“The Preacher Was No Better Than the Hearer”

George Reynolds, Janne M. Sjodahl

We may obtain an insight into the religious life of the faithful, which was, in the end, the very sum and substance of their existence, when we find that their lives encompassed the idea they had of equality, which in them was innate. They believed all men were brothers, and that God was their Father. They, before Him, were equal. This conclusion raised them to the highest levels of "Gospel Ideals." (See Sermons by President David O. McKay) It did not spring from any outward sign of worldly gain, nor did it stem from the superficial grandeur of the unbelievers, who had divided themselves into classes and were separated by social distinctions. It sprang from the heart.

The older among the faithful remembered the teachings of King Benjamin many years before, and the others, too young at that time to realize their import, nevertheless, gave heed to his words. They thought of his parting instructions, when, about thirty-five years previously, Benjamin told these same people, that in serving them "I have only been in the service of God." (See COMMENTARY ON THE BOOK OF MORMON, Volume II, pp. 42-45) We can imagine the magnificent effect this sentiment had upon the righteous. It is expressed in the simple, but beautiful words of the inspired writer:

And the priest, not esteeming himself above his hearers, for the preacher was no better than the hearer, neither was the teacher any better than the learner; and thus were they all equal, and they did all labor, every man according to his strength.

Commentary on the Book of Mormon, Vol. 3