Mosiah 2

Mosiah 2The Book of Mosiah is the eighth book in the Book of Mormon…

Chapters 2-5 encompasses the speech given by King Benjamin to his people.

Mosiah sends a message throughout the land to all the people to gather near the temple to hear the words of King Benjamin. The people also brought “…the firstlings of their flocks, that they might offer sacrifice and burnt offerings according to the law of Moses.” (Mosiah 2:3)

Everyone throughout the land pitched their tents round about the temple, so that the door of the tent was facing the temple, so that they might hear the words of King Benjamin.

“…the multitude being so great that King Benjamin could not teach then 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.” (Mosiah 2:7)

After the tower was erected, King Benjamin began to speak to the people, however because the multitude of the people was so great, not everyone could hear his words. So, King Benjamin ordered that his words being written down and spread to those who were not in the sound of his voice.

King Benjamin addresses his people:

  • King Benjamin begins by inviting those listening to his words to “…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.” (Mosiah 2:9) How important is this? We should not lean solely on our own understanding, we should listen with our minds and our hearts so that we can hear the words and accept them into our hearts with a clear mind. Then, and only then can we hear the still small voice whisper the truths of what is being taught. When we do this, the mysteries of God will be revealed unto us.
  • “…I am like as yourselves, subject to all  chosen by this people… I have been suffered to spend my days in your service… 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 of on another, nor that ye should murder, or plunder, or steal, or committ adultery… I myself have labored with mine own hands that I might serve you, and that ye should not be laden with taxes…” (Mosiah 2:11-14) we learn so many important things from this. First, King Benjamin explains multiple times that he is a servant of his people, not the other way around. He was appointed to serve, just like any leader. Leaders need to lead by setting examples, as he explained he labored with his own hands and set an example by not participating in wickedness. Second, King Benjamin explains that he os human, and thereore not perfect, or in anyway superior to his peopke. Thirds, King Benjamin explains that we should not be taxed, or become slaves to him or to any one else. Societies should work to help one another and reduce the amount of tax that everyone should pay. We as humans beings only have one true master, Jesus Christ. Our rulers, kings, presidents, etc of today work to serve and guide us to do good. Unfortunately we know this is not true in today’s world. But King Benjamin testifies that it is how it should be.
  • King Benjamin explains that he does not say these things to boast, but rather to share his wisdom and his life experiences with his people, that they may learn wisdom and know that “…when ye are in the service of your fellow beings he are only in the service of your God.” (Mosiah 2:17) King Benjamin then explains that if his people call him King and he still serves: “… ought not he to labor to serve one another?” (Mosiah 2:18)
  • King Benjamin explains that “…all that he [God] requires of you is to keep his commandments; and he promises you that if ye would keep his commandments that ye should prosper in the land; and he never doth vary from that which he hath said; therefore, if he do keep his commandments he with bless you and prosper you.” (Mosiah 2:22) How great is that promise? If we follow God’s commandments we will be blessed! How simple, yet amazing is this doctrine?
  • “…beware lest there shall arise contentions among you, and he list to obey the evil spirit… For behold there is a wo pronounced upon him that listeth to obey him, and remaineth and dieth in his sins…” (Mosiah 2:32-33) We need to avoid contentions and strive to love one another and avoid sin.
  • King Benjamin warns his people and us as readers that from a young age we have been taught good from evil and that we will be held accountable for that knowledge; “…after ye 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… I say unto you that the man that doeth this, the same cometh out in open rebellion against God…” (Mosiah 2:36-37) 
  • If we do stray away from God, we can always repent. However, King Benjamin warns us that “…if that man repententh not, and remaineth and dieth an enemy of God, the demands of divine justice do awaken his immortal soul to a lively sense of his own guilt, which with cause him to shrink from the presence of the Lord, and with fill his breast with guilt, and pain, and anguish, which is like an unquenchable fire, whose flame ascendeth up forever and ever.” (Mosiah 2:38) Sin is so dangerous, because if we wait to repent it may be too late. It is interesting that King Benjamin explains the punishment, which one could attribute to a “hell” like torment as simply guilt. Is there a physical hell with fire and brimstone? The scriptures refer to one in many occasions throughout the Book of Mormon and the Bible, however, I personally believe that it is in reality more like King Benjamin describes, as a person torment that feels our bodies with guilt, like a fire. Have you ever done something wrong, and felt bad about it? I sure have, and it does feel like a fire burning on the insight, and the guilt tears you apart. Would you want that feeling forever? I sure wouldn’t.
  • On a positive note, King Benjamin asks his people to think about the “…blessed and happy state of those thst 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, 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.” (Mosiah 2:41) Remember, wickedness never was happiness. Having a clean conscience helps anyone to sleep well at night. We should all strive to live a life free from guilt, and torment. This life is meant to be lived and the best way to do that is to follow God’s commandments. 
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    Summary of Jarom + Jarom 1

    Summary of Jarom + Jarom 1

                    The Book of Jarom… is the fifth book in the Book of Mormon….

    Jarom opens up explaining that his father, Enos, commanded him to continue writing that a record of their genealogy might be kept. Jarom explains that there are many among him that have hardened their hearts and have made their necks stiff. However, he explains that those who are not stiffnecked; “…have communion with the Holy Spirit, which maketh manifest unto the children of men, according to their faith.” (Jarom 1:4) In other words, those who have Faith and do not harden their hearts or make their necks stiff can receive the Holy Ghost.

    Jarom explains that 200 years have passed since Nephi, and the people of Nephi have been diligent in keeping the commandments of God. Because of their obedience, God has blessed them to be a mighty nation, with all manner of riches and weapons of war. The Lamanites on the other hand were larger in number, but stood no chance at overtaking the Nephites. The Nephites were blessed to have;
    “…gold…silver… fine workmanship of wood, in buildings, and in machinery… iron… copper… brass… steel… [and] weapons of war…” (Jarom 1:8)

    However, there were some among the Nephites that were not following all the commandments, and because of this God urged the Prophets to heed warnings to the people to avoid sin. God promised that if they fell into transgression that the Nephites would be wiped off the face of the land. These teachings were a success, because the people of Nephi were continually repenting of their sins. Jarom hands off the plates to his son Omni.

    Looking at this from the point of view of the United States in 2015, we see a similar situation, where sin is rampant and the warnings of God are everywhere. If the people do not repent and change their ways, God will bring destruction to the United States and to many parts of the world.

    Jacob 3

    Jacob 3: Jacob Warns of Sin

                    “…behold, I, Jacob, would speak unto you that are pure in heart. Look unto God with firmness of mind, and pray unto him with exceeding faith, and he will console you in your afflictions, and he will plead your cause, and send down justice upon those who seek your destruction.” (Jacob 3:1)

    This is a great promise that we can all lean on when we are afflicted. If we come to God with a pure heart, he will guide us. Jacob speaks to the Nephites and explains that the Lamanite righteousness had exceeded that of their own righteousness; “…ye shall remember your children, how that ye have grieved their hearts of because of the example ye have set before them…” (Jacob 3:10) We never know who is watching us, and because of that we need to be an example to everyone around us, wether that is our own children, friends, family, co-workers etc.

    Jacob finishes this chapter off, by making know the seriousness of fornication, lasciviousness and of all sins, in the eyes of God.

    Jacob 1

    Jacob 1: Wickedness Prevails Among the Nephites

                    Jacob picks up the story of the Nephites nearly 55 years after Lehi had left Jerusalem with his family to travel to the Promised Land (America). Nephi gives command to his brother Jacob to continue the history of the people, known as the People of Nephi, or, the Nephites.

    Jacob explains that he and his people; “…labored diligently among our people, that we might persuade them to come unto Christ, and partake of the goodness of God, that they might enter into his rest…” (Jacob 1:7) Jacob explains that his brother Nephi was growing old and because his people loved him as a king, they were desirous that future kings be called after him in the manner of 1st, 2nd, 3rd Nephi and so forth. Jacob explains that Nephi did grow old, and did die.

    We learn from Jacob that there were many groups; Lamanites, Nephites, Jacobites, Josephites, Zoramites, Leumeulites and Ishmaelites. However, Jacob chose to categorize the people who were against the Nephites as “Lamanites” and those people for the Nephites as “Nephites”.

    “It came to pass that the people of Nephi, under the reign of the second king, began to grow hard in their hearts, and indulge themselves somewhat in wicked practices… they also began to search much gold and silver, and began to be lifted up somewhat in pride.” (Jacob 1:15-16)

                    Jacob, seeing this great wickedness went to the Temple to teach the people, explaining that he and his priests would take; “…upon [themselves] the responsibility, answering the sins of the people upon [their] own heads if [they] did not teach them the word of God with all diligence…” (Jacob 1:19)

    Jacob begins his Seven Chapter section of the Book of Mormon…

    2 Nephi 13

    2 Nephi 13: Judah and Jerusalem are Punished

                    Judah and Jerusalem shall be punished for their disobedience; this text can also be fund in Isaiah 3.

    “For Jerusalem is ruined, and Judah is fallen, because their tongues and their doings have been against the Lord, to provoke the eyes of his glory.” (2 Nephi 13:8) Whenever people rebel against God and speak against Him, the Lord will not be happy.

    “The show of their countenance doth witness against them, and doth declare their sin to be even as Sodom, and they cannot hide it. Wo unto their souls, for they have rewarded evil unto themselves!” (2 Nephi 13:9) The sins of the people in ancient Jerusalem and Judah were like that of Sodom, which is why they were destroyed.

    The women were dressed with fine linen and jewelry; it is also likely that people were very promiscuous, much like how sex is considered “normal” outside of the bonds of marriage in our modern societies.  Isaiah mentions a few of the things going on during this period of history, which really have similarities to our modern societies. Notice it mentions body modifications with nose rings, wearing of fine linen… etc.

    “In that day the Lord will take away the bravery of their tinkling ornaments, and cauls, and round tires like the moon; The chains and the bracelets, and the mufflers; The bonnets, and the ornaments of the legs, and the headbands, and the tablets, and the ear-rings; The rings, and nose jewels; The changeable suits of apparel, and the mantles, and the wimples, and the crisping-pins; The glasses, and the fine linen, and hoods, and the veils.

    And it shall come to pass, instead of sweet smell there shall be stink; and instead of a girdle, a rent; and instead of well-set hair, baldness; and instead of a stomacher, a girding of sackcloth; burning instead of beauty. Thy men shall fall by the sword and thy mighty in the war.” (2 Nephi 13:18-25)

    2 Nephi 4

    2 Nephi 4: Lehi Dies

                    Lehi calls all of the sons of Laman, Lemuel and Nephi and all their families to give them a blessing before he departs (for Lehi must have known that his death was approaching).

    “…it came to pass my father, Lehi, had spoken unto all his household, according to the feelings of his heard and the Spirit of the Lord which was in him, he waxed old…” (2 Nephi 4:12)

    After Lehi died and was buried, Laman and Lemuel and their offspring were angered unto Nephi for he spoke many things of the Lord unto them. Nephi explains the purpose of his writings;

    “…upon these [the plates] I write the things of my soul, and many of the scriptures which are engraven upon the plates of brass. For my soul delighteth in the scriptures, and my heart pondereth them, and writeth them for the learning and the profit of my children. Behold, my soul delighteth in the things of the Lord; and myheart pondereth continually upon the things which I have seen and heard.” (2 Nephi 4:15-16)

    Nephi knows that the scriptures are important for man to ponder and learn from. Nephi knows that he is not perfect, but he knows that when he his encircled in temptations the Lord will deliver him.

    “…when I desire to rejoice, my heart groaneth because of my sins; nevertheless, I know in whom I have trusted… God hath been my support; he hath led me through mine afflictions in the wilderness; and he hath preserved me upon the waters of the great deep. He hath filled me with his love, even unto the consuming of my flesh. He hath confounded mine enemies, unto the causing of them to quake before me… he hath heard my cry by day, and he hath given me knowledge by visions in the night-time.” (2 Nephi 4:19-23)

    Nephi praises the Lord for being with him through all the hard times, and he puts his trust in the Lord. Nephi then explains how sin can come upon anyone, but how we should overcome our sin and lean on the Lord for strength.

    “…why should I yield to sin, because of my flesh? Yea, why should I give way to temptations, that the evil one have place in my heart to destroy my peace and afflict my soul? Why am I angry because of mine enemy? Awake, my soul! No longer droop in sin. Rejoice, O my heart, and give place no more for the enemy of my soul. Do not anger again because of mine enemies. Do not slacken my strength because of mine afflictions. Rejoice, O my heart, and cry unto the Lord, and say: O Lord, I will praise thee forever; yea, my soul will rejoice in thee, my God, and the rock of my salvation.” (2 Nephi 4:27-30)

    Nephi asks why he should yield to sin and let the enemy encircle him. Nephi leans of the Lord, the Rock of his salvation to help him overcome the sins and temptations of the world.

    “May the gates of hell be shut continually before me, because that my heart is broken and my spirit is contrite! O Lord, wilt thou not shut the gates of thy righteousness before me, that I may walkin the path of the low valley, that I may be strict in the plain road!

    …Yea, I know that God will give liberally to him that asketh. Yea, my God will give me, if I ask not amiss; therefore I will lift up my voice unto thee; yea, I will cry unto thee, my God, the rock of my righteousness. Behold, my voice shall forever ascend up unto thee, my rock and mine everlasting God. Amen.” (2 Nephi 4:32;35)

    Nephi explains that the temptations of the world and the evil are shut off from him because he has a broken heart and a contrite spirit and leans on the Lord, his Redeemer and Savior! Nephi exclaims that the Lord will answer to anyone who asks.

    2 Nephi 2

    2 Nephi 2: Agency is Important

                    Lehi speaks to Jacob and promises him that God; “…shall consecrate thine afflictions for thy gain.” (2 Nephi 2:2) Jacob shall find comfort and shall dwell in safety with his brother Nephi. Lehi explains that; “…the Spirit is the same, yesterday, today, and forever. And the way is prepared from the fall of man, and salvation is free.” (2 Nephi 2:4) Lehi goes on to explain that men are instructed to know good from evil and by the laws that are given unto mankind, we shall be justified. Lehi then explains that NO man can return to the presence of God without the merits and mercy of Jesus Christ. Even though Salvation if FREE, one has to have a broken heart and contrite spirit in order to accept this free gift.

    “…redemption cometh in and through the Holy Messiah; for he is full of grace and truth… 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. Wherefore, how great the importance to make these things known unto the inhabitants of the earth, that they may know that there is no flesh that can dwell in the presence of God, save it be through the merits, and mercy, and grace of the Holy Messiah…” (2 Nephi 2:6-8)

    Why does God permit suffering?

    Lehi goes on to explain that there needs to be opposition in all things! He answers the grand old question; why does God permit suffering?

    “…it must needs be, that there is an opposition in all things. If not so…righteousness could not be brought to pass, neither wickedness, neither holiness nor misery, neither good nor bad.” (2 Nephi 2:11)

    But why is this? For if there was no opposition in all things, there would have been no reason for our creation, for our very being! All things would; “…have been created for… naught; wherefore there would have been no purpose in the end of its creation. Wherefore, this thing must needs destroy the wisdom of God and his eternal purposes, and also the power, and the mercy, and the justice of God.” (2 Nephi 2:12)

    Atheists claim that there is no God, others who believe in God claim no need to follow God’s commandments, because salvation is free and no works are required for entering the Kingdom of God.

    Lehi explains that this is not so;

    “…if ye shall say there is no law, ye shall also say there is no sin. If ye shall say there is no sin, ye shall also say there is no righteousness. And if there be no righteousness there be no happiness. And if there be no righteousness nor happiness there be no punishment nor misery. And if these things are not there is no God. And if there is no God we are not, neither the earth; for there could have been no creation of things, neither to act nor to be acted upon; wherefore, all things must have vanished away.” (2 Nephi 2:13)

    Science explains that every action, has an equal and opposite reaction. Here we see that there must be opposition in all things. We also see that without anything to be acted upon, all things would have vanished. Who or What acted first in the creation of all things? Science explains that everything was created from the Big Bang. We do not have to discredit science, for the universe most likely was created by something similar to what science has explained as the Big Bang. But what caused that? One could easily argue that science, as we know it, was created by a higher power. God must exist, or we would not exist.

    Everything has its opposite

                    From the very beginning, God has given us the ability to CHOOSE for ourselves. This choice is known as agency. We have been given the gift of agency, to ACT on our own accord, to be our own AGENTS. Go has given us this agency, and the ability to act as our own agents so that we could exist and have a reason for existence. After God had created the earth, the fowls of the air and the fields, God created our first parents [Adam and Eve] and gave the opposition; “…it must needs be that there was an opposition; even the forbidden fruit in opposition to the tree of life; the one being sweet and the other bitter. Wherefore, the Lord God gave unto man that he should act for himself. Wherefore, man could not act for himself save it should be that he was enticed by the one or the other.” (2 Nephi 2:15)

    The Fall of Mankind: The Purpose of Mankind

                    After rebelling against God in the pre-mortal existence, Satan was cast out of heaven and became a fallen angel. He was there [because God permitted him to be there] when Adam and Eve were placed in the Garden of Eden. God did this, so that man could be their own agents. In order to choose for themselves, God needed to place opposition to the good. After being tempted by the devil to partake of the forbidden fruit, Adam and Eve were cast out into the world so that men might be.

    “And the days of the children of men were prolonged, according to the will of God, that they might repent while in the flesh; wherefore, their state became a state of probation, and their time was lengthened, according to the commandments which the Lord God gave unto the children of men. For he gave commandment that all men must repent; for he showed unto all men that they were lost, because of the transgression of their parents.” (2 Nephi 2:21)

    God gave the children of men [all mankind] a time of probation [their lives] to repent and follow the commandments of God that they might one day return to live with their Heavenly Father. Nevertheless, we were given the ability to choose to return to our Father in Heaven.

    What if Adam did not Fall?

                    Some look at the Fall of Adam as the ‘Original Sin’ that prevents us from having a paradise in this life. These same people claim that if Adam and Eve would not have partaken of the fruit, that we would be living in paradise in the Garden of Eden. All of the world’s problems today, would not exist. But, we too would not exist!

    “…if Adam had not transgressed he would not have fallen, but he would have remained in the garden of Eden. And all things which were created must have remained in the same state in which they were after they were created; and they must have remained forever, and had no end… they would have had no children; wherefore they would have remained in a state of innocence, having no joy, for they knew no misery; doing no good, for they knew no sin. But behold, all things have been done in the wisdom of him who knoweth all things. Adam fell that men might be; and men are, that they might have joy.” (2 Nephi 2:22-25)

                    ADAM FELL, THAT MEN MIGHT BE! Without the fall of Adam and Eve, WE WOULD NOT EXIST! God is all knowing, the opposition in the Garden of Eden was all part of the plan, He had for His children! Because Adam and Eve partook of the fruit, men were destined to be apart from God. But, God had this in mind, when he called a Savior for mankind!

    “…the Messiah cometh in the fulness of time, that he may redeem the children of men from the fall. And because that they are redeemed from the fall they have become free forever, knowing good from evil; to act for themselves and not to be acted upon, save it be by the punishment of the law at the great and last day, according to the commandments which God hath given.” (2 Nephi 2:26)

    God made it possible for Jesus Christ to come and die for all our sins! Through His Atonement and Sacrifice we ARE ALL SAVED from the Original Sin. Jesus Christ RESTORED our ability to return to God! This ability to return to God, is FREE. Salvation is FREE. But, we are all FREE to choose good from evil. Therefore it is our choice to accept Salvation.

    “…men are free according to the flesh; and all things are given them which are expedient unto man. And they are free to choose liberty and eternal life, through the great Mediator of all men, or to choose captivity and death, according to the captivity and power of the devil; for he seeketh that all men might be miserable like unto himself.” (2 Nephi 2:27)

    Satan chose not to follow the Plan of Salvation, and because of His rebellion he was cast out of the presence of God. We, being FREE agents, have the ability to choose to follow God. If we choose to follow God, we must follow His commandments. Only then, can we accept His free gift of Salvation.