Approximately 150 B.C.
Abinadi was a Nephite prophet. Abinadi had joined a small group of Nephites who attempted to regain control of the city of Nephi from the Lamanites. After he publicly called the king and his priests (all apostate Nephites) to repentance, he was banished, went into exile, and returned two years later to again preach against the wicked King Noah and his priests. After a memorable trial in the king’s court, the king was afraid of Abinadi’s righteous power and was willing to release him. His priests, however, would not allow it, and they succeeded in having Abinadi burned alive.
Preparation and Calling
Nothing is known about Abinadi’s calling as a prophet or his preparation for such.
Interaction with God
Abinadi was a powerful witness of Jesus Christ, whose birth was yet a century and a half in the future. He knew the sacred writings well, including those of Isaiah, and was obviously a recipient of the gift of prophecy. During the trial for his life, at one point “his face shown with exceeding luster, evan as Moses’ did while in the mount of Sinai.” While he was clearly familiar with the workings of the Spirit, we have little information about his direct interaction with God the Father.
Abinadi was in a tough spot. The Lord commanded him to cry repentance and witness against the evil doings of the king and his powerful but utterly corrupt priests. At one point, he had to sneak back into the city in disguise to fulfill his calling from the Lord. One wonders whether his purpose was not so much a mission of potential conversion but rather of providing a witness against King Noah and his priests so they could be held fully accountable at the day of judgment.
Abinadi is remembered for prophecies in two particular areas: (1) his powerful witness of the coming Christ and His death and resurrection, and (2) the destruction that would come to the people because of their wickedness.
Living with the Prophet
Abinadi was faithful to his calling from God even though he knew that his life was in jeopardy. But his love for God was stronger than any fear that might have been aroused by these wicked government leaders. Have you ever been in a position where you were ridiculed or challenged because of your beliefs by someone in a position of authority?
Encyclopedia of Mormonism, vol. 1, s.v. “Abinadi.”
Book of Mormon, the book of Mosiah.
Book of Mormon, Reader’s Edition, ed. Grant Hardy.