King Benjamin’s Speech – Mosiah 2-5

Benjamin wide
Setting

Near the end of his life, in about 124 B.C., King Benjamin called his people together. They gathered with each family’s tent facing the temple. A tall tower was erected to make it easier for Benjamin to address them all. Because they couldn’t all hear him well, his speech was also transcribed and read by messengers (Mosiah 2:1-8).

Purpose

As he told his son, Mosiah, before the speech, Benjamin had two purposes for delivering it (Mosiah 1:10-12):

  1. To formally resign as king and name Mosiah as his successor
  2. To teach the people about Jesus Christ and convince them to take His name upon themselves

Outline

  1. Benjamin’s service as king (Mosiah 2)
    1. Please open your ears to my message (Mosiah 2:9-11).
    2. I have served you well (Mosiah 2:12-15).
    3. Three lessons from my service as your king:
      1. When you serve others, you are serving God (Mosiah 2:16-17).
      2. If even the king serves you, you ought to serve one another (Mosiah 2:18).
      3. If I deserve any thanks, God deserves more. You can’t pay Him back for everything He has given you (Mosiah 2:19-24).
    4. The announcement: Mosiah is now your king (Mosiah 2:25-30).
    5. If you continue to keep the commandments, you will continue to prosper (Mosiah 2:31-41).
  2. A message from an angel: through Jesus Christ, we can be saved (Mosiah 3)
    1. An angel appeared to me and gave me a joyful message (Mosiah 3:1-4).
    2. God will come to earth, work miracles, suffer for our sins, be crucified and resurrected, and judge the world (Mosiah 3:5-10).
    3. His blood atones for those who sin unknowingly (Mosiah 3:11-18).
    4. But those who know the truth must humble themselves and repent (Mosiah 3:19-27).
  3. How to retain a remission of your sins (Mosiah 4)
    1. [The people pray for mercy and are spiritually reborn] (Mosiah 4:1-3).
    2. A recognition of the goodness of God has led you to humble yourselves and repent (Mosiah 4:4-10).
    3. You can retain a remission of your sins by remembering God, remaining humble, praying daily, and staying faithful (Mosiah 4:11-12).
    4. You should live peaceably with others, love and teach your children, and give to beggars (Mosiah 4:13-26).
    5. Do all of these things in wisdom and in order (Mosiah 4:27).
    6. If you borrow something, give it back (Mosiah 4:28).
    7. There are many ways to sin, so watch yourselves, your thoughts, your words, and your deeds (Mosiah 4:29-30).
  4. Taking upon yourself the name of Christ (Mosiah 5)
    1. [The people enter a covenant to obey God until the end of their lives] (Mosiah 5:1-5).
    2. You are now “the children of Christ, his sons and his daughters” (Mosiah 5:6-10).
    3. Retain the name. Don’t let it be blotted out by transgression or by failing to serve Him. “Be steadfast and immovable” (Mosiah 5:11-15).

Outcome

The people were converted and took upon themselves the name of Christ. Benjamin recorded their names and appointed priests to help them remember the covenant they had made (Mosiah 6).

My Takeaways

What does it mean to take upon ourselves the name of Christ? As King Benjamin teaches in this speech, it means to be spiritually reborn through His atoning sacrifice, receiving a remission of our sins and being filled with joy. It also means to enter a new relationship with Him which enables us to retain the blessings of that rebirth over time.

King Benjamin was a humble leader. His people respected him because he had served them unselfishly. Through this speech, he was able not only to transfer political power to his son, but far more importantly, to help his people to accept Jesus Christ as their eternal King.

I can respond to Benjamin’s words by approaching God with the same reverence that would be given to a respected king. I will humble myself before Him, plead for His intervention on my behalf, and strive to submit my will to His and to serve His children. Ultimately, my goal is the same as Benjamin’s goal for his people: to retain the name of Jesus Christ written always in my heart, so that in the end, I will “know the voice by which [I] shall be called, and also, the name by which he shall call [me]” (Mosiah 5:12).

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4 Responses to King Benjamin’s Speech – Mosiah 2-5

  1. Joshua Carlson says:

    I love this story so much. Lots of analogies! How do we watch our thoughts, words, and deeds? We keep everything “facing” the Savior. i had a conversation one time with a friend and we were talking about the things people will justify doing on Sunday. He said the bottom line is, what message are you send thing the Father and his Only Begotten by doing whatever it is that you chose to do. I would extend that to our daily lives. There is nothing innately wrong with watching a good tv show, or playing sports, etc. But when it becomes a focal point in your mind and heart, that is when your spiritual walls will start to deteriorate. Christ says to “look unto me in every thought, doubt not, fear not.” I love how you said you would reverence Christ, the same as you would a respected king. I know he lives, I know he is the King of Kings, but is also our humble advocate with our Heavenly Father. He is the greatest thing to ever walk the earth, lets keep listening for the “sound of His sandaled feet!”

    Like

    • Paul Anderson says:

      Thanks for that great comment. Your Sunday comment reminds me of President Nelson’s experience with trying to decide how to keep the Sabbath holy. Like your friend, he discovered that the simplest way to make that decision was to ask himself, “What sign do I want to give to God?” (“The Sabbath Is a Delight,” General Conference, April 2016). I like that approach, because it motivates us to do something good, not just to avoid doing something bad! It also highlights the role of our agency and even our unique personalities in following the Savior. Ultimately, we are building a relationship with Him by learning about Him, following His commandments, and serving Him.

      Like

  2. Pingback: Alma’s Sermon in Zarahemla – Alma 5 | Book of Mormon Study Notes

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