How Knoweth a Man the Master Whom He Has Not Served – Mosiah 5:13

13 For how knoweth a man the master whom he has not served, and who is a stranger unto him, and is far from the thoughts and intents of his heart?
(Mosiah 5:13)

Jesus taught that knowing God is eternal life (John 17:3). In English, the word “know” has several distinct meanings, including to understand, to be familiar with, and to be certain of something. Each of these meanings has some relevance to the challenge of knowing God, but I think the following definition from the Oxford English Dictionary hits closest to the mark:

2. [WITH OBJECT] Have developed a relationship with (someone) through meeting and spending time with them;

Hence King Benjamin’s plea: you can’t have a relationship with someone if you never think about them, don’t care about their desires and feelings, never communicate with them, and never do anything for them. That last point is particularly important. Any parent will tell you that you grow to love someone the most by serving them.
Today, I will build my relationship with Heavenly Father by serving Him and by keeping Him close to “the thoughts and intents of [my] heart.”

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2 Responses to How Knoweth a Man the Master Whom He Has Not Served – Mosiah 5:13

  1. D.R. Gunson says:

    A thought comes to mind consistent with this. If it is God's work to bring about the immortality and eternal life of man . . . He then knows us because his sole effort is His service to us. If we want to know Him and be like Him, we should take place in the same work, which “work” i like to call “The Famliy Business.” Obviously, there is little we can do to bring about the immortality of man, but we can help our brothers and sisters prepare for eternal life. Thus, when we are in the service of our brothers and sisters we are not only in the service of our God, but we are coming to know Him. So many people want to “learn about God” and the textbooks of scripture are great sources. However, the laboratory of life (i.e., interaction with others) is where we experiment, test, and gain greater understanding of all that “book knowledge.” Thank you for the chance to reflect on this marvelous sermon and, in particular, this insightful passage.


  2. Thanks for those thoughts. I like the idea that we come to know our Heavenly Father by participating in His work, not just by reading about Him. Thanks for sharing!


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