Book of Mormon Lesson 19 (Mosiah 11–17)
ABINADI’S SECOND MISSION
● Abinadi returned 2 after his first visit to King Noah and his people to cry repentance one more time. He was thrown into prison, then brought before Noah and his priests (Mosiah 12:1–8). Verses 2–7 foreshadow what was to eventually happen to King Noah and his people. Abinadi’s prophecy about King Noah is fulfilled in Mosiah 19, and the prophecy about the people is fulfilled in Mosiah 21.
● The people also refused to listen and delivered Abinadi to the king (Mosiah 12:9, 13–16).
● To find justification to kill him, they sought to “cross him” in his words (Mosiah 12:17–19). One of Noah’s priests asked Abinadi to interpret Isaiah 52:2–10: “How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him that bringeth good tidings (Mosiah 12:20–24).”
● Abinadi chastised these priests for their lack of understanding (Mosiah 12:25–27).
● Abinadi also chastised them for their hypocrisy with the law of Moses (Mosiah 12:28–37).
● The Lord made it possible for Abinadi to deliver his message and they could not take him until he was finished (Mosiah 13:1–5). Noah’s priests did not dare touch Abinadi because “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” (v. 5).
● We may rest assured that Abinidai’s life was not cut short by King Noah’s violence. Elder Joseph Fielding Smith said, “No righteous man is taken before his time.”1
● Abinadi prophesied again concerning what would happen to Noah and his priests (Mosiah 13:6–10).
● Abinadi read the Ten Commandments to Noah and his priests (Mosiah 13:11–24).
● He said that obedience to the commandments does not provide salvation (Mosiah 13:25–28). Elder Bruce R. McConkie said, “Salvation is not in works—not even in those revealed of God—but in Christ and his atonement. . . . Suppose we have the scriptures, the gospel, the priesthood, the Church, the ordinances, the organization, even the keys of the kingdom—everything that now is down to the last jot and tittle—and yet there is no atonement of Christ. What then? Can we be saved? Will all our good works save us? Will we be rewarded for all our righteousness? Most assuredly we will not. We are not saved by works alone, no matter how good; we are saved because God sent his Son to shed his blood in Gethsemane and on Calvary that all through him might ransomed be. We are saved by the blood of Christ.”2
● The law of Moses and animal sacrifice were all in symbolism of the one thing that can save us all—the Atonement of Jesus Christ (Mosiah 13:32–35). The Prophet Joseph Smith said, “The fundamental principles of our religion are the testimony of the Apostles and Prophets, concerning Jesus Christ, that He died, was buried, and rose again the third day, and ascended unto heaven; and all other things which pertain to our religion are only appendages to it.”3
● Elder Bruce R. McConkie said. “Nothing in the entire plan of salvation compares in any way in importance with . . . the atoning sacrifice of our Lord . . . It is the rock foundation upon which the gospel and all other things rest . . . It is the foundation upon which all truth rests, and all things grow out of it and come because of it. Indeed, the Atonement is the gospel.”4
ISAIAH’S WITNESS OF CHRIST (Mosiah 14; Isaiah 53)
In Mosiah 14, Abinadi quotes Isaiah’s messianic prophecy, which is also found in Isaiah 53. This is a beautiful, poetic prophecy which is clearly talking about Jesus Christ. The Savior and His mission were well known by Old Testament and Book of Mormon prophets.
● “A Tender Plant” (Mosiah 14:1–2; Isaiah 53:1–2). The Savior was, at first, a “tender plant” without form and comeliness. He was born as a small, helpless infant just as all men are.
● “A Man of Sorrows and Acquainted with Grief” (Mosiah 14:3; Isaiah 53:3).
— His people—the Jews—rejected him as the Messiah (John 1:11).
— Members of his own family rejected him as Messiah (John 7:5).
— People in his hometown sought to kill him (Luke 4:16–30).
— One friend betrayed him; another denied knowing him (Luke 22:48,54–62).
— All the disciples forsook him, and fled (Matthew 26:56).
— His enemies demanded his crucifixion (Matthew 27:22–23).
● “Wounded for Our Transgressions” (Mosiah 14:4–7; Isaiah 53:4–7).
— He suffered our griefs and sorrows (vv. 4–5).
— He suffered for our iniquities (v. 6).
— He is described as a sacrificial lamb (v. 7).
— John called him “the Lamb of God” (John 1:29).
— He would remain silent before his accusers (v. 7).
— He remained silent before Pilate (Matt. 27:12–14).
● Christ’s Death and Burial (Mosiah 14:8–9; Isaiah 53:8–9).
— “Grave with the wicked” (v. 8). He was placed between two thieves (Luke 23:33).
— “With the rich in burial” (v. 9). He was laid in Joseph of Arimathea’s tomb (Matthew 27:60).
● God the Father and the Atonement (Mosiah 14:10–11; Isaiah 53:10–11).
— It “pleased” the Father to “bruise” his Son (v. 10).
— Christ’s sacrifice “satisfied” justice and “justified many” (v. 11).
— It pleased the Father because it saved the rest of us.
● Jesus’ “portion with the great” (Mosiah 14:12; Isaiah 53:12).
— Jesus inherited all that the Father has to give (John 16:15).
— The great (righteous) will become “joint-heirs” with Christ (Romans 8:17).
Christ as the Father and the Son
● Abinadi taught concerning Jesus Christ’s many roles (Mosiah 15:1–5). These are some of the most difficult verses in the Book of Mormon unless we have a clear understanding of the Godhead.
● Jesus is the “Father” because:
—He is “the Father of heaven and earth, the Creator of all things from the beginning” (Moses 3:8).
—He is the Father of those who accept His gospel and follow Him. (Mosiah 5:7; 15:10–13).
—Jesus has full authority to speak and act in behalf of Heavenly Father—which is called “divine investiture of authority.” (D&C 93:3–4, 17).
— Elder Bruce R. McConkie said, “How is our Lord the Father? It is because of the Atonement, because he received power from his Father to do that which is infinite and eternal. This is a matter of his Eternal Parent investing him with power from on high so that he becomes the Father because he exercises the power of that Eternal Being.”5
● Jesus is also the “Son” because:
— “He dwelleth in flesh” and “was conceived by the power of God (Mosiah 15:2–3; D&C 93:3–4).”
— His “will . . . [is] swallowed up in the will of the Father” (Mosiah 15:5–7; 3 Nephi 1:14).
The Seed of Christ
● Christ made atonement for the sins of the world and became our advocate with the Father (Mosiah 15:6–9, 19; D&C 45:3–5).
● Abinadi spoke of the seed—the sons and daughters—of Jesus Christ (Mosiah 15:10–14; 14:10).
● Even prophets can fall from grace (v. 13). They are not infallible. Elder Bruce R. McConkie said, “With all their inspiration and greatness, prophets are yet mortal men with imperfections common to mankind in general. They have their opinions and prejudices and are left to work out their own problems without inspiration in many instances.”6
● Those who will rise in the first resurrection (Mosiah 15:20–25).
— The timing of the first resurrection (vv. 22–23). Elder Bruce R. McConkie said, “The righteous dead who lived from the day of Adam to the time when Christ broke the bands of death ‘were with Christ in his resurrection.’ (D&C 133:54–55). . . . To those who lived before the resurrection of Christ, the day of his coming forth from the dead was known as the first resurrection. . . . To those who have lived since that day, the first resurrection is yet future and will take place at the time of the Second Coming.”7
— Many who died ignorant of the gospel before Christ’s coming will also rise on that day (v. 24). They will have the gospel preached to them in the spirit world (D&C 137:7).
— Little children also have eternal life (v. 25; see also Moroni 8 and D&C 137:10). Elder Bruce R. McConkie said, “Among all the glorious gospel verities given of God to his people, there is scarcely a doctrine so sweet, so soul satisfying, and so soul sanctifying, as the one which proclaims—Little children shall be saved. They are alive in Christ and shall have eternal life. For them the family unit will continue, and the fulness of exaltation is theirs. No blessing shall be withheld. They shall rise in immortal glory, grow to full maturity, and live forever in the highest heaven of the celestial kingdom—all through the merits and mercy and grace of the Holy Messiah, all because of the atoning sacrifice of Him who died that we might live.”8
● Those who willfully rebel against Christ have no part in the first resurrection (Mosiah 15:26–27). Abinadi explained that willful rebellion refers to those who have known the gospel but have forsaken it.
● Abinadi quoted Isaiah’s prophecy of a future day when the word of the Lord will be declared to all the earth and Zion will be established (Mosiah 15:28–31).
● For the wicked it is as if there had been no redemption made (Mosiah 16:1–5).
● Abinadi’s final testimony of Christ to King Noah and his priests (Mosiah 16:8–15).
● Elder Bruce R. McConkie said, “In his love and in his mercy, a gracious God seeks the salvation of all his children. But he cannot save the righteous without damning the wicked; he cannot reward the obedient without condemning the rebellious; he cannot fill the hearts of the righteous with unmeasured blessings without pouring out his wrath upon the wicked. Indeed, how could a just and holy Being who cannot look upon sin with the least degree of allowance do other than send wrath and vengeance upon those who worship Satan and rebel against Him?”9
THE PROPHET ALMA
Converted by Abinadi’s Words
● Alma wrote down “all the words which Abinadi had spoken” (Mosiah 17:1–4).
● It may be that Abinadi did not know the impact of his words on Alma. He may well have thought that none of those wicked priests would ever repent and that his dying words to them were falling on deaf ears. Yet one man, who knew full well of the wickedness among the people of which Abinadi had spoken, was deeply touched.
● When a prophet of God speaks with power, the pure in heart are riveted by his remarks and desirous to remember every word he spoke. This was definitely the case with the Prophet Joseph Smith.
● President Wilford Woodruff said, “Whenever I heard Joseph Smith preach, teach, or prophesy, I always felt it my duty to write it; I felt uneasy and could not eat, drink, or sleep until I did write; and my mind has been so exercised upon this subject that when I heard Joseph Smith teach and had no pencil or paper, I would go home and sit down and write the whole sermon, almost word for word and sentence by sentence as it was delivered, and when I had written it it was taken from me, I remembered it no more. This was the gift of God to me.”10
Abinadi Suffers Death by Fire
● King Noah and the judges put Abinadi to death by fire (Mosiah 17:7–13).
● Abinadi uttered a final prophecy of their doom just before he died (Mosiah 17:14–20).
● Why the Lord suffers the righteous to be slain (Alma 60:13). Elder Bruce R. McConkie said, “In the gospel sense, martyrdom is the voluntary acceptance of death at the hands of wicked men rather than to forsake Christ and his holy gospel. It is the supreme earthly sacrifice in which a man certifies to his absolute faith and to the desires for righteousness and for eternal life which are in his heart.”11
1. Funeral services of Elder Richard L. Evans, 4 November 1971 D&C 122:9.
2. “What Think Ye of Salvation by Grace?” 48.
3. Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, sel. Elder Joseph Fielding Smith , 121.
4. Mormon Doctrine, 2nd ed. , 60.
5. The Promised Messiah: The First Coming of Christ , 371.
6. Mormon Doctrine, 608.
7. Mormon Doctrine, 639.
8. “The Salvation of Little Children,” Ensign, April 1977, 3, 7.
9. The Millennial Messiah: The Second Coming of the Son of Man , 499.
10. Matthias F. Cowley, President Wilford Woodruff: History of His Life and Labors, 476–477.
11. Mormon Doctrine, 469.