Mosiah 4-6

Are there similarities in King Benjamin’s Address and 19th century revival meetings? Could Benjamin be teaching an “impossible gospel” concerning sinning, repentance and forgiveness? In appointing priests, was Mosiah II giving those men the Aaronic priesthood? The answer to these questions and more in today’s lesson.

Okay, in our last study we learned about King Benjamin’s address to his people who had gathered their families at the temple in the Land of Zarahemla.  Let’s see how the people responded to Benjamin’s sermon.

Mosiah 4:1 “And now, it came to pass that when king Benjamin had made an end of speaking the words which had been delivered unto him by the angel of the Lord, that he cast his eyes round about on the multitude, and behold they had fallen to the earth, for the fear of the Lord had come upon them.”  The phrase “And now, it came to pass that when king Benjamin had made an end of speaking” is similar, to Judges 15:17 and, “the multitude, and behold they had fallen to the earth” is similar, to 2 Chronicles 20:24.

Mosiah 4:2 “And they had viewed themselves in their own carnal state, even less than the dust of the earth” Doesn’t sound too uplifting.  And they all cried out loud in unison the following words “O have mercy, and apply the atoning blood of Christ that we may receive forgiveness of our sins, and our hearts may be purified; for we believe in Jesus Christ, the Son of God, who created heaven and earth, and all things; who shall come down among the children of men.”  Again, Old Testament Jews didn’t believe in Jesus Christ because they had never heard that name before.  They didn’t believe that the Only True God had a son.  And, as a Mormon, you’d have to accept the belief that since Jesus created ALL things in heaven and in earth, including the devil – that He himself was an uncreated being.  The words “all cried aloud with one voice” is similar, to Acts 19:34 and, “may receive forgiveness of our sins, and” is similar, to Acts 26:18 and, “who shall come down” is also in Jeremiah 21:13.

Mosiah 4:3 ”And it came to pass that after they had spoken these words the Spirit of the Lord came upon them, and they were filled with joy, having received a remission of their sins, and having peace of conscience, because of the exceeding faith which they had in Jesus Christ who should come, according to the words which king Benjamin had spoken unto them.”  The words “were filled with joy” is also in Acts 13:52.

If you think about it – King Benjamin’s speech resembles a 19th century revival far more than a Jewish religious gathering.  When Joseph Smith was a young man, he said he attended revival meetings.  Interestingly, the Book of Mormon is filled with scenes similar, to those which Joseph would have witnessed at these meetings.  Folks would travel from around the area and pitch their tents for days.  They came to listen to preachers.  King Benjamin, in fact, sounds little like a revivalist preacher.  People at those revival meetings – just like the people here at the temple in Zarahemla – would fall, down and cry for mercy to be forgiven of their sins.  Some would collapse “under the power of God” (see Alma 18:42 and Alma 19:6).  Being slain in the spirit or coming under the power of God were  common expressions used at those 19th century camp-meetings as well.  The question is – did Joseph Smith’s knowledge of these things lead to their introduction into the Book of Mormon narrative?   

Mosiah 4:4 ”And king Benjamin again opened his mouth and began to speak unto them, saying: My friends and my brethren my kindred and my people, I would again call your attention, that ye may hear and understand the remainder of my words which I shall speak unto you.” The phrase “hear and understand” is also in Matthew 15:10 and, “my words which I shall speak unto you” is similar, to Ezekiel 3:10.   At the end of Mosiah chapter 3, it sounded like he was done with his speech when he said “Amen.”  But now we know he has more to say.

Mosiah 4:6 …the atonement which has been prepared from the foundation of the world, that thereby salvation might come to him that should put his trust in the Lord, and should be diligent in keeping his commandments, and continue in the faith even unto the end of his life, I mean the life of the moral body.” The phrase “prepared from the foundation of the world” is similar, to Matthew 25:34. 

The phrase “the foundation of the world” is the same in Ephesians 1:4 and, “mortal body” is also in Romans 6:12.

 

Mosiah 4:7 ”I say, that this is the man who receiveth salvation, through the atonement which was prepared from the foundation of the world for all mankind, which ever were since the fall of Adam, or who are, or who ever shall be, even unto the end of the world.”  The words “ever shall be, even unto the end of the world” is similar, to Matthew 28:20.

Mosiah 4:8 ”And this is the means whereby salvation cometh.  And there is none other salvation save this which hath been spoken of; neither are there any conditions whereby man can be saved except the conditions which I have told you.” 

Mosiah 4:9 Benjamin tells them to believe in God, who has all wisdom and all power.  The words “Believe in God; believe” is also in John 14:1 and, “believe that he is, and that he” is also in Hebrews 11:6 and “created all things” is in Ephesians 3:9.

Mosiah 4:10 He tells them to repent of their sins and forsake them.

Next, King Benjamin tells them how they can retain a remission of their sins throughout their lives.

Mosiah 4:11 “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 received a remission your sins, which causeth such exceedingly great joy in you 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.”  Almost this entire verse was taken from New Testament passages.

The phrase “And again I say unto you” is also in Matthew 19:24 and, “I have said before” is also in 2 Corinthians 7:3 and, “come to the knowledge of the” is also in 2 Timothy 3:7 and, “and have tasted” is also in Hebrews 6:4 and, “exceeding great joy” is also in Matthew 2:10 and, “calling on the name of the Lord” is also in Acts 22:16 and, “goodness and long suffering” is similar, to Romans 2:4 and, “of that which is to come” is also in Mosiah 4:11.

Mosiah 4:12 ”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.”  The words “love of God” is the same in Luke 11:42 and, “a remission of your sins; and ye shall” is similar, to Acts 2:38 and, “just and true” is also in Revelation 15:3.  According to this verse, in order to “retain a remission of your sins” you cannot sin again – cause according to Doctrine and Covenants 82:7 “And now, verily I say unto you, I, the Lord, will not lay any sin to your charge; go your ways and sin no more; but unto that soul who sinneth shall the former sins return, saith the Lord your God.”  This seems to be an impossible gospel. 

Mosiah 4:13 Benjamin tells them they should live peaceably and be honest with each other.  The words “live peaceably” is also in Romans 12:18 and, “render to every man according to” is also in Romans 2:6.

Mosiah 4:14 He tells them they should be responsible parents in raising their children – not to break commandments and quarrel with each other, which is of the devil.  The words “enemy to all righteousness” is also in Acts 13:10.

Mosiah 4:15 Teach their children to be serious about sacred things and to love one another.  The words “of truth and soberness” is also in Acts 26:25 and, “to love one another” is the same in 1 John 4:11 and, “serve one another” is also in Galatians 5:13.

Mosiah 4:16 Then, Benjamin talks about their attitudes toward beggars.  He reminds them that they are all beggars, in need of help from God.

Mosiah 4:17 “Perhaps thou shalt say: The man has brought upon himself his misery; therefore I will stay my hand, and will not give unto him of my food, nor impart unto him of my substance that he may not suffer, for his punishments are just”  I’m sure everyone of us has had that experience.  We see a panhandler or a homeless person, and we are quick to pass judgment.   

Mosiah 4:18 Benjamin says we need to repent of this.  The words “O man, whosoever” is also in Romans 2:1.

Mosiah 4:19 Aren’t we all beggars – and depend upon the same Being for our substance?  The words “food and raiment” is in 1 Timothy 6:8 and, “for all the riches which” is the same in Genesis 31:16.

Mosiah 4:20 For the people begged God for forgiveness, and He has poured out His Spirit upon them.  The words “mouths should be stopped” is similar, to Titus 1:11.

Mosiah 4:21 So, they ought to impart of their substance to others.  The phrase “whatsoever ye ask that is right, in faith, believing that ye shall receive” is similar, to Matthew 21:22 and, “that ye have one to another” is also in Luke 24:17 and, “how ye ought to” is also in Colossians 4:6.

Mosiah 4:22 ”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.”  The words “the thing which thou hast done” is similar, to Deuteronomy 1:14. 

Mosiah 4:23-25 King Benjamin declares that he is aware that some people do not have the means to given generously to others, and explains that in those cases, they will be judged by their heart attitude. 

Mosiah 4:23 The words “those who are rich as pertaining to the things of this world” is similar, to 1 Timothy 6:17.

Mosiah 4:25 The words “which ye have not received” is also in 2 Corinthians 11:4.

Now getting back to King Benjamin – teaching his people how to keep an on-going remission of their sins.  He now summarizes what he has taught on this subject.

Mosiah 4:26 ”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.”  The phrase “these things which I have spoken unto you” is also in John 16:23 and, “that ye may walk” is also in 1 Thessalonians 4:12.

Next, Benjamin speaks about the importance of prudence and balance in doing such things.

Mosiah 4:27 ”And see that all these things are done in wisdom and order; for it is not requisite that a man should run faster than he has strength.  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.”  The phrase “all these things are done in” is the same in Mark 4:11 and, “it is expedient” is also in John 11:50 and, “win the prize” is similar, to 1 Corinthians 9:24 and, “all things must be done” is similar, to Luke 24:44.

Mosiah 4:28 The words “whosoever among you” is also in Acts 13:26.

We will end this chapter with Benjamin’s warning to his people – that demonstrates the legalistic approach to practicing religion.  

Mosiah 4:29 ”And finally, I cannot tell you all the things whereby ye may commit sin; for there are divers ways and means, even so many that I cannot number them.”  The words “ye may commit sin” is similar, to James 2:9.

Mosiah 4:30 ”But this much I can tell you, that if ye do not watch yourselves, and your thoughts, and your words, and your deeds, and observe the commandments of God, and continue in the faith of what ye have heard concerning the coming of our Lord, even unto the end of your lives, ye must perish.  And now, O man, remember, and perish not.”  This is the message of performance-based, works-based religion.  All I can say is – good luck with that!  The phrase “observe the commandments of God, and continue in the faith” is similar, to Revelation 14:12 and, “continue in the faith” is in Colossians 1:23 and, “the coming of our Lord” is the same in 2 Thessalonians 2:1.

After speaking from the tower for a while now – King Benjamin wanted some feedback from the crowd.  He wanted to know how he was doing.  And this will be the final chapter of his speech. 

Mosiah 5:1 ”And now, it came to pass that when king Benjamin had thus spoken to his people, he sent among them, desiring to know of this people if they believed the words which he had spoken unto them.” The phrase “the words which he had spoken unto” is also in 1 Kings 13:11.

Mosiah 5:2 And in unison they yelled out ”Yea, we believe all the words which thou hast spoken unto us; and also, we know of their surety and truth, because the Spirit of the Lord Omnipotent, which has wrought a mighty change in us, or in our hearts, that we have no more disposition to do evil, but to do good continually.”  The phrase “to do evil, but to do good” is in Jeremiah 4:22.

Mosiah 5:3-5 They continued to recite in complete unison these verses promising to covenant to be obedient to all the commandments in order to avoid God’s wrath and torment.  Latter-day saints make these same covenants at baptism and when they partake of the sacrament every week.  Promises they want to keep and intend to keep – but know they will fail to keep from week to week.  That is why they return to the sacrament on Sundays to make the same promises over and over. 

Mosiah 5:3 The words “of that which is to come” is also in 1 Timothy 4:8.

Mosiah 5:5 The phrase “a covenant with our God” is in Ezra 10:3 and, “drink out of the cup of the wrath of God” is similar, to Revelation 14:10 and, “to do his will” is also in Hebrews 13:21.

Mosiah 5:6 Benjamin replies “Ye have spoken the words that I desired.”  Those were exactly the 388 words that the King hoped they’d say.   The words “and the covenant which ye have made” is similar, to 2 Kings 17:38.

And with that, King Benjamin proceeds with the rest of his sermon.

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.”  The phrase “shall be called the children of Christ” is similar, to Romans 9:26 and, “through faith on his name” is similar, to Acts 3:16 and, “born of him” is also in 1 John 2:29.  As you can see from these phrases, relational Christianity wasn’t taught till the apostolic era of the New Testament.  For Benjamin to speaking about it in an Old Testament setting is completely anachronistic. 

Mosiah 5:8 ”And under this head ye are made free, and there is no other head whereby ye can be made free.  There is no other name given whereby salvation cometh; therefore, I would that ye should take upon you the name of Christ, all you that have entered into the covenant with God that ye should be obedient unto the end of your lives.”  The phrase “ye can be made free” is similar, to John 8:33 and, “There is no other name given whereby salvation cometh” is similar, to Acts 4:12 and, “the name of Christ” is also in 1 Peter 4:14 and,  “that have entered into the covenant” is similar, to Jeremiah 34:10.

Mosiah 5:9 ”And it shall come to pass that whosover doeth this shall be found at the right hand of God, for he shall know the name by which he is called; for he shall be called by the name of Christ.” In Mormonism, the “right hand” is the covenant hand.  So being found on the “right hand of God” is another way of saying that you kept your covenants and kept all the commandments in order to be saved in the Celestial kingdom.  The words “shall be found at the right hand of God” is similar, to Romans 8:34.

Mosiah 5:10 The phrase “left hand of God” means that you did not make covenants or failed to keep all the commandments.  Thus, you didn’t qualify for heaven or the Celestial kingdom. ”And now it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall not take upon him the name of Christ must be called by some other name; therefore, he findeth himself on the left hand of God.”  This is similar, to Acts 2:21.

Mosiah 5:11 Now Benjamin tells them the fine line they must walk with God in order make it. ”And I would that ye should remember also, that this is the name that I said I should give unto you that never should be blotted out, except it be through transgression; therefore, take heed that ye do not transgress, that the name be not blotted out of your hearts.”  The words “take heed that ye do not” is the same in Matthew 6:1. Sound like Benjamin is saying that if they slip-up and sin or even transgress – that Christ will be “blotted out” of their lives.    

Mosiah 5:12 ”I say unto you, I would that ye should remember to retain the name written always in your hearts, that ye are not found on the left hand of God, but that ye hear and know the voice by which ye shall be called, and also, the name by which he shall call you.” 

Mosiah 5:13 ”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?” The words “how knoweth a man” is similar, to John 7:15 and, “the thoughts and intents of his heart” is similar, to Hebrews 4:12.

Mosiah 5:14 ”And again, doth a man take an ass which belongeth to his neighbor, and keep him?  I say unto you, Nay; he will not suffer that he shall feed among his flocks, but will drive him away, and cast him out.  I say unto you, that even so shall it be among you if ye know not the name by which ye are called.”  If the Savior is basically a stranger to you on the final Judgment Day, you won’t be allowed to enter the Celestial Kingdom of glory.  The words “even so shall it be” is also in Matthew 12:45 and, “name by which ye are called” is similar, to James 2:7.

Mosiah 5:15 So, be sure that the Savior is not a stranger to us. ”Therefore, I would that ye should be steadfast and immovable, always abounding in good works, that Christ, the Lord God Omipotent, may seal you his, that you may be brought to heaven, that ye may have everlasting salvation and eternal life, through the wisdom, and power, and justice, and mercy of him who created all things, in heaven and in earth, who is God above all.  Amen.”  What does it mean to abound “in good works?” Then the Lord “MAY seal you his” that you “May have everlasting salvation and eternal life?”  Eternal life in Mormonism means exaltation or living eternally in the highest degree of glory with God.  It also means to become gods.  The phrase “be steadfast and immovable, always abounding in good works, that Christ, the Lord” is similar, to 1 Corinthians 15:58 and, “who created all things” is in Ephesians 3:9 and, “in heaven and in earth” is also in Daniel 6:27.

What does it mean in Verse 15 that God “may seal you his”?  According to Mormonism – it means to have your “calling and election made sure”.  In other words – it means to “make your exaltation certain”.  And “Exaltation” means becoming like your Father in Heaven (D&C 76:95), through entering into the highest degree of glory in the Celestial kingdom (D&C 131:1-4), becoming a god yourself, having your own spirit-offspring (D&C 132:19-20), creating worlds for them, and making exaltation available to them in the same way your Heavenly Father has made it available to you.  And, then in Mormonism – Heavenly Father “calls” all of His children to make themselves worthy to return to Him in exaltation, through the gospel of Mormonism.  Those who heed this “calling” and do all they can to make themselves worthy – are qualified by the Atonement, “after all they can do” (2 Nephi 25:23), to be “elected by God” to enter exaltation.  Another way to put it is this: “Calling and election” is making sure that a Latter-day Saint will be exalted. 

During much of the LDS Church’s 1st Century, the promise of one’s “calling and election” was commonly administer through an ordinance performed in the LDS temple called the “second anointing”.  It was considered an essential ordinance for exaltation until President Heber J. Grant initiated an official Church policy stating that it was no longer a requirement.  It is the current teaching of the Church that only the routine temple ordinances are needed for exaltation.  However, this “second anointing” is still performed in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints today.  All of the LDS Apostles have had their “second anointing.”  And, other members select members who were deemed worthy and qualified – have been “seal” up to exaltation.  Perhaps, this is what King Benjamin was referring to here in his speech. 

Next, Benjamin decides it’s time to take names.  Who’s in and who’s out? 

Mosiah 6:1 ”And now, king Benjamin thought it was expedient, after having finished speaking to the people, that he should take the names of all those who had entered into a covenant with God to keep his commandments.”  He wants to hold them accountable to their promises and covenants.  They will be monitored.  As with Latter-day Saints, most religious organizations keep membership records of those who have joined the group or institution.  The phrase “entered into a covenant with” is also in Ezekiel 16:8. 

Mosiah 6:2 ”And it came to pass that there was not one soul, except it were little children, but who had entered into the covenant and had taken upon them the name of Christ.”  I would say that this was a very successful revival meeting.  Remember too, that until the age of 8 years old – at least in Mormonism – children are not yet accountable for their actions.  The phrase “had entered into the covenant” is also in Jeremiah 34:10.

Mosiah 6:3 ”And again, it came to pass that when king Benjamin made an end of all these things, and had consecrated his son Mosiah to be a ruler and a king over his people, and had given him all the charges concerning the kingdom, and also had appointed priests to teach the people, that thereby they might hear and know the commandments of God, and to stir them up in remembrance of the oath which they had made, he dismissed the multitude, and they returned, every one, according to their families, to their own houses.”  The words “everyone, according to their families” is similar, to Numbers 15:12 and, “to their own houses” is also in Mark 8:3.

Back in our lesson review of 2 Nephi 5:26 when Nephi consecrated his brothers Jacob and Joseph to be priests and teachers, we address the question – whether this was an Aaronic or a Melchizedek priesthood they were consecrated to.  We referenced Joseph Fielding Smith who taught in Answers to Gospel Questions, Vol. 1, pages 124-126 that “there were no Levites who accompanied Lehi to the Western Hemisphere.  Under these conditions the Nephites officiated by virtue of the Melchizedek Priesthood from the days of Lehi to the days of the appearance of our Savior among them.” The problem with this argument is that no one on earth has ever held a Melchizedek priesthood.  Even speaking of Christ, Hebrews 7:17 states ”For he testifieth, Thou art a priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec.”  If you read the entire 7th chapter of Hebrews, you will clearly understand this concept.  The 12 Apostles chosen by the Lord did not hold a Melchizedek priesthood.  They were “ordained” which in Greek simply means they were “appointed” or “chosen.”  Jesus never lays His hands on their heads and gives them a priesthood. 

Mosiah 6:4-7 In these final verses we see that 30-year-old Mosiah II, son of Benjamin becomes the king.  This is 124 years before the birth of Christ.  King Benjamin lives three more years and dies.  His son Mosiah II would reign for the next 33 years. 

Mosiah 6:6 The words “in the ways of the Lord” is also in Psalm 138:5 and, “his judgments and his statutes” is also in Nehemiah 10:29 and, “in all things whatsoever he” is also in Acts 3:22.

Mosiah 6:7 The words “might not become burdensome” is similar, to 2 Corinthians 12:14 and, “that he might do according to that which” is similar, to 1 Samuel 2:35.        –           

And, this concludes our study for today.  For More you can find this podcast on demand were ever you listen to podcasts and on YouTube. You can also find us on Facebook. And share this with your friends.  Or, you can go to our website at Talking to Mormons.com where you can download this script and learn much more. Links are in the description.

God Bless!

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