Abinadi


“Who is Abinadi,” shouted wicked King Noah, “that I and my people should be judged of him? And who is the Lord, that shall bring upon my people such great affliction? I command you to bring Abinadi, that I may slay him.”

Abinadi was a good man and a prophet of the Lord. He had seen the wicked things King Noah had done. He had seen him tax and rob the people to pay for elegant palaces. But what grieved him most was that he knew the people were as wicked and unbelieving as their king.

After the Lord told Abinadi to go among the people and tell them to repent of their wickedness or he would visit them in anger, Abinadi pled with them to listen to his words. But they had followed King Noah for so long that they were angry with Abinadi, and they hurried to tell King Noah that Abinadi had threatened great punishment for the king, the priests, and the people. King Noah became angry and commanded that Abinadi be brought before him.

But Abinadi escaped and could not be found. He stayed in hiding for two years. Then he disguised himself so he would not be known, and he came again among the people. The Lord told him what to say, and Abinadi warned them that because of their wickedness, they would be brought into bondage and slain, and wild beasts would eat their flesh.

The people became angry with Abinadi. They followed him and took him before King Noah, who commanded that he be put in prison. Then the king called all his priests together and had Abinadi brought before them so they could all decide what to do with this man who spoke so boldly against their ways and their king.

The priests questioned the prisoner and tried to make him deny the truth. They asked him to explain certain parts of the scriptures that they had been teaching. Abinadi told them they should not be priests and attempt to teach unless they understood. “Ye have not applied your hearts to understanding; therefore, ye have not been wise,” he said.

The priests tried to take hold of Abinadi but he said, “Touch me not, for God shall smite you if ye lay your hands upon me, for I have not delivered the message which the Lord sent me to deliver.”

These words made the priests afraid, for they could see that the Spirit of the Lord was with Abinadi; his face shone as with a light, and he spoke with power.

For a long time King Noah and his priests listened to Abinadi’s great message. Abinadi told them about Jesus Christ, the Son of God, who would come to earth and live among the people. He told them that Jesus would be crucified, but his death would be a victory because he would live again.

Abinadi was bound and put in prison. He was sentenced to die unless he recalled all his words.

Abinadi said, “I will die, but I will not deny the truth of the words I have spoken, and my words shall be a testimony against you. You are killing an innocent man.”

King Noah began to be afraid that the judgments of God would come upon him, but the priests wanted Abinadi to die. So the king gave them permission to kill Abinadi. Then the priests took burning faggots and scourged the skin of Abinadi even unto death. But even when the flames began to scorch him, Abinadi said, “Even as you do this to me, so shall it be done to you. O God, receive my soul.”

When Abinadi had said this, he fell, having suffered death by fire, because he would not deny the words of God. And so he sealed the truth of his words by his death.

[illustration] Illustrated by Gary Kapp