By ASHLEY EYRIN
An overflowing JSB auditorium held The Ninth Annual Foundation For Ancient Research and Mormon Studies (FARMS) Symposium on the Book of Mormon, featuring “King Benjamin’s speech”.
Elder Neal A. Maxwell, a member of The Quorum of the Twelve Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, gave the keynote address to audience members on “King Benjamin’s Sermon: A Manual for Discipleship,” pointing out King Benjamin’s wonderful attributes.
“We have no biography of King Benjamin, brothers and sisters; nevertheless, we have his words and these are, after all, the most needed for our discipleship,” he said.
King Benjamin personalized his leadership in many ways. Prior to his great sermon, Benjamin dealt with contention and dissention and gaining peace in the land, “citing, as he always did with all the might of his body and the faculty of his whole soul,” Elder Maxwell said.
“His meekness in the base of his accomplishments marks this man,” he said.
Benjamin did not separate his public and his private persona, he acted the same no matter who he was with, Elder Maxwell said.
“Benjamin was much more concerned over connecting with his spiritual constituency rather than his political constituency,” he said.
Benjamin was also a special father who, among his many lessons, set an example for his children to not hunger for power, Elder Maxwell said.
The sermon is like a doctrinal guide that can be approached and appreciated in many different ways, Elder Maxwell said.
King Benjamin knew of the importance of revelation and sacred records
“How ironical that the last words of King Benjamin were lost on the first generation after him,” Elder Maxwell said.
The problem of illegitimacy In today’s society is an example of why revelation is so fundamental, he said.
Benjamin understood the need for inspired prayers, Elder Maxwell said.
“From time to time, brothers and sisters, you and I, if only innocently, will ask most earnestly for something which is not right or which is not expedient,” Elder Maxwell said.
“As we repeatedly see the submissiveness of Benjamin in all things, it tells us how far along he was in his discipleship,” Elder Maxwell said.
Benjamin’s adoration of the Lord lead to emulation of the Lord, which made him a model disciple, he said.
He was a great example of consecration, because there was no holding back, he said