There is really only one great commandment, which, if you live, you are automatically living all the lesser commandments.
Moses said be holy. Christ said to be perfect. That is essentially the same commandment. (Lev. 19:2). Holiness and perfection both mean to be whole, finished, complete.
But, HOW does one become “holy” or “perfect”? For those who need elaboration, Moses and Christ expressed the same principle as two commandments.
“And thou shalt love the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might.” (Deut 6:5)
“Love thy neighbor as thyself” (Lev. 19:18)
Knowing God and your neighbor and loving God and your neighbor go hand in hand. The more you know the more you love, and the more you love, the more you know.
The three great principles of the Gospel are in the old and new testaments. You can’t really love God or your neighbor, completely, totally, and without reservation, unless you are a whole and complete person with integrity. If you are fighting yourself, or you heart says one thing, but you mind says another, you are not a person of integrity or wholeness.
But, one or even two commandments were too simple for a people who constantly wanted to look beyond the mark. They wanted more commandments. They wanted to be told what to do in every given situation so they didn’t have to think about it, or rely on the transforming power of the Spirit to change their nature, as the Book of Mormon teaches. This need was as true for the children of Israel as it was for the Jews of Christ’s time as it is for today’s Mormons.
So Moses and the LDS church multiplied commandments. “Meet the new schoolmaster. Same as the old schoolmaster.”
Then, Mormons moan and groan about how they are “striving” for perfection, but can never quite make it. But, why would God give us a commandment if it were impossible to live it? That would really make God a cruel and jealous God. Once, you understand what perfection and holiness really mean, and once you develop love connections with God and your neighbor, living a life of perfection and wholeness is not only natural, it’s a joy.