Benjamin calls his people to attention, saying he has “things to tell you concerning that which is to come.” (1) That would certainly get me to listen.
These things have been “made known unto [him] by an angel from God.” (2) The angel tells him to Awake several times, for he is “come to declare unto you the glad tidings of great joy.” (3)
This sounds like what the angel told the shepherds at Christ’s birth. Every time angels tell man about Christ, they declare glad tidings of great joy. The best news EVER!
The angel tells Benjamin that he can rejoice and that his people can rejoice too, because “the time cometh, and is not far distant, that with power, the Lord Omnipotent who reigneth, who was, and is from all eternity to all eternity, shall come down from heaven among the children of men, and shall dwell in a tabernacle of clay, and shall go forth amongst men, working mighty miracles, such as healing the sick, raising the dead, causing the lame to walk, the blind to receive their sight, and the deaf to hear, and curing all manner of diseases.” (5)
This is grand, joyful doctrine, indeed.
Benjamin tells WHAT Christ will do:
- Work mighty miracles (5) Christ can still work mighty miracles today. We recently held a world-wide fast for the COVID-19 virus to be controlled, health workers to be protected, the economy to rebound, and life to normalize. Already, I’ve seen miracles in my own heart from this humbling/pleading experience…and I see blips on social media of other hearts around the world being healed as well. I expect to see God work other miracles soon—mighty ones, even—to bring life back to a better normal. Jesus is a God of Miracles.
- Heal the sick
- Raise the dead
- Cause the lame to walk
- Cause the blind to see – This is one miracles I’ve seen as people have come together online during this time of social distancing. Many eyes are being opened because of the hardships they’ve experienced over the last month or so… and Christ is helping them see what is important again.
- Cause the deaf to hear
- Cure all manner of diseases
- Cast out devils which dwell in hearts of men (6)
- Suffer temptations (7)
- Suffer pain of body
- Suffer hunger and thirst
- Suffer fatigue, more than man can suffer
- Suffer close to death, anguishing for wickedness & abomination of mankind
Anything we have suffered—any pain, any heartache, any loneliness, any shame, whatever…Christ has felt that and more. And He has overcome. Our Savior makes it possible for us to overcome as well, if we turn to Him, because He knows exactly what we need and how to succor us because of what He’s gone through for us.
Benjamin tells WHO Christ is:
- Called Jesus Christ (8)
- The Son of God
- The Father of heaven and earth – because He was the executor of the Father’s plan of salvation and created the earth and other worlds under The Father’s direction.
- Creator of all things
- His earthly mother is Mary
- Salvation comes through faith on His name (9) – Again, we see how important even His very name is. Christ’s name is vital to take upon ourselves to return to heaven.
- People shall consider Him a man and say He hath a devil
- People shall scourge Him and crucify Him
- He shall rise from the dead after the third day (10)
- He will judge the world with a righteous judgment
- His blood atones for Adam’s transgression & for all those who sin ignorantly (11)
- He forgives those who sins knowingly, if they come to Him through repentance (12)
Mosiah says that prophets have always told the people about these things “that thereby whosoever should believe that Christ should come, the same might receive remission of their sins, and rejoice with exceedingly great joy, even as though he had already come among them.” (13)
Jesus Christ’s Atonement was retroactive at this point (about 124 years before His divine birth).
The law of Moses was appointed to the people because they were “stiffnecked.” (14)
Many types and signs were given since Adam’s day to point them to their Savior. Abraham was asked to sacrifice His son. Joseph saved his family from starvation and was a type of the Savior. The signs Moses gave Egypt, especially the firstborn son dying unless they left blood upon their doorposts, symbolized Christ’s future atonement. Moses lifted up the brass serpent, which was a type of Christ, to save His people from that plague. But the law of Moses meant nothing “except it were through the atonement of his blood.” (15)
That shows how trustworthy and steadfast God is, how solid a foundation He is, never changing. Even hundreds of years before Christ’s mortal birth, just believing on Him brought about the fruits of the Atonement…even before it happened. God the Father knew Christ would come through and fulfill His end of the Atonement, by satisfying justice. There was no doubt.
And moreover, I say unto you, that there shall be no other name given nor any other means whereby salvation can come unto the children of men, only in and through the name of Christ, the Lord Omnipotent.”Mosiah 3:17
Salvation can only be found in Christ. We take His name upon us when we are baptized, and we renew that vow each week through the sacramental ordinance. We also take upon us His name through temple covenants. Christ is vital to salvation. There is no salvation without Him.
Benjamin repeats several times that we are only saved if we believe that salvation was, is, and is to come “through the atoning blood of Christ, the Lord Omnipotent.” (18)
This is certainly glad tidings of great joy!