"Ye Shall Be Called the Children of Christ"
Lesson 16 - Mosiah 4-6
To sit on the right hand of God is to receive exaltation and live with God again. What kind of people will be entitled to sit on the right hand of God? on the left hand of God? See Matthew 25:33-46; D&C 29:27. At the end of his sermon, King Benjamin told his people what they needed to do to be entitled to sit on the right hand of God. We can learn from King Benjamin’s words because the requirements are the same for us.
King Benjamin’s people sought and received a remission of their sins.
Mosiah 4:1 After King Benjamin taught his people about the mission of the Savior, he saw that "they had fallen to the earth".
Mosiah 4:1-2 The people fell to the earth because the fear of the Lord had come upon them.
Helaman 12:4-8; Moses 1:9-10 We are "less than the dust of the earth" because we do not respond to God's commands with the obedience that even the elements of the earth exhibit.
Mosiah 4:5-8, 11-12 King Benjamin emphasized his people’s "nothingness" and unworthiness to get them to think seriously about how dependent they were on the Lord. It is essential for us to recognize our dependence on the Lord so that we will call on Him in humility and realize that only He can save us.
Mosiah 4:2 Understanding their "carnal state" led King Benjamin’s people to cry to the Lord for mercy and forgiveness.
Mosiah 4:3 The Spirit of the Lord came upon them and caused them to become "filled with joy" due to the remission of their sins and the peace of conscience they felt. Their exceeding faith enabled them to be forgiven of their sins.
How did they know they had been forgiven and how can we know that we are forgiven after we repent? President Harold B. Lee said: “If the time comes when you have done all that you can to repent of your sins … and have made amends and restitution to the best of your ability … , then you will want that confirming answer as to whether or not the Lord has accepted of you. In your soul-searching, if you seek for and you find that peace of conscience, by that token you may know that the Lord has accepted of your repentance” (Stand Ye in Holy Places , 185).
Mosiah 4:9-10 King Benjamin taught that to obtain a remission of our sins, we must believe in and exhibit faith in Jesus Christ and acknowledge his omnipotence and power, humble ourselves before him, and sincerely ask for forgiveness, believing that we will receive.
Mosiah 4:11-12 He taught that to retain a remission of our sins, we must remember the greatness of God, his mercy and blessings to us, humble ourselves and pray daily, and be faithful and obedient to our covenants.
Mosiah 4:26. To retain a remission of our sins is to walk guiltless before God and to do good works.
Ponder how King Benjamin’s words to his people can give you hope when you are discouraged by your weaknesses.
King Benjamin taught his people how to live Christlike lives.
The following three sets of verses may each be summarized in a single sentence like those suggested here:
Mosiah 4:13-15 Teach the children.
Mosiah 4:16-26 Share with the poor.
Mosiah 4:27-30 Watch your thoughts, words, and deeds.
Mosiah 4:14-15 According to King Benjamin, obligations parents have to their children include providing for them temporally and spiritually, teaching them to keep the commandments, live in peace and harmony, be truthful and sober, and to love and serve one another.
Conditions in the world today make King Benjamin’s counsel to parents especially important because there is so much contention and selfishness that needs to be overcome with love and charity.
It is so important that parents teach the gospel to their children because parents are commanded by God to ensure that their children know the gospel principles that will guide them back to their Heavenly Father.
President Gordon B. Hinckley reminded us that... "The health of any society, the happiness of its people, their prosperity, and their peace all find their roots in the teaching of children by fathers and mothers" (Ensign, Nov. 1993, 60).
We teach children to love and serve one another through loving and consistent daily example.
Mosiah 4:16 King Benjamin also instructed his people to care for the needy.
Mosiah 4:17, 22 According to King Benjamin, some people refuse to help the needy because they judge the person in need and condemn him for what they think may be his culpability in his situation.
Mosiah 4:18-23 We have "great cause to repent" if we have this attitude because we are all beggars and are all dependent on God for life and sustenance.
Mosiah 4:19-20 In the sense that we are all dependent upon God's mercy and powerless to provide for all our own needs and wants, we are all beggars.
Charitable service is an important characteristic of members of Christ’s Church because it gives us an opportunity to learn to love others and humble ourselves to serve others unselfishly.
Mosiah 4:16, 20-21 We follow Heavenly Father’s example as we give to the needy by ensuring that their plea for help does not go unanswered and that we give freely in a sincere effort to be of service.
We ensure that when we give to the needy, we give the right assistance in the right way by following the Spirit and being generous and loving. There is no single right approach to helping the needy. We should remember the principles taught by King Benjamin and seek the guidance of the Spirit in each situation. The Lord has established ways in which we can help the needy. When we give fast offerings or donate money, goods, time, or other service to the Church, we can be confident that our contributions are being used wisely.
Mosiah 4:24-25 King Benjamin counseled the poor who could not impart of their substance to have a charitable heart and be generous with any surplus they do have.
We can develop a generous heart regardless of our financial situation by always remembering what God has done for us and being willing and desirous to follow his example.
Mosiah 4:26 Serving others helps us retain a remission of our sins by giving us an opportunity to serve God by rendering service to our fellowmen.
Mosiah 4:27. Consider what it means to do all things "in wisdom and order" and how you can be helped by this counsel.
Mosiah 4:29-30 King Benjamin taught his people that to avoid sin and maintain their commitment to God, they must watch their thoughts, words, and deeds.
Our thoughts, words, and deeds are related because thoughts provide motivation, words reveal our motivation, and deeds are the execution of our motivation. Our words and deeds will be affected when we watch our thoughts as we control, avoid, and eliminate thoughts that do not lead us to Christlike actions.
King Benjamin’s people experienced a "mighty change" and covenanted to do God’s will in all things.
Mosiah 5:2 The people knew that King Benjamin’s words were true because of the Spirit they felt.
Mosiah 5:2-5 records that the Spirit of the Lord had an effect on the people so that they no longer had any desire to do evil, but instead wanted to do good continually.
Think about how your life and relationships might be affected if you "had no more disposition to do evil".
It is important for us to know that the people who heard King Benjamin’s sermons and experienced a mighty change of heart were already members of the Church because we need to assure that we realize our own need to overcome the desire to do evil.
Mosiah 5:2 Once we have experienced a "mighty change...in our hearts", we face challenges in maintaining this change because Satan still desires to have us. We meet these challenges successfully by remembering our covenants and keeping them faithfully.
Mosiah 5:2 , 5-7 To become children of Christ means that we take his name and covenant to be like him in all respects.
Mosiah 5:8-11 To "take upon [ourselves] the name of Christ" means to covenant to be obedient, endure to the end, and never transgress his laws.
Mosiah 5:11-15 These verses teach us that each day we can do good works to help us keep Christ’s name written in our hearts.
Elder Dallin H. Oaks explained: "Our willingness to take upon us the name of Jesus Christ affirms our commitment to do all that we can to be counted among those whom he will choose to stand at his right hand and be called by his name at the last day. In this sacred sense, our witness that we are willing to take upon us the name of Jesus Christ constitutes our declaration of candidacy for exaltation in the celestial kingdom. Exaltation is eternal life, ‘the greatest of all the gifts of God’ (D&C 14:7)" (Ensign, May 1985, 83).
Mosiah 5:5,7-8 ; D&C 20:37, 77, 79 The covenant made by King Benjamin’s people is similar to the covenant we made at baptism and it is renewed each time we take the sacrament.
It is important that we renew this covenant frequently so that the cumulative effects of sin do not drive away the Spirit. We need to rid ourselves of sin as quickly as we recognize it.
Mosiah 6:1-2 King Benjamin saw that all his people (except those who were too young) had entered into the covenant to obey God’s commandments.
It was important to record their names so that they would be known and cared for by the leaders of the Church.
Mosiah 6:3 It is important to appoint teachers and priests over the people so that they can help stir us up to remembrance of our covenants with God.
Our teachers and Church leaders help us remember the covenants and promises we have made by teaching gospel lessons, speaking in Church meetings, and visiting us regularly in our homes as Home and Visiting teachers.
Mosiah 5:15 records the final words of King Benjamin’s address. These blessings of admission to the celestial kingdom and everlasting life are available to each of us. Seek and maintain that "mighty change" of heart that will enable you to be a child of Christ.