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"Now This Is What He Meant," Alma 25:1-12

Alma 25:1-12

The Lamanites that had yet to be converted by verse 6 came to believe in the Lord and that He had given great power unto the Nephites. Does my faith in Christ enable me to the point that I am given great power?

Verses 9 - 12 focus on the words of Abinadi as a prophet. It's not as black and white, "you're all going to die if you don't obey," as we tend to think of prophetic admonitions. It's that human-nature tendency within myself to take only at face value the words of prophets. Perhaps this is because this is the natural tendency to do so with all communication -- get to the point quickly, what do I need to learn, then let's move on. But this particular explanation of Abinadi's prophecy is worth a deeper understanding.

First, what was it that Abinadi actually said?

In Alma 25:10, Mormon records, "What ye shall do unto me shall be a type of things to come."  There is a footnote in the quote that goes back to the original statement in Mosiah 13:10 (also recorded by Mormon), "But this much I tell you, what you do with me, after this, shall be as a type and a shadow of things which are to come."  It is virtually the same statement.

Now, on the surface it would appear to me that Abinadi is saying that "if you kill me, then God will kill you." But Mormon does us this service in showing that Abinadi's choice of words give this prophecy much more depth and humanity.

(I actually feel that the wording that Abinadi uses is much more charitable and compassionate. This isn't a condemnation unless the hearer hears it to be.)

So Mormon goes on to explain that what Abinadi was really saying in this statement is that as "Abinadi was the first that suffered death by fire because of his belief in God,"  then also "many should suffer death by fire, according as he had suffered." (vs. 11)

So at least in part, what Abinadi was prophecying of, and we read of its fulfillment in these verses,  was that the posterity of those wicked men would follow their example of wickedness, causing many others to suffer from similar attitudes and behaviors. (see vs. 12)