A Pattern in the Glad Tidings Shared by King Benjamin and President Nelson

A Pattern in the Glad Tidings Shared by King Benjamin and President Nelson December 5, 2023

I attend a weekly Book of Mormon study group.  I was asked to lead the discussion on Mosiah 3 and 4 this week.  As I read through the chapters last night, I couldn’t help but notice that President Nelson followed the same pattern in King Benjamin’s experience.

At the beginning of his sermon, King Benjamin shared that his divine instruction came during the night.

And the things which I shall tell you are made known unto me by an angel from God. And he said unto me: Awake; and I awoke, and behold he stood before me.

And he said unto me: Awake, and hear the words which I shall tell thee; for behold, I am come to declare unto you the glad tidings of great joy.

Sister Wendy Nelson Shared Her Personal Witness of President Nelson, His Prophetic Calling and Ministry

After marrying President Nelson in 2006, Sister Nelson had, on numerous occasions, witnessed him receive revelation from the Lord during the night, especially as general conference approached. But after he was ordained as the Lord’s prophet, the revelation came with frequency and intensity. “My husband is trying to get every bit of instruction that he can,” she said.

For example, early one Saturday morning, Sister Nelson awoke and knew she was to get out of bed. She was not done sleeping, but she could feel the prompting to “move out of bed now.”

“So I went downstairs and did some family history research and then puttered with some other things,” she recalled. “Two hours later, my husband emerged from our bedroom and said, ‘Wendy, you won’t believe what has been happening for two hours. The Lord has given me detailed instruction about a process I am to follow.’”

Other times the Lord has prompted Sister Nelson to stay close to her husband when he is receiving instruction. “My husband will say during the night, ‘OK, dear, it is happening.’ I remain quiet, and then soon he is sitting up on the side of the bed writing.”

Sister Nelson said she never reads the private messages the Lord has for President Nelson.

Still, “I can say that I am a witness by being present and I am a witness by being absent that the Lord indeed instructs His prophet,” she said.

The Lord heard King Benjamin’s prayers … and President Nelson’s

King Benjamin

For the Lord hath heard thy prayers, and hath judged of thy righteousness, and hath sent me to declare unto thee that thou mayest rejoice; and that thou mayest declare unto thy people, that they may also be filled with joy.

As I read this verse, the Holy Ghost highlighted that the Lord heard King Benjamin’s prayers, judged King Benjamin’s righteousness, and sent a message to King Benjamin that caused him to rejoice.  And because of his prayer and righteousness, King Benjamin could share the glad message with his people so they could be filled with joy.

How grateful I am that the Lord hears our prophet’s prayers, judges of President Nelson’s righteousness, and sends words that President Nelson can share with us so that we can also be filled with joy.

President Nelson

President Nelson said his wish for listeners is actually a prayer that you will “feel the deep, eternal love our Savior has for you personally,” “gain your own personal witness that Jesus Christ is the Son of God,” take full advantage of the Savior’s Atonement by repenting daily,” and “use this holiday season to begin a season of even greater personal worship.”

King Benjamin’s message focused on Jesus Christ’s names and mission

For behold, the time cometh, and is not far distant, that with power, the Lord Omnipotent who reigneth, who was, and is from all eternity to all eternity, shall come down from heaven among the children of men, and shall dwell in a tabernacle of clay, and shall go forth amongst men, working mighty miracles, such as healing the sick, raising the dead, causing the lame to walk, the blind to receive their sight, and the deaf to hear, and curing all manner of diseases.

And he shall cast out devils, or the evil spirits which dwell in the hearts of the children of men.

And lo, he shall suffer temptations, and pain of body, hunger, thirst, and fatigue, even more than man can suffer, except it be unto death; for behold, blood cometh from every pore, so great shall be his anguish for the wickedness and the abominations of his people.

And he shall be called Jesus Christ, the Son of God, the Father of heaven and earth, the Creator of all things from the beginning; and his mother shall be called Mary

And lo, he cometh unto his own, that salvation might come unto the children of men even through faith on his name; and even after all this they shall consider him a man, and say that he hath a devil, and shall scourge him, and shall crucify him.

And he shall rise the third day from the dead; and behold, he standeth to judge the world; and behold, all these things are done that a righteous judgment might come upon the children of men.

President Nelson shared a message which includes names of Jesus Christ and His purpose concerning us

The transcript of President Nelson’s message isn’t available yet, but a video of his message is.

Implementing the glad tidings

Mosiah 4 contains an amazing call to action—an implementing of the glad tidings in chapter 3 which include amazing soul-searching questions and axims like

[A]re we not all beggars?

And see that all these things are done in wisdom and order; for it is not requisite that a man should run faster than he has strength.

But this much I can tell you, that if ye do not watch yourselves, and your thoughts, and your words, and your deeds, and observe the commandments of God, and continue in the faith of what ye have heard concerning the coming of our Lord, even unto the end of your lives, ye must perish. And now, O man, remember, and perish not.

President Nelson related how his parents created a time for his siblings to share presents with a family less fortunate than themselves at Christmastime and encouraged us to recognize our dependence on the Lord by repenting and purifying ourselves.

Covenanting to be God’s People

King Benjamin’s people responded to his glad tidings with declarations of faith and covenantal obedience.  They became Christ’s sons and daughters rejoicing with “hearts forever changed through faith on his name.”

King Benjamin closed with this glorious charge:

Therefore, I would that ye should be steadfast and immovable, always abounding in good works, that Christ, the Lord God Omnipotent, may seal you his, that you may be brought to heaven, that ye may have everlasting salvation and eternal life, through the wisdom, and power, and justice, and mercy of him who created all things, in heaven and in earth, who is God above all. Amen.

President Nelson closed by testifying of the reality of Jesus Christ and His gospel, his message punctuated by the Tabernacle Choir and Orchestra at Temple Square performing Handel’s “Hallelujah Chorus.”

The kingdom of this world
Is become the kingdom of our Lord,
And of His Christ, and of His Christ;
And He shall reign for ever and ever,
For ever and ever, forever and ever,

King of kings, and Lord of lords,
King of kings, and Lord of lords,
And Lord of lords,
And He shall reign,
And He shall reign forever and ever,
King of kings, forever and ever,
And Lord of lords,
Hallelujah! Hallelujah!

King Benjamin and President Nelson both boldly invited their people to

Come, let us adore Him, Christ the Lord.

These lines from the song came to my mind:

Oh, come, all ye faithful,
Joyful and triumphant! …
Come and behold him,
Born the King of angels; …

Yea, Lord, we greet thee, …
— Jesus, to thee be all glory giv’n.
Son of the Father,
Now in flesh appearing;

Oh, come, let us adore him,
Christ, the Lord.

It was cool to see the similarities between the two messages and to know that the Book of Mormon records patterns that are followed in our day, including each prophet exhorting his listeners to overcome the natural man, become perfected in Christ, and worship the Lord as He appears.

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