Posted on January 20, 2021
So, exhausted, he takes the weight down and attempts to push it up. He attempts the ninth but can’t. This would be a good model for race relations in the modern world. 3. He really did suffer human emotion, discomfort, and pain. King Benjamin’s Speech Follows a Covenant Format The Mount Sinai covenant is worth reviewing for that is where we learn about what God expects from us in the covenantal relationship. The community does nothing until their leader asks them to, at which point they declare their repentance in terms of turning away from God, but without even mentioning the people who have been … "A Manual for Discipleship," in King Benjamin's Speech, ed. He asks them to remember the way they feel and to remember it is only through Jesus Christ that they will be saved. LDS scholar Blake Ostler takes an interesting position where he acknowledges both modern and ancient content. 225, 229, 259) a) humble themselves b) become as little children c) salvation through the atoning blood of Christ the Lord d) natural man e) enemy to God f) has been from the fall of Adam f) will be forever and ever 3. 1. 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. I interjected, “just let him, it’s no big deal”. The spotter has to lift most of the weight this time, but he gets it up. [illustration] King Benjamin Preaches to the Nephites, by Gary L. Kapp [illustrations] Paintings by Robert T. Barrett; left: Christ Healing the Man with the Withered Hand; top right: Joseph Smith's Vision of the Celestial Kingdom; bottom right: King Benjamin Confers the Kingdom on Mosiah In addition to the doctrinal beauty and inspiration, I find some very interesting complexity to this. Interestingly, the Book of Mormon is filled with scenes similar, to those which Joseph would have witnessed at these meetings. Compare the covenant of Jeremiah’s people and King Benjamin’s. And ye are still indebted unto him, and are, and will be, forever and ever; therefore, of what have ye to boast? 11 For behold, and also his blood atoneth for the sins of those who have fallen by the transgression of Adam, who have died not knowing the will of God concerning them, or who have ignorantly sinned. Mosiah 2:17 one of our favorite scriptures in the canon on service. Repentance. If they did, then Abinadi died before King Benjamin gives his speech, thus eliminating the possibility that Abinadi’s sermon is a derivative of King Benjamin’s. 24 And secondly, he doth require that ye should do as he hath commanded you; for which if ye do, he doth immediately bless you; and therefore he hath paid you. I wrote about this in a prior blog article on Book of Mormon anachronisms. I have enjoyed diving into this and studying it in depth in preparation for Gospel Doctrine lessons 15 “Eternally Indebted to Your Heavenly Father” and 16 “Ye Shall Be Called the Children of Christ”. God cares about not just our needs but our wants. 21 I say unto you that if ye should serve him who has created you from the beginning, and is preserving you from day to day, by lending you breath, that ye may live and move and do according to your own will, and even supporting you from one moment to another—I say, if ye should serve him with all your whole souls yet ye would be unprofitable servants. At the end of this sermon, the people are convinced of the message and desire to enter into a covenant, to take on the name of Christ and be his people. The Book of Mormon takes the Arminian view that due to the nature of the atonement being infinite, that they will receive salvation, similar to little children who die before reaching age of accountability. b) become as a child Nay; he has poured out his Spirit upon you, and has caused that your hearts should be filled with joy, and has caused that your mouths should be stopped that ye could not find utterance, so exceedingly great was your joy. c) become a saint through the atonement of Christ the Lord In Mosiah 4:11 King Benjamin talks about the goodness of God and the need we have of a Savior. Similarities of 1800’s revival camp meetings to King Benjamin’s address: Mosiah 5:7 And now, because of the covenant which ye have made ye shall be called the children of Christ, his sons, and his daughters; for behold, this day he hath spiritually begotten you; for ye say that your hearts are changed through faith on his name; therefore, ye are born of him and have become his sons and his daughters. A sister in a former ward told this story. acknowledges both modern and ancient content. To me the great lesson of this portion of King Benjamin’s speech is that often we best fulfill the First and Great Commandment (Matthew 22:37) “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.” when we keep the second (Matthew 22:39) “Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.” and put that love into action through service. Yet another ritual pattern has been identified in King Benjamin's speech by Stephen D. Ricks ("Treaty and Covenant in King Benjamin's address" in Echoes and Evidences of the Book of Mormon, [FARMS, 2002], 389-94). 18 But I say unto you, O man, whosoever doeth this the same hath great cause to repent; and except he repenteth of that which he hath done he perisheth forever, and hath no interest in the kingdom of God. We see both the drawing on of powerful phrases already given in what would have been popular sermons of Nephite history “goodness of God” drawing from 2 Ne 9. In addition to the correlation to 1800’s revivals, another point for this being a modern work is the very specific, modern era Christian doctrine taught. For readers of the Book of Mormon, King Benjamin’s speech is a treasure trove of inspiration, wisdom, eloquence, and spiritual insight. The whole purpose of King Benjamin’s address seems to come down to this thing about our hearts. Here are some of the highlights of that list. Of course, God can update the covenantal stipulations through new revelation and prophecies. These doctrines developed over time, like all human thought does: building on previous body of work, arguing, debating, expanding it, and then arguing over those expansions, etc. 2. He wants to quit, but the spotter says “one more you can do it”. The message has a very strong ring of community togetherness, acceptance, and cooperation. His spotter is there to help him if he can’t make it. This article will go into both of these topics. As mentioned already, the expansion of the Bible in a way to show doctrinal emphasis: Jeremiah 31:33, Parable of Talents, Parable of Sheep and Goats. Many LDS scholars have pointed to correlations between King Benjamin’s address and ancient Israelite customs. Camp meeting revivals were so common in New York and the surrounding areas the leading revivalist and theologian Charles Finney coined the term “burned over district” because no one was left to convert. ), nature of grace: irresistible, prevenient, etc. King Benjamin's son Mosiah is appointed to be the next king. In Elder Jeffrey R. Holland’s book Christ and … Stephen D. Ricks For readers of the Book of Mormon, King Benjamin’s speech is a treasure trove of inspiration, wisdom, eloquence, and spiritual insight. In the Book of Mormon, they gathered at the temple. In Mosiah 4 we read how the atoning blood of Jesus Christ is applied to our life. One more comment on verse 26 from this passage. A natural state of the consequences of good decisions and choices in our lives. The contributors examine this speech in the multifaceted contexts in which it was delivere A beautiful definition of scripture and revelation I first heard from Blake Ostler is the “synthesis of the creativity of man responding to divine persuasion”. Why are People Leaving the Mormon Church? King Benjamin appoints his son Mosiah to be the next king. Krispy Kreme donuts for everyone. Also, important in camp meetings and absent in King Benjamin’s address were exotic spiritual manifestations like speaking in tongues, faintings, erratic head movements, etc. Prepared with the general reader in mind, this streamlined version presents the essential contents of the original book. Become as a child, humble, patient, full of love, willing to submit to God’s will. Ostler sees modern elements of Joseph’s environment, such as 19th century revival meeting similarities, camping in tents for several days, call to repent and accept Christ, attenders would experience change of heart, etc. In it are seven major sections separated by interruptions or intervening ceremonial acts. 17 And behold, I tell you these things that ye may learn wisdom; that ye may learn that when ye are in the service of your fellow beings ye are only in the service of your God. 225, 229, 259), a) humble themselves The people believe King Benjamin’s words and pray to God. Two additional contextual clues add to this conclusion. Yay. 15 But ye will teach them to walk in the ways of truth and soberness; ye will teach them to love one another, and to serve one another. Camp meetings were popular in early 1800’s America, especially in frontier areas (ie western New York) that were not heavily populated with many churches and preachers. The son submitted to the will of the father in perfect submissiveness, meekness, humility, and patience, trusting him to meet his needs and wants. A prolonged worship session that lasted several days or mores. The Book of Mormon enters the debate exactly at this advanced state. Watch the segment below. 25 And little children also have eternal life. 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. By carefully comparing the Bible version to the Book of Mormon expansion, we see what doctrinal emphasis and insight the Book of Mormon is giving us. Just a cheap little 15 cent sucker or something. As we checked out, my son threw in a piece of candy. 6 And he shall cast out devils, or the evil spirits which dwell in the hearts of the children of men. King Benjamin encourages the people to remember how they feel, to believe in God and His Son Jesus Christ, and to care for the poor and the needy. It was King Benjamin’s previous efforts that inspired Mosiah to make these changes. 6. King Benjamin was the king over two distinct groups: Nephites and Mulekites. His message seems to have this subtext of racial tension and economic disparity as the backdrop. A fairly complex chiasmus in Mosiah 2:41 ((John W. Welch, and Stephen D. Ricks, King Benjamin’s Speech: Made Simple, pp. And also from Michael Barker, the creation of phrases that go onto become part of the Nephite prophet vocabulary, ie “change of heart”. King Benjamin was a humble leader. They feel great peace and joy as they covenant with Jesus Christ. Stephen Robinson in Believing Christ gives the Parable of the Weightlifting Spotter to give insight into this idea of how we seem to have so many commandments that it’s impossible to obey them all, seemingly driving some into guilt and fear. He gets up the 8th rep on his own with no help! Kevin Christensen frequently cites non-LDS scholar Margaret Barker, and argues that content in the New Testament and Old Testament has been removed, that otherwise would correlate strongly with LDS style temple ceremonies and covenant making. King Benjamin addresses his people and prophesies about the life of Jesus Christ. Mosiah 4:17-22 King Benjamin expands on the Parable of the Talents, going deeper into the comparison of man to beggar in a power position to man to God in a weak position. 19 For behold, are we not all beggars? Mosiah 3:5-11. King Benjamin’s Speech Follows a Covenant Format The Mount Sinai covenant is worth reviewing for that is where we learn about what God expects from us in the covenantal relationship. 26 And now, for the sake of these things which I have spoken unto you—that is, for the sake of retaining a remission of your sins from day to day, that ye may walk guiltless before God—I would that ye should impart of your substance to the poor, every man according to that which he hath, such as feeding the hungry, clothing the naked, visiting the sick and administering to their relief, both spiritually and temporally, according to their wants. With Elder McConkie, I extol this sermon as one of three of the most important ever given on the planet. But at the same time, he gives a very grace centered message to soften the blow of how difficult this may seem. b) become as little children He does seven reps. On the 8th he falters. Taylor Halverson summarized these points in an article in the Mormon Interpreter. But he’s never done 10 before. e) enemy to God 5 For behold, the time cometh, and is not far distant, that with power, the Lord Omnipotent who reigneth, who was, and is from all eternity to all eternity, shall come down from heaven among the children of men, and shall dwell in a tabernacle of clay, and shall go forth amongst men, working mighty miracles, such as healing the sick, raising the dead, causing the lame to walk, the blind to receive their sight, and the deaf to hear, and curing all manner of diseases. Michael Barker also makes note of the use of other poetic structures, for example. But it’s enough to give me pause from time to time. 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. King Benjamin teaches them when they serve one another, they are serving God. When Joseph Smith was a young man, he said he attended revival meetings. These inspired words influenced later Book of Mormon prophets for generations, and they continue to reach across time to stir countless people today. King Benjamin’s Speech: “That Ye May Learn Wisdom” is the most substantial collection of studies ever to focus exclusively on this landmark address. He wants to push his muscles to the brink, because he knows that is the way to grow his muscles. 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? LDS scholars argue that King Benjamin’s address and focus on temple and covenant making has more parallels with the Old Testament than the modern era. There was some kind of unspoken communication here. He is a good God. I think the natural man is an enemy to godliness in the sense that it’s not always our natural default state. Some very profound commentary on modern U.S. politics, both from a conservative perspective (Mosiah 2 talking about political leaders not taking payment and keeping taxes low) and from a very liberal perspective (Mosiah 4 a very Socialistic view of community, taking care of all beggars and reducing poverty). We believe those that die without the law will receive the gospel in the next life and choose, which is different than little children who receive salvation. While it is not certain that the above-listed events took more than three years, it seems likely. King Benjamin taught that when we truly apply the atonement of Jesus Christ, our views change. f) will be forever and ever King Benjamin's speech begins in Mosiah 2:9 and continues through Mosiah 4, with additional comments from Benjamin in Mosiah 5, but I have included some of the surrounding text to provide background and to show the effects of his words. What’s going on here? It will take a passage from the Bible and expand on it. 22 And if ye judge the man who putteth up his petition to you for your substance that he perish not, and condemn him, how much more just will be your condemnation for withholding your substance, which doth not belong to you but to God, to whom also your life belongeth; and yet ye put up no petition, nor repent of the thing which thou hast done. 21 And now, if God, who has created you, on whom you are dependent for your lives and for all that ye have and are, doth grant unto you whatsoever ye ask that is right, in faith, believing that ye shall receive, O then, how ye ought to impart of the substance that ye have one to another. 9 And lo, he cometh unto his own, that salvation might come unto the children of men even through faith on his name; and even after all this they shall consider him a man, and say that he hath a devil, and shall scourge him, and shall crucify him. For behold, they are blessed in all things, both temporal and spiritual; and if they hold out faithful to the end they are received into heaven, that thereby they may dwell with God in a state of never-ending happiness. I find the passage both beautiful and complex. One of my favorite topics is Book of Mormon historicity. My boy came back and he seemed to be taking it just fine. c) salvation through the atoning blood of Christ the Lord But this shall be the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel; After those days, saith the LORD, I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and will be their God, and they shall be my people. When the father told the son no, there seemed to be an understanding that the only reason he was saying no was that there was something bigger and better on the horizon. O remember, remember that these things are true; for the Lord God hath spoken it. As Richard Bushman stated, even faithful LDS are adopting this view more and more frequently. 13 And ye will not have a mind to injure one another, but to live peaceably, and to render to every man according to that which is his due. 1) He gave us life 2) If we attempt to repay him through service, he immediately blesses us, keeping us in debt. Reading the text in a new format can sometimes offer new insights into the teachings and gives you a fresh copy to highlight and write notes on. 16 And also, ye yourselves will succor those that stand in need of your succor; ye will administer of your substance unto him that standeth in need; and ye will not suffer that the beggar putteth up his petition to you in vain, and turn him out to perish. I was out shopping with my husband and 9 year old son. The people … And again, it is expedient that he should be diligent, that thereby he might win the prize; therefore, all things must be done in order. 26 And now, for the sake of these things which I have spoken unto you—that is, for the sake of retaining a remission of your sins from day to day, that ye may walk guiltless before God—I would that ye should impart of your substance to the poor, every man according to that which he hath, such as feeding the hungry, clothing the naked, visiting the sick and administering to their relief, both spiritually and temporally, according to their wants. If you think about it – King Benjamin’s speech resembles a 19 th century revival far more than a Jewish religious gathering. This is something the Book of Mormon does over and over. Through this speech, he was able not only to transfer political power to his son… The people pitch their tents near the temple in Zarahemla. 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