Forgotten Stories from the Old Testament: The Purpose of Circumcision

Have you ever wondered why the Lord has his people practice the law of circumcision? Obviously it was part of the Abrahamic covenant, but what did it represent? Sacrifice was a reminder that Christ would one day sacrifice His own life, so what was circumcision supposed to remind them of?

The answer is kind of interesting, actually. Here’s the account in Joseph Smith’s translation of Genesis 17:3-12

3 And it came to pass, that Abram fell on his face, and called upon the name of the Lord.

4 And God talked with him, saying, My people have gone astray from my precepts, and have not kept mine ordinances, which I gave unto their fathers;

5 And they have not observed mine anointing, and the burial, or baptism wherewith I commanded them;

6 But have turned from the commandment, and taken unto themselves the washing of children, and the blood of sprinkling;

7 And have said that the blood of the righteous Able was shed for sins; and have not known wherein they are accountable before me.

• • •

11 And I will establish a covenant of circumcision with thee, and it shall be my covenant between me and thee, and thy seed after thee, in their generations; that thou mayest know for ever that children are not accountable before me until they are eight years old.

12 And thou shalt observe to keep all my covenants wherein I covenanted with thy fathers; and thou shalt keep the commandments which I have given thee with mine own mouth, and I will be a God unto thee and thy seed after thee.