then let him write her a bill of divorcement, and give it in her hand, and send her out of his house” (Deuteronomy 24:1)
Essentially stating that only in unfaithfulness or any other sin against the holy matrimony shall divorce be permitted.
Moses also speaks to the congregation regarding newly-weds, stating;
“When a man hath taken a new wife, he shall not go out to war, neither shall he be charged with any business: but he shall be free at home one year, and shall cheer up his wife which he hath taken” (Deuteronomy 24:5)
If we took this literally, everyone who gets married would go on a 1 year honey moon, which I don’t think would be very practical. But we can take from this, that everyone who gets married should ensure that they start their marriage off strong and make sure that a huge focus is placed on each other and the development of that beautiful relationship. If this is done, we can see a higher percentage of happy marriages.
Moses then ends this chapter off, by stating that;
“The fathers shall not be put to death for the children, neither shall the children be put to death for the fathers: every man shall be put to death for his own sin” (Deuteronomy 24:16)
The second Article of Faith of the LDS church states; “We believe that men will be punished for their own sins and not for Adam’s transgression”
Again we see a very clear principle in the Bible that is not followed by mainstream Christianity, for example many religions believe in the “original sin”, that we are “naturally sinful” because of the transgression of Adam and Eve, and that is why some religions (the Catholic church for example) baptize infants, because they are “born with sin”, this however, in my personally opinion is an abomination! Jesus himself said that
“…Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven. Whosoever therefore shall humble himself as this little child, the same is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. And whoso shall receive one such little child in my name receiveth me. But whoso shall offend one of these little once which believe in me, it were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and that he were drowned in the depth of the sea.” (Matthew 18:3-6)
Jesus spoke out about offending the children, because they were part of heaven, and we must become like a child to enter into the kingdom of heaven. If that is true, how can a baby, completely innocent and incapable of committing sin, needs to be baptized to be cleansed of sin?
The Book of Mormon has an entire chapter on the abomination of this practice. Moroni, who was ancient prophet who lived in the Americas spoke out about this;
“…little children are alive in Christ, even from the foundation of the world; if not so, God is a partial God, and also a changeable God, and a respecter to persons; for how many little children have died without baptism! Wherefore, if little children could not be saved without baptism, these must have gone to an endless hell… For awful is the wickedness to suppose that God saveth one child because of baptism and the other must perish because he hath no baptism.” (Moroni 8:12-14), see also Moroni Chapter 8 in its entirety.