King Benjamin: Become like a Little Child
What did Peter Pan never want to do? He never wanted to grow up. Peter Pan and the lost boys would stay young forever in Neverland based all on the will to believe in being young. That was my take from the amalgamation of the several versions of Peter Pan that I have viewed and read about over the years.
The elusive fountain of youth. People want to be young in appearance. what about being young at heart? Even more, what about being young in spirit? This article is about the teaching of Jesus Christ to help us to become young in spirit as taught by the ancient prophet and King Benjamin.
How to become spiritually-minded?
King Benjamin answered the question as recorded in verse 19. He said that the natural man must
[B]ecometh as a child, submissive, meek, humble, patient, full of love, willing to submit to all things which the Lord seeth fit to inflict upon him, even as a child doth submit to his father.
The spiritual man submits to the will of the Father through the Holy Spirit as a child submits to his or her father (or mother).
Benjamin appealed to the cultural norms of the people in his kingdom to show humility and submission. To be righteous, he reiterated that a believer must "believe that man doth not comprehend all the things which the Lord can comprehend," (Mosiah 4:9) just as a child does not comprehend all that his or her parents comprehend; therefore, they submit to their parents' will accordingly. Benjamin instructed that God expects that type of commitment.
Obedience is righteousness
Submissive, Meek, Humble, Patient, Full of Love
*Submissive is to show a lack of resistance towards God and His statutes.
Children, even though some parents would argue, tend to allow their parents to lead them without question. Benjamin wants his hearers to remember how children allow themselves to be led. He suggests submitting to the Lord in this manner in order to keep the atonement effective in their lives.
*Meek is being teachable and gentle.
Children are generally teachable and gentle--easy to approach. Children do not of necessity seek to bring hurt or injury to others. It is inherent in most cultures not to fear children for this very reason!
They are naturally easily entreated by their parents. Benjamin wants to impress upon his listeners that they should be meek before the Lord no matter how intelligent or powerful they are in life.
*Humble is to regard the self much less and focus on others.
Children generally do not think they are better than their parents and seek to please their parents intently. Benjamin reminds his listeners to approach God and seek to do His will without preconceived status about themselves.
Benjamin wants his listeners to let God define them as righteous. Saints do not need to define themselves when the judge is God. How much happier are children when parents define them as a good child?
*Patient is to wait fully without anger enduring all things.
Children will wait patiently for their parents without losing love for their parents. King Benjamin instructs that all people should show God this same respect. "Therefore I will look unto the Lord; I will wait for the God of my salvation: my God will hear me" (Micah 7:7).
*Full of Love is to have regard and compassion towards all.
Children can love without regard to beauty. A mother or father can appear hideous to the world, but to a child of that mother or father, he or she is the grandest to look upon.
Benjamin wants to impress upon the learner of his words to see God in this light.
- No matter how peculiar or strange it may be to worship God, the saints are to have love in their hearts for Him.
- No matter how strange the commands, they are too follow.
- No matter how hard the task, they are to obey.
Share Your View
If you were to read Benjamin's sermon, would it convict him of being a Christian?
Benjamin could speak frankly to his people because they were prepared. "[T]hey had viewed themselves in their own carnal state, even less than the dust of the earth" (Mosiah 4:2).
Why less than the dust of the earth? The dust of the earth is obedient to the law upon which God created it. Humanity, those who are created in the very image of God, will not obey; therefore, humans do not behave as well as a particle of dust!
Because of this disobedience, humanity needs a Savior. Someone to pay the debt of disobedience. The cost or total of disobedience is death--physical and spiritual. Christ's atonement made restitution for all who will hearken to His work.
All will rise to glorious resurrections.
All who repent and become like children will return to the presence of God the Father.
This article shows all people to learn from the prophets of old times and submit to the will of a living and loving God. Think of how people submit to the law and obey. They obey traffic laws that keep them safe. God's laws offer eternal life to all who will submit to them.
© 2014 Rodric Anthony Johnson