CLICK HERE to read Mosiah 6.
Now that he has finished his big speech, King Benjamin decided to take a census of the people who entered the covenant (verse 1).
“And it came to pass that there was not one soul… but who had entered into the covenant and had taken upon them the name of Christ” (verse 2).
All the people chose the covenant!
King Benjamin testified, and the people responded by acting in faith.
But entering into a covenant is not a done deal. It’s a process.
The Savior’s love is unconditional, but the relationship with Him is conditional upon our participation in it.
King Benjamin knew it would be good and wise to help the people remember to participate in this process, to remember to keep their covenants. So he “appointed priests to teach the people, that thereby they might hear and know the commandments of God, and to stir them up in remembrance of the oath which they had made…” (verse 3).
In this way, the people were organized by who their teachers were, and by their own families (verse 3).
This is home teaching!
Once the people were organized by families and in regards to their spiritual care, King Benjamin passed the kingdom down to his son, Mosiah (verse 4). King Benjamin lived three more years before passing away in the peaceful land of the covenant people (verse 5).
Mosiah followed his father’s instruction, by remaining true to the covenant. He “did walk in the ways of the Lord, and did observe his judgments and his statutes, and did keep his commandments in all things whatsoever he commanded him” (verse 6).
Like his father, he worked hard and taught his people to work hard. Instead of taxing them to provide for himself, he taught self-reliance by example.
“And King Mosiah did cause his people that they should till the earth. And he also, himself, did till the earth, that thereby he might not become burdensome to his people, that he might do according to that which his father had done in all thing” (verse 7).
The last sentence is maybe the best: because the people acted like covenant people, and because they worked hard to be self-reliant, and because they loved as the Savior loved, “there was no contention among all his people…” (verse 7).
They established Zion.
“I would to God that every soul who professes to be a Latter-day Saint was of that character, a holy temple for the in-dwelling of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost, but it is not so. Is there any individual within the sound of my voice to day, that has received the Holy Ghost through the principles of the Gospel, and at the same time has not received a love for them? I will answer that question. Wait and see who it is that falls out by the way; who it is in whom the seed of truth has been sown, but has not taken root; and then you will know the individuals who have received the truth, but have never received a love of it—they do not love it for itself. What a delightful aspect would this community present if all men and women, old and young, were disposed to leave off their own sins and follies, and overlook those of their neighbors; if they would cease watching their neighbors for iniquity, and watch that they themselves might be free from it! if they were trying with all their powers to sanctify the Lord in their hearts, and would prove, by their actions, that they had received the truth and the love of it! if all individuals would watch themselves, that they do not speak against the Father, the Son, the Holy Ghost, nor in short against any being in heaven or on earth. Strange as this may appear, there have been men in ‘this Church that have done it, and probably will be again! If this people would be careful not to do anything to displease the spirits of those who have lived on the earth, and have been justified, and have gone to rest, and would so conduct themselves, that no reasonable being upon the face of the earth could find fault with them, what kind of society should we have? Why every man’s mouth would be filled with blessings, every man’s hand would be put forth to do good, and every woman and child in all their intercourse would be praising God, and blessing each other. Would not Zion be here? It would. What hinders you from doing this?… When a man of God preaches the principles of the Gospel, all things give way before it, and some embrace it because it is so mighty. But by and bye those characters will fall out by the way, because the soil has not depth to nourish the seeds of truth. They receive it, but not the love of it; it dies, and they turn away. If every person who has embraced the Gospel would love it as he loves his life, would not society wear a different aspect from that of the present? I do not intend to enter into a detailed account of the acts of the people, they are themselves acquainted with them; people know how they themselves talk, and how their neighbors talk; how husband and wife agree in their own houses, and with their neighbors; and how parents and children dwell together. I need not tell these things, but if every heart were set upon doing right, we then should have Zion here. I will give you my reason for thinking so. It is because I have had it with me ever since I was baptized into this kingdom. I have not been without it from that day to this. I have therefore a good reason for the assertion I have made. I live and walk in Zion every day, and so do thousands of others in this Church and kingdom, they carry Zion with them, they have one of their own, and it is increasing, growing, and spreading continually. Suppose it spreads from heart to heart, from neighborhood to neighborhood, from city to city, and from nation to nation, how long would it be before the earth would become revolutionized, and the wheat gathered from among the tares.
~ Brigham Young, Journal of Discourses, Vol. 1