That was the true Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world.

For when the Gentiles, which have not the law, do by nature the things contained in the law, these, having not the law, are a law unto themselves:
Which shew the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness.

Now, how could a man repent except he should sin? How could he sin if there was no law? How could there be a law save there was a punishment?
Now, there was a punishment affixed, and a just law given, which brought remorse of conscience unto man.

COMMENTARY

That was the true Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world
The law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness
To each of us is given a light, or in other words a conscience. When any of us do something that is wrong it pricks at our conscience.
Though we vary in some of our moral beliefs, it is universal to feel bad about stealing, lying, and killing. By our very nature we also know that it is wrong to make someone else feel bad, to make a vow and then break it. It feels wrong even to silently think ill of another, or to speak poorly of them behind their back. Mistreatment of our own selves feels wrong as well.
In short all of us have at least one “law written in [our] hearts,” a law of nature. It guides us from harm and leads towards fulfillment, and is therefore a wonderful blessing to us. And it is a blessing that is given freely to us all.

Now, there was a punishment affixed, and a just law given, which brought remorse of conscience unto man
However the blessing of the law only applies so long as we adhere to its principles. If not, then justice demands that we suffer the consequences of our transgression. The very first of these consequences is a “remorse of conscience,” and other penalties may follow depending on the severity of the crime. Thus even those that have not received the higher law of the gospel are still responsible for how well they adhere to the law of their own conscience, and the demands of justice are felt by us all.

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