BOOK OF MORMON - LESSON 15
"Eternally Indebted to Your Heavenly Father"
A study of this lesson will help us increase our understanding of our indebtedness
to God and encourage us to "put off the natural man...through the atonement
of Christ the Lord" (Mosiah 3:19).
King Benjamin teaches his sons and has Mosiah call the people together.
King Benjamin teaches the people their indebtedness to God.
King Benjamin repeats an angel's prophecies about Jesus Christ and His
Introduction To Mosiah.
WHAT IMPORTANT PRINCIPLES DID KING BENJAMIN TEACH HIS SONS (AND US) ABOUT
Thus far this year we have been studying the small plates of Nephi.
With the Book of Mosiah we begin studying Mormon's abridgment of the large
plates of Nephi.
In just a few pages we have jumped several hundred years, from the time
of Jacob to the beginning of the Book of Mosiah.
The Book of Mosiah begins in about 130 B.C.
As Mormon stated in his insert, Words of Mormon, "I
cannot write the hundredth part of the things of my people"
(v5). We have even less than the Cliff Notes of Nephite history up
to this time.
HOW HAVE THE SCRIPTURES HELPED YOU REMEMBER, OBEY, AND TEACH THE THINGS
Take a few moments to review Mosiah 1:2-7.
Knowing the scriptures (and the prophecies contained therein) was so important
that Benjamin had his sons taught in the "language of his fathers" in order
to read them (v2).
Without the scriptures (plates of brass) they would be ignorant of the
mysteries of God (the principles of salvation and righteousness) (v3).
The scriptures are a tool for helping us to remember the things of God
and an aid in passing them on to our posterity (v4).
Without the scriptures which contain the "mysteries" and "commandments"
we would dwindle in unbelief (v5).
Search the scriptures "diligently". Those who do so will profit.
Those who keep the commandments contain therein will prosper "in the land"
WHY IS IT IMPORTANT THAT PARENTS TEACH THEIR CHILDREN FROM THE SCRIPTURES?
This is a good question. We often talk about the important of the
scriptures, but are they really making a difference in our lives?
What are some examples?
Consider these questions: Where would you be today if the scriptures
had not influenced your life? What would happen to you if the
scriptures and their influence were suddenly removed from your life?
Even having grown up active in the Church, attending seminary, and serving
a mission, there is no question that without the continuing power of the
scriptures, in particular the Book of Mormon, I would not be an active
member today. I have had challenges in my life that have tested my
faith. Without the power of the scriptures and my testimony in them,
I believe my faith would have wavered. My testimony of these incredible
writings has pulled me through those times when I might have turned a different
President Ezra Taft Benson speaking of the Book of Mormon said that, "It
fortifies the humble followers of Christ against the evil designs, strategies,
and doctrines of the devil in our day" (Conference Report, Apr
Brother Stephen R. Covey: "What food is
to the body, prayerful scripture study is to the spirit. We physically
die without food, and we spiritually die without the Spirit and word of
God." (The Divine Center, p188)
WHAT EFFECTIVE WAYS HAVE YOU FOUND FOR HELPING CHILDREN DEVELOP A LOVE
FOR THE SCRIPTURES AND A DESIRE TO SEARCH THEM?
Like the Lamanites or Mulekites, without a knowledge of the scriptures
they would dwindle in unbelief.
As it says on the title page of the Book of Mormon, a primary purpose of
the scriptures (particularly the Book of Mormon) is to convince us that
“Jesus is the Christ”. The scriptures bring us to Christ and teach
us to follow in his path
As President Benson stated above, they fortify the humble followers of
Christ against the evil designs, strategies, and doctrines of the devil
in our day. We take the time to have our children innoculated against
deadly diseases. Children that study and our taught the scriptures
on a regular basis are being inoculated against the deadly temptations
President Marion G. Romney: "I feel certain that
if, in our homes, parents will read from the Book of Mormon prayerfully
and regularly, both by themselves and with their children, the spirit of
that great book will come to permeate our homes and all who dwell therein.
The spirit of reverence will increase; mutual respect and consideration
for each other will grow. The spirit of contention will depart.
Parents will counsel their children in greater love and wisdom. Children
will be more responsive and submissive to the counsel of their parents.
Righteousness will increase. Faith, hope, and charity--the pure love
of Christ--will abound in our homes and lives, bringing in their wake peace,
joy, and happiness." (Conference Report, Apr. 1980)
(Some of these suggestions are found in Brother Covey's book, The Divine
Learn to ask good questions.
Questions serve as catalysts when meditating, pondering, and discussing
They spark off exciting meanings and applications.
They can link the ideal with the real, the eternal with the present.
Ask, then ponder.
One of the most useful questions: "What useful principle can I learn from
these doings of the Lord?"
Correlate with the Church curriculum. Adult and youth classes base
their study on the same volume of scripture.
Develop a list of family favorite stories and passages for future reference
Memorize a scripture a month.
Have scripture chases.
Read a scripture before family prayer or dinner hour.
Leadership & Service
In Mosiah 2, the Nephites gather together in large numbers to hear this
great and final address by their beloved king, Benjamin.
As we read, look for the leadership qualities displayed by King Benjamin.
We can sense the burden which Benjamin feels: "I
at this time have caused that ye should assemble yourselves together, that
I might be found blameless, and that your blood should not come upon me,
when I shall stand to be judged of God of the things whereof he hath commanded
me concerning you" (v27).
As righteous as Benjamin was, he felt that he must make one more plea to
the people to take up the cause of righteousness.
READ MOSIAH 2:16-19. Service to others is service
READ MOSIAH 2:9-15.
WHAT IMPRESSES YOU ABOUT THE LEADERSHIP QUALITIES OF KING BENJAMIN?
He says in verse 9, "...I have not commanded you
to come up hither to trifle with the words which I shall speak, but that
you should hearken unto me, and open your ears that ye may hear, and your
hearts that ye may understand, and your minds that the mysteries of God
may be unfolded to your view."
Benjamin has not called these people together to massage his own ego, but
to teach the truth to this people whom he loves. He is not a politician,
but a statesman and man of God.
Humility: He lets the people know that he is one of them, not to
be feared (v11-12).
He is a champion of obedience to God and freedom (v13).
Integrity and industry: He provided for himself through his own labor in
order to free the people of the onerous burden of taxation.
Consider the words of D&C 121:39: "We have
learned by sad experience that it is the nature and disposition of almost
all men, as soon as they get a little authority, as they suppose, they
will immediately begin to exercise unrighteous dominion."
King Benjamin was not this kind of leader. He was a rare political
and religious leader.
HOW MIGHT GIVING HEED TO KING BENJAMIN'S TEACHINGS ABOUT SERVICE AFFECT
OUR RELATIONSHIPS WITH OTHER PEOPLE?
Consider King Benjamin: His service to the people gained their love and
respect. As a consequence many came to Benjamin's farewell address
and their lives were changed for eternity.
HOW HAS GIVING SERVICE BEEN A BLESSING IN YOUR LIFE?
It helps us maintain a proper view and perspective of life. By doing
so, we are blessed with the spirit.
Mosiah 2:21: "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."
DO KING BENJAMIN'S WORDS MAKE YOU FEEL MORE EAGER OR RELUCTANT TO SERVE?
Consider verses 23 and 24: "And now, in the first place, he hath created
you, and granted unto you your lives, for which ye are indebted unto him.
"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. And ye are still indebted unto
him, and are, and will be, forever and ever; therefore, of what have ye
Contention, Commandments, & The Natural Man
READ MOSIAH 2:32-33.
READ MOSIAH 2:36-39. Those who turn from the truth
will be lost.
ACCORDING TO KING BENJAMIN, WHY IS CONTENTION SUCH A TERRIBLE EVIL?
When we give into contention, we are obeying the evil spirit. When
we give into that spirit, we are opening ourselves up to additional temptation.
To "list to obey the spirit of the evil one" is to actively and knowingly
rebel against that which is just and true.
WHAT CAUSES CONTENTION?
HOW CAN WE HELP MINIMIZE CONTENTION IN OUR HOMES, WARDS, & COMMUNITIES?
4 Nephi 1:15: "And it came to pass that there
was no contention in the land, because of the love of God which did dwell
in the hearts of the people."
President Harold B. Lee told this story: "The
old story, presumably authentic, is told that during the Civil War when
the fortunes of the Union armies, under the command of General Ulysses
S. Grant, were going badly, some concerned ministers called on President
Abraham Lincoln at the White House and forcefully urged the dismissal of
Grant. To these men Lincoln is alleged to have said: ‘Gentlemen, General
Grant has under his command all that we hold dear in this nation. Instead
of criticism, you too should get down on your knees and pray God that He
would see this nation through to victory’." (Ye Are the Light
of the World, p184)
The Natural Man.
WHAT DID KING BENJAMIN SAY WOULD HAPPEN TO PEOPLE WHO REFUSE TO OBEY THE
COMMANDMENTS AFTER HAVING BEEN TAUGHT THE TRUTH?
They withdraw from the Spirit and lose the benefits of guidance and wisdom.
Such is in open rebellion against God and an enemy to all righteousness.
If one dies in this attitude, "the demands of
divine justice do awaken his immortal soul to a lively sense of his own
guilt, which doth cause him to shrink from the presence of the Lord, and
doth fill his breast with guilt, and pain, and anguish, which is like an
unquenchable fire, whose flame ascendeth up forever and ever"
D&C 19:16-17: "For behold, I, God, have suffered
these things for all, that they might not suffer if they would repent;
But if they would not repent they must suffer even as I."
Benjamin pleads with the people to live righteously.
Mosiah 2:40-41: "O, all ye old men, and also ye
young men, and you little children who can understand my words, for I have
spoken plainly unto you that ye might understand, I pray that ye should
awake to a remembrance of the awful situation of those that have fallen
"And moreover, I would desire that ye should
consider on the blessed and happy state of those that keep the commandments
of God. 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. O remember, remember that these things are true; for the
Lord God hath spoken it."
READ MOSIAH 3:19. The natural man is an enemy to God.
WHAT IS THE NATURAL MAN?
President Kimball: "rejection of God's call to
repentance" (Miracle of Forgiveness, p136)
1 Corinthians 2:14: "But the natural man receiveth
not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him:
neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned."
Elder Bruce R. McConkie: "After
the fall of Adam, man became carnal, sensual, and devilish by nature; he
became fallen man.... All accountable persons on earth inherit this
fallen state, this probationary state, this state in which worldly things
seem desirable to the carnal nature. Being in this state, 'the natural
man is an enemy to God,' until he conforms to the great plan of redemption
and is born again to righteousness. (Mosiah 3:19.) Thus all mankind would
remain lost and fallen forever were it not for the atonement of our Lord.
(Alma 42:4-14.)" (Mormon Doctrine, pp267-268)
HOW MIGHT WE OCCASIONALLY BE ENEMIES TO GOD?
HOW CAN WE PUT OFF THE NATURAL MAN?
Yield to "the enticings of the Holy Spirit".
As it states in verse 19 the we need to "becometh
a saint through the atonement of Christ the Lord, and becometh as a child,
submissive, meek, humble, patient, full of love, willing to submit to all
things which the Lord seeth fit to inflict upon him, even as a child doth
submit to his father."
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