Lesson 52

Mosiah 2

“Lesson 52: Mosiah 2,” 2017 Book of Mormon Seminary Teacher Manual (2017)


Introduction

As King Benjamin approached the end of his life, he desired to deliver one last sermon to his people. His sermon, recorded in Mosiah 2–5, is the subject of this lesson and lessons 53–55. At the beginning of the sermon, he told of his ministry among the people, emphasizing that we serve God when we serve others. He also testified of the happy state of those who keep God’s commandments.

Suggestions for Teaching

Mosiah 2:1–9

Families gather and prepare to receive King Benjamin’s words

King Benjamin Addresses His People

Show students the picture King Benjamin Addresses His People (Gospel Art Book [2009], no. 74; see also lds.org/media-library).

  • What do you know about the event illustrated in this picture? (King Benjamin had called his people together to declare that his son Mosiah would take his place as king and to give them a “name, that thereby they may be distinguished above all the people which the Lord God hath brought out of the land of Jerusalem” [see Mosiah 1:9–12].)

Explain that King Benjamin’s address to the Nephites is found in Mosiah 2–5. To prepare the class to study King Benjamin’s opening message in Mosiah 2, invite a student to come to the front of the class. Display an item that the student might have interest in receiving (such as a piece of candy). Toss or hand the item to the student. Ask the class:

  • What did (say the student’s name) do to receive the item? (Reached out to catch or take it.)

  • How might this be like receiving gospel teachings? (When others seek to share gospel teachings with us, we must act in order to receive those teachings and to benefit from them.)

Invite a few students to take turns reading aloud from Mosiah 2:1–6. Ask the class to follow along, looking for what the Nephites did to prepare themselves to receive King Benjamin’s message.

  • What did the Nephites do to prepare themselves to be taught?

Summarize Mosiah 2:7–8 by explaining that King Benjamin began teaching his people and directed that his words be written down for the benefit of those who could not hear him speak.

Invite a student to read Mosiah 2:9 aloud. Ask the class to follow along, looking for words and phrases that indicate what King Benjamin wanted the people to do as they listened to his words. (You may want to explain that “mysteries of God are spiritual truths known only by revelation” [Guide to the Scriptures, “Mysteries of God,” scriptures.lds.org].)

  • What did King Benjamin invite his people to do?

  • According to the last part of Mosiah 2:9, what did King Benjamin believe would happen if the people opened their ears, hearts, and minds to his message?

  • What principle can we learn from verse 9? (Help students identify the following principle: If we open our ears, hearts, and minds to the teachings of God’s servants, we can be blessed with understanding and personal revelation.)

  • How can we open our ears, hearts, and minds to those who are called to teach us?

  • What is something you have learned because you opened your ears, heart, and mind to God’s servants? How has this understanding blessed your life? (Before asking students to share their responses, consider inviting students to write their answers to these questions in their class notebooks or study journals.)

Encourage students to keep King Benjamin’s invitation in mind as they study Mosiah 2–5.

Mosiah 2:10–28

King Benjamin teaches about the importance of serving God and each other and about our eternal indebtedness to God

Summarize Mosiah 2:10–15 by explaining that King Benjamin told his people that he had served them and worked to provide for himself temporally so they would not have to support him, and that he had taught them to keep the commandments of God.

Invite a student to read Mosiah 2:16–17 aloud. Ask the class to follow along, looking for what King Benjamin taught his people about service.

  • What principle did King Benjamin teach about service? (Help students identify the following principle: When we serve others, we serve God. Write this statement on the board.)

  • In what ways do we serve God when we serve other people?

Invite students to think of times when they have served other people.

  • How does it help you to know that when you serve others, you are also serving God?

Testify to your students that as they serve others, they are serving God. Invite them to ponder and write down something they will do to serve someone. Encourage them to act on what they wrote.

To prepare students to study King Benjamin’s teachings about gratitude, ask:

  • When have other people blessed your life through service? What feelings do you have for those people?

Explain that Mosiah told his people that if they felt grateful to him for the service he had given them as king, then they should feel much more grateful to their Heavenly King (see Mosiah 2:19).

Invite a student to read Mosiah 2:20–21 aloud. Ask the class to follow along, looking for reasons King Benjamin said his people should be grateful to God.

  • According to these verses, what are some reasons why we should be grateful to God?

  • Why might King Benjamin have referred to himself and his people as “unprofitable servants” (verse 21)? (You may need to explain that people make a profit when they receive more than they give. We are unprofitable servants to our Heavenly Father because the value of the blessings He gives us will always greatly exceed the value of the service He receives from us.)

Invite students to read Mosiah 2:22 silently, looking for what God requires of us.

  • What does God require of us?

Point out that some people might believe that if we keep God’s commandments, we will no longer be indebted to Him.

  • According to Mosiah 2:22, what does God do for us when we keep His commandments?

  • How do the blessings we receive through keeping God’s commandments affect our debt to Him?

Invite a few students to take turns reading aloud from Mosiah 2:23–25, 34. Ask the class to follow along, looking for what these verses teach about our debt to God. Invite students to report what they find.

  • What truth can we learn from King Benjamin’s words in verse 34 about our indebtedness to God? (Help students identify the following truth: We are eternally indebted to God and should give Him all that we have and are. Invite students to consider marking the phrase in verse 34 that teaches this truth.)

  • Why is it important to realize that we are “eternally indebted” to God? (Answers may include that when we realize that we are indebted to God, our gratitude increases, we desire to keep the commandments, and we want to serve others more.)

  • What blessings have you received for which you feel indebted to God?

Invite students to reflect on how they might “render to [Heavenly Father] all that [they] have and are.”

Mosiah 2:29–41

King Benjamin exhorts his people to be obedient to God

Summarize Mosiah 2:29–31 by explaining that King Benjamin declared to his people that his son Mosiah was their new king and that if they would follow God’s commandments as taught to them by Mosiah, they would be prosperous.

Write BEWARE on the board. Ask students to tell about times when they have seen a sign that used this word or communicated this idea. Point out that such warnings can protect us or save our lives.

Divide the class in half. Invite one half to read Mosiah 2:32–33 silently and the other half to read Mosiah 2:36–38 silently, looking for what King Benjamin told his people to beware of. You may need to explain that in Mosiah 2:32–38, the word wo refers to sorrow and misery and the word listeth means chooses.

  • What warnings did King Benjamin give his people? (Students may give several answers to this question, but help them identify the following principle: If we choose to disobey the Lord’s teachings, we withdraw ourselves from His Spirit. Invite students to consider marking the phrases in Mosiah 2:36 that teach this principle.)

  • According to Mosiah 2:36–38, what are the consequences of withdrawing ourselves from the Spirit of the Lord?

  • How might we know if we are beginning to withdraw from the Spirit? Why is it important to recognize this early and return to the Lord by obeying His commandments?

Invite a student to read aloud the following statement by Elder David A. Bednar of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles. Encourage the class to listen for what he said will distance us from the Holy Ghost.

Elder David A. Bednar

“We should … endeavor to discern when we ‘withdraw [ourselves] from the Spirit of the Lord, that it may have no place in [us] to guide [us] in wisdom’s paths that [we] may be blessed, prospered, and preserved’ (Mosiah 2:36). …

“… If something we think, see, hear, or do distances us from the Holy Ghost, then we should stop thinking, seeing, hearing, or doing that thing. If that which is intended to entertain, for example, alienates us from the Holy Spirit, then certainly that type of entertainment is not for us. Because the Spirit cannot abide that which is vulgar, crude, or immodest, then clearly such things are not for us. Because we estrange the Spirit of the Lord when we engage in activities we know we should shun, then such things definitely are not for us” (David A. Bednar, “That We May Always Have His Spirit to Be with Us,” Ensign or Liahona, May 2006, 30).

  • What did Elder Bednar say would distance us from the Holy Ghost?

Write REMEMBER and CONSIDER on the board next to BEWARE.

Invite a student to read Mosiah 2:40–41 aloud. Ask the class to follow along, looking for what King Benjamin wanted his people to consider and remember. As students respond, you might emphasize King Benjamin’s teaching by writing the following truth on the board: If we keep the commandments, we will receive temporal and spiritual blessings in this life and eventually live with Heavenly Father in a state of never-ending happiness.

  • How have you been temporally or spiritually blessed for keeping commandments?

Testify of the truthfulness of the things students have discussed today. Conclude by encouraging students to set specific goals to be more obedient in an area that is difficult for them.

Commentary and Background Information

Mosiah 2:33, 38–39. “Everlasting punishment,” “unquenchable fire,” and “never-ending torment”

In a warning about the consequences of rebelling against God, King Benjamin used the phrases “everlasting punishment” (Mosiah 2:33), “unquenchable fire” (Mosiah 2:38), and “never-ending torment” (Mosiah 2:39). To gain a better understanding of these terms, see the Lord’s words in Doctrine and Covenants 19:6–12.