28 I say unto you that I have caused that ye should assemble yourselves together that I might rid my garments of your blood, at this period of time when I am about to go down to my grave, that I might go down in peace, and my immortal spirit may join the choirs above in singing the praises of a just God.
29 And moreover, I say unto you that I have caused that ye should assemble yourselves together, that I might declare unto you that I can no longer be your teacher, nor your king;
30 For even at this time, my whole frame doth tremble exceedingly while attempting to speak unto you; but the Lord God doth support me, and hath suffered me that I should speak unto you, and hath commanded me that I should declare unto you this day, that my son Mosiah is a king and a ruler over you.
31 And now, my brethren, I would that ye should do as ye have hitherto done. As ye have kept my commandments, and also the commandments of my father, and have prospered, and have been kept from falling into the hands of your enemies, even so if ye shall keep the commandments of my son, or the commandments of God which shall be delivered unto you by him, ye shall prosper in the land, and your enemies shall have no power over you.
32 But, O my people, beware lest there shall arise contentions among you, and ye list to obey the evil spirit, which was spoken of by my father Mosiah.
33 For behold, there is a wo pronounced upon him who listeth to obey that spirit; for if he listeth to obey him, and remaineth and dieth in his sins, the same drinketh damnation to his own soul; for he receiveth for his wages an everlasting punishment, having transgressed the law of God contrary to his own knowledge.
As his sermon continues, he tells the people they were assembled “that I might rid my garments of your blood” (Mosiah 2:28). This was similar to Jacob’s words to the Nephites. “O, my beloved brethren, remember my words. Behold, I take off my garments, and I shake them before you; I pray the God of my salvation that he view me with his all–searching eye; wherefore, ye shall know at the last day, when all men shall be judged of their works, that the God of Israel did witness that I shook your iniquities from my soul, and that I stand with brightness before him, and am rid of your blood.” (2 Nephi 9:44).
“Benjamin declared that he had called the assembly so that he might rid his garments of the people’s blood (see Mosiah 2:28). It is possible that Benjamin ritually shook or cleansed these garments; Jacob, one of Benjamin’s spiritual predecessors, actually took off his garment in front of a similar assembly and shook his clothes to rid himself symbolically of the blood of his people (see 2 Nephi 9:44).”
King Benjamin is in his last years of life. He desires to “go down in peace” and his sprit join the heavenly choirs that sing praises of God.
Benjamin gets to the next reason why the people were assembled. He declared “I can no longer be your teacher, nor your king.” The Lord has supported the King. He then declares “this day, … my son Mosiah is a king and a ruler over you” (Mosiah 2:30). “[I]t is evident, from the actual text of Benjamin’s discourse, that religious instruction far outweighed the coronation ceremony itself. In fact, only three verses of his speech (Mosiah 2:29-31) are devoted to the succession of the new king…”
Benjamin called upon the people to continue keeping his commandments as well as his father’s (Mosiah1) commandments. “The positive claim he modestly makes in his final speech that he had ‘kept [his people] from falling into the hands of [their] enemies’ (Mosiah 2:31) was a feat Benjamin could assert persuasively and legitimately. As a protector of his people, Benjamin epitomized the blessing of Moses given to the tribe of Benjamin, King Benjamin’s ancient namesake: “The beloved of the Lord shall dwell in safety by him; and the Lord shall cover him all the day long, and he shall dwell between his shoulders” (Deuteronomy 33:12).”
He promises the people if they keep the commandments given them by Mosiah2, which are the commandments of God, they will prosper in the land and their enemies would have no power over them. “[A]n inspired king can be said to speak for and on behalf of God, and the distinction between them means very little in this respect (see Mosiah 2:31). God and the king are correlatives, mirroring each other in their respective spheres (Mosiah 2:19)-God rules the universe at large, macrocosmically, while the king rules subordinately and microcosmically over a limited portion of God’s universe.”
Benjamin warns the people to avoid contentions. Do not obey the devil. Paul warned the Ephesians…
“Be ye angry, and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath:
“Neither give place to the devil” (Ephesians 4:26-27).
Mormon would summarize a time after a time of conflict with the Lamanites during Alma2’s life.
“And in one year were thousands and tens of thousands of souls sent to the eternal world, that they might reap their rewards according to their works, whether they were good or whether they were bad, to reap eternal happiness or eternal misery, according to the spirit which they listed to obey, whether it be a good spirit or a bad one.
“For every man receiveth wages of him whom he listeth to obey, and this according to the words of the spirit of prophecy; therefore let it be according to the truth. And thus endeth the fifth year of the reign of the judges” (Alma 3:26-27).
Alma2 taught the people of Zarahemla:
“Therefore, if a man bringeth forth good works he hearkeneth unto the voice of the good shepherd, and he doth follow him; but whosoever bringeth forth evil works, the same becometh a child of the devil, for he hearkeneth unto his voice, and doth follow him.
“And whosoever doeth this must receive his wages of him; therefore, for his wages he receiveth death, as to things pertaining unto righteousness, being dead unto all good works” (Alma 5:41-42).
Writing about the end of Korihor, Mormon wrote, “And thus we see the end of him who perverteth the ways of the Lord; and thus we see that the devil will not support his children at the last day, but doth speedily drag them down to hell” (Alma 30:60).
Nephi tells us the difference between the Lord’s Spirit and the devil. “And now, my beloved brethren, I perceive that ye ponder still in your hearts; and it grieveth me that I must speak concerning this thing. For if ye would hearken unto the Spirit which teacheth a man to pray ye would know that ye must pray; for the evil spirit teacheth not a man to pray, but teacheth him that he must not pray” (2 Nephi 32:8). Alma2 asked the people of Zarahemla, “I say unto you, can ye think of being saved when you have yielded yourselves to become subjects to the devil” (Alma 5:20).
“Benjamin lays down the first principle of government, which may appear very strange to us but is a corollary to the nothingness of man: there shall be no contentions among the people lest they ‘list to obey the evil spirit’ (Mosiah 2:32). Tendere means to stretch a rope; contendere is a tug-of-war. The Lord’s first words to the Nephites, after he had introduced himself to them and told them how to baptize, dealt with contention: ‘For verily, verily I say unto you, he that hath the spirit of contention is not of me, but is of the devil, who is the father of contention, and he stirreth up the hearts of men to contend with anger, one with another’ (3 Nephi 11:29).”
 Benjamin’s Sermon as a Traditional Ancient Farewell Address, John W. Welch & Darryl R. Hague, Maxwell Institute, accessed July 12, 2014.
 Can ye be angry and not sin? let not the sun go down upon your wrath (JST Ephesians 4:26).