GREAT WISDOM FROM A GREAT PROPHET—KING MOSIAH
In this lesson, King Benjamin who is the prophet of the time in the Bof M shares great wisdom and insight into so many wonderful teachings that also apply to our time period. We will cover many important topics, a lot on the Savior’s atonement, but won’t be able to get through all the chapters, and will mostly focus on chapter 4. And then, as King Benjamin counseled, we must remember and act on his admonition which is a pearl of the gospel, “If you believe all these things see that ye do them.” Mosiah 4:10
When King Benjamin was done speaking to his people, they were overwhelmed with what they had heard. And cried aloud with one voice (how did they all happen to say the same thing—it’s a really long verse!):
Read verse 2
“less than the dust of the earth” doesn’t mean they’re worthless, as we know the tremendous worth of souls in the sight of God (D&C 18:10). This is an expression of humility, knowing without God’s help they are nothing.
Helaman 12:7-8 shows how people “in their own carnal state are even less than the dust of the earth.” Because the dust obeys God’s commands, but carnal man rebels against them.
Next verse shows how to know you’re truly forgiven. Have you ever wondered what your standing with God is, after you’ve asked forgiveness and paid the price to repent? Here’s the key:
Read verse 3
“filled with joy—peace of conscience because of the spirit”
Spoke last time I taught, in my False doctrine class-haha!
“Satan would want you to feel otherwise, and that you’ve gone too far, and there’s no turning back and no hope of redemption, so just keep sinning.” Pres Harold B. Lee said, “That is one of the great falsehoods. The miracle of forgiveness is available to all of us . . . “
This is the great blessing of the atonement in our lives—the “doctrine of Christ” in action.
Picture of my scarred foot—analogy
Didn’t believe when doctor said it would heal—looked at the reality of my foot, my scars, the pain I was in, my state of constant dependence on my scooter, others for help, and didn’t believe anything could or would change.
Dr knew better—he had seen this before and know that skin heals up wonderfully—almost as if the scars were never there. He knew I would walk again, gain my independence, learn from this experience and trust him.
Show healed foot and how you can’t see the scars
I believed him the second time because I had seen it with my own eyes, and so I had trust in the process. Finally I believed!
Savior tells us He will take our sins and make the white as snow again, remove our scars from us, and we must believe Him. We say we believe in Christ, but do we believe Christ when He says He can heal and save us?
Read verse 5: “awaken you to a sense of your nothingness”
Again, not in terms of worth, but compared to God, and “your worthless and fallen state” without the atonement constantly working in your lives (without Jesus Christ, our Savior). King Benjamin was speaking of man’s utter dependence upon God. Man must rely upon God for everything: life and breath, food and the ability to produce it, health and strength, salvation and eternal life. Without God and the atonement, man is, in a very real sense, nothing. Humility comes from realizing our dependence upon the Lord. (Book of Mormon religion manual)
Read verses 6-8
Marion G. Romney taught that “without the atonement of the Savior, no man or woman would ever be resurrected. “ This however is an unconditional gift to all regardless of any efforts, good or bad, on our part.
Yet he continues, “there is another phase of the atonement which makes me love the Savior even more and fills my soul with gratitude beyond expression. . . the Savior by his suffering paid the debt for the personal sins of every living soul that ever dwelt upon the earth or that ever will dwell in mortality upon the earth. But this he did conditionally. The benefits of this suffering for our individual transgressions will not come to us unconditionally in the same sense that the Resurrection will come regardless of what we do. If we partake of the blessings of the Atonement . . . we must obey the law. . . That stain must be washed away by the blood of the Redeemer, and he has set up the way by which that stain may be removed. That way is the gospel of Jesus Christ.” (Marion G. Romney, “We Cannot Rid Ourselves of Our Transgression,” New Era, April 1983, p. 47.)
I will put these quotes on the internet—don’t have to write them down.
Verse 9: PEARL: “Believe in God—“
“Belief, human belief, is the foundation of all righteousness and the beginning of spiritual progression. It goes before good works, opens the door to . . . truth, and charts the course to eternal life.” (Bruce R. McConkie, New Witness for the Articles of Faith, 21).
Important to remember when others question our faith—we do have to rely on believing as we can’t know everything—why we were sent to earth. But the Lord has left the HG with us so we can know the truth—purpose of HG is to testify of truth—“Behold, I will tell you in your mind and in your heart by the Holy Ghost . . . and you will know the truth of all things.”
“I will not leave you comfortless, I will come to you.”
“But when the comforter is come from the Father, He will tell you the truth of all things.”
Read verse 10-PEARL
“AND IF YOU BELIEVE ALL THESE THINGS, SEE THAT YOU DO THEM.”
Read Verse 11-12:
King Benjamin equates receiving a remission of sins with four things: (being forgiven)
Coming to a knowledge of the glory of God
Knowing of His goodness
Tasting of His love,
Receiving great joy in our souls
These things all relate with the interpretation of the tree of life in Lehi’s dream—great analogy for our time and our journey.
Notice the word “remember”—why did Pres Kimball say it could be the most important word in our vocabulary?
King Ben then explained what we can do to RETAIN a remission of sins in four ways:
Always remember the greatness of God
Be humble by remembering our dependence upon God
Call on the name of the Lord daily
Stand steadfast in the faith.
“To be steadfast is to be fixed, firm, or unwavering . . . To be constant and consistent in living by faith. No word in the scriptures better describes spiritual maturity than does steadfast.” (Joseph Fielding McConconkie and Robert L. Millet, Doctrinal Commentary, 2:162).
Read Mosiah 4:13-15: Characteristics of the Righteous
King Benjamin describes the following characteristics of people who are filled with the Spirit of God:
Read verse 13:
They will seek to live peaceably with one another
They will fulfill their sacred family responsibilities
They will succor the needy (succor means to give aid, help, or relief)
Read Verse 14, 15
Q. What responsibilities do parents have with their children?
fighting and quarreling between siblings may be normal for the “natural man,” but King Benjamin warned that the source of such contention is the devil, and to teach your children not to.
Wise words from the The Family: A Proclamation to the World
“Parents have a sacred duty to rear their children in love and righteousness, to provide for their physical and spiritual needs, to teach them to love and serve one another, to observe the commandments . . . Husband and wives—mothers and fathers—will be held accountable before God for the discharge of these obligations.”
These are NOT popular words today with those who believe they should let their children decide when they are old enough and restrain from teaching them what the Lord expects of them (all in the name of free agency). Yet our children are free agents and ultimately are free to choose for themselves, but they must be shown the truth first and taught while they are young to keep them safe and on the right path. (refer to verse 15). In other scriptures the Lord commands us “to bring up your children in truth and righteousness.”
Give to the poor and needy:
Read Mosiah: 4: 16-18, 22, 23-25
Brigham Young said this interesting quote about this scripture:
“Suppose that in this community there are ten beggars who beg from door to door for something to eat, and that nine of them are impostors who beg to escape work, and with an evil heart practice imposition upon the generous and sympathetic, and that only one of the ten who visit your doors is worthy of your bounty. Which is best, to give food to the ten, to make sure of helping the truly needy one, or to repulse the ten because you do not know which is the worthy one? You will all say, ‘Administer charitable gifts to the ten, rather than turn away the only truly worthy and truly needy person among them.’ If you do this, it will make no difference in your blessings, whether you administer to worthy or unworthy persons, inasmuch as you give alms with a single eye to assist the truly needy.” (BY, Journal of Discourses, Vol 8, p 12, March 5, 1860)
It’s good to know the Lord cares about the INTENTS OF OUR HEARTS and will judge accordingly. (D&C 27—“Keep all of my commandments . . . and him who SEEKETH SO TO DO.” Hope and mercy is extended to us for our thoughts/intents-J.
King Benjamin said that the rich should give to the needy, and the poor should not covet. Coveting isn’t just desiring something someone else has, but it is setting one’s heart on the things of the world more than on the things of God. Martin Harris was warned against coveting his own property (D&C 1936). We can even be guilty of coveting or holding back what we haven’t received (Mosiah 4:25).
We covenant in the temple to give all that we have to the Lord and all that He may bless us with. As we consecrate all to the Lord, He then returns it to us, and blesses us as we use it to bless His other children. Already committed our time, possessions to the Lord’s care in the temple.
Q. How many feel guilty when passing a homeless person or panhandler on the side of the road? I do—and I actually think of this scripture everytime.
Sometimes we have the opportunity to help, especially when it’s right in front of us and we feel prompted to give money or help.
Story of feeding the homeless man. Other times I may give someone some food from a fast food place.
Kerianne Prince: how can we help those who put up their petition to us? Ideas? Money for: generous fast offerings/food bank/Road Home/give to DI/give when you can and feel prompted/give food/don’t judge/treat as equals/serve at Welfare Square
*Gospel has the answer to all problems in the world:
“If each individual in all the world fasted from two meals once a month, the money thus saved could provide ample means to care for all the poor in all the world. Let us maintain that standard the Lord has given, so that the world may see the beauty of this thing.” (Melvin J. Ballard, Conference, April 1912, 8)
I always try to remember we are equals to the beggar—the Lord loves that person as much as He loves me. He sees their potential, knows their circumstances, and understands and will ultimately make things right for them.
Q. Are we not all beggars before God?
Q. What do we depend on God for? Even our breath-
Read verses 19-21-
Also we will be judged with how we judge others (Moroni 7:18, and sermon on the mount)
Atonement—hard to understand—examples everywhere
Example of Les Miserables—beautiful, easy to understand example
John Valjean –everyone judged him by papers—no one gave him a chance—the priest saw his value and worth—trusted him—he violated trust—could have demanded justice—it was his right, but instead he was granted more mercy and forgiveness—as Jesus does for us. The priest was the Christ figure who gave him what he didn’t deserve/wasn’t worthy of it, but he extended it anyway—look at results of the rest of Valjean’s life & how he blessed/helped others.
Read verse 27: do all things in wisdom and order
We have a God of order and wisdom. Like D&C 10:4 (told prophet to not run faster or labor more than he has strength and means provided—to translate the BofM).
Neal Maxwell (who always said things so well and made sense) said: “When we run faster than we are able, we get both inefficient and tired . . . “I have on my office wall a wise and useful reminder by Anne Morrow Lindbergh concerning one of the realities of life. She wrote, “My life cannot implement in action the demands of all the people to whom my heart responds.’ (Neal Maxwell, Deposition of a Disciple, 58).
Read Verse 30: a warning about watching ourselves
When King Benjamin was finished speaking, he wanted to know if the people believed in his words.
Read verse 2:
This is one way to tell if we have the HG with us, “that we have no more disposition to do evil, but only to do good.” In other words, we don’t want to sin anymore.
The Prophet Joseph taught: “The nearer man approaches perfection, the clearer are his views (HG enlightens his mind and understanding), and the greater his enjoyments, till he has overcome the evils of his life and lost every desire for sin.” (JS, Teachings, 51).
Mosiah 5: 5, 8, 11-12 The three covenants of baptism: (review them during the sacrament).
“That they may . . . witness . . . that they are WILLING to take upon them the name of thy Son, and always remember Him, and keep His commandments.” (Moroni 4:3)
1) “Take upon you the name of Christ”
2) Remember to retain the name of Christ written always in your hearts.
3) Be obedient to His commandments
Elder Dallin Oaks explained: “Our willingness to take upon us the name of Jesus Christ affirms our commitment to do all that we can to be counted among those whom he will choose to stand at his right hand and be called by his name at the last day. In this sacred sense, our witness that we are willing to take upon us the name of Jesus Christ constitutes our declaration of candidacy for exaltation in the celestial kingdom. Exaltation Is eternal life, the greatest of all the gifts of God.” (Ensign, May 1985, 83).
Read verse 7 –children of Christ
Read verses 8 and 13 – Come to know Christ as we serve Him through serving His children
Verse 15: PEARL
So much more in these chapters (read Mosiah 6-8), but I wanted to speak about prophets and seers in our time.
Read Mosiah 8: 16, 17—Seer/prophet know of things to come
Sharon Eubank (first counselor in the General RS presidency) gave an insightful talk at our last Women’s Conference entitled, “Turn On Your Light.” This talk emphasized the influence of LDS women on the good women of the world prior to the Second Coming of the Savior.
She quoted President Spencer W. Kimball’s prophetic words his wife Camilla read in the second Women’s Conference 1979, nearly 40 years ago. Listen carefully to a prophet’s electrifying charge about our day and the opportunity that is ours as sisters to be a light to the world.
“Finally, my dear sisters, may I suggest something that has not been said before or at least in quite this way. Much of the major growth that is coming to the Church in the last days will come because many of the good women of the world … will be drawn to the Church in large numbers. This will happen to the degree that the women of the Church reflect righteousness and articulateness in their lives and to the degree that the women of the Church are seen as distinct and different—in happy ways—from the women of the world.
“Among the real heroines in the world who will come into the Church are women who are more concerned with being righteous than with being selfish. These real heroines have true humility, which places a higher value on integrity than on visibility. …
“… It will be … female exemplars of the Church [who] will be a significant force in both the numerical and the spiritual growth of the Church in the last days.”3
What a prophetic and inspiring statement that is by President Spencer W. Kimball to us LDS sisters to “let our light so shine” to the whole world.
President Kimball spoke of four things we could do to be this “significant force” in the growth of the church in these last days:
First is to be righteous
The second is to articulate
The third is to be different
The fourth is to be distinct
The fifth is live one through four in happy ways.
Q. Like King Benjamin, what are the blessings and great wisdom we receive from our prophet today? Quote President Nelson
“If you believe all these things, see that you do them.”