The people gather at the temple to hear King Benjamin’s address, but there are so many that they don’t number them. They come with humble and grateful hearts, offering up sacrifices unto the Lord. They are ready to listen.
Am I ready to listen to God’s prophets today?
What am I willing to sacrifice to hear God’s words in my life?
Their attitude and positioning in a holy place (around the temple) made them able to rejoice and be filled with love for God and all men.
Door facing right direction
I’ve read over this next verse many times and not thought much about it until this reading. And the positioning of the door of their tents caught my attention.
And they pitched their tents around 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.”Mosiah 2:6
Doors are where we gain entrance to something. These people faced their door in a strategic direction, so they could HEAR.
Our hearts, ears, and minds are doors to our souls, places of entrance for knowledge (good and bad) to come in and influence our beliefs, attitudes, worldviews.
- Do I have my heart, mind, and souls facing toward God, so I can hear Him?
- Am I strategic about where I place myself so I can better hear God’s prophets and be influences by His words in scripture?
- Is my door open to God, to allow Him easy entrance…or have I turned the wrong way or closed my door completely to Him?
Strategic Height & Reach
King Benjamin is also strategic in where he positions himself—high up on a tower so more people can hear him as he speaks.
Not everyone can hear Benjamin, even on the tower, because there are so many. So, he causes his words to be written and sent out to those that are far away.
This is like the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints’s Ensign, New Era, and Friend magazines that are available to read each month. Though we can’t be where God’s prophets are at all times, we can read their words (ancient prophets in the Bible, Book of Mormon and other scripture, and modern prophets in the monthly magazines and semi-yearly general conferences where they speak to us, like Benjamin.
Benjamin starts off by telling them not to “trifle with the words which I shall speak, but that you should hearken unto me, and open your ears that ye may hear, and your hearts that ye may understand, and your minds that the mysteries of God may be unfolded to your view.” (9)
To trifle means to treat something lightly, with no respect or seriousness. Benjamin pleads with them to open up instead.
- Open their ears to hear
- Open their hearts to understand
- Open their minds that mysteries of God might be unfolded to them.
He wants them to use all their faculties to get the most out of what he says—to tune into heaven so they can receive even more.
- Are my ears open to truth?
- Is my heart open to the Spirit’s light?
- Is my mind pure so it can receive MORE from God?
Service moves us in the right direction
Benjamin, though their king, doesn’t want his people to fear him or think he is greater than them.
But I am like as yourselves, subject to all manner of infirmities in body and mind; yet I have been chosen by this people, and consecrated by my father, and was suffered by the hand of the Lord that I should be a ruler and a king over this people…to serve you with all the might, mind and strength which the Lord hath granted unto me.”Mosiah 2:11
He saw his calling as king and spiritual leader not as a way to place himself above them, but a way to serve them. What a different world it would be today if leaders tried to do the same, instead of being puffed up by power.
Benjamin tells them that by serving them, “I have only been in the service of God. (16)
And behold, I tell you these things that ye may learn wisdom; that ye may learn that when ye are in the service of your fellow beings ye are only in the service of your God.”Mosiah 2:17
Wow! Do we love God?
The answer is not a yes or no. The answer is revealed through our actions.
Do we serve our fellowmen? If so, we are serving God. If not, we have some repenting and work to do.
Benjamin tells them that if he has served them, they should serve each other. And if he deserves any thanks for what he has done to make them peaceful and prosperous, “O how you ought to thank your heavenly King!” (19)
Do we thank God for all He has given us?
Even in hard times, like with this COVID-19 virus pandemic, earthquakes, tornadoes, economic turmoil around the world, there are lessons to be learned and blessings to receive, if we open our hearts, eyes, ears, and whole souls to receive them.
Being grateful and looking for good might not change our circumstances immediately, but it will change our outlook, bringing hope that ignites positive change in the future.
I’ve been trying to write down five things I’m grateful for each day, to end each day on a happy note. It’s amazing the power gratitude has had on my perspective. Bad things have happened in my family’s life and I long for life to normalize, yet by looking for the good and thanking God for the lessons He has been teaching me, I have actually come to be happier than I was before society “broke” down.
If you’ve been struggling and feel the heavens are closed, it might just be that you need a few twists, tweaks or turns of your “tent” to ensure that your door is facing the right direction—toward holy places and people.
Make a list of the blessings you have right now—this minute—even if all you can come up with is the air you breathe. If you try, and even ask heaven for help, you’ll find there is quite a lot to thank God for…even during hard times.