The ceremonies of the Salem worship were very simple. Every person who signed or marked the clay-tablet rolls of the Melchizedek church committed to memory, and subscribed to, the following belief:
1. I believe in El Elyon, the Most High God, the only Universal Father and Creator of all things.
2. I accept the Melchizedek covenant with the Most High, which bestows the favor of God on my faith, not on sacrifices and burnt offerings.
3. I promise to obey the seven commandments of Melchizedek and to tell the good news of this covenant with the Most High to all men.
And that was the whole of the creed of the Salem colony. But even such a short and simple declaration of faith was altogether too much and too advanced for the men of those days. They simply could not grasp the idea of getting divine favor for nothing—by faith. They were too deeply confirmed in the belief that man was born under forfeit to the gods. Too long and too earnestly had they sacrificed and made gifts to the priests to be able to comprehend the good news that salvation, divine favor, was a free gift to all who would believe in the Melchizedek covenant. But Abraham did believe halfheartedly, and even that was “counted for righteousness.”
The seven commandments promulgated by Melchizedek were patterned along the lines of the ancient Dalamatian supreme law and very much resembled the seven commands taught in the first and second Edens. These commands of the Salem religion were:
1. You shall not serve any God but the Most High Creator of heaven and earth.
2. You shall not doubt that faith is the only requirement for eternal salvation.
3. You shall not bear false witness.
4. You shall not kill.
5. You shall not steal.
6. You shall not commit adultery.
7. You shall not show disrespect for your parents and elders.
While no sacrifices were permitted within the colony, Melchizedek well knew how difficult it is to suddenly uproot long-established customs and accordingly had wisely offered these people the substitute of a sacrament of bread and wine for the older sacrifice of flesh and blood. It is of record, “Melchizedek, king of Salem, brought forth bread and wine.” But even this cautious innovation was not altogether successful; the various tribes all maintained auxiliary centers on the outskirts of Salem where they offered sacrifices and burnt offerings. Even Abraham resorted to this barbarous practice after his victory over Chedorlaomer; he simply did not feel quite at ease until he had offered a conventional sacrifice. And Melchizedek never did succeed in fully eradicating this proclivity to sacrifice from the religious practices of his followers, even of Abraham.
Like Jesus, Melchizedek attended strictly to the fulfillment of the mission of his bestowal. He did not attempt to reform the mores, to change the habits of the world, nor to promulgate even advanced sanitary practices or scientific truths. He came to achieve two tasks: to keep alive on earth the truth of the one God and to prepare the way for the subsequent mortal bestowal of a Paradise Son of that Universal Father.
Melchizedek taught elementary revealed truth at Salem for ninety-four years, and during this time Abraham attended the Salem school three different times. He finally became a convert to the Salem teachings, becoming one of Melchizedek’s most brilliant pupils and chief supporters.