When Pharaoh’s daughter discovered a Hebrew baby floating in a small basket in the river, she decided to adopt him. The writer of Genesis explains that she named him Moses, or Mosheh (משֶׁה) because she “drew him out of the water” (Exodus 2:10). The Hebrew word mashah (מָשָׁה) means “to draw out” or “to pull out.”
Moses was drawn out of the water, and he in turn drew the children of Israel out of the land of Egypt, leading them through a body of water in the process. So his name befits his mission.
The name of Moses appears 75 times in the Book of Mormon, usually in the context of the law of Moses (46 times). There are 2 references to the books of Moses, and the Savior mentioned Moses twice when he explained that His church should not be named after a man. The remaining 25 occurrences reference the following events from Moses’ life:
- Moses prophesied of Jesus Christ (1 Nephi 22:20-21, Mosiah 13:33, Alma 34:7, 3 Nephi 20:23, 3 Nephi 21:11).
- God gave Moses a spokesman (2 Nephi 3:17).
- Moses led the children of Israel out of bondage (1 Nephi 17:24, 2 Nephi 3:9-10, 16).
- He led them through the Red Sea on dry ground (1 Nephi 4:2, 1 Nephi 17:26-27, Helaman 8:11).
- The Lord delivered the Ten Commandments to Moses on Mount Sinai (Mosiah 12:33).
- Moses’ face shone while he spoke with the Lord on Sinai (Mosiah 13:5).
- Moses drew water from a rock (1 Nephi 17:29).
- He healed the people with a brass serpent (2 Nephi 25:20, Alma 33:19, Helaman 8:13-16).
- The people hardened their hearts against him (1 Nephi 17:30, 42).
- He was translated—taken back to God without dying (Alma 45:19).
Moses was a great prophet and a great inspiration to Book of Mormon prophets. As Nephi said to his brothers, “Let us be strong like unto Moses” (1 Nephi 4:2).
Today, I will be grateful for Moses’ exemplary life and ministry. I will strive to follow his example of righteousness and faith, and I will remember the many ways that he led his people away from captivity and closer to God.