There were many prophets who valiantly testified of Christ in The Book of Mormon. This great faith often led to death. The most referenced of these prophets was Abinadi. He preached to his people not once, but twice. When he was brought before the wicked king and his priests, he taught them, was protected from them, and then burned alive. But he was, above all, obedient.
Abinadi’s Obedience to God
The group of Nephites led by Zeniff to reclaim their lands were growing wicked. Zeniff’s son, Noah, was a wicked king. He and his priests had many wives and concubines, taught the people to love sin, and laid a 20% tax on them, to boot. 2 Nephi 25:9 tells us that God doesn’t suffer the wicked to be destroyed without warning them first. God called Abinadi to preach repentance to the people or they would be, you guessed it, be destroyed. (Mosiah 11:20). King Noah didn’t like being told what he was doing was wrong, so he ordered Abinadi to be killed on sight. “He was…wroth; and he said: Who is Abinadi, that I and my people should be judged of him, or who is the Lord, that shall bring upon my people such great affliction? I command you to bring Abinadi hither, that I may slay him.” (Mosiah 11:27-28). Despite this command, Abinadi escaped.
After hiding for 2 years, Abinadi came again, albeit in disguise (sneaky), to preach the word. He pretty much said what he did the first time, but added a prophetic obituary about king Noah. (Mosiah 12:1-8). Again, the people weren’t willing to hear him out. They brought him to the king to stand mock trial before his execution. Noah’s priests, like Zeezrom, tried to “cross him, that…they might have wherewith to accuse him.” (Mosiah 12:19). Then, they asked Abinadi about the meaning of several scriptures, to which he responded: “Are you priests, and pretend to teach this people, and to understand the spirit of prophesying, and yet desire to know of me what these things mean?” (Mosiah 12:25).
Abinadi confounded the priests, despite their best (or worst) efforts. At this point, Noah had had enough and ordered his guards to take Abinadi away. Apparently, Noah didn’t get the memo. Just as the guards came near, Abinadi spoke the words “Touch me not,” was filled with divine power, and “his face shone with exceeding luster.” (Mosiah 13:3,5). He spends the next 4 chapters, Mosiah 13-16, finishing his answers to the priest’s questions and prophesying various things. Perhaps the most important of his prophecies is that Christ, “God himself,” will come down and atone for all mankind. (Mosiah 15:1-5).
Fate of the Prophet
Abinadi converts Alma (the Elder) before his fiery death at the stake. Before he dies, he tells king Noah that “even as ye have done unto me, so shall it come to pass that. . . .ye shall suffer, as I suffer, the pains of death by fire.” (Mosiah 17:15,18). Karma, one of the many mysterious ways the Lord works. In short, Abinadi obeyed God in doing every command, speaking every word, and suffering all things, even until death. God requires everything we have to give, which is our whole soul. Abinadi did just that.
I am sure that you all have your own experiences that taught you the importance of obedience. Though life may sometimes be hard, enduring to the end is well worth it. Please share this with your friends! Comment below with your thoughts, feelings, and testimonies.