Journey through the Book of Mormon: Mosiah 6 (Stir them up in Remembrance)

1 And now, king Benjamin thought it was expedient, after having finished speaking to the people, that he should take the names of all those who had entered into a covenant with God to keep his commandments.
2 And it came to pass that there was not one soul, except it were little children, but who had entered into the covenant and had taken upon them the name of Christ.
3 And again, it came to pass that when king Benjamin had made an end of all these things, and had consecrated his son Mosiah to be a ruler and a king over his people, and had given him all the charges concerning the kingdom, and also had appointed priests to teach the people, that thereby they might hear and know the commandments of God, and to stir them up in remembrance of the oath which they had made, he dismissed the multitude, and they returned, every one, according to their families, to their own houses.

King Benjamin does several very wise things in these verses. First of all, he realized that covenants and ordinances are a lot more meaningful when formally solemnized. It’s easy to say you believe when in a crowd of people who claim to believe in Christ. It’s far more of a commitment to actually put your name down formally as a disciple and follower of Christ. Solemnized membership rituals such as baptism and confirmation help bind new members to the Church, to Christ, and to their fellow members.

Second, Benjamin has his people take upon them the name of Christ. Bearing the name of Christ is a solemn obligation which impresses on the mind the importance of the covenant relationship with God. When we remember Christ we are much less likely to sin and break our covenants.

Third, Benjamin realized that people are likely to forget their covenants if not frequently reminded of them. Since there is no mention of a sacrament like ritual of weekly remembrance at this point in time, it was ever more vital to set apart priests to teach the people and remind them of the commandments and the covenants they had made.

Finally, the reference to returning to families suggests that the family (likely extended families or tribes) were the primary units of learning and organization. It seems that at this point among the Nephiites the Church was loosely organized with leaders being consecrated among the families to ensure continued obedience and faith. This was a wise practice modeled after the pattern of heaven.

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