|King Benjamin Preaches to the Nephites -by Gary Kapp|
1 AND now, king Benjamin thought it was expedient, after having finished speaking to the people, that he should take the names of all those who had entered into a covenant with God to keep his commandments.
2 And it came to pass that there was not one soul, except it were little children, but who had entered into the covenant and had taken upon them the name of Christ.
3 And again, it came to pass that when king Benjamin had made an end of all these things, and had consecrated his son Mosiah to be a ruler and a king over his people, and had given him all the charges concerning the kingdom, and also had appointed priests to teach the people, that thereby they might hear and know the commandments of God, and to stir them up in remembrance of the oath which they had made, he dismissed the multitude, and they returned, every one, according to their families, to their own houses. (emphasis added)Have you ever asked yourself, are there any examples found in the Book of Mormon of Nephites from King Benjamin's kingdom who stayed faithful to the sacred covenant which according to this scripture, each of those mature enough to do so, were exhorted by their king to so do?
In verse three above, it is mentioned that King Benjamin had appointed:
. . ."priests to teach the people, that thereby they might hear and know the commandments of God, and to stir them up in remembrance of the oath which they had made."Surely, in my humble opinion, inasmuch as we are told in verse two above that all of the adults made that covenant, that on their own or with the help of King Benjamin's priests mentioned in the quote just above, strove mightily to live as they had covenanted. Most likely there were some who eventually fell away, but good King Benjamin appeared to have done everything possible to prevent that from happening, to the best of his great ability.
According to the approximate dates given in our Books of Mormon at the bottom of each page, about twenty four years had already concluded when we begin reading about King Noah who was living very unrighteously, and Abinadi who had developed into a prophet of the Lord Jesus Christ who was called upon by the Lord to seriously confront King Noah because of his wickedness and then to repeat that unsuccessful confrontation again two years later!
Remember, those Nephites were Israelites and were acting much like Israelites did back in their original homeland of Israel (Palestine) far from Central America to where the Lord God had directed them beginning in about 600 B.C.
Geographic information alluded to in the Book of Mormon leads me to surmise that King Zeniff who discovered and then stayed in the land of Lehi-Nephi where his direct ancestor Nephi, son of Lehi had moved to, (to avoid continuing open conflict with Nephi's stubborn older brothers Laman and Lemuel); was not unreasonably far from Zarahemla where King Benjamin's kingdom was located.
It seems reasonable to assume that there was subsequent contact between the people of Zarahemla (Kings Benjamin and Mosiah's land) and then King Zeniff's and subsequently King Noah's land, the land of Lehi-Nephi. This would have allowed for the Prophet Abinadi to have moved there from Zarahemla.
In answering my question (found just under the quote from verse 3 of above), I believe that possibly we have at the very least, the example of Abinadi to show that there was one Nephite who took his covenant with the Lord Jesus Christ very seriously which was urged upon them by their outgoing King Benjamin, seriously enough to have become a prophet of the Lord Jesus Christ (who was to eventually visit the Nephite-Lamanite people after His death and resurrection!)
Then we have the example of King Noah who willfully began living wickedly. It seems to me that there is evidence in the Book of Mosiah that Noah might have been a "spoiled Brat" of a basically righteous King who had gone through much time- consuming tribulation (thus neglecting to raise properly his son, Noah), to find the Land of "Lehi-Nephi" and then to settle there along with all of his people. The ages of the two, Abinadi and King Noah, are not given.
However, Arnold Friberg, a very fastidious painter, in his painting which I show in the main part of this post, appears to indicate that King Noah was much younger than Abinadi.
Possibly Noah was a young child and unable to make a covenant with the Lord that King Benjamin requested. We are told by the Prophet, Alma (the younger), in the Book of Mosiah Chapter 26: 1-5:
Mosiah 26: 1 NOW it came to pass that there were many of the rising generation that could not understand the words of king Benjamin, being little children at the time he spake unto his people; and they did not believe the tradition of their fathers.
2 They did not believe what had been said concerning the resurrection of the dead, neither did they believe concerning the coming of Christ.
3 And now because of their unbelief they could not understand the word of God; and their hearts were hardened.
4 And they would not be baptized; neither would they join the church. And they were a separate people as to their faith, and remained so ever after, even in their carnal and sinful state; for they would not call upon the Lord their God.
5 And now in the reign of Mosiah they were not half so numerous as the people of God; but because of the dissensions among the brethren they became more numerous.In any event there were surely very many who took seriously the covenants they had made with the Lord at the suggestion of their loving and righteous king, Benjamin!
I will now give you the opportunity of viewing one of my past posts which I just refurbished in which I deal with Abinadi and King Noah. I'm confident that each of you, after experiencing that post, will praise the Lord that Abinadi kept the covenants which most likely had been urged upon him by his and his family's former king, Benjamin!
Now I have a Mormon Message which I feel fits Today's Theme. It especially fits the need most of us have in paying proper attention to the needs of our children and grandchildren.
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