So at the beginning of Mosiah 4 we find King Benjamin looking out over a great number of people bowed down to the earth in overwhelming reverence for God. King Benjamin's previous words have found their place in ready and willing hearts. In godly sorrow and from the depths of sincere humility, the people honestly face and admit their weaknesses and failings. Convinced of their own hopeless and helpless state without Him, they come to a place of genuine surrender to their need for God. As with one voice, they cry out unto the name and personage of the Son of God, even Jesus Christ, that His atoning blood be applied to them. (v.2) And immediately they receive a remission of their sins and are overwhelmed in a sense of peace--even His own peace. And all this because "of the exceeding faith which they had in Jesus Christ," that He could deliver them. (v.3)
Seeing this mighty change from self and sin-centeredness to God-centeredness, King Benjamin begins to rehearse to them again the conditions upon which they can retain what they have now obtained. His is the classic example of the perfect teacher--He tells his students what he's going to teach them, teaches them, and then, seeing they are taught, repeats his message again. Beginning in verse 6 we will rehearse with him what has not only brought on this mighty change, but also what will retain for them what they've so recently been given.
SALVATION COMES TO HIM WHO TRUSTS THE LORD
1. "Salvation might come to him that should put his trust in the Lord" (v. 6). (Recognize and trust the Lord Jesus Christ, specifically.)
Jehovah of the Old Testament, Christ of the New Testament and "the Lord" of the Book of Mormon are the same individual (Helaman 14:12, 3 Nephi 15:5). Nephi, Jacob, Enos, Benjamin, and later Alma, the brother of Jared, Mormon and Moroni - all these men, even like Adam, Abraham, Moses, Peter, James and John had a "working, walking," intimately personal relationship with Him, even the Lord Jesus Christ. While they kept the supremacy of the Father always in perspective, they even addressed many of their prayers to Christ, especially the ones of the heart, uttered in the inner mind or spirit. (Enos 1:2, 4, and 10; Mosiah 2:19; Alma 36:18.)
Each discovered in turn (even as we must) that the Son is the member of the Godhead sent by the Father to represent Him in full authority and power, as the "mediator of the new covenant" (D&C 107:18-19), and that it is the Son whose words are conveyed to us by the Holy Ghost (Moses 5:9) and will lead us along in ALL things whatsoever we should do (2 Nephi 32:3).
For us to work with the Son, to talk to Him, visualize Him, walk with Him, love Him with all our heart, might, mind and strength, delights the Father (Colossians 1:19). He knows full well that the Beloved Son will attribute all glory, honor and power to the Father (Matthew 6:13). There is no jealousy between them. They are, along with the Holy Spirit that administers for both of them, even as one (John 10:30). They think as one, work as one, and rejoice as one when we become "born of God" (Mosiah 27:28) and become one with Christ (D&C 50:43).
2. "Salvation, through the atonement . . . for all mankind" (v. 7). (Accept and apply the atonement of Jesus Christ to all mankind, [including myself].)
To retain guilt for my own sins past the point of contriteness and confession or to retain resentment (much less anger or bitterness) towards another for his sins is to be in an even greater state of "sin" (separateness from God) than the original transgression. Why? Because to harbor either guilt or resentment is to reject the very atonement of Christ, one way or the other. It is to make His gift, His offering, for nothing.
The Lamb of God offers us the gift of cleansing (John 1:29), the gift of "at-one-ment" with Himself and the Father who sent Him. This is the gift of "good cheer" (D&C 78:18), joy (Alma 22:15), and "peace that surpasseth understanding" (John 14:27). Yet we go about as if there were no atonement made. Filled with fear and anxiety, guilt and shame, we act as if there is a power that is greater to make wrong than Christ is able to make right, meanwhile totally ignoring the assurances of the scriptures that He retains "all power, even to the destroying of Satan" (D&C 19:3). Truly, as it has been so plainly said, "For what doth it profit a man if a gift is bestowed upon him, and he receive not the gift?" (D&C 88:33).
3. "There is none other salvation save this" (v. 8). (Acknowledge that ALL salvation [improvement] from any source in coming [though anonymously] from Jesus Christ.)
Christ is the light "that giveth light to every man that cometh into the world" (D&C 84:46). A lecture on any subject, if it be good and uplifting, faith and hope producing, is coming from Jesus Christ, who is the origin of all truth (D&C 84:45), no matter what source the speaker gives for his material. The fact is that Christ is willing to work anonymously for now. He is calm and secure, knowing that ultimately, not by compulsion, but by enlightened choice "unto [him] every knee shall bow and every tongue shall swear" (Isaiah 45:23). Someday He will stand revealed as the saving force, the original source of everyone's journey towards salvation, whether they began to realize that saving power through Buddha, Mohammed, or the "Great Spirit" (Alma 18:28).
4. "Believe that he is" (v. 9). (Believe that Jesus Christ is a currently living entity, available to each of us personally this very day and hour, through both the Light of Christ, and the Holy Ghost.)
We must get over the "holding pattern" mentality that Christ was amongst us in the meridian of time or will yet be in His second coming. We must come unto Him even now so that He might come unto each of us personally, or we will not "remain" when he comes to the world generally (Ehat and Cook, The Words of Joseph Smith, p. 4). He must become a living reality to us today.
While the past is to be learned from, and the future to be hoped for, we have only this day to live, and "sufficient unto the day is [not only] the evil [the need, the challenge] thereof" (Matthew 6:34), but also the strength, which we can renew each morning in and through Christ. Even like manna, His companionship must be sought each new day. It cannot be saved from the past nor stored for the future. We must learn to trust Him whose way is the way of manna and not of worry. After all, Christ Himself declared His own position in time and power by His very name "I AM" (D&C 29:1).
5. "That he created all things" (v. 9). (Believe that Christ created all things and that He is the instrument of the Father manifest in all creation.