Mosiah 11 to 17 – “A Light … That Can Never Be Darkened”

May 4, 2020 to May 10, 2020

Abinadi clarified the purpose of the law of Moses, identified Christ as our redeemer, and expounded on the Resurrection. Courageously, he sealed his message with his life.

“Abinadi: The Prophet and Martyr,” Robert J. Matthews, The Book of Mormon: Mosiah, Salvation Only Through Christ
We would not have Alma without Abinadi, and we would not have Abinadi without Alma, who following his conversion preserved Abinadi’s teachings. Abinadi courageously delivered his message: he counters, questions, and condemns the wicked actions of these leaders, but more importantly, he seeks to bring people to Christ.

“The Fatherhood of Christ and the Atonement,” Paul Y. Hoskisson, Religious Educator 1:1
Paul Hoskisson discusses Abinadi’s discourse in view of Christ’s various characteristics and natures. Abinadi preaches about Christ being both the Father and the Son. Hoskisson notes that Abinadi’s discourse is full of various dualities. Christ has dual titles, capacities, and natures. Christ is both Father and Son, born of God and born of man, he is of spirit and of the flesh, and, most importantly, he did not have to die but had the ability to die.

“Textual Similarities in the Words of Abinadi and Alma’s Counsel to Corianton,” John Hilton III, BYU Studies Quarterly, Vol. 51, no. 2
John Hilton examines textual similarities between two texts found in the Book of Mormon: the words of Abinadi in Mosiah 12-17 and the words of Alma the Younger in Alma 39-42. Hilton used both human-based and computer-based techniques to search for textual matches.

“‘Stretch Forth Thy Hand and Prophesy’: Hand Gestures in the Book of Mormon,” David Calabro, Journal of Book of Mormon Studies 21:1
In Mosiah 12, Abinadi prophesies by stretching forth his hand. This article discusses the meaning and significance of four specific gestures referred to in the Book of Mormon: stretching forth one’s hand, stretching forth the hand to exert divine power, extending the arm in mercy, and clapping the hands to express joy.

“Why Was Abinadi Scourged with Faggots?” Book of Mormon Central KnoWhy
In Mosiah 17, the priests of King Noah condemned Abinadi to death and they “scourged his skin with faggots.” While this phrase and execution method seem strange, Mesoamerican evidence that seems to suggest that scourging or whipping with firebrands was indeed a legitimate means of execution in the New World. Since the idea of scourging or whipping someone with faggots seems strange, Royal Skousen proposes that the word “scourged” be emended to read “scorched”.

“The Father and the Son,” Ensign 2002
In the early 1900s, some discussion arose among Church members about the roles of God the Father and Jesus Christ. The First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve Apostles issued the following in 1916 to clarify the meaning of certain scriptures (including Mosiah 15 and 16) where Jesus Christ, or Jehovah, is designated as the Father.

“Isaiah 53, Mosiah 14, and the Book of Mormon,” John W. Welch, Isaiah in the Book of Mormon
Isaiah 53 is quoted in its entirety by Abinadi in Mosiah 14, near the middle of his response to the priests of Noah. This beautiful poem formed the crux of Abinadi’s theological testimony and legal defense and is one of the mainstays of prophetic knowledge in the Book of Mormon about the coming atonement of the Savior. While Abinadi and others in antiquity interpreted Isaiah’s suffering servant messianically, the Hebrew text left enough unstated that Noah’s wicked priests could adopt another reading.

“Abinadi’s Commentary on Isaiah,” Monte S. Nyman, The Book of Mormon: Mosiah, Salvation Only Through Christ
In the midst of Abinadi’s trial, the priests of King Noah begin quizzing Abinadi on the meaning of Isaiah. While this seems an odd thing to do in a legal proceeding, the priests of King Noah were hoping to trap Abinadi by accusing him of being a false prophet for prophesying contrary to the priests’ interpretation of Isaiah. Despite the priests’ intentions, Abinadi quotes Isaiah and provides powerful commentary that elucidates the atoning mission of Jesus Christ.

“Abinadi and Pentecost,” John W. Welch, Reexploring the Book of Mormon
Due to various literary and ritual connections, John W. Welch proposes that Abinadi may have been preaching against King Noah on the Israelite festival of Pentecost. For example, just as the Israelites would have studied the Ten Commandments during the festival of Shavuot or Pentecost, Abinadi expounds on the Ten Commandments in front of the court of King Noah.

Chart 9-124: “Did Abinadi Prophesy against King Noah on Pentecost?” Charting the Book of Mormon
Abinadi may very well have prophesied to King Noah and his priests on or near the day of Pentecost, as textual clues in Mosiah 11–17 suggest. Pentecost in ancient Israel was a three-day festival in May celebrating the new wheat and bounty of spring.

“Benjamin and Noah: The Principle of Dominion,” Lee L. Donaldson, The Book of Mormon: Mosiah, Salvation Only Through Christ
“The book of Mosiah contrasts the characters of Benjamin and Noah on at least seven points: their treatment of and attitude toward temples; their handling of conflicts with the Lamanites; their methods of succession; their use of and reaction to sermons; and their attitudes toward physical labor and service, the written word, and the living prophets.”