The Ten Commandments are eternal gospel principles that are necessary for our exaltation. The Lord revealed them to Moses in ancient times (see Exodus 20:1–17), and He has restated them in latter-day revelations (see D&C 42:18–29; 59:5–13; 63:61–62). The Ten Commandments are a vital part of the gospel. Obedience to these commandments paves the way for obedience to other gospel principles.
The following review of the Ten Commandments includes brief explanations of how they continue to apply in our lives today:
“Thou shalt have no other gods before me” (Exodus 20:3). We should do “all things with an eye single to the glory of God” (D&C 82:19). We should love and serve the Lord with all our heart, might, mind, and strength (see Deuteronomy 6:5; D&C 59:5).
“Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image” (Exodus 20:4). In this commandment, the Lord condemns the worship of idols. Idolatry may take many forms. Some people do not bow before graven images or statues but instead replace the living God with other idols, such as money, material possessions, ideas, or prestige. In their lives, “their treasure is their god”—a god that “shall perish with them” (2 Nephi 9:30).
“Honour thy father and thy mother” (Exodus 20:12). This is a commandment that remains binding even when we are grown. We should always find ways to honor our parents.
“Thou shalt not commit adultery” (Exodus 20:14). In a latter-day revelation, the Lord condemned not only adultery, but “anything like unto it” (D&C 59:6). Fornication, homosexuality, and other sexual sins are violations of the seventh commandment. For additional explanation, see “Chastity,” pages 29–33.
“Thou shalt not covet” (Exodus 20:17). Coveting, or envying something that belongs to another, is damaging to the soul. It can consume our thoughts and plague us with constant unhappiness and dissatisfaction. It often leads to other sins and to financial indebtedness.
Although most of the Ten Commandments list things we should not do, they also represent things we should do. The Savior summarized the Ten Commandments in two principles—love for the Lord and love for our fellow men:
“Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.
“This is the first and great commandment.
“And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself” (Matthew 22:37–39).