Other scriptures to read:
Commandment Replays -- Deut 5:6-21; Moses 13:12-24; Matt 5:17-37; D&C 42:18-29; 59:5-9
God Comes First in all things -- D&C 98:14-15; Matt 6:33; D&C 27:2; 55:1; 59:1; 88:67
D&C 1:16 "every man walketh in his image of his own god."
Ephesians 6:1-2 "obey your parents in the Lord."
The Ten Commandments are the foundation of social law. You are not necessarily living a celestial law but it's a good foundation. These commandments are so important that they are repeated again in every set of scriptures -- OT, NT, BoM, D&C, and PoGP.
One really neat thing about the commandments is tha torder of them. The first four commandments are about building the proper relationship with God. The fifth one is about a proper relationship with the family and the last four are building a proper relationship with others.
Vs 3 -- This one seems obvious - no gods before God - but, it also means not to put anything before the Lord. Don't choose sleep instead of Church, don't spend all your time on TV or computer, don't think your friends are more important than choosing the right. There are many things in today's society that could cause us to lose our focus on God.
"This commandment prohibits every species of mental idolatry, and all inordinate attachment to earthly and sensible things [things which appeal to the senses] ... God is the fountain of happiness, and no intelligent creature can be happy but through him... The very first commandment of the whole series is divinely calculated to prevent man's misery and promote his happiness, by taking him off from all false dependence and leading him to God himself, the fountain of all good." (Clark, Bible Commentary, 1:402-403)
Vs 9 -- I found this a significant add-on to the commandment to keep the Sabbath holy. It seems that is always where the focus is but this verse states that we should work for six days. This commandment tells us not to be idle and to work hard for six days and then on the seventh we should stop and take some time to worship the Lord.
Vs 12 -- This verse is packed! First off - honor your parents, but in Ephesians we learn we should honor our parents in the Lord. So... obey righteously. This is also followed by a promise. If we honor our parents then our days may be long upon the land. This could also be thought of as foreshadowing - If we honor our Heavenly Father and Mother then our days may be long in the celestial kingdom. What an awesome promise!
In the Old Testament Student Manual, pg 131 we read, "Parents stand as direct representatives of God in morality, and therefore, like priethood offices, the office of parent requires honor. Obviously, an attendant responsibility and obligation goes along with that calling as God's representative. Parents are obligated to strive to be as much like God as possible. The Lord has made it clear that should parents fail in their responsibility, which includes teaching children what He would teach them if He were here, serious consequences will follow."
Vs 16 -- This one is about not gossiping, which is so common in today's society. "...Murder involves the taking of human life, bearing false witness centers in the destruction of character or its defamation. It reaches to the ruin of reputation." (Adam S. Bennion, The Ten Commandments Today, pg 134-136)
Vs 17 -- No coveting!! This is one of my biggest sins. I tend to get caught in that 'compare snare' and become envious of others. It's something I'm working on. =o)
Joseph said, "Happiness is the object and design of our existence; and will be the end thereof, if we pursue the path that leads to it; and this path is virtue, uprightness, faithfulness, holiness, and keeping all the commandments of God. But we cannot keep all the commandments without first knowing them and we cannot expect to know all, or more than we now know unless we comply with or keep those we have already received. That which is wrong under one circumstance may be, and often is, right under another." (Teachings, pg255-266)
So, are the basics really important? Oh yes, they are. We have to have the basics down to prepare ourselves for a higher law. If we can't get the foundation then house can be built on top, or it can be a very weak house. There is a wonderful talk by Pres Kimball from the Nov 1978 Ensign where he talks about these basics.