15 November 2012

Mosiah 1: King Benjamin teaches his sons Reformed Egyptian

Remember how, back in the Book of Omni, the Nephites discovered the land of Zarahemla while fleeing from the evil Lamanites? Well, that's where the Book of Mosiah takes place between 130 and 92 BCE (except for a flashback to 200 BCE in chapters 9-22, which I'll cover in a later post).

King Benjamin was the son of the Mosiah from the Book of Omni. He was a perfect king and the land of Zarahemla was perfectly peaceful and happy during his entire reign.
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. Mosiah 1:1
Benjamin taught his sons Reformed Egyptian so they could read the brass plates. Good thing, too -- otherwise they'd suffer ignorance and dwindle in unbelief.
King Benjamin ... had three sons ... Mosiah, and Helorum, and Helaman. And he caused that they should be taught in all the language of his fathers. 1:1-2
And he also taught them concerning the records which were engraven on the plates of brass, saying: My sons ... were it not for these plates ... we must have suffered in ignorance. 1:3
Lehi ... having been taught in the language of the Egyptians. 1:4
Were it not for these things ... our fathers would have dwindled in unbelief. 1:5
The king told his sons that all the sayings, records, and  plates are true, along with lots of other true stuff that didn't make it into the Book of Mosiah.
These sayings are true, and also that these records are true. And behold, also the plates of Nephi ... are true. ... And many more things did king Benjamin teach his sons, which are not written in this book. 1:6-8
Then it came to pass that the king waxed old, made an end of teaching his sons, and got ready to go the way of all the earth. So he figured he'd better choose one of his sons to succeed him.
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. 1:9
He chose Mosiah. (Just to confuse you, Mosiah's grandfather was also named Mosiah.)
Therefore, he had Mosiah brought before him. 1:10
And gave him all his special things: the plates of Nephi, the sword of Laban (that Nephi used to decapitate Laban), and the magic ball of curious workmanship that was made by God himself.
And it came to pass that ... king Benjamin gave him ... 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. 1:15-16
Then the king called everyone in his kingdom to hear his speech, which I'll tell you about in my next post.

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