The Testament of King Benjamin
abridged ca. 363 ad
And now there was no more contention in all the land of Zarahemla, among all the people who belonged to King Benjamin, so that King Benjamin had continual peace all the remainder of his days. And it came to pass that he had three sons: and he called their names Mosiah, and Helorum, and Helaman. And he caused that they should be taught in all the language of his fathers, that thereby they might become men of understanding. And that they might know concerning the prophecies which had been spoken by the mouths of their fathers, which were delivered them by the hand of the Lord. And he also taught them concerning the records which were engraven on the Plates of Brass, saying:
My sons, I would that ye should remember that were it not for these plates,
Which contain these records and these commandments, we must
Have suffered in ignorance, even at this present time, not knowing
The mysteries of God, for it were not possible that our father, Lehi,
Could have remembered all these things, to have taught them
To his children, except it were for the help of these plates.
For he having been taught in the language of the Egyptians2Nephi spoke of sayings as “language” (in translation, of course): his father Lehi’s engravings consisting of the “learning of the Jews and the language of the Egyptians.” Several centuries later, however, Nephites speak of the writings on the Brass Plates – continued upon their own Plates of Nephi – as being composed in the “language of the Egyptians,” whose reading and writing was taught now only among the priestly-royal lineages. A notable misunderstanding, it leads Moroni many centuries later to speak of “Reformed Egyptian” being the language or script in which he and his father composed their own long histories of Nephites and Jaredites. We cannot really know what to call the language engraved upon the Plates of Brass, of course, until we read them ourselves., therefore
He could read these engravings, and teach them to his children,
That thereby they could teach them to their children, and
So fulfilling the commandments of God,
Even down to this present time.
I say unto you, my sons, were it not for these things,
Which have been kept and preserved by the hand of God,
That we might read and understand of his mysteries,
And have his commandments always before our eyes,
That even our fathers would have dwindled in unbelief.
And we should have been like unto our brethren, the Lamanites,
Who know nothing concerning these things!
Or even do not believe them when they are taught them,
Because of the traditions of their fathers, which are not correct.
O my sons, I would that ye should remember that these sayings are true!
And also that these records are true.
And behold, also the Plates of Nephi, which contain the records
And the sayings of our fathers from the time they left Jerusalem until now,
And they are true; and we can know of their surety
Because we have them before our eyes.
And now, my sons, I would that ye should remember to search
Them diligently, that ye may profit thereby;
And I would that ye should keep the commandments of God,
That ye may prosper in the land
According to the promises which the Lord made unto our fathers.
And many more things did King Benjamin teach his sons, which are not written in this book.
And it came to pass that after King Benjamin had made an end of teaching his sons, that he waxed old. And he saw that he must very soon go the way of all the earth. Therefore, he thought it expedient that he should confer the kingdom upon one of his sons. Therefore, he had Mosiah brought before him. And these are the words which he spake unto him, saying:
My son, I would that ye should make a proclamation throughout
All this land, among all this people, or the people of Zarahemla,
And the people of Mosiah which dwell in the land, that thereby
They may be gathered together. For on the morrow I shall proclaim
Unto this, my people, out of mine own mouth that thou art
A king and a ruler over this people, which the Lord our god hath given us.
And moreover, I shall give this people a name, that thereby they may be
Distinguished above all the people which the Lord God hath brought out
Of the land of Jerusalem. And this I do because, they have been
A diligent people in keeping the commandments of the Lord.
And I give unto them a name
That never shall be blotted out, except it be through transgression.
Yea, and moreover I say unto you, that if this highly favored people
Of the Lord should fall into transgression, and become a wicked and
An adulterous people, that the Lord will deliver them up,
That thereby they become weak, like
Unto their brethren. And he will no more preserve them by his matchless
And marvelous power, as he has hitherto preserved our fathers.
For I say unto you, that if he had not extended his arm
In the preservation of our fathers, they must have fallen
Into the hands of the Lamanites, and become victims to their hatred.
And it came to pass that after King Benjamin had made an end of these sayings to his son, that he gave him charge concerning all the affairs of the kingdom. And moreover, he also gave him charge concerning the records which were engraven on the Plates of Brass. And also the Plates of Nephi; and also, the Sword of Laban, and the ball or director, which led our fathers through the wilderness, which was prepared by the hand of the Lord that thereby they might be led, every one according to the heed and diligence which they gave unto him. Therefore, as they were unfaithful they did not prosper nor progress in their journey, but were driven back, and incurred the displeasure of God upon them. And therefore they were smitten with famine and sore afflictions, to stir them up in remembrance of their duty.
And now, it came to pass that Mosiah went and did as his father had commanded him, and proclaimed unto all the people which were in the land of Zarahemla, that thereby they might gather themselves together, to go up to the temple to hear the words which his father should speak unto them.
And it came to pass that after Mosiah had done as his father had commanded him, and had made a proclamation throughout all the land, that the people gathered themselves together throughout all the land: that they might go up to the temple to hear the words which King Benjamin should speak unto them. And there were a great number, even so many that they did not number them; for they had multiplied exceedingly, and waxed great in the land.
And they also took of the firstlings of their flocks, that they might offer sacrifice and burnt offerings according to the law of Moses. And also that they might give thanks to the Lord their god, who had brought them out of the land of Jerusalem, and who had delivered them out of the hands of their enemies, and had appointed just men to be their teachers. And also a just man to be their king, who had established peace in the land of Zarahemla, and who had taught them to keep the commandments of God, that they might rejoice and be filled with love towards God and all men.
And it came to pass that when they came up to the temple, they pitched their tents round about, every man according to his family, consisting of his wife, and his sons, and his daughters, and their sons, and their daughters, from the eldest down to the youngest, every family being separate one from another. And they pitched their tents round about the temple, every man having his tent with the door thereof towards the temple, that thereby they might remain in their tents and hear the words which King Benjamin should speak unto them. For the multitude being so great that King Benjamin could not teach them all within the walls of the temple, therefore he caused a tower to be erected, that thereby his people might hear the words which he should speak unto them. And it came to pass that he began to speak to his people from the tower. And they could not all hear his words because of the greatness of the multitude. Therefore he caused that the words which he spake should be written, and sent forth among those that were not under the sound of his voice, that they might also receive his words.
And these are the words which he spake and caused to be written, saying:
My brethren, all ye that have assembled yourselves together!
You that can hear my words which I shall speak unto you this day.
For 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.
I have not commanded you to come up hither
That ye should fear me, or that ye should think that I
Of myself, am more than a mortal man. But I am
Like as yourselves, subject to all manner of infirmities in body and mind.
Yet I have been chosen by this people, and consecrated by my father,
And was suffered by the hand of the Lord that I should be a ruler
And a king over this people. And have been kept and preserved
By his matchless power, to serve you with all the might, mind and
Strength which the Lord hath granted unto me. I say unto you that as I
Have been suffered to spend my days in your service, even up to this time,
And have not sought gold nor silver, nor any manner of riches of you.
Neither have I suffered that ye should be confined in dungeons,
Nor that ye should make slaves one of another, nor that ye should murder,
Or plunder, or steal, or commit adultery. Nor even have I
Suffered that ye should commit any manner of wickedness,
And have taught you, that ye should keep the commandments of the Lord,
In all things which he hath commanded you.
And even I, myself, have labored with mine own hands
That I might serve you, and that ye should not be laden with taxes, and
That there should nothing come upon you, which was grievous to be borne.
And of all these things which I have spoken, ye yourselves
Are witnesses this day. Yet, my brethren, I have not done these things
That I might boast, neither do I tell these things that thereby
I might accuse you. But I tell you these things that ye may know
That I can answer a clear conscience before God this day. Behold,
I say unto you that because I said unto you, that I had spent my days
In your service, I do not desire to boast,
For I have only been in the service of God.
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.
Behold, ye have called me your king!
And if I, whom ye call your king, do labor to serve you,
Then ought not ye to labor to serve one another?
And behold also, if I, whom ye call your king, who has spent his days
In your service, and yet has been in the service of God, do merit
Any thanks from you, O how you ought to thank your Heavenly King!
I say unto you, my brethren, that if you should render all
The thanks and praise, which your whole soul has power to possess,
To that god who has created you, and has kept and preserved you,
And has caused that ye should rejoice,
And has granted that ye should live in peace, one with another:
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!
And behold, all that he requires of you is to keep his commandments!
And he has promised you that if ye would keep his commandments
Ye should prosper in the land. And he never doth vary from that
Which he hath said. Therefore, if ye do keep his commandments, he doth
Bless you and prosper you.
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 to boast?
And now I ask, can ye say aught of yourselves?
I answer you, Nay. Ye cannot say that ye are even as much
As the dust of the earth! Yet ye were created of the dust of the earth.
But behold, it belongeth to him who created you.
And I, even I, whom ye call your king, am no better than ye yourselves are!
For I am also of the dust. And ye behold that I am old,
And am about to yield up this mortal frame, to its mother earth.
Therefore, as I said unto you that I had served you, walking
With a clear conscience before God, even so 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.
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.
And moreover, I say unto you, that I have caused that ye should assemble
Yourselves together, that I might declare unto you that I can no longer
Be your teacher, nor your king.
For even at this time, my whole frame doth tremble exceedingly while
Attempting to speak unto you, but the Lord God doth support me!
And hath suffered me that I should speak unto you, and
Hath commanded me that I should declare unto you this day,
That my son Mosiah is a king and a ruler over you!
And now, my brethren, I would that ye should do, as ye have
Hitherto done. As ye have kept my commandments, and also
The commandments of my father, and have prospered,
And have been kept from falling into the hands of your enemies,
Even so, if ye shall keep the commandments of my son,
Or the commandments of God which shall be delivered unto you by him,
Ye shall prosper in the land, and your enemies shall have no power
Over you. But, O my people, beware lest there shall arise
Contentions among you! And ye list to obey the evil spirit, which was
Spoken of by my father Mosiah. For behold, there is a Wo!
Pronounced upon him who listeth
To obey that spirit; For if he listeth to obey him, and remaineth and dieth
In his sins, the same drinketh damnation to his own soul!
For he receiveth for his wages an everlasting punishment,
Having transgressed the law of God, contrary to his own knowledge.
I say unto you, that there are not any among you, except it be
Your little children that have not been taught concerning these things,
But what knoweth that ye are eternally indebted to your Heavenly Father!
To render to him all that you have, and are.
And also have been taught concerning the records which contain
The prophecies which have been spoken by the holy prophets,
Even down to the time our father, Lehi, left Jerusalem.
And also, all that has been spoken by our fathers until now.
And behold, also, they spake that which was commanded them of the
Lord; Therefore, they are just and true.
And now, I say unto you, my brethren, that after ye have known
And have been taught all these things, if ye should transgress and go
Contrary to that which has been spoken, that ye do withdraw
Yourselves from the spirit of the Lord, that it may have no place in you
To guide you in wisdom’s paths, that ye may be blessed, prospered,
And preserved — I say unto you, that the man that doeth this, the same
Cometh out in open rebellion against God! Therefore, he listeth to obey
The evil spirit, and becometh an enemy to all righteousness;
Therefore, the Lord has no place in him, for he dwelleth not
In unholy temples.
Therefore, if that man repenteth not, and remaineth and dieth an enemy
To God, 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.
And now I say unto you, that mercy hath no claim on that man!
Therefore, his final doom is to endure a never-ending torment!
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 into transgression.
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.
And again my brethren, I would call your attention,
For I have somewhat more to speak unto you:
For behold, I have things to tell you concerning that which is to come.
And the things which I shall tell you are made known unto me
By an angel from God. And he said unto me: Awake!3The angel will teach mostly of Jesus, and very little about the god called by Nephi, “the Father.” Indeed, it seems that knowledge of these two beings no longer informed Nephite theology or royal tradition. The depiction of Jesus, “Lord Omnipotent,” as indeed the One called by Elves, “Eru” could not be more clear in the angel’s instruction.
And I awoke, and behold he stood before me.
And he said unto me:
Awake! And hear the words which I shall tell thee.
For behold, I am come to declare unto you the glad tidings
Of great joy. For the Lord hath heard thy prayers, and hath judged
Of thy righteousness, and hath sent me to declare
Unto thee, that thou mayest rejoice!
And that thou mayest declare unto thy people,
That they may also be filled with joy!
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.
And he shall cast out devils, or the evil spirits which dwell
In the hearts of the children of men.
And lo! He shall suffer temptations, and pain of body,
Hunger, thirst, and fatigue, even more than man can suffer,
Except it be unto death. For behold, blood cometh from every pore,
So great shall be his anguish for the wickedness and
The abominations of his people.
And he shall be called Jesus Christ, the Son of God,
The Father of Heaven and earth, the creator of all things
From the beginning! And his mother shall be called Mary.
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.
And he shall rise the third day from the dead!
And behold, he standeth to judge the world
And behold, all these things are done that a righteous judgment
Might come upon the children of men.
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. But wo, wo unto him who knoweth
That he rebelleth against God!
For salvation cometh to none such, except it be through repentance
And faith on the Lord Jesus Christ.
And the Lord God hath sent his holy prophets among all
The children of men,
To declare these things to every kindred, nation, and tongue,
That thereby whosoever should believe that Christ should come, the same
Might receive remission of their sins, and rejoice
With exceedingly great joy, even as though he had already come
Among them. Yet the Lord God saw that his people were a stiffnecked
People, and he appointed unto them a law, even the law of Moses.
And many signs, and wonders, and types, and shadows showed he
Unto them, concerning his coming;
And also holy prophets spake unto them concerning his coming;
And yet they hardened their hearts!
And understood not that the law of Moses availeth nothing
Except it were through the atonement of his blood.
And even if it were possible that little children could sin, they could not
Be saved. But I say unto you, they are blessed!
For behold, as in Adam, or by nature, they fall,
Even so, the blood of Christ atoneth for their sins.
And moreover, I say unto you, that there shall be no other name given nor
Any other way nor means whereby salvation can come unto the children
Of men, only in and through the name of Christ, the Lord omnipotent.
For behold he judgeth, and his judgment is just;
And the infant perisheth not that dieth in his infancy;
But men drink damnation to their own souls
Except they humble themselves and become as little children,
And believe that salvation was, and is, and is to come, in and through
The atoning blood of Christ, the Lord omnipotent.
For the natural man is an enemy to God!
And has been from the fall of Adam, and will be, forever
And ever, unless he yields to the enticings of the Holy Spirit,
And putteth off the natural man!
And 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.
And moreover, I say unto you, that the time shall come
When the knowledge of a savior shall spread throughout
Every nation, kindred, tongue, and people. And behold,
When that time cometh, none
Shall be found blameless before God! Except it be little children,
Only through repentance and faith on the name of the Lord God
Omnipotent. And even at this time, when thou shalt have
Taught thy people the things which the Lord thy god hath commanded
Thee, even then are they found no more blameless in the sight
Of God, only according to the words
Which I have spoken unto thee. And now I have spoken the words
Which the Lord God hath commanded me.
And thus saith the Lord:
They shall stand as a bright testimony against this people,
At the judgment day; Whereof they shall be judged,
Every man according to his works,
Whether they be good, or whether they be evil.
And if they be evil, they are consigned to an awful view
Of their own guilt and abominations!
Which doth cause them to shrink from the presence of the Lord
Into a state of misery and endless torment, from whence they can
No more return;
Therefore they have drunk damnation to their own souls.
Therefore, they have drunk out of the cup of the wrath of God,
Which justice could no more deny unto them, than it could deny
That Adam should fall because of his partaking of the forbidden fruit.
Therefore, mercy could have claim on them, no more forever.
And their torment is as a lake of fire and brimstone, whose flames
Are unquenchable, and whose smoke ascendeth, up forever and ever.
Thus hath the Lord commanded me. Amen.
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. And they had viewed themselves in their own carnal state, even less than the dust of the earth. And they all cried aloud, with one voice, saying:
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.
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. 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.
For behold, if the knowledge of the goodness of God at this time
Has awakened you to a sense of your nothingness, and your worthless
And fallen state. I say unto you, if ye have come
To a knowledge of the goodness of God, and his matchless
Power, and his wisdom, and his patience, and his long-suffering towards
The children of men; and also, 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 mortal body: 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 which are, or who ever shall be, even unto the end of the world.
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. Believe in God! Believe that he is!
And that he created all things, both in Heaven and in earth
Believe that he has all wisdom, and all power, both
In Heaven and in earth; believe that man doth not comprehend
All the things which the Lord can comprehend.
And again, believe that ye must repent of your sins and forsake them,
And humble yourselves before God, and ask in sincerity
Of heart, that he would forgive you!
And now, if you believe all these things, see that ye do them.
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.
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.
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.
And ye will not suffer your children that they go hungry or naked;
Neither will ye suffer that they transgress the laws of God, and fight
And quarrel one with another, and serve the Devil, who is
The master of sin, or which is the evil spirit which hath been spoken of
By our fathers, he being an enemy to all righteousness.
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.
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.
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.
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.
For behold, are we not all beggars?
Do we not all depend upon the same being, even God?
For all the substance which we have, for both food and raiment,
And for gold, and for silver, and for all the riches which we have of every
Kind? And behold, even at this time, ye have been calling on his name,
And begging for a remission of your sins. And has he suffered that ye have
Begged in vain? 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.
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.
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. I say unto you, wo be unto that man, for
His substance shall perish with him;
And now, I say these things unto those who are rich, as pertaining to
The things of this world. And again, I say unto the poor,
Ye who have not, and yet have sufficient, that ye remain from day to day;
I mean all you who deny the beggar, because ye have not;
I would that ye say in your hearts that:
I give not, because I have not, but if I had, I would give.
And now, if ye say this in your hearts, ye remain guiltless, otherwise
Ye are condemned; and your condemnation is just
For ye covet that which ye have not received.
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.
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. And I would that ye should remember, that whosoever
Among you borroweth of his neighbor should return the thing that he
Borroweth, according as he doth agree, or else thou shalt commit sin;
And perhaps thou shalt cause thy neighbor to commit sin also.
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. 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!
And now, it came to pass that when King Benjamin had thus spoken to his people, he sent among them, desiring to know of his people, if they believed the words which he had spoken unto them. And they all cried with one voice, saying:
Yea, we believe all the words which thou hast spoken unto us!
And also, we know of their surety and truth,
Because of 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.
And we, ourselves, also, through the infinite goodness of God,
And the manifestations of his spirit, have great views
Of that which is to come.
And were it expedient, we could prophesy of all things.
And it is the faith which we have had, on the things which our king
Has spoken unto us, that has brought us
To this great knowledge, whereby we do rejoice
With such exceedingly great joy.
And we are willing to enter into a covenant with our god: to do his will,
And to be obedient to his commandments, in all things that he shall
Command us, all the remainder of our days, that we may not
Bring upon ourselves a never-ending torment,
As has been spoken by the angel, that we may not drink out
Of the cup of the wrath of God.
And now, these are the words which King Benjamin desired of them.
And therefore he said unto them:
Ye have spoken the words that I desired!
And the covenant which ye have made is a righteous covenant.
And now, because of the covenant which ye have made, ye shall be called
The children of Christ, his sons, and his daughters!4Here was have the first stated “adoption,” as it were, of Nephites into children of Christ. Such children are called by Elves, “Eruhin,” Children of Eru, or Begotten by Eru. Joseph Smith in Doctrine & Covenants 93 writes that John bore witness of Jesus in a not-yet-revealed record, describing the Lord as “the spirit of truth,” who receiving a “fullness of the glory of the Father,” “all power, both in heaven and on earth,” had been “in the beginning with the Father, and [he is] the firstborn.” In that same section, Jesus then explains to Joseph Smith, “all those who are begotten through me are partakers of the glory of the same, and are the church of the Firstborn.” As stated elsewhere, elves call themselves “the firstborn,” and they like men are the children of Eru. Jesus also says in Section 93 that Joseph Smith has been told such things, so he knows what he worships, and how to worship: for wicked traditions of old have continued to be taught among Mormons. Joseph Smith never revealed that record of John, seen by Nephi in vision as the restored Book of the Lamb of God.
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.
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.
And it shall come to pass that whosoever 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.
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.
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.
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.
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? And again, doth a man take an ass
Which belongeth to his neighbor, and keep him? I say unto you, Nay.
He will not even 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. Therefore, I would that ye should be
Steadfast and immovable, always abounding in good works,
That Christ, the Lord God omnipotent, 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.
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. 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.
And again, it came to pass that when King Benjamin had 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.
And Mosiah began to reign in his father’s stead. And he began to reign in the thirtieth year of his age, making in the whole, about four hundred and seventy-six years from the time that Lehi left Jerusalem. And King Benjamin lived three years and he died.
And it came to pass that King Mosiah did walk in the ways of the Lord, and did observe his judgments and his statutes, and did keep his commandments in all things whatsoever he commanded him. And King Mosiah did cause his people that they should till the earth. And he also, himself, did till the earth, that thereby he might not become burdensome to his people, that he might do according to that which his father had done in all things. And there was no contention among all his people, for the space of three years.
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