So I was going to dive right in to Mosiah, but since we’re talking about King Benjamin here, we might as well jump in where he’s truly introduced: in Omni. Omni is a strange book, again just one chapter. (I remember it being a pretty cool magazine, too.)
Omni straight up admits he has not done as he should have. Wow. But he kept the plates, fought for his people, wrote his piece, and transferred them to his son Amaron. Amaron fairly summed things up in a few short sentences, then passed the record to his brother Chemish, who actually goes to the effort to carve this out:
“Now I, Chemish, write what few things I write, in the same book with my brother; for behold, I saw the last which he wrote, that he wrote it with his own hand; and he wrote it in the day that he delivered them unto me. And after this manner we keep the records, for it is according to the commandments of our fathers. And I make an end.”
He’s like, “Dude. My brother just barely wrote his schpeel, just now, and handed the records to me. What can I say?”
His son explains it this way:
” And behold, the record of this people is engraven upon plates which is had by the kings, according to the generations; and I know of no revelation save that which has been written, neither prophecy; wherefore, that which is sufficient is written. And I make an end.”
I think it’s interesting that he says “Look, the kings have their records and they’ve written sufficiently. What good could come of what I have to say?” And yet he took the time to say that much, and Mormon left it in during his editing for our sakes so we could read it today.
What’s the value here? Maybe we have a tendency to think that what we have to say or do pales in comparison to what’s being said and done by the bigger, better people around us. Maybe we don’t do anything at all & just leave it up to someone else. All of these people were commanded to keep the records and write their histories & they all did that… kind of. Seems they didn’t really take their record-keeping seriously.
(had to continue this the next morning – benadryl had kicked in!)
So the next son, Amaleki, says a bit more. Mosiah was warned to get out of the land, and he did. And after some wandering and guidance, who should they run into but another group: the people of Zerahemla who had also come from Jersualem some time before. The interesting thing is that they were very excited to find that Mosiah had brought along the record of the Jews (the old testament) — something they’d needed and missed. They had no records and had suffered for it — even their language had become corrupt. They had another record (this one on a large stone) of another group of people but didn’t know how to read it. But Mosiah was able to translate it with God’s power. Seems the Lord believes these records to be a big deal, too, eh?
(to be continued…)