Tag Archives: King Benjamin

Answering for sins

I’m still thinking on this topic after last week’s study group. For now I just wanted to record some verses that are getting me/us thinking:

  • 2 Nephi 2:7

    7 Behold, he offereth himself a sacrifice for sin, to answer the ends of the law, unto all those who have a broken heart and a contrite spirit; and unto none else can the ends of the law be answered.

  • Jacob 1:19

    19 And we did magnify our office unto the Lord, taking upon us the responsibility, answering the sins of the people upon our own heads if we did not teach them the word of God with all diligence; wherefore, by laboring with our might their blood might not come upon our garments; otherwise their blood would come upon our garments, and we would not be found spotless at the last day.

  • Jacob 3:10

    10 Wherefore, ye shall remember your children, how that ye have grieved their hearts because of the example that ye have set before them; and also, remember that ye may, because of your filthiness, bring your children unto destruction, and their sins be heaped upon your heads at the last day.

    (also verse 9:Wherefore, a commandment I give unto you, which is the word of God, that ye revile no more against them because of the darkness of their skins; neither shall ye revile against them because of their filthiness; but ye shall remember your own filthiness, and remember that their filthiness came because of their fathers.)

  • Mosiah 2:28

    28 I say unto you that I have caused that ye should assemble yourselves together that I might rid my garments of your blood, at this period of time when I am about to go down to my grave, that I might go down in peace, and my immortal spirit may join the choirs above in singing the praises of a just God.

  • Mosiah 29:30

    30 And I command you to do these things in the fear of the Lord; and I command you to do these things, and that ye have no king; that if these people commit sins and iniquities they shall be answered upon their own heads.

  • Mosiah 29:31

    31 For behold I say unto you, the sins of many people have been caused by the iniquities of their kings; therefore their iniquities are answered upon the heads of their kings.

  • Mosiah 29:38

    38 Therefore they relinquished their desires for a king, and became exceedingly anxious that every man should have an equal chance throughout all the land; yea, and every man expressed a willingness to answer for his own sins.

  • Mormon 9:35

    35 And these things are written that we may rid our garments of the blood of our brethren, who have dwindled in unbelief.

  • Ether 12:38

    38 And now I, Moroni, bid farewell unto the Gentiles, yea, and also unto my brethren whom I love, until we shall meet before the judgment-seat of Christ, where all men shall know that my garments are not spotted with your blood.

  • Moses 6:54

    54 Hence came the saying abroad among the people, that the Son of God hath atoned for original guilt, wherein the sins of the parents cannot be answered upon the heads of the children, for they are whole from the foundation of the world.

“Put them with”

There are lots of places where scriptures are put with other scriptures – it’s a theme and there are meta levels and all sorts of fun.

Small plates + large plates (King Benjamin’s time)

Small plates + abridgment (Mormon’s doing)

Abridgment + Book of Ether (another abridgment) (Moroni’s doing)

Stick of Ephraim + Stick of Judah (as talked about Ezekiel)

A reading of King Benjamin’s speech

God created you; you’re in His debt
God gives you breath and agency, so everything you do is because of Him; you’re in his debt
All he wants is for you to serve Him, and if you do He keeps taking care of you; you’re still in His debt
Also you’re “unprofitable servants”; you’ll never make God a profit over what He expends on you
It’s impossible to pay the debt back.
He doesn’t create you and lend you breath because of what you’ll do for Him, but because He loves you!
He’s not asking for you to pay Him back, or to worry about messing things up and being unprofitable or “not good enough.”
What does God want?
Bless others. And not because it will release us from debt, or prove we’re “good enough.” It can’t, it won’t!
Rather than paying God, pay it forward!
Share the love that God gives to you with others:
“Don’t injure one another, live peaceably.
Don’t let your children go hungry, or naked;
Don’t let them transgress the laws of God, or even fight and quarrel one with another, .
Teach them.
Also, take care care of those that stand in need
Don’t have the beggar petition you in vain, and turn him out to perish.”
And in doing in that we become more than God’s servants, we become the children of Christ, his sons, and his daughters.
Or as is said elsewhere in scripture, we are not just servants, we are God’s friends.

Enemy to God

Yesterday during our Sunday School lesson, we talked about Benjamin’s claim that the natural man is an enemy to God. It was an interesting discussion an I want to record a few parts of it:

  • Creation puts us in debt
  • Blessings after serving God put us in debt
  • Could be that we see this as making an enemy. We can never get out of debt. We are permanently owing something and permanently servants.
  • Perhaps the language of enemy and yield is describing a confrontation.
  • That is, we think the only way to get out of debt is to run away from or attack our creditor. If we destroy the person we are in debt to, we are free from the debt!
  • But as we come to God in face to face combat, sword in hand, we have the chance to yield to our enemy. That is, to surrender.
  • If we yield, and we think we are enemies, then we probably think he is going to kill us.
  • But the beautiful thing is that as we put down our swords and wait for our enemy to strike, he instead embraces us, as if we were his child.
  • We realize he doesn’t ever care to have the debt filled. He isn’t holding this over our heads, this isn’t a threat, he doesn’t have us as a servant to make a profit. He knows we are “unprofitable” servants, and he’s fine with that!
  • He is not waiting for us to repay him. He is not waiting for us to make him a profit (that is, we will produce more than he put into us). He is not wanting us to leave so he can pick up someone more profitable. He did this all on purpose, knowing that none of us could be profitable and none can repay the debt. This isn’t for his glory or some sort of spiritual economic investment. It is for us.
  • Instead of paying him back, he wants us to “pay it forward” (take care of poor and needy, take care of your children, etc.)
  • Perhaps this is one difference between God and Satan. Satan did want payment – he wanted all the glory – he wanted God to pay him for saving us. Wasn’t setting up a way to save us because he loved us.
  • By being in God’s service we grow and have joy. By being under Satan, we think we can progress without work…and Satan isn’t looking for work or repayment from us he thinks he would have gotten payment from God himself.

I hadn’t noticed this language of payment and enemy was so consistent in King Benjamin’s speech! It’s quite helpful.

King Benjamin: what information did Mormon add to what Amaleki had written?


23 Behold, I, Amaleki, was born in the days of Mosiah; and I have lived to see his death; and Benjamin, his son, reigneth in his stead.

24 And behold, I have seen, in the days of king Benjamin, a serious war and much bloodshed between the Nephites and the Lamanites. But behold, the Nephites did obtain much advantage over them; yea, insomuch that king Benjamin did drive them out of the land of Zarahemla.

25 And it came to pass that I began to be old; and, having no seed, and knowing king Benjamin to be a just man before the Lord, wherefore, I shall deliver up these plates unto him, exhorting all men to come unto God, the Holy One of Israel, and believe in prophesying, and in revelations, and in the ministering of angels, and in the gift of speaking with tongues, and in the gift of interpreting languages, and in all things which are good; for there is nothing which is good save it comes from the Lord: and that which is evil cometh from the devil.


12 And now, concerning this king Benjamin—he had somewhat of contentions among his own people.

13 And it came to pass also that the armies of the Lamanites came down out of the land of Nephi, to battle against his people. But behold, king Benjamin gathered together his armies, and he did stand against them; and he did fight with the strength of his own arm, with the sword of Laban.

14 And in the strength of the Lord they did contend against their enemies, until they had slain many thousands of the Lamanites. And it came to pass that they did contend against the Lamanites until they had driven them out of all the lands of their inheritance.

15 And it came to pass that after there had been false Christs, and their mouths had been shut, and they punished according to their crimes;

16 And after there had been false prophets, and false preachers and teachers among the people, and all these having been punished according to their crimes; and after there having been much contention and many dissensions away unto the Lamanites, behold, it came to pass that king Benjamin, with the assistance of the holy prophets who were among his people—

17 For behold, king Benjamin was a holy man, and he did reign over his people in righteousness; and there were many holy men in the land, and they did speak the word of God with power and with authority; and they did use much sharpness because of the stiffneckedness of the people—

18 Wherefore, with the help of these, king Benjamin, by laboring with all the might of his body and the faculty of his whole soul, and also the prophets, did once more establish peace in the land.

I find it interesting how much more focused on the “spiritual” Mormon is than Amaleki. The focus is on the contentions among his own people, and how the prophets helped overcome this. There is “also” a war. And Mormon describes them winning with “the sword of Laban” and also “in the strength of the Lord,” details he adds to Amaleki’s account. And details which make this war similar to other wars Mormon has described in his abridgment. It’s fascinating that Amaleki doesn’t talk about the false Christs, false prophets, false preachers and teachers in the land. I imagine this might be because he had already passed on the records to King Benjamin before that happened? Alternatively, was Amaleki one of the “many holy men” that helped King Benjamin?

One wonders what came next in Mormon’s small-plates account of King Benjamin. It certainly is a great time to talk about his big speech. In fact, it might give some good context for his speech. Here’s a time when they’ve been through war, and made it out; where they’ve been through false information, and made it out; where they’ve had divisions and contentions, and some have dissented to the Lamanites, and what is left is those who have made it out. What a good time to regroup, reconsider, strengthen, and give a vision for moving forward.