The history of the gospel is a history of higher and lesser laws.  Moses goes up to the mountain … at the end the people get the lesser law.

Consecration, united orders and other revelations.  Why do we have something besides the higher law?  How do we rise to it?

  • understanding
  • holiness
  • obedience
  • binary states

The limits of our understanding comes from the weakness of our language, our knowledge and our context.  We overcome the limits of our understanding (which otherwise blocks us from higher laws) by increasing our knowledge, wisdom and experience.  Honesty is a core and important part of true understanding, as to have real understanding we must also escape self deception.

The limits of our [lack of] holiness are overcoming by growing in spirituality and charity.  By serious devotion to gospel study, meditation, prayer and acts of patience and kindness and mercy, holiness is developed, and goes hand in hand with denying ourselves sin and honestly (there is honesty again) acknowledging where we have sinned and repenting of it.  More, we release our resentments and anger, and turn towards peace.

The limits cause by [lack of] obedience is overcome by obedience.  Christ words often included “this” and “leave not the other undone” rather than “you can get by with just this, skip the rest.” We obey in completeness, rather than act like King Saul whose obedience was limited by his knowledge of what he thought was best.

The issue of binary states is an interesting one.  Sometimes light is a particle, sometimes a wave.  It is not so much a “higher” law when dealing with light as an “appropriate” law.  The same is true in other circumstances.

I’ve written about how to become a prophet (with a small p).  To have a higher law you need people ready to receive it and prophets (small “p” prophets) ready to model and deliver it.  If all you have is a people who are not holy and pundits who are not prophets, all you will have is a lower law.

Would God do that?  Be serious, all the time.  The Old Testament has laws for slavery for a people not yet ready to reject the institution.  Not exactly an embrace of slavery [If any slave escapes to one of about 40 cities in an area smaller than LA County or the DFW metroplex, the rule was you could not force them to return or oppress them for being an escaped slave] but not a rejection either.

Over and over Christ would say “It was said of old times” (i.e. in the prior, lesser law) “but I say to you” (i.e. here is the higher law).  In our time we have tithing instead of consecration.  We have divorce.

Further, we have commandments that are temporary or conditional (e.g. Jacob’s comments on polygamy).  The Word of Wisdom was first a higher law that was advice and then only a commandment later when the people were ready and able to live it.  Even now we have people who would just as soon do without it, who insist that the Church should never embrace the higher law in that regard as a law.  Or consider all the anger directed at books such as The Miracle of Forgiveness or other works that preach adherence to higher standards.

We have calls to abide, to live, to find, to seek and to understand higher laws.  In the bloggernacle I oftne see speculation as to what higher laws would look like, which laws are merely lesser and transitory and why we need not obey or respect or believe the status quo.

Saul the king knew better than what Samuel told him.  Saul of Tarsus was diligent and obedient to the law he was taught. One died in anger and shame.  One saw Christ and was given a new name and a higher law.

Which are we?  What are the higher laws and higher meaning you think we should be seeking and finding a way to?  How?  Why not?  Why?

[footnotes and additional material at ]