In my previous Book of Mormon highlight I wrote about Nephi, the first prophet we are introduced to in this book of scripture. This post is about Abinadi (pronounced uh-bin-uh-dye), another prophet whose preachings are recorded in the Book of Mormon.
God has always called prophets—and he often calls them to preach when people are wicked and disobeying His commandments. Think of Noah and how he was told to tell the people to repent or perish in the flood. Abinadi was such a prophet, called to preach to a people that had fallen far away from righteousness and obedience to God’s commandments. His story can be found within the Book of Mormon in the Book of Mosiah chapters 11 to 17. (Read the full account here).
The city Abinadi preaches to was controlled by a wicked King and his priests. Upon hearing Abinadi preach the King has Abinadi imprisoned. When he is presented before the King and his priests for questioning Abinadi begins to teach them the commandments of God, starting with the Ten Commandments and leading up to teaching about Jesus Christ. Abinadi admonishes the priests, telling them they were not fulfilling their duties as priests.
“And now Abinadi said unto them: Are you priests, and pretend to teach this people, and to understand the spirit of prophesying? I say unto you, wo be unto you for perverting the ways of the Lord! For if ye understand these things ye have not taught them….Ye have not applied your hearts to understanding; therefore, ye have not been wise.”—Mosiah 12:25-27
Herein lies a great lesson for all of us: Are we applying our hearts to understand the ways of God? Do we take time each day to study His word? To pray and seek his counsel? I believe all of us can do better at that each day.
As Abinadi continues to lead them through the Ten Commandments and the prophesies of Christ, the King and his priests are amazed and dumfounded at the boldness and power of Abinadi’s teaching. Abinadi concludes his sermon with the command to “teach [the people] that redemption cometh through Christ the Lord (Mosiah 16:15).”
I wish I could say that Abinadi’s words caused the King and his priests to be convinced of their wicked ways. Unfortunately, all but one were angry with Abinadi. The one who believed was named Alma, a man who becomes a significant individual in the Book of Mormon.
Sadly, the King caused that Abinadi be put to death by fire. He gave Abinadi one last chance to deny his words, but Abinadi held true to his words and his faith in God.
“Now Abinadi said unto him: I say unto you, I will not recall the words which I have spoken unto you concerning this people, for they are true; and that ye may know of their surety I have suffered myself that I have fallen into your hands.
“Yea, and I will suffer even until death, and I will not recall my words, and they shall stand as a testimony against you. And if ye slay me ye will shed innocent blood, and this shall also stand as a testimony against you at the last day.”—Mosiah 17:9-10
The story of Abinadi is an amazing example of courage and of faith. I encourage you to read the full account in the Book of Mormon. Click here to request your free copy of the Book of Mormon.