In about 148 BC, in the land of Shilom, the prophet Abinadi rebukes King Noah and his priests for their wickedness. Alma the Elder believes and escapes after the king threatens his life. Based on actual events as recorded in the Book of Mormon: Another Testament of Jesus Christ.
Tremble and repent of your sins, and remember that only in and through Christ ye can be saved.
If ye teach the law of Moses, also teach that it is a shadow of things which are to come.
This is Alma. He teaches the words of Abinadi. Please, we desire to know what happened.
The first time Abinadi came among us, he warned us to repent and to turn unto the Lord. This time when he came, he said the Lord would visit us in His fierce anger, that we would be brought into bondage and slain. As you know, when Noah became king, he did not walk in the ways of his father. He did not keep the commandments of God, but he did walk after the desires of his own heart. And he had many wives and concubines. And he did cause his people to commit sin, and do that which was abominable in the sight of the Lord. And they did commit whoredoms and all manner of wickedness. And he laid a tax of one fifth part of all they possessed to support himself, and his wives and his concubines; and his priests, and their wives and concubines.
For he had changed the affairs of the kingdom, and put down all the priests that had been consecrated by his father, and consecrated new ones in their stead, such as were lifted up in the pride of their hearts. Yea, and thus they were supported in their laziness, and in their idolatry, and in their immorality. Never in our history have we had a king such as Noah. Hail, hail, hail, hail. And there was a man among us whose name was Abinadi; and he began to prophesy. --to prophesy unto this my people, for they have hardened their hearts against the Lord's words. No! They have repented not of their evil doings. And thus saith the Lord, it shall come to pass that this generation, because of their iniquities, shall be brought into bondage. And the life of king Noah shall be valued even as a garment in a hot furnace. Who are you to judge us? Except they repent, the Lord will utterly destroy them from off the face of the earth. And yet they shall leave a record behind them, and the Lord will preserve them for other nations which shall possess the land. Take him before the king.
My king. My king.
We have brought a man before thee, who has prophesied evil concerning thy people, and said that God shall destroy them. And also he prophesieth evil concerning thy life. He pretends that the Lord hath spoken it. [LAUGHTER] And said all this shall come upon thee, except thou repent. [LAUGHTER]
What great evil hast thou done? What great sins have thy people committed, that we should be condemned of God and judged of this man? Cast him into prison.
Who is this Abinadi that I and my people should be judged of him? And who is the Lord that should bring upon my people such great affliction? Bring him hither that we may question him.
What meaneth the words which are written, and which have been taught by our fathers, saying: How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him that bringeth good tidings; that publisheth peace; ... that publisheth salvation, that saith unto Zion, Thy God reigneth, ... and all the ends of the earth shall see the salvation of our God? 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? Wo be unto you for perverting the ways of the Lord! For if ye understand these things ye have not taught them. Ye have not applied your hearts to understanding. Ye have not been wise. Therefore, what teach ye this people? We teach the law of Moses. 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, and cause this people to commit sin, that the Lord has cause to send me to come forth and prophesy against this people?
Ye know I speak the truth, and you ought to tremble before God.
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. And what know ye concerning the law of Moses? Doth salvation come by the law of Moses?
What say ye? Salvation does come by the law of Moses. I know that 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: Thou shalt have no other God before me. Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or things which are in the earth beneath. Have ye done all this? Nay, ye have not. Have ye taught this people that they should do all these things? Nay, ye have not. Away with this fellow, and slay him; for what have we to do with him, for he is mad. 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. Ye see that ye have not power to slay me, therefore I finish my message. And I perceive that it cuts you to your hearts because I tell you the truth concerning your iniquities.
And my words fill you with wonder and amazement, and with anger. But I finish my message; and then it matters not whither I go, if it so be that I am saved.
But this much I tell you, what you will do with me, after this, shall be as a type and a shadow of things which are to come. And now I give unto you the remainder of the commandments of God, for I perceive that they are not written in your hearts.
Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain. Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy.
Honor thy father and thy mother, that thy days may be long upon the land. Thou shalt not kill.
Thou shalt not commit adultery. Thou shalt not steal. Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor. Thou shalt not covet.
Have ye taught this people that they should observe to do all these things for to keep these commandments? Behold, I say unto you, Nay; for if ye had, the Lord would not have caused me to come forth and to prophesy evil concerning this people.
You say that salvation cometh by the law of Moses.
Ye should keep the law of Moses as yet; but the time shall come when it shall be no more expedient to keep the law of Moses. Salvation doth not come by the law alone; and were it not for the atonement, which God Himself shall make for the sins and iniquities of His people, they must unavoidably perish. And did not Moses prophesy unto them concerning the coming of the Messiah, and that God Himself should redeem His people? Yea, and even all the prophets who have prophesied since the world began--have they not spoken more or less concerning these things? Have they not said that God Himself should come down among the children of men, and take upon Him the form of man, and go forth in mighty power upon the face of the earth? God Himself shall come down among the children of men? Yea, and shall take upon Him the form of man, and go forth in mighty power upon the face of the earth. Have the prophets not said also that He should bring to pass the resurrection of the dead, and that He, Himself, should be oppressed and afflicted? Yea, even doth not Isaiah say: Surely He has borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows; yet we did esteem Him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities; the chastisement of our peace was upon Him; and with His stripes we are healed. All we, like sheep, have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the Lord hath laid on Him the iniquities of us all. When thou shalt make His soul an offering for sin, He shall bear their iniquities. I would that ye should understand that God Himself shall come down among the children of men, and shall redeem His people. And because He dwelleth in flesh He shall be called the Son of God. For were it not for the redemption which He hath made for His people, which was prepared from the foundation of the world, I say unto you, were it not for this, all mankind must have perished. The time shall come when all shall see the salvation of the Lord; when every nation, kindred, tongue, and people shall see eye to eye and shall confess before God that His judgments are just. And now if Christ had not come into the world, there could have been no redemption. And if Christ had not risen from the dead, or have broken the bands of death that the grave should have no victory, and that death should have no sting, there could have been no resurrection. But there is a resurrection, therefore the grave hath no victory, and the sting of death is swallowed up in Christ.
He is the light and the life of the world; yea, a light that is endless, that can never be darkened, and also a life which is endless, that there can be no more death.
Even this mortal shall put on immortality, and this corruption shall put on incorruption, and shall be brought to stand before the bar of God, to be judged of Him according to their works whether they be good, or whether they be evil-- And if they be good, to the resurrection of endless life and happiness; and if they be evil, to the resurrection of endless damnation.
And now, ought ye not to tremble and to repent of your sins, and remember that only in and through Christ ye can be saved?
Therefore, if ye teach the law of Moses, also teach that it is a shadow of things which are to come--that redemption cometh through Christ the Lord, who is the very Eternal Father.
Put him to death! My king, please. I believe the words which Abinadi hath spoken. He testifies of our iniquities. Do not be angry with Abinadi. Suffer that he might depart in peace. Cast him out! King Noah, please! We should listen to this man! He speaks the truth!
Slay Alma the priest. Slay him!
Cast him into prison.
Abinadi, we have found an accusation against thee, and thou art worthy of death. For thou hast said that God Himself should come down among the children of men; and now, for this cause thou shalt be put to death unless thou wilt recall all the words which thou hast spoken evil concerning me and my people. I will not recall the words which I have spoken unto you, for they are true; and that ye may know of their surety I have suffered myself that I have fallen into your hands.
I will suffer even until death, and I will not recall my words, and they shall stand as a testimony against you.
And if ye slay me ye will shed innocent blood, and this will also stand as a testimony against you at the last day.
Does he speak the truth? Will the judgments of God come upon me? He has reviled the king! Hear, hear!
Deliver him up that he might be slain.
Behold, even as ye have done this unto me, so shall it come to pass that thy seed shall cause that many shall suffer the pains that I do suffer; and this because they believe in the salvation of the Lord their God.
And then ye shall suffer, even as I suffer.
O God, receive my soul.
Abinadi was put to death because he would not deny the commandments of God, having sealed the truth of his words by his death.
Abinadi said that whosoever has heard the words of the prophets, and believes that the Lord would redeem His people, and have looked forward to that day for a remission of their sins, that these are His seed, or they are the heirs of the kingdom of God. For these are they whose sins He has borne; these are they for whom He has died, to redeem them from their transgressions.
Here are the waters of Mormon. And now, as ye are desirous to come into the fold of God, and to be called His people, and are willing to bear one another's burdens, that they may be light; yea, and are willing to mourn with those that mourn; and comfort those that stand in need of comfort, and to stand as witnesses of God at all times and in all things, and in all places that ye may be in, even until death, that ye may be redeemed of God, and be numbered with those of the first resurrection, that ye may have eternal life--
Now I say unto you, if this be the desire of your hearts, what have you against being baptized, as a witness that ye have entered into a covenant with Him, that ye will serve Him and keep His commandments, that He may pour out His Spirit more abundantly upon you? Alma, this is the desire of our hearts.
Helam, I baptize thee, having authority from the Almighty God, as a testimony that ye have entered into a covenant with Him to serve Him until you are dead as to the mortal body; and may the Spirit of the Lord be poured out upon you; and may He grant unto you eternal life, through the redemption of Christ, whom He has prepared from the foundation of the world.