Whenever I ponder and think of Moses, my thoughts recall the motion picture produced by Cecil B. Demille – The Ten Commandments. It was the highest grossing film in 1956, running approximately 220 minutes long. And no one could have played Moses better than Charlton Heston (1923 – 2008). Opposite him was Yule Brenner (1920 – 1985) who played Pharaoh’s Son. Later adaptations of Moses would come along. Most notably is the Prince of Egypt animated film and the 2014 Exodus: God’s and Kings. Personally, Cecil B. DeMille’s film tops them all.
While most of us have a basic idea and understanding who Moses was, what he was called to do, and the revelations he has given us – how many of us have a deep and rich understanding of who he was? Moses was much more than a prophet of God. And it serves us to take some time to study and come to know this man. Through him, we have received many revelations and doctrines.
Reason we want to have a better understanding of who Moses was is so we are able to grasp a better understanding of who our Heavenly Father is. Grasp a better understanding of who Jesus Christ is. And the central and pure doctrines of Christ. Such doctrines that pertain to God’s purpose – our immortality and eternal life. It is because of Modern day Revelation given through the Prophet Joseph Smith that we are able to have a keener sense of awareness of Moses. These revelations consist of the Book of Moses in the Pearl of Great Price.
Moses not only stands as a prophet, law giver, and leader: He also stands as a prototype to the coming Messiah. Not only as a personal messianic representation and similitude – but he also stands as a symbolism through the liberation of men and women who are found in bondage, giving them teachings, commandments, the building and institution of temple worship that points to the promise of a messiah. In a way, we may look at Moses as a keystone messianic promise of the coming Savior – Jesus Christ.
These similarities are noted by Christian scholars, scriptures, and modern-day revelation and teachings. The following are brief similarities between Moses and the Savior – Jesus Christ:
Moses escaped being killed as a baby when Pharaoh’s decree condemned all male Hebrew Children – age 2 and younger – be put to death (Exodus 1:8-22)
Moses was born a Hebrew of the Tribe of Levi and was adopted by Pharaoh’s daughter and raised in royal Egyptian Courts of Pharaoh (Exodus 2:1-10)
Moses was raised as a royal child and possessed the right to ascend to the throne of Pharaoh – yet he belonged to a people oppressed and enslaved by his adoptive father.
Moses freed his people from slavery, he also instituted the sacrifice of a lamb that is without blemish as an offering an atonement for the sins of Israel (Exodus 12:5)
Passed through the Red Sea and spent forty years in the wilderness (Exodus 14:21-28; Deuteronomy 8:2)
Fasted for forty days and forty nights while in the wilderness and was administered to by angels and tempted (Exodus 17:2, 7, 23:20-23, 24:17-18; Deuteronomy 9:9)
Gave new laws and revelations from a mountain (Exodus 19-24)
Jesus escaped being killed as a baby when King Herod pronounced his decree that all male infants – age 2 and younger – be put to death (Matthew 2:1-6)
Joseph and Mary took the infant child to Egypt and there, Jesus lived and grew up among the people in Egypt until his family returned. (Matthew 2:13-15)
Jesus was raised with a divine right to become ruler. However, he was raised up during the time when Rome had occupied the land and city of Jerusalem and stood as the government in authority.
Jesus Christ freed humanity from the bondage of sin and death through his own sacrifice as he is the unblemished lamb of God (John 1:29; 1 Peter 1:19)
Passed through the waters of Baptism and spent forty days in the wilderness (Matthew 3:13-16, 4:1-2; Mark 1:13; Luke 4:1-2)
Fasted for forty days and forty nights while in the wilderness and was administered to by angels and tempted (Matthew 4:1-2, 8-11; Mark 1:12-13)
Gave a new law and revelations from a mountain (Matthew 5-7)
It is, therefore, befitting that we first start our study with understanding who Moses is. When we come to understand the Prophet Moses, we come to fully appreciate and understand the divine plan and purpose of our Heavenly Father, the purpose of the Infinite Atonement of Jesus Christ, who we are, our sense of purpose in this life, and our eternal destiny that lays ahead of us.