King Benjamin began his address to the people by speaking to them about service to God and his service to them.
They take a recess from the speech for the night, and King Benjamin is visited by an angel who instructs King Benjamin on what to speak about next:
“And he said unto me: Awake, and hear the words which I shall tell thee; for behold, I am come to declare unto you the glad tidings of great joy.
For the Lord hath heard thy prayers, and hath judged of thy righteousness, and hath sent me to declare unto thee that thou mayest rejoice; and that thou mayest declare unto thy people, that they may also be filled with joy.
For behold, the time cometh, and is not far distant, that with power, the Lord Omnipotent who reigneth, who was, and is from all eternity to all eternity, shall come down from heaven among the children of men, and shall dwell in a tabernacle of clay, and shall go forth amongst men, working mighty miracles, such as healing the sick, raising the dead, causing the lame to walk, the blind to receive their sight, and the deaf to hear, and curing all manner of diseases.
And he shall cast out devils, or the evil spirits which dwell in the hearts of the children of men.
And lo, he shall suffer temptations, and pain of body, hunger, thirst, and fatigue, even more than man can suffer, except it be unto death; for behold, blood cometh from every pore, so great shall be his anguish for the wickedness and the abominations of his people.
And he shall be called Jesus Christ, the Son of God, the Father of heaven and earth, the Creator of all things from the beginning; and his mother shall be called Mary.
And lo, he cometh unto his own, that salvation might come unto the children of men even through faith on his name; and even after all this they shall consider him a man, and say that he hath a devil, and shall scourge him, and shall crucify him.
And he shall rise the third day from the dead; and behold, he standeth to judge the world; and behold, all these things are done that a righteous judgment might come upon the children of men.
For behold, and also his blood atoneth for the sins of those who have fallen by the transgression of Adam, who have died not knowing the will of God concerning them, or who have ignorantly sinned.” – Mosiah 3:3-11
I have always found it interesting that the prophecy of Christ coming to the earth is “glad tidings of great joy.” When the shepherds are in the field, and the angel announces the birth of Christ to them, he says, fear not, I bring you good tidings of great joy.
Christ’s birth. His life. Is joyful news.
And why is it such joyful news? Why is Christ’s coming to the earth so anticipated and heralded? Well, I suppose it goes back to the fall. When Adam and Eve fell, they were banished from the presence of God. They were changed from an immortal to a mortal state. They were susceptible to death and hell.
It sounds horrible. And it would have been. But Heavenly Father had already made a way available to them. He would offer His Son, Jesus Christ, a sacrifice for sin. The Savior would make an atonement for Adam’s transgression, sins, and the transgressions and sins of all men and women. The coming of Christ is the glad tidings that turned Adam and Eve’s fallen miserable state into something meaningful – potential everlasting life and joy.
Christ’s coming — the life He would live, the teachings He would give, the miracles He would perform, the sacrifice He would make, His life He would sacrifice, and his victory over the grave — is glad tidings of great joy.