25 April 2011

"The Knowledge of the Goodness of God," Mosiah 4:4-12

Mosiah 4:4-12

In verse 6, king Benjamin talks of an Atonement which had been prepared from the foundation of the world. There are two other prophets in the Book of Mormon that also make reference to this:
  • "...the redemption which he hath made for his people, which was prepared from the foundation of the world," (Mosiah 15:19)
  • "...through the redemption of Christ, whom he has prepared from the foundation of the world."(Mosiah 18:13)
How does this change my attitude or feelings towards the Atonement, knowing that it was prepared from the beginning of the world? In chapter 18, instead of saying the Atonement, Alma says it was Christ who was prepared to redeem us. How does this change my attitudes towards my Savior, knowing that he was the one who was prepared and did prepare to accomplish the Atonement on my behalf, and on behalf of all?

Verses 11 and 12 lead up to a prize which is beyond mortal comprehension. Throughout this group of verses, king Benjamin contrasts the nothingness of man with the goodness of God. (King Benjamin is much more descriptive than I am being.) A realization of this contrast compels us to repent, to walk in humility, to pray daily, and to stand steadfastly in faith of that which is to come. The prize that results from this course of action is 1) joy, 2) the love of God, 3) a remission of personal sins, and lastly (and this seems to me to be the grand prize) 4) growth in the knowledge of God.

Stepping back to verse 9, Benjamin reminds his people to "Believe in God" and that His wisdom and power far supersede  the wisdom of man. This is yet another reason why we would want to grow in the knowledge and power of God. Godly power and knowledge work hand in hand. In fact, it seems impossible to be possessor of one without the other.

And now I say to myself, if you believe all these things, see that you do them! (see verse 10)

19 April 2011

"A Remission of Their Sins," Mosiah 4: 1-3

Mosiah 4: 1-3

The effect of King Benjamin delivering the angelic message caused the fear of the Lord to come upon the people. (I am trying to imagine how this happened.) It impresses me that this happened at the end of Benjamin's lifetime and reign as king. His people must have already had a deep love, a profound sense of respect, and absolute trust toward him to allow themselves to be influenced in this manner. This too then is testament to a lifetime of diligent labors.

In verse 2, the people cry:
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. 

This has always left me a little confused as to how this happened. How does a multitude of people "cry aloud with one voice?" Perhaps it was given them what to say? Or was it purely improvised?  Does it matter? Whether it was given them to speak it, or whether it was the natural compulsion of the Spirit of God upon them, perhaps isn't as important as the reality that this was the unified desire of their hearts and upon uttering these words, they were filled with the Spirit of the Lord and received a remission of their sins through faith on the Lord Jesus Christ (see verse 3).

Perhaps this was not too different from our modern administration of the Sacrament, both in unity and purpose. 

17 April 2011

"No More Blameless," Mosiah 3:20-27

Mosiah 3:20-27

This is about faith and repentance. The time will come when everyone will be required to exercise faith on the Lord Jesus Christ or perish... there will be no more blameless, except those that King Benjamin had already addressed earlier in this chapter.

Because the words which King Benjamin had shared with his people, they had become subject to the demands of justice. And every one of them were to be judged according to their works whether they be good or whether they be evil. (see 22-24)

Verses 25 to 27 address the horrible state of they that are evil. It impresses me that it is the choice to do evil, to be evil that consigns them (the wicked) to become keenly aware of their guilt and wicked works. Such a course of choice will disqualify anyone from the claims of mercy. Therefore, what we choose to do in this life does matter.

08 April 2011

" He... Becometh a Saint Through the Atonement of Christ the Lord," Mosiah 3:13-19

Mosiah 3:13-19

The purpose of a prophet is to afford the people the opportunity to exercise faith in Jesus Christ, and repent so that they may receive a remission of their sins. Their teaching makes it as if Christ himself were there among the people where a prophet is found. (see vs 13)

The law of Moses was calculated to remind the people of God of the coming of Christ. Additionally, the Lord sent signs, wonders, types, and shadows of his coming. Also, he sent prophets to testify of Christ and his coming. Yet, what was not understood was that there was no salvation  in the laws, rites, and rituals associated with the law of Moses, but salvation was to come through the atonement of  Jesus Christ. (see vs 14-15)

The focus of this chapter keeps coming back to Christ and his atoning blood. Christ's blood atoned for those who have ignorantly sinned (vs 11). It is the atonement, not the law of Moses, through which salvation comes (vs 15). Little children are redeemed from their sins through the blood of Christ (vs 16).

"...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," (vs 18, emphasis added).

King Benjamin then clarifies further in verse 19.  He states that the natural man is an enemy to God unless he yields to the Holy Spirit and becomes a saint through the atonement of Christ. This becoming a saint, and the complete conversion process, has occupied my mind and is the definitive distinction between those who are fully committed to Christ and His kingdom, and those who are not (see footnote on saints and Luke 22:32(31-38)). For the kingdom of God on the earth is the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. (Indeed, even the name of the church is inspired, which thing I have never closely considered before.) "Latter-day Saints" suggests that there is a work for those converted disciples of Christ to do in anticipation of His second coming. This is the mission of the Church: to prepare the world for the Second Coming of the Lord Jesus Christ.

05 April 2011

"For Salvation Cometh... Through Repentance and Faith on the Lord Jesus Christ," Mosiah 3:5-13

Mosiah 3:5-13

Having the recent General Priesthood Meeting fresh in my mind, the phrase "that with power" stands out in my mind. I'm thinking about my son who is a few years off yet from receiving the Aaronic priesthood. I'm thinking of Christ as a young man of twelve years old being found in the temple of God already aware of what his mission was and what his relationship to God was. I am reminded of what a young Aaronic priesthood holder can do at just 12 years old and the ministering of angels.

Christ's blood atoned for the sins of those who have died not knowing the will of God concerning them (see verse 11). Then those that do know the will of God, what of them? "But wo, wo unto him that knoweth that he rebelleth against God! Salvation cometh unto none such except it be through repentance and faith on the Lord Jesus Christ," (verse 12).

This group of verses specifically is centered on Christ, and consequently I find myself wondering can we ever think too much on the Christ and his life and his example. As I think about it, I remember the sacrament. The covenant there is that I should always remember Him.