Cover image: “King Benjamin” by Jeremy Winborg.
King Benjamin: “I have been chosen by this people, and consecrated by my father, and was suffered by the hand of the Lord that I should be a ruler and a king over this people. And [I] have been kept and preserved by his matchless power to serve you with all the might, mind and strength which the Lord hath granted unto me” (Mosiah 2:11).
President Nelson: “I’ve served in the Quorum of the Twelve under five previous Presidents of the Church. I have watched each President receive revelation and respond to that revelation. The Lord always has and always will instruct and inspire His prophets. The Lord is at the helm. We who have been ordained to bear witness of His holy name throughout the world will continue to seek to know His will and follow it” (churchofjesuschrist.org/bc/content/ldsorg/church/news/2018/01/19/2018-01-1000-a-message-from-the-first-presidency.pdf).
King Benjamin, desiring to speak to his people, sent his son, Mosiah, to proclaim an invitation throughout the land for all to come to a great conference. “My son, I would that ye should make a proclamation throughout all this land among all this people…. that thereby they may be gathered together” (Mosiah 1:10).
President Russell M. Nelson, desiring to speak to members and friends of the Church, sent three invitations throughout the land, via the Internet, for all to come to a great conference. “I hope that every member and every family will prepare for a unique conference that will commemorate the very foundations of the restored gospel” (https://www.churchofjesuschrist.org/study/general-conference/2019/10/57nelson?lang=eng).
King Benjamin’s “people gathered themselves together throughout all the land, that they might go up to the temple to hear the words which [he] should speak unto them… And they pitched their tents round about, every man according to his family… every family being separate one from another. And… every man [had] his tent with the door thereof towards the temple, that thereby they might remain in their tents and hear the words which king Benjamin should speak unto them” (Mosiah 2:5).
President Nelson’s people will gather themselves together throughout all the world, that they might go to their televisions and computers to hear the words which [he] should speak unto them… And they will stay in their homes, every man according to his family… every family being separate one from another. And every family will remain in their homes to hear the words President Nelson and other general authorities should speak unto them.
Their Emphasis on the Name of Jesus Christ
King Benjamin declared: “I would that ye should take upon you the name of Christ, all you that have entered into the covenant with God that ye should be obedient unto the end of your lives. And… whosoever doeth this shall be found at the right hand of God, for he shall know the name by which he is called; for he shall be called by the name of Christ” (Mosiah 5:8-9).
President Nelson declared: “We are very grateful for your testimonies of the restored gospel of Jesus Christ, for the sacrifices you’ve made to stay on or return to His covenant path, and for your consecrated service in His Church…. When the Savior clearly states what the name of His Church should be and even precedes His declaration with, ‘Thus shall my church be called,’ He is serious…. Taking the Savior’s name upon us includes declaring and witnessing to others—through our actions and our words—that Jesus is the Christ.” (churchofjesuschrist.org/study/general-conference/2018/10/the-correct-name-of-the-church?lang=eng).
Their Emphasis on Covenants
King Benjamin: “And now, because of the covenant which ye have made ye shall be called the children of Christ, his sons, and his daughters; for behold, this day he hath spiritually begotten you…. There is no other name given whereby salvation cometh; therefore, I would that ye should take upon you the name of Christ… that ye should be obedient unto the end of your lives” (Mosiah 5:6-8).
President Nelson: Strive “to be endowed with power in a house of the Lord, sealed as families, faithful to covenants made in a temple that qualify us for the greatest gift of God, that of eternal life. The ordinances of the temple and the covenants you make there are key to strengthening your life, your marriage and family, and your ability to resist the attacks of the adversary. Your worship in the temple… will bless you with increased personal revelation and peace and will fortify your commitment to stay on the covenant path” (churchofjesuschrist.org/church/news/new-first-presidency-speaks-to-members-worldwide?lang=eng)
Their Thoughts on Visions
King Benjamin shared his vision: “And the things which I shall tell you are made known unto me by an angel from God” (Mosiah 3:2). Then after King Benjamin concluded, he asked the people if they “believed the words which he had spoken unto them.” They answered “yea” and said: “And we, ourselves, also, through the infinite goodness of God, and the manifestations of his Spirit, have great views of that which is to come; and were it expedient, we could prophesy of all things” (Mosiah 5:1-5, italics added).
I am learning to speak Spanish and trying to read El Libro de Mormon, The Book of Mormon in Spanish. As it happened, my bookmark was at Mosiah 5. When I came to verse three I read: “Y también nosotros mismos, por medio de la infinita bondad de Dios y las manifestaciones de su Espíritu, tenemos grandes visiones de aquello que está por venir; y si fuere necesario, podríamos profetizar de todas las cosas.”
I understood: la infinita bondad de Dios—the infinite goodness of God; las manifestaciones de su Espíritu—the manifestations of the Spirit; podríamos profetizar de todas las cosas—we could prophesy of all things. But grandes visiones jumped off of the page. Rather than “great views,” in Spanish it reads “grandes visions,” meaning to me “large and important visions.”
Then President Nelson’s words in his second invitation to general conference came to my mind: “God loves all of His children and has a vision for each of us. Just as He listened to Joseph’s prayer in 1820, He listens to you and yearns to speak with you through the Spirit” (churchofjesuschrist.org/church/news/president-nelson-extends-important-invitation-to-all-latter-day-saints-in-2020?lang=eng, italics added).
I look forward because of the infinite goodness of God to manifestations through the Spirit this weekend and say with King Benjamin’s people: “And it is the faith which we have had on the things which our king [our prophet President Nelson] has spoken unto us that has brought us to this great knowledge, whereby we do rejoice with such exceedingly great joy” (Mosiah 5:4).