Insights: The Newsletter of the Neal A. Maxwell Institute for Religious Scholarship


Mormon, tradition, biblical text, sacrifice, burnt offerings


In abridging the account of the Nephite gathering under King Benjamin, Mormon stated, “And they also took of the firstlings of their flocks, that they might offer sacrifice and burnt offerings according to the law of Moses” (Mosiah 2:3). Under Mosaic law, first-lings, or firstborn animals, were dedicated to the Lord, meaning they were given to the priests, who were to sacrifice them and consume the flesh (see Exodus 13:12–15; Numbers 18:17). The exception to this rule was the firstborn lambs used for the Passover meal, which all Israel was to eat (see Exodus 12:5–7).