King Benjamin Appointed Priests to Teach the People

George Reynolds, Janne M. Sjodahl

When King Benjamin had finished taking the census of his people, and had appointed his son, Mosiah, to be his successor on the Nephite throne, as the Lord had directed, and had also appointed priests to lead his people and thereby constantly remind them of the obligations they had entered into to serve the Lord, he dismissed those who had gathered in Zarahemla that they might return to their places of abode.

Here is recorded one of the finest periods of Nephite history. That so many, at one time, pledged their allegiance to the Kingdom of God, and, then and there, resolved to be "firm and steadfast, and immovable in keeping the commandments of the Lord," (Ex. 19)

The covenant they made at the conference held in Zarahemla, raised the followers of Nephi to a glory and a prosperity that had not been surpassed in any of their bygone ages: What to them was once a duty, now became a pleasure, and serving the Lord was their delight. We need not wonder at this when we remember that the Nephites, themselves, were a deeply religious and a goodly people. A goodly people are a happy people, and, let us remember, also, "Happy is the people whose God is the Lord." (Hebrew saying)

Their conference now ended, we can conceive of the rejoicing that resounded in the tents of the Nephites, for, behold, in those never-to-be-forgotten days, when the glorious splendor of His Majesty illumined the understanding of all, they had heard the message of their Salvation through Jesus Christ, coming to them from the mouth of Benjamin.

And, now, before we close this account of the conference held by the Nephites in Zarahemla, 125 years before the Savior was born in Judea, may we offer this prayer:

"O Lord, our God: Thou Who art our Rock and our Redeemer; the delight of them that serve Thee, and the joy of all who do Thy will. We love and revere Thy holy name, may it be hallowed in all the earth, and amongst all people. Hear, Thou, our prayer. Bless every effort made to serve Thee and to advance Thy cause among men. Grant, our Heavenly Father, that Thou mayest be a light unto us in the darkness, and a lamp unto our feet. Teach us Thy ways, and we will surely walk in Thy paths. We recall, that in loving kindness, Thou didst bestow Thy bounties upon Thine ancient people of Zarahemla; we pray, that we, like unto them, may be worthy of Thy choicest blessings; that we, having the same Father as did they, may at all times see in them, our brothers; that we may profit by the lessons they shall teach us; that, as we grow in years, we may grow in grace and in the knowledge of Thy glory, or of that which is just and true. (See Mosiah 4:12)

"May the day come quickly, Father, when thy Will, done in heaven, shall be done upon the earth; when all Thine enemies shall be subdued; when goodness and purity shall dwell in every heart; then will the voice of Salvation be heard in every land, and thy Kingdom fill the earth. Then will the words of King Benjamin, Thine ancient servant, be fulfilled, 'Moreover, I say unto you, that the time shall come when the knowledge of the Savior shall spread throughout every nation, kindred, tongue, and people.' (Mosiah 3:20) Then, but not 'til then, shall Thy peace cover the earth, even as do the waters cover the mighty deep."

With feelings of joy, and with the Law of the Gospel of Jesus Christ in their hearts, the people of King Benjamin departed to their own homes, and carried thereto, the Glad Tidings of Man's Redemption through Christ, the Messiah who was yet to come.

The truths revealed by King Benjamin enlightened every mind, and illumined every path which led to the Eternal Home, and most of these Nephites faithfully walked therein the balance of their mortal lives.

One passage that may describe the joy that filled their hearts is: "Light is sown for the righteous, and gladness for the upright in heart." (Ps. 97:11) The seeds of righteousness sown by King Benjamin found fertile soil in every heart, and grew, as we shall presently see, into a bounteous harvest of them who loved the Lord and sought to do His Will.

Commentary on the Book of Mormon, Vol. 2