Keep the Commandments


Robert D. Hales
(Adapted from an April 1996 general conference address. See Ensign, May 1996, pages 35–37.)
I must fulfil the commandments wherewith God has commanded me (Mosiah 13:4).

I would like to tell you a true story about a man named Abinadi. He was a prophet who preached repentance to a wicked people and a wicked king. He preached boldly and courageously.

King Noah angrily ordered his priests to kill Abinadi. He said, “Away with this fellow, and slay him; … for he is mad.”

But when the priests tried to lay their hands on Abinadi, he withstood them, saying: “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. … I must fulfil the commandments wherewith God has commanded me.”

The people of King Noah were afraid to touch Abinadi because the Spirit of the Lord was with him. “His face shone with exceeding luster,” and he spoke “with power and authority from God.” Abinadi declared that he would finish the message that God had sent him to deliver—and then it wouldn’t matter what King Noah and the people did to him. (See Mosiah 13:1–9.)

When Abinadi concluded his message, King Noah demanded that he deny the words he had spoken—or he would be put to death. But Abinadi refused.

The firmness of Abinadi’s faith is found in this touching entry in the sacred record: “And now, when Abinadi had said these words, he fell, having suffered death by fire; yea, having been put to death because he would not deny the commandments of God, having sealed the truth of his words by his death” (Mosiah 17:20; emphasis added).

What a powerful example Abinadi should be to all of us! He courageously obeyed the Lord’s commandments—even though it cost him his life!

The Lord rarely asks His children to give up their lives as He did Abinadi, but He does ask us to follow Him as Abinadi did. We, too, must learn to obey the Lord’s commandments—honor our mothers and fathers, keep the Sabbath day holy, not take the Lord’s name in vain, be chaste, not lie or steal, live the Word of Wisdom, and pay an honest tithing. If we faithfully obey these commandments and others, we are promised the blessings of eternal life, which means that we will be exalted and live with Heavenly Father and His Son Jesus Christ in eternity.

[illustration] Painting by Ron Crosby