Sunday School lessons for Gospel Doctrine Class

Sunday, April 19, 2020

“A Mighty Change”




Scripture links are hyperlinked to Scriptures at ChurchofJesusChrist.org
Resource quotes have been highlighted in blue and are noted at the end of the blog

As I am often reading the scriptures during my study time, I come across things that strike me, sometimes even to the core and I say to myself, I need to do better, I wish I was better with that, how can I improve, or in other words, I am able to "view myself in my own carnal state," and "desire to be purified because I believe in Jesus Christ." I found in reading this weeks lesson of Mosiah 4–5 that I asked myself many questions, concerning the things that King Benjamin taught; and I had a special self check, to not only see where I am at, but to see how I can improve, grow and strengthen.

Mosiah 4–5 is at the very essence, the core of our commitment to Jesus Christ. In plain terms he teaches us how to spiritually survive and continue in righteously seeking a remission of our sins with the ability to stay connected to Christ. In our times, particularly now, of great tribulation, King Benjamin, as we will see, can be a great comfort and give us much guidance and hope for our road ahead.

History and Background
These chapters of Mosiah contain powerful testimony of the mission of Jesus Christ as well as learning about people whom the Lord delivered from the bondage of sin or from physical oppression.
The righteous efforts of King Benjamin, brought tremendous blessings to many. 

In these chapters we review that King Benjamin appointed his son Mosiah as his successor and then learn of the an account of his reign. King Benjamin teaches of Jesus Christ and invites his people to enter into a covenant with God.

Moved by King Benjamin’s teachings, the people repented and received a remission of their sins. They were “filled with joy” and had “peace of conscience." King Benjamin continued to teach them, helping them understand what they must do to “retain a remission of their sins”. He also warned them of the danger of neglecting to watch their thoughts, words, and deeds.


Part 1: Through Jesus Christ, we can receive and retain a remission of our sins. Mosiah 4:1–12

Some people have the mistaken idea that repentance requires little effort; others believe it requires too much effort. To help us better understand what is required to receive a remission of sins, lets take a look at King Benjamin’s teachings in Mosiah 4:1–12.  

1 And now, it came to pass that when king Benjamin had made an end of speaking the words which had been delivered unto him by the angel of the Lord, that he cast his eyes round about on the multitude, and behold they had fallen to the earth, for the fear of the Lord had come upon them.
2 And they had viewed themselves in their own carnal state, even less than the dust of the earth. And they all cried aloud with one voice, saying: 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.
3 And it came to pass that after they had spoken these words the Spirit of the Lord came upon them, and they were filled with joy, having received a remission of their sins, and having peace of conscience, because of the exceeding faith which they had in Jesus Christ who should come, according to the words which king Benjamin had spoken unto them.
4 And king Benjamin again opened his mouth and began to speak unto them, saying: My friends and my brethren, my kindred and my people, I would again call your attention, that ye may hear and understand the remainder of my words which I shall speak unto you.
5 For behold, if the knowledge of the goodness of God at this time has awakened you to a sense of your nothingness, and your worthless and fallen state—
6 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; and also, the 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 continue in the faith even unto the end of his life, I mean the life of the mortal body—
7 I say, that this is the man who receiveth salvation, through the atonement which was prepared from the foundation of the world for all mankind, which ever were since the fall of Adam, or who are, or who ever shall be, even unto the end of the world.
8 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 except the conditions which I have told you.
9 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.
10 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.
11 And again I say unto you as I have said before, that as ye have come to the knowledge of the glory of God, or if ye have known of his goodness and have tasted of his love, and have received a remission of your sins, which causeth such exceedingly great joy in your souls, even so I would that ye should remember, and always retain in remembrance, the greatness of God, and your own nothingness, and his goodness and long-suffering towards you, unworthy creatures, and humble yourselves even in the depths of humility, calling on the name of the Lord daily, and standing steadfastly in the faith of that which is to come, which was spoken by the mouth of the angel.
12 And behold, I say unto you that if ye do this ye shall always rejoice, and be filled with the love of God, and always retain a remission of your sins; and ye shall grow in the knowledge of the glory of him that created you, or in the knowledge of that which is just and true.


A young man has committed a serious sin and feels guilty about what he has done. He knows he should repent but worries that repentance might be too difficult. He wonders if repenting of his sins is really worth the effort.  What counsel would you give this young man? Why?

It might help us to remember that the phrase “carnal state,” is the opposite of spiritual. It refers to our physical appetites rather than our spiritual desire to draw nearer to the Lord. King Benjamin’s people may have considered themselves to be “less than the dust of the earth” because the dust of the earth always obeys the Lord’s commands, but God’s children often do not.  However its also important to remember that Heavenly Father does not consider His children to be less than the dust of the earth D&C 18:10.

But like the young man in the scenario, King Benjamin’s people had to decide whether or not to repent of their sins. According to Mosiah 4:2, they repented, expressing their faith in Jesus Christ and His Atonement.

After King Benjamin taught his people about the mission of the Savior he saw that “they had fallen to the earth” Mosiah 4:1. Why did the people fall to the earth?  Mosiah 4:1–2

1 And now, it came to pass that when king Benjamin had made an end of speaking the words which had been delivered unto him by the angel of the Lord, that he cast his eyes round about on the multitude, and behold they had fallen to the earth, for the fear of the Lord had come upon them.
2 And they had viewed themselves in their own carnal state, even less than the dust of the earth. And they all cried aloud with one voice, saying: 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.


What did understanding their “carnal state” lead King Benjamin’s people to do?  Mosiah 4:2.

What caused them to become “filled with joy”? Mosiah 4:3.
3 And it came to pass that after they had spoken these words the Spirit of the Lord came upon them, and they were filled with joy, having received a remission of their sins, and having peace of conscience, because of the exceeding faith which they had in Jesus Christ who should come, according to the words which king Benjamin had spoken unto them.
What enabled them to be forgiven of their sins? How did they know they had been forgiven? How can we know that we are forgiven after we repent?   President Harold B. Lee said: “If the time comes when you have done all that you can to repent of your sins . . . and have made amends and restitution to the best of your ability . . . , then you will want that confirming answer as to whether or not the Lord has accepted of you. In your soul-searching, if you seek for and you find that peace of conscience, by that token you may know that the Lord has accepted of your repentance” (Stand Ye in Holy Places [1974], 185).

What did King Benjamin teach about how we OBTAIN a remission of our sins?  Mosiah 4:9–10.
9 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.
10 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


What did he teach about how we RETAIN a remission of our sins? Mosiah 4:11–12, 26.
11 And again I say unto you as I have said before, that as ye have come to the knowledge of the glory of God, or if ye have known of his goodness and have tasted of his love, and have received a remission of your sins, which causeth such exceedingly great joy in your souls, even so I would that ye should remember, and always retain in remembrance, the greatness of God, and your own nothingness, and his goodness and long-suffering towards you, unworthy creatures, and humble yourselves even in the depths of humility, calling on the name of the Lord daily, and standing steadfastly in the faith of that which is to come, which was spoken by the mouth of the angel.
12 And behold, I say unto you that if ye do this ye shall always rejoice, and be filled with the love of God, and always retain a remission of your sins; and ye shall grow in the knowledge of the glory of him that created you, or in the knowledge of that which is just and true.


What does it mean to retain a remission of our sins?

How can King Benjamin’s words to his people give us hope when we are discouraged by our weaknesses?    As we exercise faith in Jesus Christ and continue daily to sincerely repent, we can be filled with joy, receive a remission of our sins, and have peace of conscience. 


**Point to Ponder:  If we remember God’s greatness, humble ourselves, pray daily, and stand steadfastly in the faith, then we will be filled with God’s love, retain a remission of our sins, and grow in knowledge.

Elder Neal A. Maxwell of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles counseled us to frequently and regularly repent to retain a remission of sins: “Much emphasis was given by King Benjamin to retaining a remission of our sins (see Mosiah 4:26). We do not ponder that concept very much in the church. We ought to think of it a lot more. Retention clearly depends on the regularity of our repentance. In the church we worry, and should, over the retention of new members, but the retention of our remissions is cause for even deeper concern” (“King Benjamin’s Sermon: A Manual for Discipleship,” in John W. Welch and Stephen D. Ricks, eds., King Benjamin’s Speech: “That Ye May Learn Wisdom” [1998], 16).

Part 2: Mosiah 4:11–27 As we repent, we will be filled with the love of God

The following verses contain King Benjamin’s description of people who retain a remission of their sins. 

11 And again I say unto you as I have said before, that as ye have come to the knowledge of the glory of God, or if ye have known of his goodness and have tasted of his love, and have received a remission of your sins, which causeth such exceedingly great joy in your souls, even so I would that ye should remember, and always retain in remembrance, the greatness of God, and your own nothingness, and his goodness and long-suffering towards you, unworthy creatures, and humble yourselves even in the depths of humility, calling on the name of the Lord daily, and standing steadfastly in the faith of that which is to come, which was spoken by the mouth of the angel.
12 And behold, I say unto you that if ye do this ye shall always rejoice, and be filled with the love of God, and always retain a remission of your sins; and ye shall grow in the knowledge of the glory of him that created you, or in the knowledge of that which is just and true.
13 And ye will not have a mind to injure one another, but to live peaceably, and to render to every man according to that which is his due.
14 And ye will not suffer your children that they go hungry, or naked; neither will ye suffer that they transgress the laws of God, and fight and quarrel one with another, and serve the devil, who is the master of sin, or who is the evil spirit which hath been spoken of by our fathers, he being an enemy to all righteousness.
15 But ye will teach them to walk in the ways of truth and soberness; ye will teach them to love one another, and to serve one another.
16 And also, ye yourselves will succor those that stand in need of your succor; ye will administer of your substance unto him that standeth in need; and ye will not suffer that the beggar putteth up his petition to you in vain, and turn him out to perish.
17 Perhaps thou shalt say: The man has brought upon himself his misery; therefore I will stay my hand, and will not give unto him of my food, nor impart unto him of my substance that he may not suffer, for his punishments are just—
18 But I say unto you, O man, whosoever doeth this the same hath great cause to repent; and except he repenteth of that which he hath done he perisheth forever, and hath no interest in the kingdom of God.
19 For behold, are we not all beggars? Do we not all depend upon the same Being, even God, for all the substance which we have, for both food and raiment, and for gold, and for silver, and for all the riches which we have of every kind?
20 And behold, even at this time, ye have been calling on his name, and begging for a remission of your sins. And has he suffered that ye have begged in vain? Nay; he has poured out his Spirit upon you, and has caused that your hearts should be filled with joy, and has caused that your mouths should be stopped that ye could not find utterance, so exceedingly great was your joy.
21 And now, if God, who has created you, on whom you are dependent for your lives and for all that ye have and are, doth grant unto you whatsoever ye ask that is right, in faith, believing that ye shall receive, O then, how ye ought to impart of the substance that ye have one to another.
22 And if ye judge the man who putteth up his petition to you for your substance that he perish not, and condemn him, how much more just will be your condemnation for withholding your substance, which doth not belong to you but to God, to whom also your life belongeth; and yet ye put up no petition, nor repent of the thing which thou hast done.
23 I say unto you, wo be unto that man, for his substance shall perish with him; and now, I say these things unto those who are rich as pertaining to the things of this world.
24 And again, I say unto the poor, ye who have not and yet have sufficient, that ye remain from day to day; I mean all you who deny the beggar, because ye have not; I would that ye say in your hearts that: I give not because I have not, but if I had I would give.
25 And now, if ye say this in your hearts ye remain guiltless, otherwise ye are condemned; and your condemnation is just for ye covet that which ye have not received.
26 And now, for the sake of these things which I have spoken unto you—that is, for the sake of retaining a remission of your sins from day to day, that ye may walk guiltless before God—I would that ye should impart of your substance to the poor, every man according to that which he hath, such as feeding the hungry, clothing the naked, visiting the sick and administering to their relief, both spiritually and temporally, according to their wants.
27 And see that all these things are done in wisdom and order; for it is not requisite that a man should run faster than he has strength. And again, it is expedient that he should be diligent, that thereby he might win the prize; therefore, all things must be done in order.


King Benjamin described some results of true repentance, what are those? Mosiah 4:13–16.
13 And ye will not have a mind to injure one another, but to live peaceably, and to render to every man according to that which is his due.
14 And ye will not suffer your children that they go hungry, or naked; neither will ye suffer that they transgress the laws of God, and fight and quarrel one with another, and serve the devil, who is the master of sin, or who is the evil spirit which hath been spoken of by our fathers, he being an enemy to all righteousness.
15 But ye will teach them to walk in the ways of truth and soberness; ye will teach them to love one another, and to serve one another.
16 And also, ye yourselves will succor those that stand in need of your succor; ye will administer of your substance unto him that standeth in need; and ye will not suffer that the beggar putteth up his petition to you in vain, and turn him out to perish.


Why do you think this attitude (or quality) is important to retaining a remission of our sins?

What signs do you see in yourself that you are being converted? 

How do our relationships with others change as we come unto Christ through repentance?

How can we follow King Benjamin’s counsel to not “run faster than we have strength”? Mosiah 4:26–27
26 And now, for the sake of these things which I have spoken unto you—that is, for the sake of retaining a remission of your sins from day to day, that ye may walk guiltless before God—I would that ye should impart of your substance to the poor, every man according to that which he hath, such as feeding the hungry, clothing the naked, visiting the sick and administering to their relief, both spiritually and temporally, according to their wants.
27 And see that all these things are done in wisdom and order; for it is not requisite that a man should run faster than he has strength. And again, it is expedient that he should be diligent, that thereby he might win the prize; therefore, all things must be done in order.


How does the commandment to “impart of our substance to the poor” relate to the remission of our sins? Mosiah 4:26   King Benjamin reminded us that we are all beggars before God and that we should show mercy to others if we expect mercy in return.

26 And now, for the sake of these things which I have spoken unto you—that is, for the sake of retaining a remission of your sins from day to day, that ye may walk guiltless before God—I would that ye should impart of your substance to the poor, every man according to that which he hath, such as feeding the hungry, clothing the naked, visiting the sick and administering to their relief, both spiritually and temporally, according to their wants.

President Gordon B Hinkely taught: “Let us be more merciful. Let us get the arrogance out of our lives, the conceit, the egotism. Let us be more compassionate, gentler, filled with forbearance and patience and a greater measure of respect one for another. In so doing, our very example will cause others to be more merciful, and we shall have greater claim upon the mercy of God who in His love will be generous toward us.

“‘For behold, are we not all beggars? …’ [Mosiah 4:19].

“So spoke King Benjamin. To which I add that the power of the Master is certain and His word is sure. He will keep His promise toward those who are compassionate. ‘Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy’ (Matthew 5:7).

“I am confident that a time will come for each of us when, whether because of sickness or infirmity, of poverty or distress, of oppressive measures against us by man or nature, we shall wish for mercy. And if, through our lives, we have granted mercy to others, we shall obtain it for ourselves”
(Conference Report, Apr. 1990, 89; or Ensign, May 1990, 70).


What did King Benjamin say we should do if we are unable to give to beggars? Mosiah 4:24–25 
24 And again, I say unto the poor, ye who have not and yet have sufficient, that ye remain from day to day; I mean all you who deny the beggar, because ye have not; I would that ye say in your hearts that: I give not because I have not, but if I had I would give.
25 And now, if ye say this in your hearts ye remain guiltless, otherwise ye are condemned; and your condemnation is just for ye covet that which ye have not received.



How does giving fast offerings help us follow the counsel in Mosiah 4:26?


“Don’t we all cry out for help and hope and answers to prayers? Don’t we all beg for forgiveness for mistakes we have made and troubles we have caused? Don’t we all implore that grace will compensate for our weaknesses, that mercy will triumph over justice at least in our case? Little wonder that King Benjamin says we obtain a remission of our sins by pleading to God, who compassionately responds, but we retain a remission of our sins by compassionately responding to the poor who plead to us [see Mosiah 4:11–12, 20, 26]” (Jeffrey R. Holland, “Are We Not All Beggars?” Ensign Nov. 2014, 41). 


Part 3: Mosiah 4:29–30 We must watch our thoughts, words, and deeds
Sometimes it seems like it would be easier if the Lord gave us a detailed list of every possible sin. Instead, He tells us, “Watch yourselves … and continue in the faith of what ye have heard concerning the coming of our Lord” King Benjamin taught his people how to retain a remission of their sins and be saved, he warned them about what might cause them to “perish,” or become spiritually lost and separated from God. If we are not careful about our thoughts, words, and deeds and do not keep the commandments or continue in the faith of Jesus Christ throughout our lives, we will perish.

29 And finally, 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.
30 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.

How are our thoughts, words, and deeds related? How will our words and deeds be affected when we watch our thoughts?

“As you learn to control your thoughts, you can overcome habits, even degrading personal habits. You can gain courage, conquer fear, and have a happy life. I had been told … as I grew up that thoughts must be controlled, but no one told me how. I’ve thought about this over the years and have decided that the mind is like a stage. During every waking moment the curtain is up. There is always some act being performed on that stage. It may be a comedy, a tragedy, interesting or dull, good or bad; but always there is some act playing on the stage of your mind.
“Have you noticed that shady little thoughts may creep in from the wings and attract your attention in the middle of almost any performance and without any real intent on your part? … If you permit them to go on, all thoughts of any virtue will leave the stage. … What do you do at a time like that, when the stage of your mind is commandeered by the imps of unclean thinking … ? If you can fill your mind with clean and constructive thoughts, then there will be no room for these persistent imps, and they will leave” (Boyd K. Packer, “Worthy Music, Worthy Thoughts,” New Era, Apr. 2008, 7–8).

How do our thoughts, words, and deeds affect ourselves and others? 

What does it mean to “continue in the faith”? 

What advice can we share with each other to help us “watch” ourselves?

“Some bad thoughts come by themselves. Others come because we invite them by what we look at and listen to. Talking about or looking at immodest pictures … can stimulate powerful emotions. It will tempt you to watch improper [videos] or movies. These things surround you, but you must not participate in them. Work at keeping your thoughts clean by thinking of something good. The mind can think of only one thing at a time. Use that fact to crowd out ugly thoughts. Above all, don’t feed thoughts by reading or watching things that are wrong. If you don’t control your thoughts, Satan will keep tempting you until you eventually act them out” (Richard G. Scott, “Making the Right Choices,” Ensign, Nov. 1994, 37).

**Point to Ponder: Create a plan for yourself and your family to remove bad thoughts that creep into your minds. Their plan might include many ideas, such as thinking of a hymn or Primary song, reciting a scripture, or picturing the Savior.

Part 4: Mosiah 5:1–7 The Spirit of the Lord can cause a mighty change in our hearts

Mosiah 5 contains the conclusion of King Benjamin’s address to his people, the record of which begins in Mosiah 2. As a result of their faith in King Benjamin’s words, the people experienced a mighty change of heart. They entered into a covenant with God and took upon themselves the name of Jesus Christ.

1 And now, it came to pass that when king Benjamin had thus spoken to his people, he sent among them, desiring to know of his people if they believed the words which he had spoken unto them.
2 And they all cried with one voice, saying: Yea, we believe all the words which thou hast spoken unto us; and also, we know of their surety and truth, because of the Spirit of the Lord Omnipotent, which has wrought a mighty change in us, or in our hearts, that we have no more disposition to do evil, but to do good continually.
3 And we, ourselves, also, through the infinite goodness of God, and the manifestations of his Spirit, have great views of that which is to come; and were it expedient, we could prophesy of all things.
4 And it is the faith which we have had on the things which our king has spoken unto us that has brought us to this great knowledge, whereby we do rejoice with such exceedingly great joy.
5 And we are willing to enter into a covenant with our God to do his will, and to be obedient to his commandments in all things that he shall command us, all the remainder of our days, that we may not bring upon ourselves a never-ending torment, as has been spoken by the angel, that we may not drink out of the cup of the wrath of God.
6 And now, these are the words which king Benjamin desired of them; and therefore he said unto them: Ye have spoken the words that I desired; and the covenant which ye have made is a righteous covenant.
7 And now, because of the covenant which ye have made ye shall be called the children of Christ, his sons, and his daughters; for behold, this day he hath spiritually begotten you; for ye say that your hearts are changed through faith on his name; therefore, ye are born of him and have become his sons and his daughters.



A young woman is trying to do what is right. She prays and reads her scriptures often. She attends her Church meetings. She wants to be good, but in other places such as work, she hears inappropriate language and sees a lot of inappropriate behavior. Sometimes she gives in to temptation and does things she knows are not right.

Why can it be difficult for us to always desire to do what is right?

What was the people’s response to King Benjamin’s question in Mosiah 5:2–4

2 And they all cried with one voice, saying: Yea, we believe all the words which thou hast spoken unto us; and also, we know of their surety and truth, because of the Spirit of the Lord Omnipotent, which has wrought a mighty change in us, or in our hearts, that we have no more disposition to do evil, but to do good continually.
3 And we, ourselves, also, through the infinite goodness of God, and the manifestations of his Spirit, have great views of that which is to come; and were it expedient, we could prophesy of all things.
4 And it is the faith which we have had on the things which our king has spoken unto us that has brought us to this great knowledge, whereby we do rejoice with such exceedingly great joy.


What did the people say about dispositions?

What brought about this change in their dispositions?
Based on verse 2, how would you state a principle about what can happen to our desires when our hearts are changed through the Spirit of the Lord?   As our hearts are changed through the Spirit of the Lord, we lose the desire to do evil and gain the desire to do good continually.

Based on the actions of King Benjamin’s people, what do you think our role is in having our hearts changed through the Spirit of the Lord? 
Like King Benjamin’s people, we need to exercise faith in Jesus Christ, follow the direction He gives through His servants, and repent of our sins.

Its important to remember that for most people, experiencing a mighty change of heart is a process that occurs throughout their lives, not a single event.  President Ezra Taft Benson taught:

“Becoming Christlike is a lifetime pursuit and very often involves growth and change that is slow, almost imperceptible. …

“… True repentance involves a change of heart and not just a change of behavior. … Most repentance does not involve sensational or dramatic changes, but rather is a step-by-step, steady, and consistent movement toward godliness”
(Ezra Taft Benson, “A Mighty Change of Heart,” Ensign, Oct. 1989, 5).

Why do you think it is important to understand that a change of heart usually happens over time instead of all at once?  While our hearts are in the process of changing, we still experience temptation. However, as we faithfully continue to live the gospel, our desire to give in to temptation is replaced with a desire “to do good continually” Mosiah 5:2

Elder D. Todd Christofferson spoke of the mighty change of heart described in the scriptures:

“You may ask, Why doesn’t this mighty change happen more quickly with me? You should remember that the remarkable examples of King Benjamin’s people, Alma, and some others in scripture are just that—remarkable and not typical. For most of us, the changes are more gradual and occur over time. Being born again, unlike our physical birth, is more a process than an event. And engaging in that process is the central purpose of mortality.
“At the same time, let us not justify ourselves in a casual effort. Let us not be content to retain some disposition to do evil. Let us worthily partake of the sacrament each week and continue to draw upon the Holy Spirit to root out the last vestiges of impurity within us. I testify that as you continue in the path of spiritual rebirth, the atoning grace of Jesus Christ will take away your sins and the stain of those sins in you, temptations will lose their appeal, and through Christ you will become holy, as He and our Father are holy” (“Born Again,” Ensign or Liahona, May 2008, 78).

When have you felt the Spirit of the Lord strengthen your desires to do good?

What will you do so the Lord will continue to help you experience this change of heart?

 Part 5: Mosiah 5:5–15 God invites me to make covenants with Him

 Mosiah 5:5–15 can help us as members understand the blessings we receive when we make and keep covenants with God.

5 And we are willing to enter into a covenant with our God to do his will, and to be obedient to his commandments in all things that he shall command us, all the remainder of our days, that we may not bring upon ourselves a never-ending torment, as has been spoken by the angel, that we may not drink out of the cup of the wrath of God.
6 And now, these are the words which king Benjamin desired of them; and therefore he said unto them: Ye have spoken the words that I desired; and the covenant which ye have made is a righteous covenant.
7 And now, because of the covenant which ye have made ye shall be called the children of Christ, his sons, and his daughters; for behold, this day he hath spiritually begotten you; for ye say that your hearts are changed through faith on his name; therefore, ye are born of him and have become his sons and his daughters.
8 And under this head ye are made free, and there is no other head whereby ye can be made free. There is no other name given whereby salvation cometh; therefore, I would that ye should take upon you the name of Christ, all you that have entered into the covenant with God that ye should be obedient unto the end of your lives.
9 And it shall come to pass that whosoever doeth this shall be found at the right hand of God, for he shall know the name by which he is called; for he shall be called by the name of Christ.
10 And now it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall not take upon him the name of Christ must be called by some other name; therefore, he findeth himself on the left hand of God.
11 And I would that ye should remember also, that this is the name that I said I should give unto you that never should be blotted out, except it be through transgression; therefore, take heed that ye do not transgress, that the name be not blotted out of your hearts.
12 I say unto you, I would that ye should remember to retain the name written always in your hearts, that ye are not found on the left hand of God, but that ye hear and know the voice by which ye shall be called, and also, the name by which he shall call you.
13 For how knoweth a man the master whom he has not served, and who is a stranger unto him, and is far from the thoughts and intents of his heart?
14 And again, doth a man take an ass which belongeth to his neighbor, and keep him? I say unto you, Nay; he will not even suffer that he shall feed among his flocks, but will drive him away, and cast him out. I say unto you, that even so shall it be among you if ye know not the name by which ye are called.
15 Therefore, I would that ye should be steadfast and immovable, always abounding in good works, that Christ, the Lord God Omnipotent, may seal you his, that you may be brought to heaven, that ye may have everlasting salvation and eternal life, through the wisdom, and power, and justice, and mercy of him who created all things, in heaven and in earth, who is God above all. Amen.


What were the people willing to do now that their hearts had been changed?

Which words or phrases in Mosiah 5:5 show the sincerity of the people’s desire to make and keep a covenant with God? “do his will,” “in all things,” and “all the remainder of our days.”

According to verse 7, what do those who make covenants with Jesus Christ become?  His covenant sons and daughters.

Elder Dallin H. Oaks explained: “Our willingness to take upon us the name of Jesus Christ affirms our commitment to do all that we can to be counted among those whom he will choose to stand at his right hand and be called by his name at the last day. In this sacred sense, our witness that we are willing to take upon us the name of Jesus Christ constitutes our declaration of candidacy for exaltation in the celestial kingdom. Exaltation is eternal life, ‘the greatest of all the gifts of God’ (D&C 14:7)” (Conference Report, Apr. 1985, 105; or Ensign, May 1985, 83).

How is the covenant made by King Benjamin’s people similar to the covenant we made at baptism and renew each time we take the sacrament?  Mosiah 5:5, 7–8; D&C 20:37, 77, 79.) 

Why is it important that we renew this covenant frequently?

**Points to Ponder:   Learning to recognize and follow the Lord’s voice is vital for spiritual progression. Elder M. Russell Ballard of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles taught that God expects us to hear and know His voice in this life: “When my ministry is all over, it will not be any talk that I gave that will be very important in the sight of the Lord; but what will be important to him will be my hearing his voice and responding to his promptings” (“Respond to the Prompting of the Spirit” [an evening with Elder M. Russell Ballard, Jan. 8, 1988], 4, www.ldsces.org).

As well a change of heart is more than just a change of behavior. When we experience a change of heart, we become new people, changed through the power of the Savior’s Atonement. Elder David A. Bednar of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles explained:  “The gospel of Jesus Christ encompasses much more than avoiding, overcoming, and being cleansed from sin and the bad influences in our lives; it also essentially entails doing good, being good, and becoming better. … This mighty change is not simply the result of working harder or developing greater individual discipline. Rather, it is the consequence of a fundamental change in our desires, our motives, and our natures made possible through the Atonement of Christ the Lord” (David A. Bednar, “Clean Hands and a Pure Heart,” Ensign or Liahona, Nov. 2007, 81–82).



Elder David A. Bednar also explained what it means to be “steadfast and immovable”:  “The word ‘steadfast’ is used to suggest fixed in position, solid and firm, unshaken and resolute (Oxford English Dictionary Online, 2nd ed. [1989], “Steadfast”). The word ‘immovable’ is used to indicate that a person or thing is unalterable, firmly secured, and not subject to change. It also signifies the quality of being unyielding and incapable of being diverted from one’s purpose (Oxford English Dictionary Online, “Immovable”). Thus, a person who is steadfast and immovable is solid, firm, resolute, firmly secured, and incapable of being diverted from a primary purpose or mission” (David A. Bednar, “Steadfast and Immovable, Always Abounding in Good Works,” New Era, Jan. 2008, 2).


Conclusion
Therefore, I would that ye should be steadfast and immovable, always abounding in good works, that Christ, the Lord God Omnipotent, may seal you his, that you may be brought to heaven, that ye may have everlasting salvation and eternal life, through the wisdom, and power, and justice, and mercy of him who created all things, in heaven and in earth, who is God above all. Amen.

These blessings are available to each of us as we seek and maintain that “mighty change” of heart that will enable them to be children of Christ.  Its often difficult for people to make changes in their lives, particularly those that require deep repentance and change.  But it is possible, and not only in the sense that maybe if we work hard enough it might happen, but; King Benjamin and his people teach us that it WILL happen when we come with a broken heart and contrite spirit. Each of us, has the ability to change, evolve and grow more connected with the Savior.  Each of us has the opportunity to #HearHim finding peace and eternal life.  

Resources
Book of Mormon Student Manual
Conference Reports
Ensign
“King Benjamin’s Sermon: A Manual for Discipleship,” in John W. Welch and Stephen D. Ricks
Doctrine and Covenants

The Fall of Adam and Eve

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