King Benjamin’s Sermon: A Manual for Discipleship by Elder Neal A. Maxwell: Summary Notes

Summary Notes on King Benjamin’s Sermon: A Manual for Discipleship by Elder Neal A. Maxwell

(for full text with my favorite parts in bold, see )

Notes by Nate Richardson (see full text for more, I have bolded favorite parts of the full text here:

-like the mission president there, can memorize Mosiah 2:20-25

-ones teachings, not their biography, is what we most need to become their disciples

-king Benjamins words greatest effect on the world is yet to come.

-Benjamin gives a good speech because it’s not just about his accomplishments

-Maxwell looks at various aspects of Benjamin, one would think that he knew him personally. Maxwell uses knowledge of what makes a society and shows that Benjamin had all those aspects of leadership. Some of those can be taken from textual implications.

-a focus on spiritual over political, even though both are essential, and large parts of his life.

-don’t stop teaching until you’ve reached your audience

-how teach your children to not lust for power? Show them.

-disipline your children or they won’t have faith like Eli’s sons.

-Benjamin tells it like it is, telling the future and the details of how men will treat religion; how good of Maxwell to include examples from Greek and modern secularism to show time and again the secularization of society.

-professonals telling when War will and won’t be are often wrong; only God knows!

-inspired prayer is about desire, not about word count. (*I recall this is when the Holy Ghost comes powerfully)

-prophets say come follow me like Jesus; amen to that, I agree.

-pray to know what are little matters, and what are big matters  (*this could save the soul, pointing to correct action)

-those who are honorable but not consecrated wholly may even be happy, BUT THEY WON’T BE FULFILLED. (*here is the motivation to wake up early, to push ourselves, etc.)

-a large rebuke of who won’t give their all; if you don’t know Jesus, you won’t serve him and you won’t care about what’s important in this life. (*thank God for a prophet who gives large rebukes)

-he lets us know that we aren’t to be consumed in our hobbies; (*no proud man can read this and walk away unaffected, neighther the humble, but the humble has joy in the progress already made, whereas the proud is temped to curse God and die. )

-when we see someone so very weak, we think to always tell them to toughen up, but we are so weak to God yet he comforts us, so likewise we should comfort one another.

-“How difficult it is to teach the natural man, who comprehends nothing more than that which he sees with the natural eye! . . . Talk to him about angels, heavens, God, immortality, and eternal lives, and it is like sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal to his ears; it has no music to him; there is nothing in it that charms his senses, soothes his feelings, attracts his attention, or engages his affections, in the least.”

(Brigham Young, Journal of Discourses (18 December 1859) 1:2; see also Discourses of Brigham Young (Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 1954), 260.)

-Alma 38:12 sums up missionary rules and Apostle rules.

-give people needed praise and recognition. Clothe people in “the garment of praise” (Isaiah 61:3).

-you may want to garden so you can not wear yourself our in discipleship, and so you have unhurried time to ponder.

-Consider these illustrations of the majestic mutual meekness of the Father and the Son.

Deferential Jesus said:

  • “There is none good but one, that is, God” (Matthew 19:17).
  • “My doctrine is not mine, but his that sent me” (John 7:16).
  • “The Son can do nothing of himself, but what he seeth the Father do: for what things soever he doeth, these also doeth the Son likewise.” (John 5:19)

The Father said:

  • “This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased” (Matthew 3:17). (Jesus would have known intellectually how well he had done, but to have his Father say it is something else again.)
  • “And I heard a voice from the Father, saying: Yea, the words of my Beloved are true and faithful” (2 Nephi 31:15). (The Father meekly testified to the truthfulness of his Son.)
  • The Father’s very voice, as we all know, was “‘small” but penetrating, not “harsh” or “loud” (3 Nephi 11:3).

– “there is nothing that the Lord thy God shall take in his heart to do but what he will do it” (Abraham 3:17).; they “watched those things which they had ordered [i.e., their creations) until they obeyed” (Abraham 4:18).