Friday, April 27, 2012

OF KINGS AND KINGDOMS


Cody F Miller
 A question was asked in my Primary class concerning “all of the kings” in the Book of Mormon. One of my students asked” What’s up with all of the Kings in the book of Mormon?” Who is appointing these men to be Kings of their domain? I said: Great question!! Let’s find out what’s really going on. We have been studying the records of various kings and rulers in the book of Mosiah, particularly King Benjamin, King Mosiah II, Zenieff, King Noah and King Limhi.
The girls were particularly interested in how these men were chosen to be king. It obviously wasn’t a democratic process.  Were they the oldest sons or were they the “best” son, meaning the favorite son.  What prompted either their fathers to pass the kingship to them, or in Limhi’s case, why did the people choose him? Why was Noah made King, when he was so obviously “bad to the bone?” Now the conversation veered to signs, what was the sign that indicated a good king was chosen, or rather if a King was chosen and approved by God?
These were some great questions and before the bell rang, we were able to hash out a few answers.
First; we all agreed that the best example of a King is our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. We also determined that if all things are done in order, the passing of the kingship is patriarchal in design and nature. 


Second; In the book of Mormon, in our reading up to Mosiah, several "kings" stand out. Nephi was promised to be a "ruler, and a teacher" over his brethren. He seemed to be uncomfortable with the title of "king", but he served his people as a prophet and non-king type of ruler, as did his brother Jacob. King Benjamen who also served his people in this manner, was consecrated by his father King Mosiah 1. His son Mosiah 2 endeavored to follow his father's example. At the opposite end of the spectrum was what I would call "pretenders" to the throne. These were the likes of Zeniff who was "elected" king by his following. He later conferred the throne to "one of his sons", Noah. I often wonder about that telling terminology "One of my sons"
Mosiah 10:22 And now I, being old, did confer the kingdom upon one of my sons; therefore, I say no more. And my the Lord bless my people. Amen.
And here is where the trouble started: 
Mosiah 11:1 And now it came to pass that Zeniff conferred the kingdom upon Noah,one of his sons; therefore Noah began to reign in his stead: and he did not walk in the ways of his father.
And it got worse:
Mosiah 11:2 For behold, he did not keep the commandments of God, but he did walk after the desires of his own heart. And he had many wives and concubines. And he did cause the people to commit sin, and do that which was abominable in the sight of the Lord. Yea, and they did commit whoredoms and all manner of wickedness.
 Noah had a son named  Limhi. Despite the fatal character flaws of his father, there was hope for Limhi and the people he would eventually serve. He had compassion for his fellow beings, even his father:
Mosiah 19:17And now, Limhi was desirous that his father should not be destroyed; nevertheless, Limhi was not ignorant of the iniquities of his father, he himself being a just man.
Mosiah 19:26 And also Limhi, being the son of the king, having the kingdom conferred upon him by the people. made an oath unto the king of the Lamanites that his people should pay tribute unto him, even one half of all they possessed. 
In contrast, King Benjamin
Words of Mormon 1:17 For behold, king Benjamin was a holy man, and he did reign over his people in righteousness; and there were many holy men in the land, and they did speak the word of God with power and with authority; and they did use much sharpness because of the stiffneckedness of the people
18 Wherefore with the help of these, king Benjamin, by laboring with all the might of his body and the faculty of his whole soul, and also the prophets, did once more establish peace in the land.
King Benjamin was a "type" of Christ, where as king Noah was a "shadow" or precursor of events that included killing God's prophets, overthrowing the doctrine of Christ and leading away God's people from the truth and causing them to eventually dwindle in unbelief.   


So who is King?
The original “order” for kings to be chosen was from God. Neither the Hebrew kings nor the Nephite or Lamanite kings, etc  did not rule in their own right, or in name of” the people who had chosen them, but partly as servants and ““partly as representatives of  Jehovah, the true King of Israel” 
In the beginning: (Pearl of Great Price)
Abraham 3:22-23
22: Now the Lord had shown unto me, Abraham, the intelligences that were organized before the world was; and among all these were many of the noble and great ones:
23 And God saw these souls that they were good, and he stood in the midst of them, and he said: These I will make my rulers: for he stood among those that were spirits and he saw that they were good; and he said unto me : “Abraham, thou art one of them; thou was chosen before thou was born.
Moses 4:2 But behold my Beloved Son, which was my Beloved and Chosen from the beginning, said unto me: Father, thy will be done
So there is the possibility of the coronation of Jesus during that great pre-mortal council. Two of God’s son’s position themselves to be the Chosen of God, to rule and reign; Lucifer and Jehovah.
Abraham: 3:27 And the Lord said: Whom shall I send? And one answered like unto the Son of Man: Here am I, send me. And another answered and said: Here am I, send me. And the Lord said: I will send the first.
So the first volunteer was of course Jesus. But the second was a sore loser, maybe he could have supported his brother, but he did not
Abraham 3:28 and the second was angry, and kept not his first estate, and at that day, many followed after him.
So now the kingdom of God is established, and a King has been chosen. There was a war in heaven and the bad son was cast out. The new King had a lot of work to do. This King will be both Creator/Father of all mankind, and now a Savior .

The announcement:
Isaiah: 9:6-7
6 For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder; and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, The Mighty God, The Everlasting Father, and the Prince of peace.
7 Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even forever. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will perform this. 
The confirmation:
Luke 3:21-22
21 When all the people were baptized, it came to pass that Jesus also was baptized; and while He prayed, the heaven was opened.
 22 And the Holy Spirit descended in bodily form like a dove upon Him, and a voice came from heaven which said, “You are My beloved Son; in You I am well pleased.”
Psalm 2:6-7
6 Yet I have set my King on my Holy Hill of Zion
7 I will declare the decree: The Lord has said to me "You are My Son, today I have begotten You.
8 Ask of me, and I will give you the nations for your inheritance, and the ends of the earth for your possession  
 The end from the beginning
Revelation 19: 11-13;16
11 Now I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse. And He who sat on him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness He judges and makes war.
12 His eyes were like a flame of fire, and on His head were many crowns. He had a name written that no one knew except Himself.
13 He was clothed with a robe dipped in blood, and His name is called The Word of God.
16 And He has on His robe and on His thigh a name written: 
      KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS
So does this in effect answer the question? What was up with all those kings in the book of Mormon, and even in the Bible? The Lord is good and his mercy endures forever. He has great patience with us his children. We are his inheritance. Even the Hebrew children could not fully appreciate the magnitude of the gift that was being offered to them. Jehovah is King, and yet they reject him.
1 Samuel 8:5-7
 4Then all the elders of Israel gathered together and came to Samuel at Ramah, 
 5 and said to him, “Look, you are old, and your sons do not walk in your ways. Now make us a king to judge us like all the nations.”
6 But the thing displeased Samuel when they said, “Give us a king to judge us.” So Samuel prayed to the LORD.
  7 And the LORD said to Samuel, “Heed the voice of the people in all that they say to you; for they have not rejected you, but they have rejected Me, that I should not reign over them. 
 This is the beginning of a trend that will lead to a spiral, that will eventually spell disaster and doom. But the Lord is good and his mercy endures forever. The first "king" of Israel was Saul, but the first king chosen by God to become King of Israel was David. Again, David was a "type" of Christ. He was without a doubt one of the "great and noble ones, that the Lord had pre-selected for his rulers. The Lord chose him, and bestowed upon him a "new name", he was formerly known as David, son of Jesse, now he would be forever known as "King David", A true king, that for a moment in the history of Israel, he would unite them, gather them back, he would turn the hearts of the children back to their Father.


The word “King” is an integral part of the whole of the name. King David; King Jesus
David a man after God’s own heart; David mean’s Beloved; King David is a full name vs. title and name
Ancient Hebrew Word Meanings
Name ~ shem
By Jeff A. Benner


When we see a name such as "King David" we see the word "King" as a title and "David" as a name. In our western mind a title describes a character trait while a name is simply an identifier. In the Hebrew language there is no such distinction between names and titles. Both words, King and David, are descriptions of character traits; King is "one who reigns" while David is "one who is loved". It is also common to identify the word "Elohiym" (God) as a title and YHWH (Yahweh, the LORD, Jehovah) as a name. What we do not realize is that both of these are character traits, YHWH meaning "the one who exists" and Elohiym is "one who has power and authority". The Hebrew word "shem" more literally means "character". When the Bible speaks of taking God's name to the nations, he is not talking about the name itself but his character. When the command to not take God's name in vain literally means not to represent his character in a false manner. It is similar to our expression of "having a good name" which is not about the name itself but the character of the one with that name.
And finally,
Mosiah 23:7
7 Behold it is not expedient that we should have a king; for thus saith the Lord: Ye shall not esteem one flesh above another, or one man shall not think himself above another; therefore I say unto you it is not expedient that ye should have a king.
8 Nevertheless, if it were possible that ye could always have just men to be your kings, it would be well for you to have a king.
Wise words

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