“A Peculiar Treasure unto Me above All People”

Exodus 19:5–6

5 Now therefore, if ye will obey my voice indeed, and keep my covenant, then ye shall be a peculiar treasure unto me above all people: for all the earth is mine:
6 And ye shall be unto me a kingdom of priests, and an holy nation. These are the words which thou shalt speak unto the children of Israel.

Elder Hyrum M. Smith and Janne M. Sjödahl wrote:

“The Lord had promised to Israel that if the people would obey His voice He would make of them a royal priesthood, and He would give them the fulness of the priesthood and the gospel, but they hardened their hearts against Him. Through Moses He said: ‘Now therefore, if ye will obey my voice indeed, and keep my covenant, then ye shall be a peculiar treasure unto me above all people: for all the earth is mine: and ye shall be unto me a kingdom of priests [i.e. of the Melchizedek order], and an holy nation. These are the words which thou shalt speak unto the children of Israel’ [Exodus 19:5–6]. ‘But they hardened their hearts and could not endure his presence; therefore, the Lord in his wrath, for his anger was kindled against them, swore that they should not enter into his rest while in the wilderness, which rest is the fulness of his glory’ [D&C 84:24]. [The] Aaronic Priesthood was to remain with them until the coming of Christ in His ministry.”

(The Doctrine and Covenants Commentary, rev. ed. [1951], 503.)

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