King Benjamin’s teachings had a profound effect on the people who heard him. These people exercised faith in the Atonement, repented, and received a remission of their sins. King Benjamin then taught them what they must do to retain a remission of their sins. He declared that we are like beggars because we are completely dependent upon God for our salvation. King Benjamin warned that we must always watch our thoughts, deeds, and actions.
Imagine that a friend asked, How can I know if I have been forgiven of a particular sin? How would you respond?
Study Mosiah 4:1–3, and look for ideas to help you answer your friend’s question. Write how you might respond:
One of the principles taught in these verses is this: As we exercise faith in Jesus Christ and sincerely repent, we receive a remission of our sins. Such repentance is an important element in obtaining joy and peace of conscience.
Typically, when someone asks us a question we want to give an answer. This time, as you are thinking about how to answer your friend’s question, consider how you could answer the question with a question. Reflect on Mosiah 4:1–3 and the following statement by Elder F. Burton Howard, an emeritus member of the Seventy: “When you have fully repented, you feel an inner peace. You know somehow you are forgiven because the burden you have carried for so long, all of a sudden isn’t there anymore. It is gone and you know it is gone” (“Repentance,” Ensign, May 1983, 59).
Think of a question you could ask your friend to help him or her discover how we can know if we have been forgiven.
It may be helpful to understand two terms in Mosiah 4:1–3 as you think about a question to ask. Viewing ourselves in our “carnal state” means recognizing our fallen or earthly condition. Viewing ourselves as “even less than the dust of the earth” means that the dust of the earth is obedient to the commands of God (see Helaman 12:7–8), but God’s children are not always obedient to His commands.
An example of answering your friend’s question with a question may be: Do you feel peace of conscience when you think about having repented of your sin? Are you filled with joy?
Answer the following questions in your scripture study journal:
The people of King Benjamin were forgiven because of the “exceeding faith which they had in Jesus Christ” (Mosiah 4:3). What actions recorded in Mosiah 4:1–2 demonstrated their faith? What attitude and feelings should you have that would be similar to those of the people of Mosiah?
How can you exercise your faith in Jesus Christ as you seek a remission of your sins?
After witnessing his people’s repentant attitudes, King Benjamin taught them some of the things they must do to gain salvation. As you read Mosiah 4:4–8, look for what we must do to receive salvation.
Explain or give examples of how you are trying to do the things King Benjamin described:
“Put [your] trust in the Lord”:
“Be diligent in keeping his commandments”:
“Continue in the faith even unto the end of [your] life”:
After the Nephites received a remission of their sins, King Benjamin taught them how to retain (or keep) that clean and pure state. Search Mosiah 4:9–11, 26, 28, 30, looking for what we must believe and do to retain a remission of our sins. Record what you discover in the following chart:
Retaining a Remission of Sins
King Benjamin taught his people many things, as recorded in Mosiah 4:9–30, but one of the most important principles he taught is: If we humble ourselves before God and strive to develop Christlike attributes, we can retain a remission of our sins.
King Benjamin taught that we must “believe in God” (Mosiah 4:9) and always remember “the greatness of God” (Mosiah 4:11). In your scripture study journal, describe what experiences you or someone you know has had that have helped you realize that God is real, that He is powerful, and that He loves you. Why do you think it is important to understand and remember God’s power, goodness, and love? When you remember these things, how do they affect your life?
King Benjamin described the actions of people who are trying to retain a remission of their sins. Study Mosiah 4:12–16 to learn some of the actions King Benjamin identified. (The word succor in Mosiah 4:16 means to give relief or assistance in time of need.)
In your scripture study journal, write about how the actions described by King Benjamin show that someone is striving to retain a remission of his or her sins. Can you list a few other actions that would show someone is striving to retain a remission of sins? List one or more ways in which you have given succor to those in need.
King Benjamin compared each of us to a beggar, for we are each completely dependent upon God for everything we have. This analogy can help us appreciate the blessings we have received from the Lord. Read Mosiah 4:19–21, looking for how each of us is like a beggar in the sight of God.
Think of your dependence upon God. What is one blessing that you could thank Heavenly Father for at this moment?
After teaching that we are in constant need of help from God, King Benjamin asked us to think about how we should treat those who ask us for help. Study Mosiah 4:26–27, looking for how we should treat those in need.
In your scripture study journal, record your answer to the following question: How can remembering King Benjamin’s teachings in Mosiah 4 help you to be more compassionate to those who are in spiritual or temporal need?
Take a moment to ponder the scriptures you have studied today. Have you felt an impression from the Holy Ghost about what you should do, based on what you learned from the teachings of King Benjamin? Write this impression in your scripture study journal.
Remember that the Lord has a profound love for you. As you repent of any wrongdoings and do your best to follow the Savior’s example, you can retain a remission of your sins.
Read aloud Mosiah 4:30. What is the relationship between your thoughts, your words, and your deeds?
President Ezra Taft Benson described this relationship: “Think clean thoughts. Those who think clean thoughts do not do dirty deeds. You are not only responsible before God for your acts but also for controlling your thoughts. … The old adage is still true that you sow thoughts and you reap acts, you sow acts and you reap habits, you sow habits and you reap a character, and your character determines your eternal destiny. ‘As a man thinketh, so is he.’ (See Prov. 23:7.) (in Conference Report, Oct. 1964, 60).
As you learn to control your thoughts, you will reap the blessing of being more Christlike in your words and actions. In your scripture study journal, write one or more ways in which you can control your thoughts and keep them more Christlike.
Write the following at the bottom of today’s assignments in your scripture study journal:
I have studied Mosiah 4 and completed this lesson on (date).
Additional questions, thoughts, and insights I would like to share with my teacher: