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Book of Mormon Study Guide #16

Ye Shall Be Called the Children of Christ
“Mosiah 4: 2
“And they have viewed themselves in their own carnal state, even
less than the dust of the earth”
Upon first reading this verse and others in this chapter (v 5) it can seem as though
man is worthless and of no value to God, a teaching that we know to be absolutely
false. So what is going on here? These scriptures are proclaiming that the natural or
fallen man is less than the dust of the earth because even the elements of the earth
respond to God’s voice, while the natural man does not. The natural and fallen man is
disobedient. He proceeds on his own sinful way, ignoring God’s goodness to him and the
indebtedness that we owe him. Thus, in this context, the dust of the earth is more
obedient and more righteous than is a sinful man.
Mosiah 4:9
Joseph Smith taught that a correct idea of the character of God is necessary in order
to exercise faith unto life and salvation. “Without the knowledge of all things, God would
not be able to save any portion of his creatures,” the Prophet taught, “for it is by
reason of the knowledge which he has of all things, from the beginning to the end, that
enables him to give that understanding to his creatures by which they are made
partakers of eternal life and if it were not for the idea existing in the minds of men
that God had all knowledge it would be impossible for them to exercise faith in him.
(Lectures on Faith 4:11-12.)
Why must we know about our Father in Heaven in order to exercise faith in him?

Even though you may not understand how God works, you know He does. Even when we
do not understand what God is up to in our lives, which may happen frequently, He asks
us to trust Him. He know what He is doing, even if we cannot comprehend His methods
or his timing.
God's knowledge and wisdom are far greater than man's. We are
foolish to try to fit God into our mold--to make his plans and purposes
conform to ours. Instead, we must strive to fit into his plans - and
that takes faith.

Mosiah 4:10 Faith leads to action
“He that repents and does the commandments of the Lord shall be forgiven” (D&C 1:32
italics added). “For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the
light, lest his deeds should be reproved. But he that doeth truth cometh to the light,
that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God.” (John 3:20-21
italics added.) Christ, our exemplar in all things, clothed himself in the simple robes of
righteousness, eschewing the fine-twined linen of those who choose to be served
rather than to serve.

Your faith determines your action and your action determines your results.
James E Faust Believing requires action

Your achievements, however noble they may be, are not important. Your credentials,
as starry as they may be, are of no concern. God is the foundation of this house.
The key question in life is not “How strong am I?” but rather “How strong is God?”
Focus on His strength, not yours. Occupy yourself with the nature of God, not the
size of your biceps. That’s what Moses did. Or at least that’s what God told Moses to
do. Remember the conversation at the burning bush? The tone was set in the first
sentence. “Take your sandals off your feet, for the place where you stand is holy
ground” (Exodus 3:5). With these fifteen words Moses is enrolled in a class on God.
Immediately the roles are defined. God is holy. Approaching Him on even a quarterinch of leather is too pompous. And as we read further, we discover that no time is
spent convincing Moses what Moses can do, but much time is spent explaining to
Moses what God can do. The strength of Moses is never considered. No pep talk is
given, no pats on the backs are offered. Not one word is spoken to recruit Moses. But
many words are used to reveal God. The strength of Moses is not the issue; the
strength of God is.
Why is there a temptation to focus on our own strength rather than God’s?

How can you see God’s character manifest in the way he meets your needs?

What have you been trying to do in your own strength rather than in God’s?

Mosiah 4: 19
“For behold, are we not all beggars?”
Beggars as used in 2 Corinthians means 'vulnerable'. Interesting. Vulnerable as defined in the
dictionary is: in need of special care, support, or protection. Wow. That so defines me.
President Gordon B. Hinckley (1910-2008) counseled us to look upon others with compassion:
“I am confident that a time will come for each of us when, whether because of sickness or
infirmity, of poverty or distress, of oppressive measures against us by man or nature, we
shall wish for mercy. And if, through our lives, we have granted mercy to others, we shall
obtain it for ourselves” “Let us be more merciful. Let us get the arrogance out of our lives,
the conceit, the egotism. Let us be more compassionate, gentler, filled with forbearance and
patience and a greater measure of respect one for another. In so doing, our very example will
cause others to be more merciful, and we shall have greater claim upon the mercy of God
who in His love will be (in Conference Report, Apr. 1990, 89 or Ensign, May 1990, 70).Mosiah
And see that all these things are done in wisdom and order; for it is not requisite that a
man should run faster than he has strength.
Elder Neal A. Maxwell pointed out that we have limited time and energy, so we must focus
on that which is most important:
“When we run faster than we are able, we get both inefficient and tired. …
“I have on my office wall a wise and useful reminder by Anne Morrow Lindbergh concerning
one of the realities of life. She wrote, ‘My life cannot implement in action the demands of
all the people to whom my heart responds.’ That’s good counsel for us all, not as an excuse
to forego duty, but as a sage point about pace and the need for quality in
relationships” (Deposition of a Disciple 1976, 58).

Mosiah 4:30
There is no recess in the struggle to discipline and school our spirits. Ours is the struggle of
a lifetime. Even to the New World Twelve, Christ said: “Ye must watch and pray always, lest
ye be tempted by the devil, and ye be led away captive by him”
(3 Nephi 18:15 see also Alma 12:14 13:28).
Gordon B Hinckley, "It all points up the need to be constantly alert. It points up the
importance of unrelenting self-discipline. It indicates the necessity of constantly building
our strength against temptation. It warns us against the misuse of our time, especially our
idle time. Eternal vigilance is the price of eternal development. In the world in which we walk
we must be careful. The temptations are tremendous. We all know about them. The little
decisions can be so crucial and so everlastingly important in their consequences.

Brevard S. Childs has shown that various forms of the Hebrew verb
zakhor (to remember) occur in the Old Testament well over two
hundred times. He shows that what the Old Testament understands by
“memory” goes well beyond the mere mental recall of information,
though of course that is part of its meaning. To remember often
means to be active, to consider, to keep divine commandments, or to
act. The word in Hebrew thus carries a wider range of meaning than is
common with the verb remember in English. Indeed, to remember
involves turning to God, or repenting, or acting in accordance with
divine injunctions.
Not only man, but also God “remembers.” He remembers covenants he
has made with Noah (see Genesis 9:15-16), with Abraham, Isaac and
Jacob (see Exodus 2:24 Leviticus 26:42), and with all of Israel (see Ezekiel
16:60 Luke 1:72).
Conversely, the antonym of the verb to remember in Hebrew--to
forget does not merely describe the passing of a thought from the
mind, but involves a failure to act, or a failure to do or keep something.
Hence, failing to remember God and His commandments is the
equivalent of apostasy.
Interestingly, words for memory and remembrance also occur well over
two hundred times in the Book of Mormon. This high density is not
noticed by casual readers, but it vividly reflects a religious sensitivity on
the part of Book of Mormon prophets that is similar to that of other
Israelite prophets. Though the range of uses of remembering in the
Book of Mormon is perhaps not quite as extensive as that identifiable in
the Old Testament, the idiom of remembrance in both books includes
warning, promises, threats, pleas, and complaints, and the same deep
connection between memory and action can be found in both. To
remember is to hearken, to awaken, to see, to hear, to believe, to trust.
(See Jacob 3:9-11 Mosiah 2:41 4:30 13:29-30 Alma 7:16 9:13-14 18:10 36:1-2
37:35 46:23 58:40 and compare with Numbers 15:39-40 Psalms 103:18.)
… In such ways the Book of Mormon shows a clear link between the ways
of remembrance or forgetfulness and the blessings or cursings
associated with the covenant people of God. Since one of the main
purposes of the Book of Mormon, as stated on its title page, is to show
that God remembers the covenants he has made with his people (see
also 1 Nephi 19:15-16 2 Nephi 29:1-2 3 Nephi 16:11), it is especially appropriate
that eh renewal of covenants includes a commitment to “always
remember him, and keep his commandments.” as the faithful affirm
their willingness to take upon them the name of Jesus Christ (Moroni
Allen H. Richardson, David E. Richardson, and Anthony E. Bentley, Voice
from the Dust-500 Evidences Supporting the Book of Mormon, pp.

Mosiah 5:2
“We know of their surety and truth, because of the Spirit of the Lord Omnipotent
which has wrought a might change in us, or in our hearts, that we have n more
disposition to do evil, but to do good continually.”
Elder Bruce R. McConkie wrote: “Sins are remitted not in the waters of baptism, as
we say in speaking figuratively, but when we receive the Holy Ghost. It is the Holy
Spirit of God that erases carnality and brings us into a state of righteousness. We
become clean when we actually receive the fellowship and companionship of the Holy
it is possible to receive the gift of the Holy Ghost without being born of the Spirit.
The former is an ordinance the latter is a spiritual transformation. The two can
occur at the same time, but they usually don't. Let's take the people of Benjamin
for example. These people were presumably already baptized. Yet, they are blessed
with a spiritual transformation based upon their faithfulness and the covenant
that they made at the time of Benjamin's speech. Therefore, the spiritual rebirth
did not transform them from carnal to spiritual at the time of their baptism. This
event occurred later, and it is the same for many members today. They are born
again not at the time of baptism and confirmation but after they have made the
decision to humble themselves before the Lord and promise to do his will.
Without the aid of the Holy Ghost, a person would have but very little power to
change his mind, at once, from its habituated course, and to walk in newness of
life. . . . So great is the force of habit, that he would, without being renewed by the
Holy Ghost, be easily overcome, and contaminated again with sin. Hence, it is
infinitely important that the affections and desires should be, in a measure,
changed and renewed, so as to cause him to hate that which he before loved, and
to love that which he before hated. To thus renew the mind of man is the work of
the Holy Ghost.” (“The Holy Spirit,” pp. 56-57.)
Mosiah 5: 7
Children of Christ
Placing Christ as the father in this transformation is interesting, because it
establishes a new bond with the future Messiah rather than the present God. This is
not to say that they were less worshipful of the present God, but rather that the
focus of this special relationship was one that depended upon the atonement of
Christ. This is, of course, no new news to modern Christians who understand a
relationship with Christ and the father simultaneously, but differently faceted. To
the people of Benjamin, however, this was a new concept, with an increasing
emphasis on the future Messiah - an emphasis greater than any other people on
the face of the earth had at this particular time.

Mosiah 5:7
Sons and daughters, take upon you the name of Christ
When we come to Christ, God not only forgives us, he also adopts us.
Through a dramatic series of events, we go from condemned orphans
with no hope, to adopted children with no fear. Here is how it happens.
You come before the judgment seat of God full of rebellion and
mistakes. Because of his justice he cannot dismiss your sin, but because
of his love he cannot dismiss you. So, in an act which stunned the
heavens, he punished himself on the cross for your sins. God’s justice and
love are equally honored. And you, God’s creation, are forgiven. But the
story doesn’t end with God’s forgiveness. . . . It would be enough if God
just cleansed your name, but he does more. He gives you his name. And
because he has given you his name and adopted you, you. Our Heavenly
Father adopted you not because you earned it, but simply because He
wanted to. Knowing full well the trouble you would be and the price He
would pay, He signed His name next to yours and changed your name to
His and took you home. Your Abba adopted you and became your
Father. He didn’t adopt us because of what we have. He doesn't give us
his name because of our wit or wallet or good attitude. Adoption is
something that we receive, not something that we earn.
Read Romans 8:12-17
How does salvation compare with a adoption?

List some advantages of being God’s child and not just His creation

In what ways has God shown himself to be a good father to you?

Mosiah 6:6
And it came to pass that king Mosiah did walk in the ways of the Lord, and did
observe his _________________________ and his ______________________
and did keep his ________________________ in all things whatsoever he
commanded him.
What is the difference between a way, a judgment, a statute, and a

Walk in the ways of the Lord:
practice, form, manner, actions, ideas
Observe the Judgments:
judgment= decision of a higher power. So Mosiah trusted that the Lord's
decisions, did not question them, and went along with the Lord's will
Observe his statues:
Statues are written laws
Keep his commandments:
commandments may come in various forms including written statutes, words
of the prophets, personal revelation
How can you:
Walk in the ways of the Lord?
Observe the judgments of the Lord?
Observe the statutes of the Lord?
Keep the Lord’s commandants?