Mosiah 2: Service to God

Book of Mormon Student Study Guide, (2000), 73–74

As King Benjamin approached the end of his life, he desired to speak to his people about the gospel and announce their new king. King Benjamin’s speech begins in Mosiah 2 and continues through chapters 3 and 4. This powerful sermon can help us understand the gospel. Remember that this sermon was not given to unfaithful members, but to people living in peace. King Benjamin’s people were faithful members who were ready to take the next step in their progression toward being spiritually reborn (see Mosiah 1:11; 5:7). As you study King Benjamin’s sermon, notice the reasons he gives for striving to become “a saint through the atonement of Christ” (Mosiah 3:19).
King Benjamin

© 1967 Bill L. Hill

Understanding the Scriptures

Mosiah 2

Firstlings (v. 3)Firstborn
Trifle (v. 9)Treat as unimportant
Infirmities (v. 11)Weaknesses, illnesses
Consecrated (v. 11)Set apart for sacred purposes
Suffered (vv. 11–13)Allowed, permitted
Laden (v. 14)Burdened
Unprofitable (v. 21)Unproductive, worthless
Vary (v. 22)Change
Hitherto done (v. 31)Done before
Listeth (v. 33)Desires, wants
Render (v. 34)Give, deliver

Mosiah 2:16–17—Why Does God Require Us to Serve One Another?

President Marion G. Romney, who was a member of the First Presidency, taught:

“Service is not something we endure on this earth so we can earn the right to live in the celestial kingdom. Service is the very fiber of which an exalted life in the celestial kingdom is made.

“Knowing that service is what gives our Father in Heaven fulfillment, and knowing that we want to be where He is and as He is, why must we be commanded to serve one another? Oh, for the glorious day when these things all come naturally because of the purity of our hearts. In that day there will be no need for a commandment because we will have experienced for ourselves that we are truly happy only when we are engaged in unselfish service (in Conference Report, Oct. 1982, 135; or Ensign, Nov. 1982, 93).

Christ healing
Father blessing

Mosiah 2:20–24—Why Did King Benjamin Say We Are “Unprofitable Servants”?

King Benjamin gave two reasons why we are unprofitable. First, everything we have and are is possible only because of God’s gift of life for all of His children (see Mosiah 2:23). We are in debt to Him for our very lives. Second, even when we are obedient, “he doth immediately bless you; and therefore he hath paid you. And ye are still indebted unto him” (v. 24). The most important of those blessings is, of course, the gift of the Atonement. The price Jesus Christ paid to redeem us from sin and death is infinite, a price we never can repay. We should not, however, think that God compares all He has done for us with what we do for Him. He loves us and is delighted with our every effort to serve and obey.

Mosiah 2:27–28—What Does It Mean to “Rid My Garments of Your Blood”?

In ancient Israel, it was common for a community to build a tower on which a watchman was placed to warn the people of approaching danger. If the watchman failed to give warning when an enemy came, he would have been responsible for the lives lost in the attack, or in Old Testament language, their “blood” would be on the watchman’s hands and clothing. King Benjamin understood that his calling as prophet and king was like that of a watchman on a tower (see Ezekiel 33:1–9). If he failed to teach and testify faithfully and warn the people to repent, their “blood” (spiritually speaking) would be on his clothing (see also Jacob 1:18–19).

Studying the Scriptures

Do activities A–C as you study Mosiah 2.

Activity A iconWrite a Description

  1. 1.

    Review Mosiah 2:9–16 and write a description of the kind of leader King Benjamin was, including all the qualities you find in those verses.

  2. 2.

    Why would you like to live in a place governed by such a king?

Activity B Scripture Mastery iconScripture Mastery—Mosiah 2:17

King Benjamin explained that when we serve other people we are really serving God.

  1. 1.

    Why do you think the Lord requires us to serve one another? (see the “Understanding the Scriptures” section for Mosiah 2:16–17 for additional help).

  2. 2.

    Describe a time when you offered selfless service and tell how you felt about it.

Activity C iconPonder King Benjamin’s Teachings

King Benjamin’s sermon is filled with important doctrines that should be given careful thought. Study Mosiah 2:18–41 and answer any three of the following questions:

  1. 1.

    Whose words does Mosiah 2:18 remind you of (see Luke 22:24–26)? What does that teach you about righteous leaders?

  2. 2.

    Read Mosiah 2:20–24. In what ways are we “unprofitable servants”? How do you think God feels about us even though we are “unprofitable”?

  3. 3.

    Read Mosiah 2:25 and Helaman 12:4–13. In what ways might we be considered less than the dust of the earth?

  4. 4.

    Review Mosiah 2:27–28. Why did King Benjamin want to speak to his people one last time? What must we do to make sure our garments are not stained with the blood of our fellowmen? (see the “Understanding the Scriptures” section for Mosiah 2:27–28 for additional help).

  5. 5.

    What does it mean to come out in “open rebellion against God”? (see vv. 36–37). Describe at least two situations in which a member of the Church your age might be in “open rebellion” and perhaps not realize it.

  6. 6.

    In verses 38–41, King Benjamin spoke of an “awful situation” and a “happy state.” What does each phrase mean? Who will be in each condition?