Book of Mormon Story: Benjamin—Nephite Prophet-King


Humble yourselves before the Lord, and call on his holy name, … and thus be led by the Holy Spirit, … having the love of God always in your hearts (Alma 13:28–29).

Using the sword of Laban (see 1 Ne. 3:1–4; 1 Ne. 4), King Benjamin drove the Lamanites out of the land of Zarahemla. Although he was mighty in battle, to Amaleki, the keeper of the sacred records, the important thing was that the king was “a just man before the Lord” (Omni 1:25). For that reason, before Amaleki died, he turned the plates of scripture over to King Benjamin.

King Benjamin taught his sons and his people the scriptures. He “was a holy man, and he did reign over his people in righteousness” (W of M 1:17). With the help of other holy men, he put an end to the contentions among his people, and there was peace in the land of Zarahemla all the rest of his life.

For those reasons and because he worked for his living and did not live on the taxes of the people, everyone in the land of Zarahemla loved him as their king. They loved him even more as their prophet. When he had a tower built so that he could talk to them, they all came as families and pitched their tents around it so that they could hear him.

He spoke to them about Heavenly Father’s love for them and about Jesus Christ, Who would come to teach them and be an example for them and even suffer for their sins and die for them so that they might return to Heavenly Father according to their faith and their obedience to His commandments.

As the people listened to their prophet, they knew that what he said was true. Feeling the Spirit of the Lord, they cried out to Him, asking for forgiveness for their sins and proclaiming their faith in Jesus Christ.

Seeing how humble the people were, King Benjamin encouraged them: “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. …

“As ye have come to the knowledge of the glory of God, … 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 … the greatness of God, … calling on the name of the Lord daily, and standing steadfastly in the faith of that which is to come. …

“And behold, I say unto you that if ye do this ye shall always rejoice, and be filled with the love of God, … and ye shall grow in the knowledge of the glory of him that created you.” (Mosiah 4:9, 11–12.)

Like the people of Zarahemla, we have a prophet whom we love. And like King Benjamin, he has told us to pray and listen to the Spirit so that we, too, may grow in our love for Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ.

[illustration] Illustrated by Jerry Harston