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Book of Mormon Study - Mosiah 4

What a beautiful chapter!

The people have an interesting thing happen to them, that I never quite noticed before. In verse 2 they ask the Lord to "apply" to atoning blood of Christ. They believed. They had faith. But they knew it took more than just those two things. It took action.

It's like knowing that you can wash your hands at the sink. Standing there, with dirty hands, in front of the sink, believing with all your heart, won't get your hands clean. Something needs to happen- action. The water needs to be turned on, or "applied."

In the sink, we know it s simple turn of the knob and pump of the soap that does it.

But, with the Atonement it's a little more.

First, we do need to acknowledge that our spirits have become dirty through sin. Then, we need to stand before Him, knowing that He can make us clean. But, we can stand there, dirty spirits, in front of the Savior, believing with all our hearts, and be healed or cleansed. Something needs to happen- action. The Atonement needs to be "applied."

So, how does that happen?

They did three things: 1) They had humble hearts 2) They prayed to the Lord and gave Him their agency. 3) They received Him and followed Him.

They might sound like simple steps, but they might be the three hardest things to do for us carnally minded people.

That's why, in the last chapter, king Benjamin said that natural man is the enemy to God. I figure this is probably why.

Other principles that strike me are:
v. 9 - believe in God
v. 10 - repent and be humble (also mentioned in v. 9 when he mentions believing that man doth not comprehend all the things which the Lord can comprehend)
v. 10 – ask for forgiveness with a sincere heart
v. 11 - REMEMBER the greatness of God and our nothingness… Humble ourselves… Pray daily… Be steadfast… Blessing: be filled with the Lord of God and gain knowledge.

What are the results of being born again?
• Have joy and rejoice (see vv.11–12).
• Are filled with the love of God (see v.12).
• Retain a remission of their sins (see v.12).
• Grow in their knowledge of God and truth (see v.12).
• Do not want to injure others (see v.13).
• Want to be fair to others (see v.13).
• Care for and teach their children (see vv.14–15).
• Help the needy (see vv.16, 26).

I have heard Mosiah 4:27 misquoted many times. After listing how we are to care for others, we are told to do it in wisdom an order. (We need to have a plan) The phrase not to run faster than he has strength is used many times as an excuse. The rest of the verse is never quoted: It is expedient that he should be diligent that thereby he may win the prize; therefore all things much be done in order. I would discuss what it means to be diligent: STEADY, EARNEST, ENERGETIC.

Culmination of what it means to be changed is in Mosiah 4:30, a SM, completely turning over our lives to Christ, all of our thoughts, words and deeds - the only things I can truly produce. The spirit and power of the address profoundly affected the people of King Benjamin. As a result, they made covenants with God and promised to keep them “all the remainder of [their] days” (Mosiah 5:5).

President George Q. Cannon: “Some people have an idea that because they have entered the waters of baptism and repented of their sins then that is an end of it. What a mistake! We need to have this spirit of repentance continually; we need to pray to God to show us our conduct every day. Every night before we retire to rest we should review the thoughts, words and acts of the day and then repent of everything we have done that is wrong or that has grieved the Holy Spirit. Live this way every day and endeavor to progress every day. We may indulge in many things that are not right, indulge in wrong thoughts, be actuated by wrong motives, may have wrong objects in view. . . .

“Therefore, we need to repent every day and every hour, every one of us” (Gospel Truth: Discourses and Writings of President George Q. Cannon, ed. Jerreld L. Newquist, 2 vols. [1957], 1:164).

What did you learn?


  1. I was thinking about why it's important to help the poor and sick. I know that's what a good heart helps you to do, but sometimes it seems like everything else we're supposed to do comes back to this (sth about if ye have not charity ye are nothing). So I was wondering WHY is this SO important? Best I can figure is because we are commanded to be like Christ and His work is all about offering relief- everything He did, right? In life and death, it all points to alleviating pain or, in the case of the atonement, giving the choice to relieve some of your own suffering. That's why it's a big deal, in a nutshell. -mandy

  2. Great thoughts Mandy! I do think that when we care for others we don't have room in our hearts for pride and selfishness. But I do think that it helps us to practice being like God.


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