26 January 2013

Mosiah 16-17: The end of Abinadi

Chapter 16 wraps up Abinadi's speech, and thankfully, it's the last we'll have to hear from him  He continues with the usual threats (but this time quoting language from Matthew 22:13):
And then shall the wicked be cast out, and they shall have cause to howl, and weep, and wail, and gnash their teeth; and this because they would not hearken unto the voice of the Lord; therefore the Lord redeemeth them not. 16:2 
But there will also be rewards for the righteous:
If they be good, to the resurrection of endless life and happiness; and if they be evil, to the resurrection of endless damnation, being delivered up to the devil, who hath subjected them, which is damnation -- 16:11 
And, one last time, he calls for the sinners to repent (or at least tremble):
And now, ought ye not to tremble and repent of your sins, and remember that only in and through Christ ye can be saved? 16:13 
King Noah doesn't listen. Instead, it came to pass that he commanded his priests to kill Abinadi.
 And now it came to pass that when Abinadi had finished these sayings, that the king commanded that the priests should take him and cause that he should be put to death. 17:1 
But his words were not spoken in vain. There was at least one who heard him. He was a descendant of Nephi, and his name was Alma.
But there was one among them whose name was Alma, he also being a descendant of Nephi. And he was a young man, and he believed the words which Abinadi had spoken, for he knew concerning the iniquity which Abinadi has testified against them; therefore he began to plead with the king that he would not be angry with Abinadi, but suffer that he might depart in peace.  17:2 
But King Noah's mind was made up. He was going to kill Abinadi, and now he was going to kill Alma, too.
But the king was more wroth, and caused that Alma should be cast out from among them, and sent his servants after him that they might slay him.17:3 
But Alma got away from Noah's priests, and he hid in the woods for a few days. Noah threw Abinadi in prison, and then brought him out to hear his sentence: Death. Abinadi held to his words, and threatens Noah one more time.
Now Abinadi said unto him: I say unto you, I will not recall the words which I have spoken unto you concerning this people, for they are true; and that ye may know of their surety I have suffered myself that I have fallen into your hands. 17:9  
Yea, and 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 shall also stand as a testimony against you at the last day. 17:10 
This almost scares King Noah enough to release Abinadi.  But then his priests goad him on, and he is forced to burn Abinadi to death.  That's how it goes sometimes.

And now king Noah was about to release him, for he feared his word; for he feared that the judgments of God would come upon him.17:11   
But the priests lifted up their voices against him, and began to accuse him, saying: He has reviled the king. Therefore the king was stirred up in anger against him, and he delivered him up that he might be slain.17:12  
And it came to pass that they took him and bound him, and scourged his skin with faggots, yea, even unto death. 17:13
While he was burning, he cursed them pretty good.  He covers all of his the basics: they will be burned, afflicted with disease, hunted by their enemies...
 Ye shall be afflicted with all manner of diseases because of your iniquities. 17:16
Ye shall be hunted, and ye shall be taken by the hand of your enemies, and then ye shall suffer, as I suffer, the pains of death by fire. 17:18
Thus God executeth vengeance upon those that destroy his people. O God, receive my soul. 17:19 
So Abinadi died, sealing the truth of his words by his death.  (Don't worry, it didn't make sense to me, either)
And now, when Abinadi had said these words, he fell, having suffered death by fire; yea, having been put to death because he would not deny the commandments of God, having sealed the truth of his words by his death. 17:20


Stephen said...

"So Abinadi died, sealing the truth of his words by his death. (Don't worry, it didn't make sense to me, either)"

Well, it sure makes it hard for him to take back his words... if that's not "sealed", I don't know what IS!
Steve Weeks

Ben said...

I was reading in the BOM the other night and read this passage and the first thing I thought of was this blog.

"For the things which some men esteem to be of great worth, both to the body and soul, others set at naught and trample under their feet. Yea, even the very God of Israel do men trample under their feet; I say, trample under their feet but I would speak in other words—they set him at naught, and hearken not to the voice of his counsels." 1 Nephi 19:7

Now I don't post this scripture as an indictment at all, in fact, more than anything I wonder what things have happened in our lives that have led us to the different perspectives that we have.

Stephen said...

Ben, some of us learned to depend on evidence for our world-views instead of dogmas bequeathed us by our parents or found in "holy" scriptures. Some of the stuff in the bible is common sense and worth taking seriously, and some is superstitious nonsense. I was in church school at the age of nine and realized that much of what I was being taught couldn't possibly be true. Now, 53 years later, I still haven't seen any reason to change my mind.

The passage you quoted could be paraphrased "to each his own" (fewer words!). This is common sense. If you then proceed to list the bad things that happen to people who "set him (god) at naught", you are in the superstitious nonsense department. 1 Nephi 19:14 says:
"And because they turn their hearts aside, saith the prophet, and have despised the Holy One of Israel, they shall wander in the flesh, and perish, and become a hiss and a byword, and be hated among all nations."

I've been turning my heart aside from this crap all my life, and have never been hissed, byworded or hated. I don't know what "wandering in the flesh" means, but if it means what I think it does, all I can say is I've been faithful to the same (only) wife for over 30 years, and have two bright, healthy, successful and skeptical children.

As to "why" we have these differing perspectives... I would suspect that you, my friend, have drunk the proverbial Kool-Aid. ;-)
Steve Weeks

Stephen said...

Oh, come on, Ben. Why do *you* think we have such different perspectives? If it's anything other than that we grew up in families with different religious outlooks, I'd like to know.
Steve Weeks

Ben said...

I find it interesting that opponents of religion are so easy to assume that believers have blindly followed the prevailing assumptions of their upbringing.

Please don't make that same assumption with me. I've asked the hard questions, I've found my answers, and others I'm still waiting on. The one principle that will always separate believers and non-believers if faith. Some just can't move on without proof and seeing for themselves, others can.

One question, are you as critical towards your government as you are towards religion? I wonder what your thoughts are on 9/11, The Gulf of Tonkin,The Federal Reserve...I hope you are just as skeptical towards man and the good old USA as you are towards religion, the Mormon religion at least.

Stephen said...

I don't know that I'd call that "moving on". ^_^
Proof is hard to find, but it's often easy to find plausible evidence. I imagine plausible evidence can be a problem for the "true" believer; not only for Mormonism, but any religion. A good example is the theory of evolution by natural selection which, along with well-established genetic evidence, establishes humans as having a series of common ancestors with all life on earth. These pretty much do away with the concept of "Adam and Eve" without which the doctrine of "original sin" fails.
But aside from that, I am not really "anti" religion. It puzzles me exceedingly that other folks seem to believe nonsense, but I don't lose sleep over it; neither do I go out of my way to criticize... only on a blog like this one.
The "assumption" that religious people have adopted the worldviews of their parents or families is not unreasonable, because that is exactly how many (I won't say "most", though I think it likely) people come to their beliefs. Do you really think if you had been born in the middle east that you would have found your way to the Mormon church?
What I *do* object to about many religious people is their tendency (rather strong in Mormons) to try to share their faith with others. I don't want people coming to my door with bibles, tracts, warnings and such. I don't want them getting involved with government... at least, not unless their churches pay taxes.
Actually, I tend to be less skeptical about things I know actually exist. I try to follow the news and think about what is happening. Luckily, it's a lot harder to pull the wool over peoples' eyes today than it was in the early 19th century. Don't tell me you're a 9/11 "truther"! ;-)
Steve Weeks