Zarahemla Under Monarchial Rule

Benjamin’s Reign in Zarahemla

Omni 23

Mosiah dies, his son Benjamin succeeds him as king.

…and I have lived to see his death; and Benjamin, his son, reigneth in his stead.

Omni 24, Words of Mormon 12–14

The Lamanites make multiple invasion attempts during Benjamin’s reign, but he is successful in keeping them out.

And behold, I have seen, in the days of king Benjamin, a serious war and much bloodshed between the Nephites and the Lamanites. But behold, the Nephites did obtain much advantage over them; yea, insomuch that king Benjamin did drive them out of the land of Zarahemla.


And now, concerning this king Benjamin— he had somewhat of contentions among his own people. And it came to pass also that the armies of the Lamanites came down out of the land of Nephi, to battle against his people.

But behold, king Benjamin gathered together his armies, and he did stand against them; and he did fight with the strength of his own arm, with the sword of Laban. And in the strength of the Lord they did contend against their enemies, until they had slain many thousands of the Lamanites. And it came to pass that they did contend against the Lamanites until they had driven them out of all the lands of their inheritance.

Mosiah 1:1, Omni 25–26,30, Words of Mormon 10

Zarahemla enjoys a period of peace, and Amaleki invites his readers to come unto Christ—Amaleki then passes the Nephite records on to King Benjamin.

And now there was no more contention in all the land of Zarahemla, among all the people who belonged to king Benjamin, so that king Benjamin had continual peace all the remainder of his days.


And it came to pass that I began to be old; and, having no seed, and knowing king Benjamin to be a just man before the Lord, wherefore, I shall deliver up these plates unto him, exhorting all men to come unto God, the Holy One of Israel, and believe in prophesying, and in revelations, and in the ministering of angels, and in the gift of speaking with tongues, and in the gift of interpreting languages, and in all things which are good; for there is nothing which is good save it comes from the Lord; and that which is evil cometh from the devil.

And now, my beloved brethren, I would that ye should come unto Christ, who is the Holy One of Israel, and partake of his salvation, and the power of his redemption. Yea, come unto him, and offer your whole souls as an offering unto him, and continue in fasting and praying, and endure to the end; and as the Lord liveth ye will be saved.


And I am about to lie down in my grave; and these plates are full. And I make an end of my speaking.


Wherefore, it came to pass that after Amaleki had delivered up these plates into the hands of king Benjamin, he took them and put them with the other plates, which contained records which had been handed down by the kings, from generation to generation until the days of king Benjamin.

Words of Mormon 15–18

Apostates and detractors harass the people, but Benjamin rules in righteousness, and is able to maintain peace and preach the word of God alongside other prophets.

And it came to pass that after there had been false Christs, and their mouths had been shut, and they punished according to their crimes; And after there had been false prophets, and false preachers and teachers among the people, and all these having been punished according to their crimes; and after there having been much contention and many dissensions away unto the Lamanites, behold, it came to pass that king Benjamin, with the assistance of the holy prophets who were among his people—

For behold, king Benjamin was a holy man, and he did reign over his people in righteousness; and there were many holy men in the land, and they did speak the word of God with power and with authority; and they did use much sharpness because of the stiffneckedness of the people—

Wherefore, with the help of these, king Benjamin, by laboring with all the might of his body and the faculty of his whole soul, and also the prophets, did once more establish peace in the land.

Mosiah 1:2

Benjamin has three sons: Mosiah, Helorum and Helaman—he educates them well, and teaches them about their progenitors’ prophecies.

And it came to pass that he had three sons; and he called their names Mosiah, and Helorum, and Helaman. And he caused that they should be taught in all the language of his fathers, that thereby they might become men of understanding; and that they might know concerning the prophecies which had been spoken by the mouths of their fathers, which were delivered them by the hand of the Lord.

Mosiah 1:3–8

Benjamin teaches his sons from the brass plates, and emphasizes how important scriptural records are to the spiritual welfare of a society.

And he also taught them concerning the records which were engraven on the plates of brass, saying:

And many more things did king Benjamin teach his sons, which are not written in this book.

Mosiah 1:9–14

Benjamin grows old, and he asks his son Mosiah to issue a proclamation across the land, requesting the people to gather together, so Benjamin can speak to them about the transfer of kingship.

And it came to pass that after king Benjamin had made an end of teaching his sons, that he waxed old, and he saw that he must very soon go the way of all the earth; therefore, he thought it expedient that he should confer the kingdom upon one of his sons. Therefore, he had Mosiah brought before him; and these are the words which he spake unto him, saying:

Mosiah 1:15

Benjamin briefs Mosiah regarding the responsibilities of kingship.

And it came to pass that after king Benjamin had made an end of these sayings to his son, that he gave him charge concerning all the affairs of the kingdom.

Mosiah 1:16

Benjamin then gives Mosiah the plates of Nephi, the brass plates, the sword of Laban, and the Liahona.

And moreover, he also gave him charge concerning the records which were engraven on the plates of brass; and also the plates of Nephi; and also, the sword of Laban, and the ball or director, which led our fathers through the wilderness, which was prepared by the hand of the Lord that thereby they might be led, every one according to the heed and diligence which they gave unto him.

Mosiah 1:18

Mosiah carries out his father’s request and issues the proclamation.

And now, it came to pass that Mosiah went and did as his father had commanded him, and proclaimed unto all the people who were in the land of Zarahemla that thereby they might gather themselves together, to go up to the temple to hear the words which his father should speak unto them.

Mosiah 2:1–2

In response to the proclamation, the people of Zarahemla gather at the temple.

And it came to pass that after Mosiah had done as his father had commanded him, and had made a proclamation throughout all the land, that the people gathered themselves together throughout all the land, that they might go up to the temple to hear the words which king Benjamin should speak unto them. And there were a great number, even so many that they did not number them; for they had multiplied exceedingly and waxed great in the land.

Mosiah 2:3–4

People bring sacrifices to offer as a token of gratitude to God.

And they also took of the firstlings of their flocks, that they might offer sacrifice and burnt offerings according to the law of Moses; And also that they might give thanks to the Lord their God, who had brought them out of the land of Jerusalem, and who had delivered them out of the hands of their enemies, and had appointed just men to be their teachers, and also a just man to be their king, who had established peace in the land of Zarahemla, and who had taught them to keep the commandments of God, that they might rejoice and be filled with love towards God and all men.

Mosiah 2:5–7

Families set up their tents outside the temple in order to hear Benjamin.

And it came to pass that when they came up to the temple, they pitched their tents round about, every man according to his family, consisting of his wife, and his sons, and his daughters, and their sons, and their daughters, from the eldest down to the youngest, every family being separate one from another.

And they pitched their tents round about the temple, every man having 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; For the multitude being so great that king Benjamin could not teach them all within the walls of the temple, therefore he caused a tower to be erected, that thereby his people might hear the words which he should speak unto them.

Mosiah 2:8

Due to the large number of attendees, not everyone could hear, so Benjamin ordered that his words be written and promptly distributed to those present.

And it came to pass that he began to speak to his people from the tower; and they could not all hear his words because of the greatness of the multitude; therefore he caused that the words which he spake should be written and sent forth among those that were not under the sound of his voice, that they might also receive his words.

Mosiah 6:1–2

Benjamin records the names of all those who entered into the covenant.

And now, king Benjamin thought it was expedient, after having finished speaking to the people, that he should take the names of all those who had entered into a covenant with God to keep his commandments. And it came to pass that there was not one soul, except it were little children, but who had entered into the covenant and had taken upon them the name of Christ.