Families and nations are strengthened when parents teach correct principles to their children. People who are not taught properly cannot be expected to behave properly. The Ten Commandments as given to Moses are the foundation upon which all other laws and principles are formed.
God considered the Ten Commandments to be so important that He inspired His prophets to list them in their entirety in three different places in the scriptures. Moses included the Ten Commandments in two of his books: Exodus 20:3-17 and Deuteronomy 5:7-21. The prophet Abinadi taught the people of King Noah the Ten Commandments (Mosiah 12:35-36; 13:12-23).
The Ten Commandments as listed in the Exodus account are: "1) Thou shalt have no other gods before me. 2) Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth…. 3) Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain; for the lord will not hold him guiltless that taketh his name in vain. 4) Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work: But the seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord…. 5) Honor thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be long upon the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee. 6) Thou shalt not kill. 7) Thou shalt not commit adultery. 8) Thou shalt not steal. 9) Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbour. 10) Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour's house, thou shalt not covet thy neighbour's wife, … any thing that is thy neighbour's."
The Ten Commandments have been grouped into two groups. The first four commandments basically concern how we honor God; the last six commandments concern how we deal with our fellowmen.
When a lawyer questioned Jesus Christ about which commandment was the greatest, Jesus Christ grouped all the commandments into the two Great Commandments: "Jesus said unto him, 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.
"On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets" (Matthew 22:35-40).
The Ten Commandments were renewed in our day through the Prophet Joseph Smith when the Lord further explained His commandments as follows: "And now, behold, I speak unto the church. Thou shalt not kill; and he that kills shall not have forgiveness in this world, nor in the world to come.
"And again, I say, thou shalt not kill; but he that killeth shall die.
"Thou shalt not steal; and he that stealeth and will not repent shall be cast out.
"Thou shalt not lie; he that lieth and will not repent shall be cast out.
"Thou shalt love thy wife with all thy heart, and shalt cleave unto her and none else.
"And he that looketh upon a woman to lust after her shall deny the faith, and shall not have the Spirit; and if he repents not he shall be cast out.
"Thou shalt not commit adultery; and he that committeth adultery, and repenteth not, shall be cast out….
"Thou shalt not speak evil of thy neighbor, nor do him any harm.
"Thou knowest my laws concerning these things are given in my scriptures; he that sinneth and repenteth not shall be cast out.
"If thou lovest me thou shalt serve me and keep all my commandments" (Doctrine and Covenants 42:18-29).
If every person were taught from their earliest childhood days to keep the Ten Commandments, there would be far fewer crimes in the world. Children who are taught proper principles learn to govern themselves; adults who know how to govern themselves do not need government telling them what to do. Families and nations are strengthened when children are taught proper principles.