False Christs, and False Teachers, Quieted

George Reynolds, Janne M. Sjodahl

False Christs, and falseteachers, quieted the reign of King Benjamin was also troubled with various religious impostors, false Christs, and pretended prophets, who, with an effervescent zeal, caused much dissension among the people, and, by their preachments, induced some to apostatize. This was a source of great sorrow to King Benjamin, who, himself, was like a father to them, and who also labored with his own hands to set a good example to those over whom he ruled.

However, with the aid of many of the righteous men who dwelt in Zarahemla, King Benjamin exposed to the understanding of his people, the false claims of the self-styled Messiahs, the untrue assertions of the pseudo-prophets, and the hollow teachings of them who attempted to belie the truth. In doing this, unity was restored throughout all the land, peace of mind was re-established, and the worship of the God of Israel, in its correct form, was practised by those who bowed only to the True and Living God. In the event that any of the impostors broke the Nephite law, they were tried, and if found guilty, were punished according to its demands. It must be remembered that freedom of conscience was absolutely protected among the Nephites, and even the civil law was administered with a showing of great mercy in the days of Benjamin, and of his father, Mosiah I, and of his son, Mosiah II.

It is not so stated, but we may presume, that, what we call a “revival in religion” entered the spiritual thinking of many of those lately-consolidated people. To many of them, only recently were the glories of God’s Plan of Salvation made known. The coming of the Messiah to dwell among the children of man was, for them, an event that they anxiously looked forward to. Their hearts were filled with joyous hope. They looked beyond the horizon for that day to come. We may imagine that they, being in such a mental and spiritual condition, were readily susceptible to the deceptions of those who cried, “Lo, the Christ is come!” or, “Behold, a great prophet hath arisen.” We may trace this peculiar form of spiritual activity to an increased desire on their part to learn, and it shows a keen interest in religion among them. To it, we may attribute the frequency with which false prophets troubled the reign of King Benjamin. But, says Mormon, “For behold, King Benjamin was a holy man,” and, as we have said, that with the help of many righteous men who did support him, he shut their mouths, and did again “establish peace in the land.”

Commentary on the Book of Mormon, Vol. 2