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Source:JBMS 8:1:It is true that firstlings...were not used for the normal burnt offering. However it is a mistake to think that they were not sacrificed at all
Maxwell Institute: "It is true that firstlings...were not used for the normal burnt offering. However it is a mistake to think that they were not sacrificed at all"
Journal of Book of Mormon Studies Vol 8, No 1:
It is true that firstlings (the first lambs or calves born to their mothers) were not used for the normal burnt offering. However it is a mistake to think that they were not sacrificed at all. Under Mosaic law as given in Exodus 13:12 and 15 the firstborn of flocks and herds were dedicated to the Lord and were to be given to the Levites for their use. Other Israelites were forbidden to use them for work or economic gain (see Deuteronomy 15:19–20). On appointed occasions, the people were to take those firstlings to the temple where they would be slain as sacrifices. Deuteronomy 12:5–6 commanded that to the designated sacrificial altar "ye shall bring your burnt offerings, and your sacrifices, and your tithes . . . and the firstlings of your herds and of your flocks." Their blood was to be sprinkled on the altar and their fat burned (see Deuteronomy 18:17–18). What was left of the meat then was given to the individual making the offering for him and his family to eat in a specified place (see Deuteronomy 15:19–20). Thus we see that the statement in the book of Mosiah that firstling animals were brought to the temple in Zarahemla and sacrificed is not contrary to the commandments given to Moses.
- "Authority to sacrifice among the Nephites? Did the Nephites sacrifice first-born animals contrary to the law of Moses?," Journal of Book of Mormon Studies Vol 8, No 1, Neal A. Maxwell Institute (1999)