- And now there was no more contention in all the land of Zarahemla, among all the people who belonged to king Benjamin, so that king Benjamin had continual peace all the remainder of his days. And it came to pass that he had three sons, and he called their names Mosiah, and Helorum, and Helaman. And he caused that they should be taught in all the language of his fathers, that thereby they might become men of understanding, and that they might know concerning the prophecies which had been spoken by the mouths of their fathers, which were delivered them by the hand of the Lord. And he also taught them concerning the records which were engraven upon the plates of brass, saying, My sons, I would that ye should remember that were it not for these plates which contain these records and these commandments, we must have suffered in ignorance, even at this present time, not knowing the mysteries of God. For it were not possible that our father Lehi could have remembered all these things, to have taught them to his children, except it were for the help of these plates. For he having been taught in the language of the Egyptians, therefore he could read these engravings and teach them to his children, that thereby they could teach them to their children, and so fulfilling the commandments of God even down to this present time. I say unto you my sons, were it not for these things which have been kept and preserved by the hand of God, that we might read and understand of his mysteries and have his commandments always before our eyes, that even our fathers would have dwindled in unbelief. And we should have been like unto our brethren the Lamanites, who know nothing concerning these things, or even do not believe them when they are taught them, because of the traditions of their fathers which are not correct. O my sons, I would that ye should remember that these sayings are true, and also that these records are true. And behold also the plates of Nephi, which contain the records and the sayings of our fathers from the time they left Jerusalem until now; and they are true. And we can know of their surety because we have them before our eyes. And now my sons, I would that ye should remember to search them diligently, that ye may profit thereby. And I would that ye should keep the commandments of God, that ye may prosper in the land according to the promises which the Lord made unto our fathers. And many more things did king Benjamin teach his sons, which are not written in this book.
- And it came to pass that after king Benjamin had made an end of teaching his sons, that he waxed old and he saw that he must very soon go the way of all the earth. Therefore he thought it expedient that he should confer the kingdom upon one of his sons; therefore he had Mosiah brought before him. And these are the words which he spake unto him, saying, My son, I would that ye should make a proclamation throughout all this land, among all this people, or the people of Zarahemla and the people of Mosiah who dwell in this land, that thereby they may be gathered together; for on the morrow I shall proclaim unto this my people out of mine own mouth that thou art a king and a ruler over this people whom the Lord our God hath given us. And moreover, I shall give this people a name that thereby they may be distinguished above all the people which the Lord God hath brought out of the land of Jerusalem. And this I do because they have been a diligent people in keeping the commandments of the Lord. And I give unto them a name that never shall be blotted out, except it be through transgression. Yea, and moreover I say unto you that if this highly favored people of the Lord should fall into transgression, and become a wicked and an adulterous people, that the Lord will deliver them up, that thereby they become weak like unto their brethren. And he will no more preserve them by his matchless and marvelous power as he has hitherto preserved our fathers. For I say unto you that if he had not extended his arm in the preservation of our fathers, they must have fallen into the hands of the Lamanites and become victims to their hatred.
- And it came to pass that after king Benjamin had made an end of these sayings to his son, that he gave him charge concerning all the affairs of the kingdom. And moreover, he also gave him charge concerning the records which were engraven upon the plates of brass, and also the plates of Nephi, and also the sword of Laban, and the ball or director which led our fathers through the wilderness, which was prepared by the hand of the Lord that thereby they might be led, everyone, according to the heed and diligence which they gave unto him. Therefore, as they were unfaithful, they did not prosper nor progress in their journey, but were driven back, and incurred the displeasure of God upon them. And therefore, they were smitten with famine and sore afflictions to stir them up in remembrance of their duty.
- And now it came to pass that Mosiah went and did as his father had commanded him, and proclaimed unto all the people who were in the land of Zarahemla, that thereby they might gather themselves together to go up to the temple to hear the words which his father should speak unto them.
- And it came to pass that after Mosiah had done as his father had commanded him and had made a proclamation throughout all the land, that the people gathered themselves together throughout all the land, that they might go up to the temple to hear the words which king Benjamin should speak unto them. And there were a great number, even so many that they did not number them, for they had multiplied exceedingly and waxed great in the land. And they also took of the firstlings of their flocks, that they might offer sacrifice and burnt offerings according to the law of Moses, and also that they might give thanks to the Lord their God, who had brought them out of the land of Jerusalem, and who had delivered them out of the hands of their enemies, and had appointed just men to be their teachers, and also a just man to be their king, who had established peace in the land of Zarahemla, and who had taught them to keep the commandments of God, that thereby they might rejoice and be filled with love towards God and all men.
- And it came to pass that when they came up to the temple, they pitched their tents round about, every man according to his family, consisting of his wife, and his sons, and his daughters, and their sons, and their daughters, from the eldest down to the youngest, every family being separate one from another. And they pitched their tents round about the temple, every man having his tent with the door thereof towards the temple, that thereby they might remain in their tents and hear the words which king Benjamin should speak unto them. For the multitude being so great that king Benjamin could not teach them all within the walls of the temple; therefore he caused a tower to be erected, that thereby his people might hear the words which he should speak unto them.
- And it came to pass that he began to speak to his people from the tower, and they could not all hear his words because of the greatness of the multitude. Therefore he caused that the words which he spake should be written and sent forth among those that were not under the sound of his voice, that they might also receive his words. And these are the words which he spake and caused to be written, saying, My brethren, all ye that have assembled yourselves together, you that can hear my words which I shall speak unto you this day, for I have not commanded you to come up hither to trifle with the words which I shall speak, but that you should hearken unto me, and open your ears that ye may hear, and your hearts that ye may understand, and your minds that the mysteries of God may be unfolded to your view. I have not commanded you to come up hither that ye should fear me, or that ye should think that I of myself am more than a mortal man. But I am like as yourselves, subject to all manner of infirmities in body and mind. Yet as I have been chosen by this people, and was consecrated by my father, and was suffered by the hand of the Lord that I should be a ruler and a king over this people, and have been kept and preserved by his matchless power to serve thee with all the might, mind, and strength which the Lord hath granted unto me, I say unto you that as I have been suffered to spend my days in your service, even up to this time, and have not sought gold, nor silver, nor any manner of riches of you, neither have I suffered that ye should be confined in dungeons, nor that ye should make slaves one of another, or that ye should murder, or plunder, or steal, or commit adultery, or even I have not suffered that ye should commit any manner of wickedness, and have taught you that ye should keep the commandments of the Lord in all things which he hath commanded you. And even I myself have labored with mine own hands that I might serve you, and that ye should not be laden with taxes, and that there should nothing come upon you which was grievous to be borne. And of all these things which I have spoken, ye yourselves are witnesses this day. Yet my brethren, I have not done these things that I might boast, neither do I tell these things that thereby I might accuse you; but I tell you these things that ye may know that I can answer a clean conscience before God this day. Behold, I say unto you that because I said unto you that I had spent my days in your service, I do not desire to boast, for I have only been in the service of God.
- And behold, I tell you these things that ye may learn wisdom, that ye may learn that when ye are in the service of your fellow beings, ye are only in the service of your God. Behold, ye have called me your king. And if I, whom ye call your king, do labor to serve you, then had not ye ought to labor to serve one another? And behold also, if I, whom ye call your king, who has spent his days in your service and yet has been in the service of God, doth merit any thanks from you, O how had you ought to thank your Heavenly King. I say unto you, my brethren, that if you should render all the thanks and praise which your whole souls have power to possess, to that God who has created you, and has kept and preserved you, and has caused that ye should rejoice, and has granted that ye should live in peace one with another — I say unto you that if ye should serve him who has created you from the beginning, and art preserving you from day to day by lending you breath that ye may live, and move, and do according to your own will, and even supporting you from one moment to another — I say, if ye should serve him with all your whole soul, yet ye would be unprofitable servants. And behold, all that he requires of you is to keep his commandments. And he has promised you that if ye would keep his commandments, ye should prosper in the land. And he never doth vary from that which he hath said. Therefore, if ye do keep his commandments, he doth bless you and prosper you.
- And now in the first place he hath created you, and granted unto you your lives, for which ye are indebted unto him. And secondly, he doth require that ye should do as he has commanded you, for which, if ye do, he doth immediately bless you, and therefore he hath paid you. And ye are still indebted unto him, and are and will be for ever and ever. Therefore, of what have ye to boast? And now I ask, can ye say aught of yourselves? I answer you, nay. Ye cannot say that thou art even as much as the dust of the earth, yet thou wast created of the dust of the earth; but behold, it belongeth to him who created you. And I, even I, whom ye call your king, am no better than ye yourselves are, for I am also of the dust. And thou beholdest that I am old and am about to yield up this mortal frame to its mother Earth. Therefore, as I said unto you that I had served you, walking with a clear conscience before God, even so I at this time have caused that ye should assemble yourselves together, that I might be found blameless, and that your blood should not come upon me when I shall stand to be judged of God of the things whereof he hath commanded me concerning you. I say unto you that I have caused that ye should assemble yourselves together that I might rid my garments of your blood at this period of time when I am about to go down to my grave, that I might go down in peace, and my immortal spirit may join the choirs above in singing the praises of a just God. And moreover, I say unto you that I have caused that ye should assemble yourselves together that I might declare unto you that I can no longer be your teacher nor your king; for even at this time my whole frame doth tremble exceedingly while attempting to speak unto you. But the Lord God doth support me, and hath suffered me that I should speak unto you, and hath commanded me that I should declare unto you this day that my son Mosiah is a king and a ruler over you.
- And now my brethren, I would that ye should do as ye have hitherto done. As ye have kept my commandments, and also the commandments of my father, and have prospered, and have been kept from falling into the hands of your enemies, even so, if ye shall keep the commandments of my son, or the commandments of God which shall be delivered unto you by him, ye shall prosper in the land and your enemies shall have no power over you. But O my people, beware lest there shall arise contentions among you, and ye list to obey the evil spirit which was spoken of by my father, Mosiah. For behold, there is a woe pronounced upon him who listeth to obey that spirit; for if he listeth to obey him, and remaineth and dieth in his sins, the same drinketh damnation to his own soul, for he receiveth for his wages an Everlasting punishment, having transgressed the law of God contrary to his own knowledge. I say unto you that there are not any among you, except it be your little children, that have not been taught concerning these things but what knoweth that ye are eternally indebted to your Heavenly Father, to render to him all that you have and are, and also have been taught concerning the records which contain the prophecies which have been spoken by the holy prophets, even down to the time our father Lehi left Jerusalem, and also all that has been spoken by our fathers until now. And behold also, they spake that which was commanded them of the Lord; therefore they are just and true.
- And now I say unto you, my brethren, that after ye have known and have been taught all these things, if ye should transgress and go contrary to that which has been spoken, that ye do withdraw yourselves from the spirit of the Lord, that it may have no place in you to guide you in wisdom’s paths that ye may be blessed, prospered, and preserved, I say unto you that the man that doeth this, the same cometh out in open rebellion against God. Therefore, he listeth to obey the evil spirit and becometh an enemy to all righteousness. Therefore the Lord has no place in him, for he dwelleth not in unholy temples. Therefore, if that man repenteth not, and remaineth and dieth an enemy to God, the demands of divine justice doth awaken his immortal soul to a lively sense of his own guilt, which doth cause him to shrink from the presence of the Lord, and doth fill his breast with guilt, and pain, and anguish, which is like an unquenchable fire whose flames ascendeth up for ever and ever. And now I say unto you that mercy hath no claim on that man; therefore his final doom is to endure a never-ending torment.
- O all ye old men, and also ye young men, and you little children who can understand my words — for I have spoken plain unto you that ye might understand — I pray that ye should awake to a remembrance of the awful situation of those that have fallen into transgression. And moreover, I would desire that ye should consider on the blessed and happy state of those that keep the commandments of God; for behold, they are blessed in all things, both temporal and spiritual. And if they hold out faithful to the end, they are received into Heaven, that thereby they may dwell with God in a state of never-ending happiness. O remember, remember that these things are true, for the Lord God hath spoken it.
- And again my brethren, I would call your attention, for I have somewhat more to speak unto you. For behold, I have things to tell you concerning that which is to come. And the things which I shall tell you are made known unto me by an angel from God. And he said unto me, Awake. And I awoke. And behold, he stood before me. And he said unto me, Awake and hear the words which I shall tell thee; for behold, I am come to declare unto thee glad tidings of great joy. For the Lord hath heard thy prayers, and hath judged of thy righteousness, and hath sent me to declare unto thee that thou mayest rejoice, and that thou mayest declare unto thy people that they may also be filled with joy.
- For behold, the time cometh and is not far distant that with power the Lord Omnipotent who reigneth, who was and is from all eternity to all eternity, shall come down from Heaven among the children of men, and shall dwell in a tabernacle of clay, and shall go forth amongst men, working mighty miracles such as healing the sick, raising the dead, causing the lame to walk, the blind to receive their sight, and the deaf to hear, and curing all manner of diseases. And he shall cast out devils, or the evil spirits which dwell in the hearts of the children of men. And lo, he shall suffer temptations and pain of body, hunger, thirst, and fatigue, even more than man can suffer except it be unto death. For behold, blood cometh from every pore, so great shall be his anguish for the wickedness and the abominations of his people. And he shall be called Jesus Christ, the Son of God the Father of Heaven and of Earth, the creator of all things from the beginning; and his Mother shall be called Mary. And lo, he cometh unto his own, that salvation might come unto the children of men, even through faith on his name. And even after all this, they shall consider him as a man and say that he hath a devil, and shall scourge him, and shall crucify him. And he shall rise the third day from the dead.
- And behold, he standeth to judge the world. And behold, all these things are done that a righteous judgment might come upon the children of men. For behold, and also his 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 woe, woe 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. And the Lord God hath sent his holy prophets among all the children of men to declare these things to every kindred, nation, and tongue, that thereby whosoever should believe that Christ should come, the same might receive remission of their sins and rejoice with exceeding great joy, even as though he had already come among them.
- Yet the Lord God saw that his people were a stiffnecked people, and he appointed unto them a law, even the law of Moses. And many signs, and wonders, and types, and shadows shewed he unto them concerning his coming; and also holy prophets spake unto them concerning his coming. And yet they hardened their hearts and understood not that the law of Moses availeth nothing except it were through the atonement of his blood. And even if it were possible that little children could sin, they could not be saved. But I say unto you, they are blessed; for behold, as in Adam or by nature they fall, even so the blood of Christ atoneth for their sins. And moreover, I say unto you that there shall be no other name given, nor any other way nor means, whereby salvation can come unto the children of men, only in and through the name of Christ the Lord Omnipotent. For behold, he judgeth, and his judgment is just. And the infant perisheth not that dieth in his infancy, but 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. For the natural man is an enemy to God, and has been from the fall of Adam, and will be for ever and ever, but if 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, and becometh 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.
- And moreover, I say unto you that the time shall come when the knowledge of a savior shall spread throughout every nation, kindred, tongue, and people. And behold, when that time cometh, none shall be found blameless before God, except it be little children, only through repentance and faith on the name of the Lord God Omnipotent. And even at this time, when thou shalt have taught thy people the things which the Lord thy God hath commanded thee, even then are they found no more blameless in the sight of God, only according to the words which I have spoken unto thee.
- And now I have spoken the words which the Lord God hath commanded me. And thus saith the Lord: They shall stand as a bright testimony against this people at the judgment day, whereof they shall be judged, every man according to his works, whether they be good or whether they be evil. And if they be evil, they are consigned to an awful view of their own guilt and abominations, which doth cause them to shrink from the presence of the Lord into a state of misery and Endless torment, from whence they can no more return. Therefore, they have drunk damnation to their own souls. Therefore, they have drunk out of the cup of the wrath of God, which justice could no more deny unto them than it could deny that Adam should fall because of his partaking of the forbidden fruit. Therefore, mercy could have claim on them no more for ever, and their torment is as a lake of fire and brimstone whose flames are unquenchable and whose smoke ascendeth up for ever and ever. Thus hath the Lord commanded me. Amen.
THE BOOK OF MOSIAH