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King Benjamin on Let Freedom Reign

Updated on August 5, 2019
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True Righteous Eternal Principles are not the property of a particular faith per se, but the heritage of ALL people of faith and principle.

Freedom is a right of every American. It is a heritage of the citizens of the United States of America by virtue of their birth in US territory. This does not suppose that freedom is not a right of each human being no matter where they live on the planet. All the people of the world should enjoy certain freedoms as their birthright into the human species. Americans, however, are known for freedom, in theory, if not in practice. It is the legacy of the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution. The legacy of the United States is freedom and independence.

King Benjamin wanted to have a legacy of freedom also--one that freed his people from ignorance of the love of God. In this article is written the teachings of King Benjamin about the freedom of those who do and believe the word of God.

Freedom from Spiritual Bondage

Source

Worth of Souls

Doers of the word are instructed to continue always because of the good that will come from doing good works as opposed to doing nothing.

Harold G. Hillam of the First Quorum of the Seventy in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints related a story of a woman who spoke at a meeting he attended in the past.

In that meeting, she revealed that she completed her family history and found that her great-grandfather had over 1000 descendants.

Unfortunately, this grandfather also left the faith. She was the only one of those hundreds of posterity who partook faithfully of the gospel of Jesus Christ in its fullness.

Said Elder Hillam,

When we see the effect one person can have on the lives of so many, it perhaps is no wonder that the Lord reminded us, “Remember the worth of souls is great in the sight of God” (D&C 18:10).

I pray we all might consider what we can do individually to assist those who will be the future [lost souls] whether a little child, a teenager, or an adult, so that each will leave a righteous legacy of those who know and love the Lord.1

Following the example of Jesus Christ, disciples must be doers of the word--becoming saviors to all they assist in accepting Christ. Those who do not may be the reason hundreds and thousands of souls never hear the gospel message.

King Benjamin stressed doing the word of God for personal salvation and the salvation of others. Hillam gave the perspective that those influenced by those individuals can have a lasting impact for generations.

King Benjamin expressed a desire to leave a righteous legacy by the very act of preaching to his people and calling for the general conference of his Kingdom--and he did leave that legacy.

King Benjamin Addressing the People

Both faith and works are companions when it comes to the salvation of humanity.

King Benjamin taught that people must do work to gain salvation. Works without faith are vain as much as faith without works is dead. Thus the prophet James instructs:

Ye see then how that by works a man is justified, and not by faith only.Likewise also was not Rahab the harlot justified by works, when she had received the messengers, and had sent them out another way?For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also.2

Both faith and works are companions when it comes to the salvation of humanity.

Benjamin reiterated to his people things that they had just experienced, following his sermon which caused them to faint with awe at the message as a group! He said,

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...also, the atonement which has been prepared from the foundation of the world....3

The first set of conditions that King Benjamin instructed were the things of which believers must develop knowledge and remember. First, he speaks of the goodness of God. The fact that He provides a plan of salvation for all humanity indicates His goodness towards mankind, His love.

God's Goodness

Elder Robert D. Hales said in a heartfelt sermon delivered soon after he experienced a heart attack in 1992 that

The Atonement brought mercy through repentance to balance justice. How thankful I am for the doctrine of repentance. Repentance is essential to salvation.4

The Goodness of God is that He sent humanity here and provided a way for it to have salvation from death and hell (eternal life without God the Father).

God the Father elected to provide form after His Own Image for spirits He calls His children and supply bodies for them to use while learning to become as He is!

Depiction of King Benjamin Addressing the Nephites

Jesus used power or love to endure the pains He suffered in the Garden of Gethsemane.

King Benjamin wanted his subjects to understand that remembering the power of God to reverse sin was imperative for their salvation.

The Power of Love

Benjamin spoke about the power of God. Having a knowledge of the power of God is a profound yet simple matter. The power of God is based on love, pure and sweet. God has power over all things in the universe because all things in the universe obey Him through His influence of love, His divine grace, and justice.

In 2004, John H. Groberg of the Quorums of the Seventy of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints gave a sermon about the immensity of the love of God, which is also His power!

Jesus Christ was filled with unfathomable love [Power] as He endured incomprehensible pain, cruelty, and injustice for us. Through His love [Power] for us, He rose above otherwise insurmountable barriers. His love [Power] knows no barriers. He invites us to follow Him and partake of His unlimited love [Power] so we too may rise above the pain and cruelty and injustice of this world and help and forgive and bless.5

Jesus used power (not necessarily synonymous with force as understood in modern vernacular) or love to endure the pains He suffered in the Garden of Gethsemane. He used Power = Love to bear the cross until He finished the work. The word of God's power is love. Christ's is the word of God's power. Christ is love and love is power.

King Benjamin wanted his subjects to understand that remembering the power of God to reverse sin was imperative for their salvation. Recognizing this authority enables them to repent of their sins and know that they will be forgiven as part of humanity's salvation. The power of God lords over life and death because of His love of humanity.

© 2018 Rodric Anthony

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