King Benjamin taught his people an important principle which he learned from an angel: the only way to overcome the unrighteous tendencies of our mortal bodies is to be willing to submit to our Heavenly Father in all things. (See Mosiah 3:19).
When Jesus Christ visited the American continent after His death and resurrection, He told the people that He had “suffered the will of the Father in all things from the beginning” (3 Nephi 11:11).
A kingdom is a place where the people are ruled by a single independent monarch. The monarch sets the laws for the community, and his subjects obey his commands.
The Book of Mormon refers to the “kingdom of God” 38 times and the “kingdom of heaven” another 17 times. These phrases are generally used to describe our eternal home: after we are resurrected and judged, we have the potential to “enter,” “receive,” and “inherit” the kingdom of God.
But some references to this kingdom seem much closer. After reproving us for our obsession with food, drink, and clothing, the Savior said, “Seek ye first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things shall be added unto you” (3 Nephi 13:33, Matthew 6:33). And Nephi’s brother Jacob admonished his people: “Before ye seek for riches, seek ye for the kingdom of God” (Jacob 2:18). These passages may be inviting us to look forward to our final judgment, to take the long view. But to me they sound more immediate and local. The kingdom of God sounds like something worth striving for today, not merely as a final objective.
The 1828 edition of Webster’s Dictionary offers a number of definitions of the word “kingdom.” It can refer to a place governed by a king, to a group of people subject to a king, or simply to the king’s authority and power. So one way to interpret the admonition to seek the kingdom of God is: “Let God to govern you.” Maybe that’s why the Savior paired the following two pleas in the Lord’s Prayer:
Thy kingdom come.
Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven (Matthew 6:10).
Today, I will seek for the kingdom of God in my life. I will strive to submit my will to His and to be governed by Him. I will remember that He can give me everything and that He can help me become far better than I am if I am willing to submit to His guidance and leadership.