articles of the month

The 10 commandments

By Nicol Kennedy


My parents taught me and my siblings the 10 commandments at an extremely early age. The 10 commandments have played such a large role in my life I cannot remember exactly when I learned them. I remember having to memorize them for Sunday school, but that was more trying to remember what order the 10 commandments came in rather than learning what they were

Because the 10 commandments have been a part of my life since I was a little child, I have not spent much time reflecting on them.  As with so many aspects of my faith I have just accepted the 10 commandments as a fact of life.  

I have spent more time pondering them recently due to the media attention of having the 10 commandments displayed in public buildings.  I had to stop and review exactly what the 10 commandments are and why someone may be offended seeing them in a government building.

Trying to recall the 10 commandments in order was a true memory exercise.  I could remember all of them but trying to get the middle ones in the right order was a challenge.  I mentioned this to my husband and he could not understand why being in a particular order made any difference.  I thought he had a good point, that it did not really matter what order I placed them in or what exact wording I used to remember them, it was the idea behind each of the 10 commandments that was the message we are to take to heart.

After thinking about each of the 10 commandments I have decided that for me they represent a decent and courteous way to conduct my life.  I respect others beliefs and accept that not everyone has the same set of beliefs that I have.  In fact I think life would be boring if we did all think the same and had the same beliefs.  

I understand that we are not all from the same belief system and because of this I can fully understand why some would be offended by seeing the 10 commandments in a government building.

Here are the list of 10 commandments I remember learning as a child:

  • Thou shalt have no other gods before me
  • Thou shall not make unto thee any graven image
  • Thou shall not take the name of God in vain
  • Remember the Sabbath Day to keep it holy
  • Honor your Father and Mother
  • Thou shall not kill
  • Thou shall not commit adultery
  • Thou shall not steal
  • Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbour
  • Thou shall not covet your neighbors wife

© 2006 Nicol Kennedy


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