Friday, October 20, 2017

IF/THEN of Mosiah 2, King Benjamin's sermon

King Benjamin's people had a deep response to his relaying of the message from the angel of the Lord.  This post is a general summary of this chapter, in list form.  As described in Mosiah 2 (Simple Edition), the people hearing his message:
  • Fell to the earth (Quite dramatic, in my opinion.  How often do I fall to the earth willingly, at a message or sermon?)
  • Fear of the Lord came upon them
  • They viewed themselves in their own, personal, carnal state, even less than the dust of the earth
  • They cried aloud in one voice, begging for 1) mercy, 2) atoning blood of Christ, that they might 3) receive forgiveness of sins and 4) that hearts may be purified
  • They expressed belief in Jesus Christ the Son of God who created heaven and earth and all things who will come down among the children of men
After they had done this, what happened: 
  • The spirit of the Lord came upon them
  • They were filled with joy
  • having received a remission of their sins
  • having peace of conscience because of their exceeding faith in Jesus - who HAD NOT YET COME - but they believed Benjamin's account
After all this, Benjamin their king begins to speak to them again, in this very interesting sermon.  He's not yet done.  He gives many important if/then statements, worth pondering.

IF:   
  • IF the knowledge of the goodness of God has awakened you to a sense of your nothingness, worthlessness, and fallen state
  • IF you have come to the knowledge of the goodness of God and his matchless power, wisdom, patience and long suffering towards you, and the knowledge of the atonement prepared from the foundation of the world
  • IF you know that salvation might come to you that will put your trust in the Lord
  • IF you will be diligent in keeping his commandments
  • IF you will continue in the faith, even unto the end of your life (mortal body)
THEN:
  • THEN you receive SALVATION through the atonement prepared from the foundation of the world, which is available for ALL mankind - who ever were since the fall of Adam, who are or who will be until the end of the world.  
These are the keys of salvation.  Keys of knowledge which open doors of information.  Benjamin just told you.  He underscores even more: 
  • There is NONE other salvation except this one
  • There are NO other conditions whereby man can be saved
  • BELIEVE in God, that he is, that he (this "Jesus Christ", as explained above) created all things in heaven AND earth
  • Believe that he has all WISDOM in heaven and earth
  • Believe that he has all POWER in heaven and earth
  • Believe that man does not COMPREHEND all the things which the Lord can comprehend
  • Believe that you must repent of your sins, forsake them, and humble yourself before God
  • Believe that you must ask in sincerity of heart that he will forgive you
Can you do this?  Is this possible?  Is this believe attainable?  

IF: 
  • You believe these things? 
THEN: 
  • Do them
IF: 
  • IF you come to the knowledge of the glory of God
  • IF you have known of his goodness
  • IF you have tasted of his love
  • IF you have received a remission of your sins which causes exceedingly great joy
(Have you?  These people did.)

THEN REMEMBER: 
  • Remember the greatness of God
  • Remember your own nothingness
  • Remember his goodness and long suffering towards you unworthy creatures (lol! Don't mince words Ben!)
  • Remember to humble yourselves even in the DEPTHS of humility
  • Remember to call on the Lord daily
  • Remember to stand steadfast in the faith of what is to come (or what came, meaning Jesus)
IF:
  • You do this
THEN: 
  • You will ALWAYS rejoice!
  • You will be FILLED with the LOVE of God
  • You will ALWAYS  retain a remission of your sins (because it can be lost)
  • You will grow in the knowledge of the glory of him that created you
  • You will grow in the knowledge of that which is just and true
  • You will not have a mind to injure one another
  • You will have a mind to live peaceably
  • You will have a mind to render to every man according to that which is his due
  • You will not suffer your children that they go hungry or naked
  • You will not suffer that your children transgress the laws of God, fighting and quarreling one with another
  • You will not serve the devil, the master of sin, the evil spirit enemy of all righteousness
  • You will teach your children to walk in the ways of truth and soberness
  • You will teach your children to love one another
  • You will teach your children to serve one another
  • You yourselves will succor those that stand in need of your succor
  • You will administer of your substance to those in need
  • You will not suffer the beggar to put their petition to you in vain
[What stuck out to me dramatically, was an understanding that the blessing of being capable of teaching my children to have love for each other was part of the "then" section.  It is a byproduct of the remembering listed above.  I try so exceedingly hard to teach my children these things, but it ought not be difficult.  If I take care of the remembering above, I am virtually promised, per this message, that the mind to live peaceably among my family will be a consequence.  This would not have dawned on me had I not printed out this section, and begun circling "if" and "then", and underlining what appeared to be connected.]  

IF:
  • You impart of your substance to the poor, diligently
THEN:
  • You win the prize
[Again, imparting of my substance to the poor is a byproduct of the remembering section above.  It ought not be difficult.]   

IF:
  • You do not watch yourself
  • You do not watch your thoughts
  • You do not watch your words
  • You do not watch your deeds
  • You do not observe the commandments (which Benjamin admits there are so many ways to sin, he cannot number them)
  • You do not continue in the faith of what you have heard
THEN: 
  • You must perish

4 comments:

  1. wow! Thanks for the way you took the scripture and broke it down and formatted it. It clicked with me! :)

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    Replies
    1. Glad it clicked! You're welcome! :) Thanks for your comment!

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  2. Thank you Jen! That is powerful in creating understanding!

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  3. Wow, I haven't finished reading, but I was so struck by the beginning "list" that I felt I should make a comment now before I forget. There is a lot of temple imagery in this. The people heard the message and then fell to the earth. Is this not what we believe happened in the pre-existence? That God presented a plan and there was a war in heaven? That some chose another plan and fell to the earth. The earth, garden of Eden, fell from its place in space too.

    The people who fell saw their carnal state, that they were less than the dust of the earth, isn't this, our physical body, often the veil that keeps us separated from God? They saw and understood this and wanted to overcome it so that the separation could end.

    They then each individually entered into the path of the veil (the original from Solomon's temple) and were on their own tree of life vision/real journey.

    Wow! The building of a temple was the focal point of the teaching experience, with its symbolism, but the real temple was the internal changes inside each person. Very interesting that teaching was outside the temple.

    Anyway, so far pretty interesting.

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