Journal of Book of Mormon Studies


Julie M. Smith


Christology, life, nature, Jesus Christ, King Benjamin


The term Christology refers to the presentation of the life and nature of Jesus Christ. The purpose of this essay is to explore King Benjamin's Christology (see Mosiah 3), to consider its similarities to that found in the Gospel of Mark, and to explore some implications of Benjamin's Christology.

Christology is often described as being on a continuum from low (which emphasizes the human nature of Jesus) to high (which emphasizes his divine nature). It is definitely the case that Benjamin's description of Jesus contains elements of a high Christology since he begins by describing Jesus as "the Lord Omnipotent who reigneth, who was, and is from all eternity to all eternity" (Mosiah 3:5). Yet the very next line describes Jesus as "dwell[ing] in a tabernacle of clay" (Mosiah 3:5), which reflects a decidedly low Christology. This emphasis on the mortal nature of Jesus continues as Benjamin relates at length Jesus's physical suffering (see Mosiah 3:7).