Mosiah 15-16: Abinadi Teaches of Jesus Christ and Explains Who Will Be Saved

Book of Mormon Student Study Guide, (2000), 83–85

Have you had the opportunity to talk with someone from another Christian church about what God is like? Most other Christian churches teach the doctrine of the Trinity, which is that God the Father, Jesus Christ, and the Holy Ghost are three different manifestations or appearances of the same Being. When he saw the Father and the Son in the Sacred Grove, the Prophet Joseph Smith learned that the Godhead consists of three separate Personages (see Joseph Smith—History 1:15–20; D&C 130:22–23).In Mosiah 15, Abinadi taught that Jesus is “the Father and the Son” and that “they are one God, yea, the very Eternal Father of heaven and earth” (vv. 2, 4). This may seem confusing at first, but when properly understood it reveals an essential truth about the Godhead, particularly Jesus Christ, that we sometimes overlook. Be careful not to miss that truth as you study Abinadi’s testimony. Mosiah 15–16 concludes the teachings of Abinadi before King Noah and his wicked priests. Watch for his explanation of who will be saved by the Atonement of Jesus Christ and who will not be redeemed. At the end of these chapters you will better be able to explain what we can expect when all mankind will be resurrected.


Understanding the Scriptures

Mosiah 15

Subjected the flesh (v. 2)Made the physical body obedient
Conceived (v. 3)Created, given life
Disowned (v. 5)Rejected
Make intercession for (v. 8)Defend, plead in behalf of
Betwixt (v. 9)Between
Seed (v. 10) Children, descendants (used here symbolically or spiritually)
Wilfully (v. 26)On purpose, intentionally

Mosiah 15:1–7—How Is Christ Both the Father and the Son?

In 1916 the First Presidency and the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles gave a detailed statement on the Father and the Son (see “The Father and the Son: A Doctrinal Exposition by the First Presidency and the Twelve,” in James E. Talmage, The Articles of Faith, 12th ed. [1924], pp. 465–73). The following are some examples of how they taught Jesus Christ is represented as the Father:

  1. 1.

    He is the Creator of all things and is therefore referred to in many scriptural passages as “the very Eternal Father of heaven and of earth” (see Mosiah 15:4; 16:15; Alma 11:38–39; Ether 4:7).

  2. 2.

    He is the Father of all who accept His atoning sacrifice and covenant with Him to obey His everlasting gospel (see Mosiah 5:7; 15:10–13; Ether 3:14; D&C 25:1).

  3. 3.

    He is the Father by “divine investiture of authority.” This means that the Savior is the fully authorized and commissioned representative of His Father, that whatever He does as executor of the Father’s will has permanent and binding effect since it is performed by the Father’s chosen agent.

Mosiah 15:21—What Is the First Resurrection?

The “first resurrection” Abinadi referred to began with the Resurrection of Jesus Christ. At that time many of those who died before Him, who were deserving of a celestial glory, were resurrected. When the Savior comes again He will usher in what is called the morning of the first resurrection, when others who have died and are deserving of a celestial glory will be resurrected (see D&C 88:96–98). The first resurrection will continue until the end of the Millennium. (See McConkie, Mormon Doctrine, p. 640).

Mosiah 16

Gnash their teeth (v. 2)Grind their teeth together in anger or pain
Beguile (v. 3)Deceive, entice
Carnal, sensual, devilish (v. 3)Concerned with physical pleasures and worldly desires
Corruption (v. 10)Mortality
Incorruption (v. 10)Immortality

Studying the Scriptures

Do two activities from A–D and one activity from E–F as you study Mosiah 15–16.

Activity A iconSummarize the Doctrine

Study Abinadi’s words in Mosiah 15:1–7 and explain how Jesus is both “the Father and the Son” (see the “Understanding the Scriptures” section for Mosiah 15:1–7 for additional help).

Activity B iconWhat Is the Question?

The following are phrases from Mosiah 15:8–9. Those verses explain how Jesus Christ frees us from sin and death. Consider each phrase and think of a question that could be answered by the phrase.

The Answer

What Is the Question?

“Breaketh the bands of death”

“Make intercession for the children of men”

“Filled with compassion”

“Taken upon himself their iniquity”

“Satisfied the demands of justice”

Activity C iconFind the List

Abinadi gave examples of those to whom Jesus Christ is a Father.

  1. 1.

    Study Mosiah 15:11–13 and list two groups of people that will be called the “seed” (meaning the children) of Jesus Christ.

  2. 2.

    Read verses 14–17 and describe another group that could be called the “seed” of Christ because they do the same things as those in the second group you listed.

resurrected people

Activity D iconWho Will Come Forth in the First Resurrection?

In Mosiah 15:19–26, Abinadi described three groups of people who will come forth in the first resurrection to inherit eternal life.

  1. 1.

    Read those verses, looking for the key words believed, ignorance, and children. Write a sentence describing each of the three groups.

  2. 2.

    One of the blessings of having living prophets is that they can clarify doctrine. It may seem that Abinadi indicated that everyone who died without ever hearing the gospel will automatically receive eternal life, but that is not the case. The scripture footnote for verse 24 (note the superscript a next to the word salvation) gives Doctrine and Covenants 137:7 as a cross-reference. (For help with footnotes and cross-references, see the “Study Helps in the Latter-day Saint Editions of the Scriptures,” pp. 2–3.) Read Doctrine and Covenants 137:7–9 and explain how those verses clarify which of all the people who “died without a knowledge of the gospel” will inherit the celestial kingdom.

  3. 3.

    Read Mosiah 15:26–27 and describe those who will not come forth in the first resurrection.

Activity E iconAnswer a Letter

Suppose you received the following letter from a friend you met on a trip last summer. Use the truths Abinadi taught in Mosiah 16 and write in your notebook an answer to your friend’s questions.

Dear friend,

I have been thinking of our talk last summer. I felt different when you told me what you believed. As I thought about what you said concerning Jesus Christ, I was confused about one thing. You said you believed Jesus was your Savior. I don’t understand why we need to be saved or what we need to be saved from. If God created us, we must not be so bad. Also, I was impressed by the peace your beliefs seem to give you. You seem happier than I am. Why is that? What will happen if I don’t believe like you do and don’t do the things your Church teaches? I hope you have time to answer me because I would really like to know what you believe.

Your friend.

Activity F iconFinish the Sentence

In Mosiah 16:6–9, Abinadi testified how death will be overcome for all mankind through the power of Jesus Christ. Finish the following sentences, using what you learn from those verses:

  1. 1.

    If Christ had not come, then …

  2. 2.

    If Christ had not overcome death, then …

  3. 3.

    Because of His Resurrection, …

  4. 4.

    Because Christ is the life and light of the world, then …

  5. 5.

    The truths Abinadi taught make a difference in my life because …