One day, while perusing my scriptures, I noticed that when I marked passages that were interesting to me, I didn’t usually mark entire verses, but phrases within a verse. Sometimes I would only mark two words, or three words at a time. Sermons don’t have to be long, sometimes they can be as brief as a sentence. Here is one of my favorite “Sermons in a Sentence:”
King Benjamin’s speech is a treasure, and this phrase is one of its gems. In only five words, King Benjamin confronts the idea of “works righteousness,” or of salvation by works alone, by asking, “Are we not all beggars?” Not one of us can approach the Lord and demand eternal life based on our own merits. We simply don’t have what it takes. When it comes to our salvation, we cannot earn it or demand it. The Golden Rule teaches that we should do unto others as we would have them do unto us. But King Benjamin admonishes his listeners to do more—to do unto others as God has done unto them, to be merciful and impart of their substance one to another, just as God has been merciful and imparted salvation to us. Thus, our works are necessary, but not sufficient (see Moroni 10:32). Our righteous works are fruits of the Spirit; they are a result, not a cause, of our being forgiven and converted to Christ. Our works will assist us in becoming what the Lord wants us to become, but, as Moroni taught, we must rely “alone upon the merits of Christ, who [is] the author and the finisher of [our] faith” (Moroni 6:4).
You’ve been reading an excerpt from the book, “Sermons in a Sentence.”
Greg Baker says
I’m excited about this website, I’m a big fan! I loved the short message in your sermons in a sentence: “are we not all beggars?” Life is very busy, people often don’t have time for lengthy religious discussions. We really do need to arm ourselves with an arsenal of very contemplative “elevator pitches” with which to share the gospel. I could definitely see a short quote/phrase like this burning in one’s mind, pricking at the curiosity to learn the deeper meaning of it. Hopefully it would ignite a conversation either in the moment or at a later more convenient time to discuss one of the many treasures of the Book of Mormon and a small morsel of the Gospel of Jesus Christ 🙂
hi Kapatid na Juan. I’m from Philippines and I really love the article that you wrote about the sermon of King Benjamin. but I have a question since you know the situation here in the Philippines that in almost all cities here, we can see a lot of beggars. My question is, what is your opinion on how to deal with all the beggars who ask for money? I sometimes give money to those who beg from me as much as I can but I cannot give all my money to every beggar that i encounter. I would like to always obey what the lord commands but some times, I don’t know if I can cater all the beggars here in the Philippines. Can you enlighten me on how to deal with this situation and what would be the best way to help the beggars here in the Philippines. I would appreciate your answers. By the way, I always like your talks since I have learned a lot from you. Thanks for talking time to write those talks. 🙂