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"A Man Among Them Whose Name Was Abinadi," Mosiah 11:20-29

Mosiah 11:20-29

These verses contain the account of Abinadi's first appearance to the people of King Noah. According to the record, Abinadi came from among this people. There is no mention of a family but I wonder if he is not leaving his family to accomplish this great assignment.

Though King Noah plays complete ignorance to the acknowledgement that there is a God, Abinadi's words from the Lord clearly demonstrates that there is a vested interest that the Lord has in this particular people. The Lord refers to the people of Noah as "my people" (vs. 22). There must have been a covenant in place between the people of Zeniff and the Lord for the Lord to acknowledge them as such. They must have been a God-fearing people before the reign of Noah.

The harshness of the prophecy is another reason that I am concluding that there were covenants and righteousness before Noah.The greater the sins, the more extreme requirements for repentance, such as girding one's self in sackcloth.

It is worthy to note the initial response of King Noah in verses 27 & 28. He completely defies Abinadi's admonition and instead frames Abinadi as a disturbance to the peace of the kingdom. On the one hand, this is exactly what Abinadi was doing. Their peace, if it could be called such, was superficial. In the final verse of the chapter, it says that the eyes of the people were blinded that they're hearts were hardened. It also says the king's heart was hardened, but his was a deliberate hardening, and he did not repent.

What has given me most pause for reflection, though, in this reading of Abinadi's account  is that before this moment, Abinadi was among them. Some how amidst all the corruption and wickedness, the Lord was able to create a prophet. Abinadi's life is a testimony that salvation is ultimately individual. And even in a world where it seems that everyone is pulling each other down, a determination to live the gospel of Jesus Christ at all costs, can change bring salvation and peace even to the one. I think though of how Abinadi did so much more than just save himself by later appearing before the king, I have a profound amount of respect for this man of faith.