Book of Mormon Notes– How deep can you dig?

2008, May 19

Book of Mormon: Abinadi, King Noah, and King Noah’s Priests

“Book of Mormon: Abinadi, King Noah, and King Noah’s Priests”

(c) 2008

Ok, a few comments. I guess this could also turn into a big article… nah, let’s keep it shorter.

Note that as with comments from other prophets (such as with Jacob), Abinadi was commanded by the Lord to preach. He didn’t just see what was going on and feel like, “Hey, I’ll preach” and do it.

He prophesies; as with other prophecies in the Book of Mormon (like to the people of Ammonihah), some of the fulfillment of the prophecy is recorded, some isn’t.

Who Is God? Who Is His Prophet?

King Noah asks, as do a few others (such as the people in Ammonihah),
“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?” (Mosiah 11:27).

So Abinadi says:
“And it shall come to pass that the life of king Noah shall be valued even as a garment in a hot furnace; for he shall know that I am the Lord” (Mosiah 12:3).

God makes himself known to man in two ways: nicely (to the repentant), or not nicely (to the proud and unrepentant).

WHO’s Pretending?!?

King Noah’s priests say:
“And he pretendeth the Lord hath spoken it. And he saith all this shall come upon thee except thou repent, and this because of thine iniquities” (Mosiah 12:12).

When King Noah’s priests question him, Abinadi replies:
“And now Abinadi said unto them: 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).

The pretending has now been thrust to the other side… Along with the questioning.

We Are Strong!!
King Noah’s priests say:

And now, O king, what great evil hast thou done, or what great sins have thy people committed, that we should be condemned of God or judged of this man? (Mosiah 12:13).
And now, O king, behold, we are guiltless, and thou, O king, hast not sinned; therefore, this man has lied concerning you, and he has prophesied in vain” (Mosiah 12:14).
And behold, we are strong, we shall not come into bondage, or be taken captive by our enemies; yea, and thou hast prospered in the land, and thou shalt also prosper” (Mosiah 12:15).

Mosiah 12:16
Behold, here is the man, we deliver him into thy hands; thou mayest do with him as seemeth thee good.

Well, ok, whatever. Abinadi shows that they have plenty of sin. That should help them understand that his prophesying was not in vain, that he wasn’t lying, that they would be overcome by the Lamanites.
Ok, let’s go a little further.

They were proud of kicking Lamanite tail, and it went to their head. Yet, here’s the incredible irony: when it’s all them and the guards and the king against one man (Abinadi), they can’t even kill, much less capture, one man!!:

Mosiah 13:2 And they stood forth and attempted to lay their hands on him; but he withstood them, and said unto them:
Mosiah 13:3 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; neither have I told you that which ye requested that I should tell; therefore, God will not suffer that I shall be destroyed at this time.
Mosiah 13:4 But I must fulfil the commandments wherewith God has commanded me; and because I have told you the truth ye are angry with me. And again, because I have spoken the word of God ye have judged me that I am mad.
Mosiah 13:5 Now it came to pass after Abinadi had spoken these words that the people of king Noah durst not lay their hands on him, for the Spirit of the Lord was upon him; and his face shone with exceeding luster, even as Moses’ did while in the mount of Sinai, while speaking with the Lord.
Mosiah 13:6 And he spake with power and authority from God; and he continued his words, saying:
Mosiah 13:7 Ye see that ye have not power to slay me, therefore I finish my message.

God’s Word–Nice or Not Nice?

No matter how dumb people are, when they are wicked and think they are powerful they just can’t pass up the chance to try to whip up on the little man. No exception here:

And it came to pass that they said unto the king: Bring him hither that we may question him; and the king commanded that he should be brought before them (Mosiah 12:15).
And they began to question him, that they might cross him, that thereby they might have wherewith to accuse him; but he answered them boldly, and withstood all their questions, yea, to their astonishment; for he did withstand them in all their questions, and did confound them in all their words(Mosiah 12:19).

Ok, they’re getting a little ticked off here. This was supposed to be easy! So,
Mosiah 12:20 …one of them said unto him: What meaneth the words which are written, and which have been taught by our fathers, saying:
Mosiah 12:21 How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him that bringeth good tidings; that publisheth peace; that bringeth good tidings of good; that publisheth salvation; that saith unto Zion, Thy God reigneth…

That is in response to Abinadi’s prophesying evil concerning the people and the king (Mosiah 12:9, 10).
Mosiah 12:9 “…Behold, we have brought a man before thee who has prophesied evil concerning thy people, and saith that God will destroy them” (Mosiah 12:9); “And he also prophesieth evil concerning thy life” (Mosiah 12:10).

In other words, if you claim to be a prophet, why are your words not like the words the prophets are supposed to speak–you know, words like beautiful, good, peaceful, salvation? Well, as Abinadi explains, the words of God are nice–to the repentant (Mosiah 15:10-25; 28-31; 16:1, 11); but they aren’t nice to the unrepentant (Mosiah 15:26-27; 16:2-5, 11-13).

Moses and his Law and Another Sign

King Noah’s priests were supposed to be up on the law of Moses:
Mosiah 12:28 And they said: We teach the law of Moses.

Just that while they might have kept the outward ordinances, they missed the “commandments” part:
Mosiah 12:29 And again he said unto them: If ye teach the law of Moses why do ye not keep it? Why do ye set your hearts upon riches? Why do ye commit whoredoms and spend your strength with harlots, yea, and cause this people to commit sin, that the Lord has cause to send me to prophesy against this people, yea, even a great evil against this people?

They want to kill him. So, to help King Noah’s priests even more, God gives them yet another sign to show that Abinadi is his prophet:

Mosiah 12:33 But now Abinadi said unto them: I know if ye keep the commandments of God ye shall be saved; yea, if ye keep the commandments which the Lord delivered unto Moses in the mount of Sinai, saying:

Mosiah 13:5 Now it came to pass after Abinadi had spoken these words that the people of king Noah durst not lay their hands on him, for the Spirit of the Lord was upon him; and his face shone with exceeding luster, even as Moses’ did while in the mount of Sinai, while speaking with the Lord.

Did they catch that connection? Well, did or didn’t, it still wasn’t enough…

Hey, King Noah’s Priests, Is This You, Too?

Hey guys, do you make these same mistakes? If so, it might be for the same reason! You know, hardheartedness and all that. See, ALL the *real* prophets (not the pretend ones like you all)–understand and prophecy of Christ, not the law of Moses.
Such a nice way for Abinadi to tell them…
Mosiah 13:32 And now, did they understand the law? I say unto you, Nay, they did not all understand the law; and this because of the hardness of their hearts; for they understood not that there could not any man be saved except it were through the redemption of God.
Mosiah 13:33 For behold, did not Moses prophesy unto them concerning the coming of the Messiah, and that God should redeem his people? Yea, and even all the prophets who have prophesied ever since the world began–have they not spoken more or less concerning these things?

Sins vs. Sins and Hypocrisy and Priestcraft and Lying

God does not just punish for our sins, but for hypocrisy and lying about our sins:

Mosiah 12:31 And it shall come to pass that ye shall be smitten for your iniquities, for ye have said that ye teach the law of Moses.

Abinadi is a Type of Christ

He is called by God to preach to a lost people.
He is brought before the king.
King Noah’s priests revile him and question him.
King Noah’s priests claim the law of Moses saves; they know nothing of Christ.
King Noah’s priests get mad when he confounds them.
He proves God himself is the saving force, not the law of Moses.
Signs are given to persuade the people and stand as witnesses against them.
They don’t have power to take his life.
His face shines.
Even though it’s all them against him, they are scared (in the Garden of Gethsemane).
He quotes Isaiah. Messianically, even.
He explains who the Son is, and why.
The king wants to release him, but King Noah’s priests do all they can to cause his death.
In the end, the king consents.
They plan to kill him; he tells them they will shed “innocent blood”.
Through all this, he is alone.
They kill him anyway.
He says: “O God, receive my soul” and dies.

A Mistake in the Book of Mormon?

Mosiah 13:12 And now, *ye remember that I said unto you*: Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of things which are *in heaven above*, or which are *in the earth beneath*, or which are IN THE WATER UNDER THE EARTH.

Yet, earlier, it is recorded that Abinadi said only this:
Mosiah 12:36 Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing *in heaven above*, or things which are *in the earth beneath*.


Mosiah 13:11 And now I read unto you the remainder of the commandments of God, for I perceive that they are not written in your hearts; I perceive that ye have studied and taught iniquity the most part of your lives.

Such would be incredible irony and even humor, to scold them for not having the commandments written in their hearts, then have to read to them from the scriptures. Of course, I don’t have hardly any scripture completely memorized, much less a chapter or two (sorry, sorry, don’t pass it around). I wonder if he actually reads from scripture, or if “read” is used maybe as it’s sometimes used in Chinese, which means more of “to recite” than to literally “read” while looking at what was written. It was already somewhat outdated at that time, but… I guess it’s possible.

On the other hand, it’s likely his comment and method are brutally obvious that the priests were never schooled in their subject, and as such, he would like to play teacher and “open the books” in their presence and perhaps give them their first real lesson!

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