There are many parallels between King Bejamin’s speech (found in Mosiah 2–5) and phrases and ideas already present in Joseph Smith’s early 1800s milieu. The first sections focus on phrases/ideas from specific verses.1 The second section looks more generally at Mosiah 2–5, primarily in table form.

Service of your fellow beings

1611 - KJV New Testament (Greek manuscripts around 50-90 A.D.)

“…use not liberty for an occasion to the flesh, but by love serve one another.” (Gal 5:13)

Other books from the 1700 and 1800s

  • “ardently, and zealously engaging in the service of God, and of one another1703 - link
  • “All relative duties, which are the services of God, are also prescribed us; such as husbands to their wives, and wives to their husbands; also we have directions for children to their parents, and for parents to their children; so that while we serve one another, we serve God. These are divine institutions, and not human inventions. The wisdom and excellence of them surpass all others.” 1783 - link
  • Now the best, the only way, to serve your Creator, is to serve your fellow-creatures. The Almighty, universal Benefactor, cannot possibly be profited, or be in the least measure affected, by any thing we do.” 1789 - link
  • “You were created, not merely to please yourselves, but to serve your fellow-creatures, and honour your Maker.” 1792 - link
  • “They will then discover that perennial spring of happiness which has hitherto been hidden from them, and exult in the enlivening fact, that by promoting the felicity of our fellow-creatures, our own is insured, and that we serve God most truly when we serve them and ourselves most effectually as social and immortal beings.” 1813 - link
  • “God hath made men the touch-stones of virtue to each other; if we serve our fellow-creatures to the utmost of our power, believing, as our reason plainly dictates, he hath placed us together for that purpose, we perform the first duties of religion, obedience to God, which includes love and justice to man.” 1820 - link
  • Then only you may be said to trust in God, when, by an honest industry, and active benevolence, you do your best to provide for your respective families, and serve your fellow creatures.” 1824 - link
  • “Your prayers and readings, your meditations and reflections, have surely done little towards the purifying of your thoughts, and the improvement of your spirit, if they have not been the means of subduing the selfish principle, and, by impelling you to benevolent offices in the service of your fellow-creatures, of drawing you nearer to Him, whose sublimest attribute is LOVE.” 1825 - link
  • “Thirdly, ‘That we serve God only when we engage in acts of devotion.’ This is an error of ignorance; for we also serve God acceptably, when we serve mankind in obedience to him” 1826 - link
  • “The first is, that while you perform diligently and faithfully the offices of your various stations - while you provide for the comfort of your children, and your own decent support - while you are good husbandmen, good servants, and good masters of families, you may not be discouraged by any idle fears, that you are not serving God.” 1828 - link
  • “The ministry which you have received in the Lord is characterized by the highest order of benevolence. It is not so much to serve the Lord, as to serve your fellow men, that you have received your ministry; at least you serve the Lord Jesus Christ by ministering to them.” 1828 - link

Compare to Mosiah 2:17 from the Book of Mormon

Joseph Smith dictated this verse sometime in 1829 or 1830:

17 And behold, I tell you these things that ye may learn wisdom; that ye may learn that when ye are in the service of your fellow beings ye are only in the service of your God.

The natural man is an enemy to God

1611 - KJV New Testament (Greek manuscripts around 50-90 A.D.)

  • the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God… (1 Corinthians 2:14)
  • the carnal mind is enmity against God… (Romans 8:7)
  • put off concerning the former conversation the old man (Ephesians 4:22)
  • put off the old man (Colossians 3:9)
  • become as little childrenhumble himself as this little child (Matthew 18:3-4)

1713 - Faith and Reason compared - John Locke

link to book search ‘fall of adam’

  • “…men, since the fall of Adam, have given themselves up almost wholly to the conduct and government of the Natural Man…”

1812 The Works of the Rev. John Wesley - Volume 14 - John Wesley

Wesley was an 18th century Methodist leader, and he cites earlier works by Dr. John Taylor and Thomas Boston (Scottish Presbyterian).

link to book search for ‘natural man enemy’

link to book search ‘put off’ (the old man)

  • “Every natural man is an enemy to God
  • “Thus you see, the natural man is an enemy to Jesus Christ in all his offices”
  • The natural man is an enemy to Christ in his priestly office”
  • The natural man is an enemy to Christ in his kingly office”
  • The natural man is unholy, and loves to be so: and therefore ‘resists the Holy Ghost’”

Other books from the early 1800s

  • “…unless they be converted and become as little children, humble in their disposition, ready to receive instruction and cordially submissive to the divine will, they can ever enter the kingdom of heaven.” 1810 - link
  • a little child, humble and willing to submit to the teaching of thy heavenly Father” 1810 - link
  • become subjects of holiness through the atonement of Christ1814 - link
  • “But that a foundation is, and can be laid for this, only by a man’s becoming a saint, or having a new spirit given him; the spirit which is of God.” 1811 - link
  • “If we do not humble ourselves as little children, and put on their meek and submissive temper, we cannot put off the things of the old man1822 - link
  • “How, difficult a task it is to put off the natural man1826 - link

Compare to Mosiah 3:19 from the Book of Mormon

Joseph Smith dictated this verse sometime in 1829 or 1830:

For the natural man is an enemy to God, and has been from the fall of Adam, and will be, forever and ever, unless he yields to the enticings of the Holy Spirit, and putteth off the natural man and becometh a saint through the atonement of Christ the Lord, and becometh as a child, submissive, meek, humble, patient, full of love, willing to submit to all things which the Lord seeth fit to inflict upon him, even as a child doth submit to his father.

General similarities with King Benjamin’s Speech

Mosiah 2:21 ... unprofitable servants ... unprofitable servants Luke 17:9–10
Mosiah 2:37 ...for he dwelleth not in unholy temples Will God dwell in an unholy temple? Works of Isaac Penington, Massachussets 1818
Mosiah 3:5 ...the Lord Omnipotent who reigneth the Lord God omnipotent reigneth Revelation 19:6
Mosiah 3:13 ... to every kinred, nation, and tongue ... ... to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people ... Revelation 14:6
Mosiah 3:17 salvation can come unto the children of men, only in and through the name of Christ the Lord Omnipotent. ...salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved. Acts 4:12
Mosiah 3:18 become as little children become as little children Matthew 18:3
Mosiah 3:20 every nation, kindred, tongue, and people. ... to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people ... Revelation 14:6
Mosiah 3:21 the Lord God Omnipotent. ...the Lord God omnipotent reigneth. Revelation 19:6
Mosiah 3:27 their torment is as a lake of fire and brimstone whose flames are unquenchable and whose smoke ascendeth up forever and ever. ...he shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels... And the smoke of their torment ascendeth up for ever and ever Revelation 14:10–11
Mosiah 4:6 prepared from the foundation of the world ... prepared for you from the foundation of the world... Matthew 25:34
Mosiah 4:9 Believe that he is ...believe that he is ... Hebrews 11:6
Mosiah 5:8 there is no other head whereby ye can be made free; there is no other name given whereby salvation cometh ...there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved. Acts 4:12
Mosiah 5:13 the thoughts and intents of his heart? ...the thoughts and intents of the heart. Hebrews 4:12
Mosiah 5:15 be steadfast and immovable, always abounding in good works be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord... 1 Corinthians 15:58
Mosiah 5:15 ...the Lord God Omnipotent... the Lord God omnipotent Revelation 19:6
  1. The analysis of Mosiah 2:17 is modified from reddit user tompainesbones’s post and the analysis of Mosiah 3:19 is modified from their post here. Used with their permission.