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).
As he told his son, Mosiah, before the speech, Benjamin had two purposes for delivering it (Mosiah 1:10-12):
- To formally resign as king and name Mosiah as his successor
- To teach the people about Jesus Christ and convince them to take His name upon themselves
- Benjamin’s service as king (Mosiah 2)
- Please open your ears to my message (Mosiah 2:9-11).
- I have served you well (Mosiah 2:12-15).
- Three lessons from my service as your king:
- The announcement: Mosiah is now your king (Mosiah 2:25-30).
- If you continue to keep the commandments, you will continue to prosper (Mosiah 2:31-41).
- A message from an angel: through Jesus Christ, we can be saved (Mosiah 3)
- An angel appeared to me and gave me a joyful message (Mosiah 3:1-4).
- God will come to earth, work miracles, suffer for our sins, be crucified and resurrected, and judge the world (Mosiah 3:5-10).
- His blood atones for those who sin unknowingly (Mosiah 3:11-18).
- But those who know the truth must humble themselves and repent (Mosiah 3:19-27).
- How to retain a remission of your sins (Mosiah 4)
- [The people pray for mercy and are spiritually reborn] (Mosiah 4:1-3).
- A recognition of the goodness of God has led you to humble yourselves and repent (Mosiah 4:4-10).
- You can retain a remission of your sins by remembering God, remaining humble, praying daily, and staying faithful (Mosiah 4:11-12).
- You should live peaceably with others, love and teach your children, and give to beggars (Mosiah 4:13-26).
- Do all of these things in wisdom and in order (Mosiah 4:27).
- If you borrow something, give it back (Mosiah 4:28).
- There are many ways to sin, so watch yourselves, your thoughts, your words, and your deeds (Mosiah 4:29-30).
- Taking upon yourself the name of Christ (Mosiah 5)
- [The people enter a covenant to obey God until the end of their lives] (Mosiah 5:1-5).
- You are now “the children of Christ, his sons and his daughters” (Mosiah 5:6-10).
- 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).
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).
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).
Blog Posts about King Benjamin’s Speech
- What Is the Significance of the Title “the Lord Omnipotent?” (3/13/2019)
- How Do Book of Mormon Prophets Use the Title “Savior?” (3/11/2019)
- What Is the Significance of the Names and Titles of Jesus in the Book of Mormon? (3/3/2019)
- What Does It Mean to “Succor” Someone? (2/27/2019)
- What Are Some Examples of People Coming Unto Christ? (2/14/2019)
- What Is the Significance of the Phrase “a Tabernacle of Clay?” (2/5/2019)
- What Is the “Natural Man?” (2/4/2019)
- What Is the Significance of the Savior Bleeding “from Every Pore?” (2/3/2019)
- What Does It Mean to “Apply the Atoning Blood of Christ?” (1/31/2019)
- How Is the Word “Atonement” Used in the Book of Mormon? (1/30/2019)
- I Would That Ye Should Take Upon You the Name of Christ – Mosiah 5:7-8 (11/10/2018)
- The Children of Christ – Mosiah 5:7 (6/18/2018)
- Always Retain a Remission of Your Sins – Mosiah 4:11-12 (6/17/2018)
- Those…Who Have Ignorantly Sinned – Mosiah 3:11-12 (6/16/2018)
- That I Might Rid My Garments of Your Blood – Mosiah 2:27-28 (6/15/2018)
- They Were Filled with Joy – Mosiah 4:2-3 (3/14/2018)
- The Glad Tidings of Great Joy – Mosiah 3:2-4 (3/13/2018)
- And Becometh as a Child – Mosiah 3:19 (11/17/2017)
- A Mighty Change – Mosiah 5:2-5 (10/22/2017)
- Are We Not All Beggars? – Mosiah 4:19-21 (10/20/2017)
- Believe in God – Mosiah 4:9-10 (10/19/2017)
- They Had Viewed Themselves in Their Own Carnal State – Mosiah 4:1-3 (10/18/2017)
- The Natural Man – Mosiah 3:19 (10/17/2017)
- That a Righteous Judgment Might Come – Mosiah 3:5-10 (10/16/2017)
- In the Service of Your God – Mosiah 2:16-17 (10/15/2017)
- I Am Like As Yourselves – Mosiah 2:10-11 (10/14/2017)
- Because of the Exceeding Faith – Mosiah 4:3 (1/4/2017)
- A Righteous Judgment – Mosiah 3:9-10 (12/30/2016)
- No Other Name…nor Any Other Way nor Means – Mosiah 3:17 (12/29/2016)
- Love One Another – Mosiah 4:15 (12/24/2016)
- A Tabernacle of Clay – Mosiah 3:5 (12/13/2016)
- Causing…the Blind to Receive Their Sight – Mosiah 3:5-6 (12/3/2016)
- Ye Will Not Suffer Your Children… – Mosiah 4:14-15 (11/23/2016)
- They Pitched Their Tents Round About – Mosiah 2:5-6 (9/26/2016)
- The Blessed and Happy State – Mosiah 2:41 (9/13/2016)
- Whom He Has Not Served – Mosiah 5:13 (8/15/2016)
- Ye Will Teach Them…to Serve One Another – Mosiah 4:14-15 (8/14/2016)
- To Spend My Days in Your Service – Mosiah 2:12-14 (7/25/2016)
- Open Your Ears That Ye May Hear – Mosiah 2:9 (7/19/2016)
- Ye Do Withdraw Yourselves – Mosiah 2:36 (6/20/2016)
- Because of the Covenant Which Ye Have Made – Mosiah 5:6-7 (6/1/2016)
- Whosever Among You Borroweth – Mosiah 4:28 (5/26/2016)
- Ye Will Teach Them – Mosiah 4:14-15 (5/12/2016)
- All the Thanks and Praise – Mosiah 2:20-21 (5/4/2016)
- That Ye May Learn Wisdom – Mosiah 2:17, Alma 38:9 (4/27/2016)
- All Things Must Be Done in Order – Mosiah 4:27 (4/21/2016)
- It Is Expedient that He Should Be Diligent – Mosiah 4:27 (4/14/2016)
- For the Sake of Retaining a Remission of Your Sins – Mosiah 4:26 (4/6/2016)
- Are We Not All Beggars? – Mosiah 4:16-19 (4/5/2016)
- In the Service of Your Fellow Beings – Mosiah 2:17 (4/2/2016)
- Humble Yourselves Even in the Depths of Humility – Mosiah 4:11 (3/20/2016)
- No More Disposition to Do Evil – Mosiah 5:2 (2/9/2016)
- In Adam, or by Nature, They Fall – Mosiah 3:16 (2/5/2016)
- And Putteth off the Natural Man – Mosiah 3:19 (2/2/2016)
- In a Tabernacle of Clay – Mosiah 3:5-8 (1/12/2016)
- All The Things Which the Lord Can Comprehend – Mosiah 4:9 (1/6/2016)
- How Knoweth a Man the Master Whom He Has Not Served – Mosiah 5:13 (4/23/2015)
- In Wisdom and Order – Mosiah 4:27 (4/22/2015)
- Believe in God – Mosiah 4:9-10 (4/21/2015)
- As Ye Have Come to the Knowledge of the Glory of God – Mosiah 4:11-12 (4/21/2015)
- Willing to Submit – Mosiah 3:19 (4/20/2015)
- Unprofitable Servants – Mosiah 2:21 (4/18/2015)
- Ye Do Withdraw Yourselves – Mosiah 2:36 (4/17/2015)
- Open Your Ears That Ye May Hear – Mosiah 2:9 (4/16/2015)
- Mosiah 4:26 Every Man According to That Which He Hath (10/13/2014)
- Mosiah 3:11-12 Wo Unto Him Who Knoweth That He Rebelleth Against God (10/12/2014)
- Mosiah 2:41 They Are Blessed in All Things (10/10/2014)