Understanding the Scriptures
|Disposition (v. 2)||Strong desire|
|Expedient (v. 3)||Appropriate, desirable|
|Head (v. 8)||Name of Christ|
|Abounding in (v. 15)||Filled with|
Mosiah 5:7—Why Are We Called Children of Christ?
Our Heavenly Father is the father of our spirits (see Hebrews 12:9). Our earthly fathers are the fathers of our physical, mortal bodies. In his great sermon, King Benjamin explained that because of His atoning sacrifice, Jesus Christ is the father of our spiritual rebirth (see Mosiah 3:19; 5:7). The “mighty change” that came into the hearts of King Benjamin’s people is a powerful example of being “born again” (see Mosiah 4:2–3; 5:2; 27:24–26; John 3:5). President Joseph Fielding Smith taught that Christ “became a father to us because he gave us immortality or eternal life through his death and sacrifice upon the cross” (Answers to Gospel Questions, 4:178–79).
Mosiah 5:8–15—What Does It Mean to “Take upon You the Name of Christ”?
Elder M. Russell Ballard, a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, explained: “Through baptism we take upon ourselves the name of Christ and promise to do the things that He would do, including obeying God’s commandments. In return, the Lord promises to send His spirit to guide, strengthen, and comfort us [see 2 Nephi 31:13; Mosiah 18:8–10]. Perhaps most importantly, He also promises to forgive us of our sins for which we truly repent [see 2 Nephi 31:17]. In a very literal way, those who go down into the waters of baptism have their sins washed away. They emerge from the baptismal font as sin-free and clean as the day they were born” (Our Search For Happiness , 90).
Taking upon us the name of Christ is not a one-time event. President Boyd K. Packer, Acting President of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, said: “Some wonder if they were baptized too soon. If only they could be baptized now and have a clean start. But that is not necessary! Through the ordinance of the sacrament, you renew the covenants made at baptism. When you meet all of the conditions of repentance, however difficult, you may be forgiven and your transgressions will trouble your mind no more” (in Conference Report, Apr. 1997, 10; or Ensign, May 1997, 10).
Notice how different the gospel is from the ideas of the world. It seems to be a common concern of many people to find out “who they are.” King Benjamin emphasized that a more important question would be “whose you are.” To take upon ourselves the name of Christ means to belong to Him by covenant. When our time on earth is through, we will either be “called by the name of Christ” (Mosiah 5:9) and belong to Him (see v. 15), or we shall be “called by some other name” and belong not to Christ but to Satan (v. 10; see Alma 5:38–39).
Studying the Scriptures
Do activity A as you study Mosiah 5.
Explain What Happened
Mosiah 5 illustrates some important steps we all must take in coming to Christ.
Draw a diagram similar to the following in your notebook and fill in the boxes with the answers to the questions. (You will need to draw your boxes larger.)
What was the “mighty change” that came upon the people and why did that change come? (see Mosiah 5:1–4).
What were the people willing to do next? (see Mosiah 5:5–6)
What happened next? (see Mosiah 5:7–9).
Write a modern example of how becoming a son or daughter of Christ spiritually would affect a person’s day-to-day actions.