This has been written for Latter-Day Homeshooling
Did you know that if you read 3 1/2 pages a day, you can read the entire Old Testament in a year? And did you further know, that if you read 3 1/2 pages a day, you can read the entire Book of Mormon, Doctrine and Covenants, Pearl of Great Price and the New Testament the next year?
I learned that in Sunday School while on vacation visiting my sister.
Thanks to this little bit of information and the fairly consistent way I have applied it to my daily life, I have recently found that there is so much more in the scriptures then I thought.
Now intellectually we all know that. But still, every time I read something old and learn something new, I am amazed! And they are so very applicable to our current time and lives.
Words of Mormon 1: 16-18:
“… and after there having been much contention and many dissentions away unto the Lamanites, behold it came to pass the 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.”
There is a lot in there.
First of all, there was much contention. So much so that a lot of people were defecting to the other side. That must have been heartbreaking for king Benjamin. Here was a righteous man who loved his people and just wanted them to get along. He felt for his people the same way that we, as parents feel for our children.
Secondly, not only did he set a great example for his subjects, but he turned to the Lord and his servants for help. What did the prophets do? They taught the gospel. Not only that, but they did so with “much sharpness” and “with power and authority”. They spoke the truth and they didn’t sugar coat anything. The Lord doesn’t pull any punches. He tells it like it is and makes no apologies for truth and righteousness. The people were stubborn and needed to hear it.
Lastly, and what made the biggest impression on me, is that king Benjamin “labor[ed] with all the might of his body and the faculty of his whole soul“. I’m sure he spent many a sleepless night worrying. Hours in prayer. I imagine him clenching his fists in frustration at the petty disputes and hypocrisy. It took nearly all he had in him. He labored with all his physical ability and all of his heart and soul. It was hard work. And it payed off. It didn’t happen overnight. I bet it took years, and in the beginning I wouldn’t be surprised if he wondered if there would ever be peace. But it worked.
Just like in Alma 31:15:
“The preaching of the word had a great tendency to lead the people to do that which was just – yea it… had more powerful effect upon the minds of the people then the sword, or anything else…”
President Packer said “True Doctrine, understood, changes attitudes and behavior. The study of the doctrines of the gospel will improve behavior quicker than a study of behavior will improve behavior.”
By putting these lessons into effect in my family, I have seen a drastic improvement with the behavior of my children. Teaching and learning the Gospel of Jesus Christ invites peace.
I could end there, but I won’t :)
“And even I, myself, have labored with mine own hands that I might serve you, and that you should not be laden with taxes and that there should nothing come upon you which was grievous to be borne…”
King Benjamin, the great king and leader of the Nephites and the people of Zarahemla, was a working man. He didn’t place himself above the people.
For those of us who live in countries where we are blessed to be able to elect our leaders should remember king Benjamin, and how he labored among his people. He really knew what they were about and where they struggled. Too many of our leaders today are the elite and make a career out of being “leaders”. King Benjamin is proof positive that you cannot be a true leader without having mingled your sweat, blisters and tears with that of your people. Leadership is a calling, not a career.
Mosiah 7: 15:
“For behold, we are in bondage to the Lamanites, and are taxed with a tax which is grievous to be borne. And now, behold, our brethren will deliver us out of our bondage, or out of the hands of the Lamanites, and we will be their slaves; for it is better that we be slaves to the Nephites than to pay tribute to the king of the Lamanites”
As we know, king Mosiah and the Nephites at that time would never allow the people of Zeniff to be slaves. But for argument’s sake, let’s say that they had. It would have been better to be a “slave” for a righteous man and people then it would be to be “free” under an unrighteous government. Technically they weren’t slaves to the Lamanites, but they were still in bondage.
Just as 2 Corinthians 3:17 states:
“…where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.”
The Gospel of Jesus Christ is the one and only path to true freedom.
The scriptures are a priceless treasure. There are countless blessings to be had by studying the words of the prophets. I am astounded at the parallels I find in these ancient, sacred writings that can perfectly instruct us in the many trials and frustrations we have in our daily lives. Whether the questions are centered around our family, work, government or society, the scriptures hold the answer.
And during those times of peaceful contentment, when everything in your life seems to be going right, there is so much to learn in the history of it all.
So many words of comfort and beauty. There are messages of hope for those in despair and love for those who are lonely.
I’ll be honest. You may come to find, as I did, that 3 1/2 pages a day just isn’t enough.