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King Benjamin on the Atonement of Christ

Updated on August 4, 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.

At One-ment

The atonement of Jesus Christ is the process of being at one with Him. He pays the penalty for all the bad in each of our lives by taking it away from us. It is something that occurs whether we agree or disagree. Christ suffered for us despite our belief for or against Him.

Benjamin did not view the act of atonement as something that was just a future event to occur, but an eternal and present act

Several articles have been written about Benjamin and his teachings. He was a benevolent King who spent his years in the building up of his kingdom's spiritual purity as well as its security from attacks. He is akin to Josiah who found a book of the law in the temple and cleansed his kingdom. (2 Kings 22:8) Josiah tore his robes and dedicated his kingdom to the Lord. Benjamin bore his soul and allow his people the freedom to dedicate themselves to the Lord.

King Benjamin was a great prophet-king who lived over one hundred years prior to the advent of the Savior of mankind in the flesh.

He, a righteous man, lived on one of the American continents, according to speculation, in a great society of people who descended from several groups that mingled to make a nation referred to as Nephites.

Said he,

[T]he 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 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... (Mosiah 4:6, 8)

King Benjamin, the son of King Mosiah the First, understood the peculiar notion that salvation comes to mankind through the singular act of atonement that would occur according to his pre-Christ perspective.

Benjamin did not view the act of atonement as something that was just a future event to occur, but an eternal and present act of which the law of Moses alluded to in the very performances of the many blood sacrifices using animals. He preached a brand of Judaism that pointed to the coming act of Christ as the final act of sacrifice of blood which cleansed all sin, unlike the ordinances of his day that had to be repeated to symbolic represent Christ's act. Benjamin taught,

[Christ's] 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.


Faith on the Lord's Atonement

Benjamin warned,

...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. (Mosiah 4:29-30)

Benjamin did not tell them that the atonement was not fully effective in their lives, but that in order for Christ to accept them as His children and forgive them of all their sins that they must put forward effort towards good works.

Benjamin did not teach that any person had to earn his or her salvation. What he taught is that Christ has requirements for those who accept His atonement.

Perishing would not be a physical demise in this instance. Perishing would be spiritual--spiritually cut off from God the Father forever.

Benjamin is expressive as is recorded in Mosiah 3:19,

[T]he 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...

In order to become one of God's chosen people or a saint, Benjamin expresses that all MUST deny, put off, reject, or any other word of separation, the natural or basic man.

Source

The healing of the atonement in the lives of saints of Christ was to express itself in the healing of the blight around them and the lifting of the souls in their paths.

Believe In The Atoning One.

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.(Mosiah 4:9-10)

Benjamin instructed his people to believe in God and His atoning power. He wanted them to understand the role of the Christ in their lives as he understood His, Christ's, role through the spirit of prophecy.

He reminded his subjects throughout his sermon about the condescension of Christ, the very God to whom they all prayed. He wanted to impress upon their minds that Christ's understanding was greater than was their understanding.

The atonement was about more than forgiveness of sins to Benjamin. He instructed his people that once they had received a remission of their sins and understood how dependent they were on the grace of God, that they would, in turn, be a blessing to someone else.

The healing of the atonement in the lives of saints of Christ was to express itself in the healing of the blight around them and the lifting of the souls in their paths.

Truly accepting the healing balm of the Savior was to be one with Him and do His works on His behalf. These works, after applying the atonement, are a requirement of the Lord to retain His grace.

Source

Natural Minded

[H]e that persists in his own carnal nature, and goes on in the ways of sin and rebellion against God, remaineth in his fallen state and the devil hath all power over him. Therefore he is as though there was no redemption made, being an enemy to God...[!] Mosiah 16:5

The above according to another prophet by the name of Abinadi, from whom Benjamin could have borrowed his words being junior to Abinadi; the natural man is an enemy to God because he focuses on what pleases the body and what is perceptible to the senses alone

The natural man cannot be saved, because he does not seek salvation. He may not know to seek salvation! It is inherent of all people to be naturally or carnally disposed, but it is also within all to become spiritual.

God wants all people to become spiritually minded.

© 2018 Rodric Anthony

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