11 And again I say unto you as I have said before, that as ye have come to the knowledge of the glory of God, or if ye have known of his goodness and have tasted of his love, and have received a remission of your sins, which causeth such exceedingly great joy in your souls, even so I would that ye should remember, and always retain in remembrance, the greatness of God, and your own nothingness, and his goodness and long-suffering towards you, unworthy creatures, and humble yourselves even in the depths of humility, calling on the name of the Lord daily, and standing steadfastly in the faith of that which is to come, which was spoken by the mouth of the angel.
12 And behold, I say unto you that if ye do this ye shall always rejoice, and be filled with the love of God, and always retain a remission of your sins; and ye shall grow in the knowledge of the glory of him that created you, or in the knowledge of that which is just and true.
At work, my team is currently rolling out a system which stores a large amount of information. As we import all of the information for each of the organizations at our company, our first concern is comprehensiveness: getting everything in the system and organized properly. Once we achieve the first goal, our attention turns to sustainability: establishing processes and controls which will ensure that the organization will keep their information up-to-date over time. Without a plan to maintain the information over time and keep it current, its value will degrade over time.
It is the same with a testimony of the gospel. As President Thomas S. Monson emphasized in his last general conference talk, “Once obtained, a testimony needs to be kept vital and alive through continued obedience to the commandments of God and through daily prayer and scripture study” (“The Power of the Book of Mormon,” General Conference, April 2017).
Partway through King Benjamin’s sermon, his people make it clear to him that they have received the message. They recognize their dependance on God and pray for mercy and forgiveness. In response, to their pleadings, “the Spirit of the Lord came upon them, and they were filled with joy, having received a remission of their sins, and having peace of conscience” (Mosiah 4:3). This is what he had wanted for them. But his sermon is only halfway through. Now that his people have obtained a remission of their sins and been filled with joy, he wants them to be able to retain a remission of their sins so that they can maintain that joy forever. Now that they have come to a knowledge of God, he wants them to grow in that knowledge. And now that they have tasted of his love, he wants them to be filled with that love consistently over time.
To accomplish that goal, he teaches them to establish good spiritual practices in their lives. Specifically, they should remember God’s greatness, continue to humble themselves, continue to pray every day, and stand steadfastly in their faith.
King Benjamin was successful in helping his people become converted to the gospel, but even more importantly, he was successful in helping them achieve a durable conversion. By teaching them how to maintain what they had gained over time, he helped them far more than if he had merely given a memorable speech. The actions he encouraged them to take and the habits he encouraged them to adopt helped his people to achieve something far greater than a one-time conversion experience.
Today, I will remember the importance of personal religious activities in maintaining my own conversion to the gospel. I will follow King Benjamin’s counsel and continue to participate in personal religious activities which help me to maintain my conversion to the gospel over time.