The story of King Benjamin addressing his people is great for a couple of reasons. King Benjamin was a great leader who was blessed and appointed by God. And the people who gathered to listen to him were righteous and knew the importance of listening and following the words of their king. (Plus, this lesson idea comes with an activity that includes marshmallows and you just can’t beat the awesomeness of those squishy yumtastic treats.)
FHE Theme: King Benjamin
Scripture: Mosiah 2:1-9, 17, 22, 34, 41, Mosiah 3:2-10, 13, 19, 20, Mosiah 4:6-8, 9-16, 30, Mosiah 5:1-2, 15 (This lesson has lots of scripture to read, so you might want to paraphrase if you have little kids.)
Songs: “Follow the Prophet” LDS Hymn Book and “Keep the Commandments” Children’s Songbook
Story: Start by telling the story of King Benjamin gathering his people (Mosiah 2:1-9). Everyone was called to gather at the temple to listen to the king before he died. There were so many people that King Benjamin couldn’t teach them from within the walls of the temple grounds so he had a tall tower built that he could stand on. People pitched tents all around the temple, facing their doorways towards the temple and where the tower had been built. Then they got their entire family together, from the oldest to the youngest members, to listen to what King Benjamin had to say. But there was still too many people to hear what the king was saying, so he had scribes write down all the words and pass them around to the tents in the back where the people couldn’t hear. King Benjamin wanted to make sure EVERYONE heard what he had to say.
The other scriptures listed above have great examples of what King Benjamin taught the people. I suggest reading through them ahead of time and selecting the ones you’d like to discuss as a family. Or simply read them during the lesson and discuss all of them. Here is a very brief breakdown of each scripture:
Mosiah 2:17- When you serve others, you are in the service of God.
Mosiah 2:22- If you keep the commandments you will be blessed.
Mosiah 2:34- Everyone has been taught about the commandments and the scriptures and can not use ignorance as an excuse for wickedness.
Mosiah 2:41- Remember that if you live righteously you will receive never-ending happiness.
Mosiah 3:2-10- An angel told King Benjamin that Christ will come to Earth, teach and perform miracles, provide the atonement, be crucified, and be resurrected.
Mosiah 3:13- God sends prophets to tell the world of the atonement.
Mosiah 3:19- Put off the natural man and become like a child.
Mosiah 4:6-8- Through God’s love, the atonement, and our righteousness everyone can have salvation.
Mosiah 4:9-16- God created the world and all the things in it, including us. Repent and have faith and you will feel the love of God and gain knowledge of Him. Live in peace and take care of your children, teaching them good values.
Mosiah 4:30- Watch your thoughts, words, and deeds.
After King Benjamin teaches the people these things he then asks the people if they believe that what he has said has come from the Lord. The people “cried with one voice” saying how they have felt in their hearts the change that King Benjamin’s words had on them. They want to “do good continually”. (Mosiah 5:1-2)
End the story of King Benjamin by reading Mosiah 5:15
Activity: Get bags of large and small marshmallows, some toothpicks, and a sheet of paper. As a family build a tower out the marshmallows and toothpicks. The fun part is seeing how tall you can get it before it starts tipping. Then cut the piece of paper into small sections and fold them in half to look like tents. Place the “tents” so that they are all facing the tower. Then you can quiz family members on the story, if they get the answer right they get to eat part of the tower!
You can liken the story of King Benjamin to modern day General Conference. People all over the world turn their thoughts to God and listen to Prophets and Apostles, just like the people listened to King Benjamin.
A simple and quick way to address this is by using “A Prophet Speaks: King Benjamin Primary Talk” from Green Jello with Carrots. With words and pictures, this isn’t just great for Primary talks, but for short attention spans during FHE.
Make sure to end your Family Home Evening with a song and a prayer (but you can skip the treats, because you should have all just devoured a very delicious marshmallow tower)!