Mosiah, Chapter 12

Abinadi’s second warning is unconditional- “It shall come to pass…”

If we had a warning of fire and we did not get out of the house in time, we could die.  There have been plenty of times in my life (mostly my teenage years) when I have been given a warning and I chose not to follow it.  The results have been awful nearly every time.  In this chapter we learn about how foolish it is to ignore the warnings that come from the Lord.

Last chapter we read of the warning that if the people did not repent, they would have their enemies overtake them.  It was conditional upon their repentance.  

 And it came to pass that after the space of two years that Abinadi came among them in disguise, that they knew him not, and began to aprophesy among them, saying: Thus has the Lord commanded me, saying—Abinadi, go and prophesy unto this my people, for they have hardened their hearts against my words; they have repented not of their evil doings; therefore, I will visit them in my anger, yea, in my fierce anger will I visit them in their iniquities and abominations.
  2 Yea, wo be unto this generation! And the Lord said unto me: Stretch forth thy hand and prophesy, saying: Thus saith the Lord, it shall come to pass that this generation, because of their iniquities, shall be brought into abondage, and shall be smitten on the bcheek; yea, and shall be driven by men, and shall be slain; and the vultures of the air, and the dogs, yea, and the wild beasts, shall devour their cflesh.
  3 And it shall come to pass that the alife of king Noah shall be valued even as a garment in a hot bfurnace; for he shall know that I am the Lord.
  4 And it shall come to pass that I will smite this my people with sore afflictions, yea, with famine and with apestilence; and I will cause that they shall bhowl all the day long.
  5 Yea, and I will cause that they shall have aburdens lashed upon their backs; and they shall be driven before like a dumb ass.
  6 And it shall come to pass that I will send forth ahail among them, and it shall smite them; and they shall also be smitten with the beast wind; and cinsects shall pester their land also, and devour their grain.
  7 And they shall be smitten with a great pestilence—and all this will I do because of their ainiquities and abominations.

 “And it came to pass that after the space of two years that Abinadi came among them in disguise, that they knew him not, and began to prophesy among them, saying: Thus has the Lord commanded me, saying—Abinadi, go and prophesy unto this my people, for they have hardened their hearts against my words; they have repented not of their evil doings; therefore, I will visit them in my anger, yea, in my fierce anger will I visit them in their iniquities and abominations (v 1).  Yea, wo be unto this generation! And the Lord said unto me: Stretch forth thy hand and prophesy, saying: Thus saith the Lord, it shall come to pass that this generation, because of their iniquities, shall be brought into bondage, and shall be smitten on the cheek; yea, and shall be driven by men, and shall be slain; and the vultures of the air, and the dogs, yea, and the wild beasts, shall devour their flesh (v. 2).  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 (v. 3).  And it shall come to pass that I will smite this my people with sore afflictions, yea, with famine and with pestilence; and I will cause that they shall howl all the day long (v. 4).  Yea, and I will cause that they shall have burdens lashed upon their backs; and they shall be driven before like a dumb ass (v. 5).  And it shall come to pass that I will send forth hail among them, and it shall smite them; and they shall also be smitten with the east wind; and insects shall pester their land also, and devour their grain (v. 6).  And they shall be smitten with a great pestilence—and all this will I do because of their iniquities and abominations (v. 7).

This chapter does not talk about conditional warnings, but unconditional, meaning they would surely come to pass.  The words “will” and “shall” are used 25 times in these verses.  The reason for this change is because “they have hardened their hearts against my words; they have repented not of their evil doings… (v. 1)”.  The first time Abinadi was prophesying, they were given the choice to repent and be forgiven.  This second time he was speaking, they had been warned and now were going to see the consequences of not choosing the right.  But they are still given one conditional warning in this chapter.  “And it shall come to pass that except they repent I will utterly destroy them from off the face of the earth; yet they shall leave a record behind them, and I will preserve them for other nations which shall possess the land; yea, even this will I do that I may discover the abominations of this people to other nations. And many things did Abinadi prophesy against this people (v. 8 ).”  The people could avoid utter destruction, if they repented.

The Lord gives us warnings and the opportunity to change our ways, but if we do not heed them, he is bound to give us the consequences that he promised.  When we are warned to repent of our wrongdoings, we need to follow that warning.  If we do not, than we can expect utter destruction.  If not physically, then spiritually.  In D&C 19:15-19 we read, “Therefore I command you to repent—repent, lest I smite you by the rod of my mouth, and by my wrath, and by my anger, and your sufferings be sore—how sore you know not, how exquisite you know not, yea, how hard to bear you know not (v. 15).  For behold, I, God, have suffered these things for all, that they might not suffer if they would repent (v. 16); But if they would not repent they must suffer even as I (v. 17); Which suffering caused myself, even God, the greatest of all, to tremble because of pain, and to bleed at every pore, and to suffer both body and spirit—and would that I might not drink the bitter cup, and shrink (v. 18 )—Nevertheless, glory be to the Father, and I partook and finished my preparations unto the children of men (v. 19).”  If we do not repent, then we will take on the suffering that the Savior has already borne for us.

Abinadi as a type of Christ

In Moses 6:63 we read, “And behold, all things have their likeness, and all things are created and made to bear record of me… all things bear record of me.”  We should find examples of Christ in all things because all things have been made to be a witness of the Lord.

Abinadi came to the people in a disguise (v. 1 see above) and in Luke 2, we learn that the Savior of the World came as a baby and not in the way that many were expecting Him to come (ie. surrounded by singing angels, with a heavenly glow around Him, etc.).  Abinadi called the people to repentace (v. 2-8 see above) and in Revelation 2:16 we read, “Repent; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will fight against them with the sword of my mouth.”  Abinadi was rejected by the people for his words and in Luke 4:28-29 we read, “And all they in the synagogue, when they heard these things, were filled with wrath (v.28 ), And rose up, and thrust him out of the city, and led him unto the row of the hill whereon their city was built, that they might cast him down headlong (v. 29).”

“And it came to pass that they were angry with him [Abinadi]; and they took him and carried him bound before the king, and said unto the king: Behold, we have brought a man before thee who has prophesied evil concerning thy people, and saith that God will destroy them (v. 9).”  In Matthew 26:47-57 we read that the Savior was betrayed and then taken before Caiaphas, the high priest.  Then Abinadi was cast into prison by King Noah (v. 17) just as Jesus was in Matthew 27:26-28, “Then released he Barabbas unto them: and when he had scourged Jesus, he delivered him to be crucified (v. 26).  Then the soldiers of the governor took Jesus into the common hall, and gathered unto him the whole band of soldiers (v. 27).  And they stripped him, and put on him a scarlet robe (v. 28 ).”

When Abinadi was taken before the priests of King Noah, they tried to trick him into a trap of his own words, “And they began to question him, that they might cross him, that thereby they might have wherewith to accuse him (v. 19)…”.  When the Savior was in the temple during his ministry, the priests and other noble men tried to trick Him with their questions as well (Mark 11:27-33).  However, both Abinadi and the Savior stood strong in the face of adversity and answered questions with questions.  In Mosiah 12:19 it continues, “…but he [Abinadi] 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.”  Verse 25 reads, “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?”  Then in Matthew 19:4 we read of one of the many examples of the Savior responding to them with questions, “And he answered and said unto them, Have ye not read, that he which made them at the beginning made them male and female,”.

Abinadi was a type (an example) of the Savior.  We should continue to look for examples of the Savior in everything in our lives.  Currently, my husband and I are reading the Chronicles of Narnia.  It amazes me how much of the stories revolve around Aslan, the Lion, being a type of Christ.  This just goes to show us that we can even find examples in those things that we use to entertain ourselves.

How do you “apply your heart to understanding”?

As a member of the church, I often hear something for the first time, but it feels like I already know it to be true.  There are a lot of things in the gospel that just seem to make perfect sense to me.  In verse 27 we read, “Ye have not applied your hearts to understanding; therefore, ye have not been wise…”  The priests had not prepared their hearts to understand the gospel.  I think he uses the word heart because our minds can be less accepting of spiritual truths. The spirit has the power to penetrate into our hearts if we allow it to do so.  Harold B Lee said, “When your heart tells you things that your mind does not know, then the Spirit is guiding you.”  I truly believe this is the case.  When we are trying to understand the gospel, we must allow our hearts to be open because our minds may hold us back from the truth.  This is why their are scholars who cannot understand the gospel truths because they are only willing to use their minds to understand.

In verse 27, Abinadi asks, “Therefore, what teach ye this people?”  To this the priests reply, “We teach the law of Moses (v. 28 ).”  Abinadi further asks, “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 (v. 29)?  Know ye not that I speak the truth? (v. 30)…” Here Abinadi tells them they know he speaks the truth (v. 30) and questions their understanding of the Law of Moses.  “And what know ye concerning the law of Moses? Doth salvation come by the law of Moses (v. 31)?”  Their answer to this is in the following verse, “And they answered and said that salvation did come by the law of Moses (v. 32).”  Then Abinadi tells them that he knows they will be saved if they keep the law of Moses and he tells them what it is.  Then this chapter ends with Abinadi’s words of accusation, “Now Abinadi said unto them, Have ye done all this? I say unto you, Nay, ye have not. And have ye taught this people that they should do all these things? I say unto you, Nay, ye have not (v. 37).”

Abinadi’s accusations were that the priests of King Noah did not live what they preached.  The taught the people what the Law of Moses was, but they did not live it and therefore did not teach the people to live it.  When we obey the laws of the gospel, we understand them better.  When we can see the blessings that come from living them, we can see why we must live them to be truly happy.  In John 7:17 we read, “If any man will do his will, he shall know of the doctrine, whether it be of God, or whether I speak of myself.”  When we live righteously the spirit can bear witness of the truth to us.

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About My Scripture Study Buddy

I am a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. I love the scriptures, but I am not a scriptorian. I've been told that I'm too "deep" for some, but if you are willing, I'd love to have others join me in my quest for a greater understanding of the gospel. Please feel free to leave me comments and hopefully we can help each other to learn.

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