In doing the work I have been asked to do, I am relaying what I have been instructed needs to be taught to this generation at this time for the Lord's promises to be fulfilled. That requires time, and experience, and careful and ponderous and solemn thought to be given to the Lord's design. Although I do not consider myself equal to the task, I am nevertheless doing what little I am able to do as part of the Lord's work.
To the best of my ability, I seek only to lay out what should be noted about our present challenges. I do my best to avoid a fanciful, or flowery or heated imagination in discussing salvation. While others may do so, I do not intend to trifle with the souls of men.
Joseph Smith's counsel is appropriate and guides my thought on these things: "A fanciful and flowery and heated imagination beware of; because the things of God are of deep import; and time, and experience, and careful and ponderous and solemn thoughts can only find them out. Thy mind, O man! if thou wilt lead a soul unto salvation, must stretch as high as the utmost heavens, and search into and contemplate the darkest abyss, and the broad expanse of eternity-thou must commune with God. How much more dignified and noble are the thoughts of God, than the vain imaginations of the human heart! None but fools will trifle with the souls of men." (TPJS p. 137.) I have never trifled with men's souls.
I have never given any one permission to speak for me, use my name to support their cause, or advocate using me as their source to make their ideas or teachings credible. If someone has a good idea, it should stand on its own. It should be reasonable. If an idea is so weak and fanciful, then associating my name, Joseph Smith's name, or some general authority's name with it should not overcome the weakness of the idea. I do not believe in citing any authority other than scripture and Joseph Smith. Check the books I've written and talks I've given. Check my blog. There you can find what is true, taken from the authority of scripture. It is self-evident and capable of standing on its own. The truth I advocate is so self-supporting that I need to make no claim to authority.
King Benjamin is a more important topic for today than ever. But I get a flood of emails and comments asking about other, ridiculously extraneous things propounded by others using my name for credibility. You should already know enough to determine on your own the significance or insignificance of these side show issues. If you do not, then you deserve your confusion. You are on trial here. You must grow to stand on your own. Do not be dependent on me or any man for your knowledge of the truth. You must be able, by the power of the light given to you, to decide between truth and error, between what comes from God and what is of men and devils. If you are unable to determine that for yourself, then relying on others will never qualify you to enter into the Lord's rest.
We have gotten to the reaction of King Benjamin's people to his sermon. They were brought to repentance. But we have not yet taken a look at the overall setting wherein King Benjamin taught. Nephi established a line of prophet/priests to whom was given the charge to teach the people. That line's work is recorded in the Small Plates of Nephi. At about the same distance in time from Nephi as we find ourselves from Joseph Smith, we read on the Small Plates of Nephi: "I know of no revelation save that which has been written, neither prophecy..." (Omni 1: 11.) I've discussed this in Eighteen Verses.
The prophetic line ended in silence. Whole generations record only one verse, admitting their failure; then the Book of Mormon reignites with King Benjamin. After generations of dissipating the light and falling into darkness, he represents the return of the prophetic. He is a symbol of restoration, a type of how God reclaims His people when they err. By his day, the people were overcome again, and needed return to the faith that could save them.
But King Benjamin did not operate on his own. He taught only what had been given to him to teach by an angel. (Mosiah 2: 2-4; see also Mosiah 4: 1.) Because God renewed His covenant with King Benjamin, it was through King Benjamin that the people could once again make an acceptable covenant with God. The purpose of sending the angel to King Benjamin was not to offer him alone salvation, but to offer once again a valid covenant through which others could repent. (Mosiah 5: 5-7.)
This is how the Gospel works. Even the chosen people of Lehi and his son Nephi brought to the promised land failed to abide the conditions of the covenant. But God did not abandon them. When enough generations had passed to allow the Lord's hand to be revealed, then the Lord acted. The heavens were opened, the covenant was offered again, and souls were saved.
This is a great type. The Book of Mormon is far more relevant for our day than we imagine. It is a blueprint for how our own history is unfolding. It is a sobering lesson in how to fail and how to wait for the Lord to reclaim and redeem us.
We ignore or misunderstand the content of The Book of Mormon at the peril of our own salvation. When we do, then no one can be saved.