King Benjamin: Servant-Leader

King Benjamin talks to the people
The story of King Benjamin was another favorite with the children. King Benjamin was not your usual king; he was a Servant-Leader. The kids picked this up right away and we had a great discussion. One boy said that he usually thinks of a king “laying on a couch eating grapes.” He liked it that Benjamin grew his own food.
There is a part in this story where King Benjamin talks to the children. The children in our class seemed to like that part a lot. I’ve noticed they really like it when there are children in the stories.
Here is the story of King Benjamin:

Mosiah 1-4

King Benjamin was a good Nephite king in Zarahemla.

King Benjamin wasn’t like most kings. He didn’t place heavy taxes on the people. Instead, he worked in the fields like the other people. He looked for ways to help his people instead of making them serve him.

King Benjamin works in the fieldsKing Benjamin loved his people and his people loved him.
King Benjamin had 3 good sons named Mosiah, Helorum and Helaman.

King Benjamin taught his sons in the ways of the Lord using the records.

As time passed King Benjamin became old. He told his son Mosiah that soon he would be the new king and gave Mosiah charge over the records, the sword of Laban and the ball of directors.
King Benjamin wanted to talk to his people one last time as their king. Mosiah spread the news throughout the land that the king would be giving his last speech at the temple.

Many, many families came—fathers, mothers, brothers, sisters, aunts, uncles, grandparents. They pitched their tents facing the temple. They all wanted to hear what King Benjamin had to say.
So many people began to gather that they all could not fit in the temple. They had to build a high tower for King Benjamin to stand on, so everyone could hear.

Everybody got very quiet when King Benjamin starting speaking.
King Bejamin told them that he had spent his whole life in service to them. He didn’t brag. He wanted them to know that “When ye are in the service of your fellow beings, ye are only in the service of your God.”

King Benjamin told them that an angel had given him a special message to share. God Himself would come down and dwell in a tabernacle of clay. His name would be Jesus. Jesus would perform many miracles. Jesus would die for the sins of the world.

The people were very excited to hear this prophecy. They believed.

King Benjamin  told the people, “Believe in God, believe that He is, that He created all things. Know that God’s thoughts are much greater than ours. Humble yourselves before Him, pray and repent.”

King Benjamin talked to the parents and the children. He told the parents not to let their children fight and quarrel. Instead they should learn to love each other, and to serve each other.

King Benjamin said, “When you see the beggar do not turn aside and say that he has brought his poverty upon himself.”

“Are we not all beggars? Do we not all depend on the same God for clothing, food and everything we have? Give to those who are in need.”
King Benjamin told the people that they must become as a little child. They should become meek, humble, patient, and loving. They should follow their Father in Heaven’s commandments.
When the people heard these words they were filled with the Spirit of God. Their hearts were changed.

They didn’t want to do evil anymore. They wanted to only do good things, every minute!

Together they made a covenant to always follow God’s commandments.

King Benjamin told the people that now they would be called the “Children of Christ.” His sons and His daughters.
King Benjamin had someone write down all the names of the people that made the covenant. He appointed ministers to help them keep their covenant.

Before the people left there was one last thing to do. King Benjamin appointed his son Mosiah to be the new king.

The new King Mosiah was a good leader just like his father. King Mosiah walked in the ways of the Lord. He worked in the fields. He taught the people the truth.

After three years, old Benjamin died, but the things he taught his sons, and the people lived on.

He had taught them what it meant to have a servant’s heart.

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