16 Now they did not suppose that salvation came by the law of Moses; but the law of Moses did serve to strengthen their faith in Christ; and thus they did retain a hope through faith, unto eternal salvation, relying upon the spirit of prophecy, which spake of those things to come.
Abinadi taught clearly that salvation did not come by the law of Moses, but that the people still needed to obey it (Mosiah 13:27-28). In this passage, Mormon explains why and offers some insight into the relationship between faith and works.
- Faith is trust or confidence, and is evidenced by a willingness to act in the face of uncertainty (see James 2:18). The first principle of the gospel is faith in Jesus Christ (4th Article of Faith).
- Hope is optimism for the future: an ability to envision and believe in positive outcomes (see Alma 13:29, Moroni 7:40-43).
It is hard to retain hope through the discouraging events of our lives. One key to retaining that hope is to act in faith. These faithful disciples of Christ chose to keep the law of Moses, not because they thought it would save them, but because the act of keeping the law strengthened their faith in Jesus Christ, who could save them.