Standing for Your Beliefs
To simply say you believe in something is not enough. To truly have something you believe to be a part of you, you must live it and stand up for it. If the second your beliefs are challenged, you hid them or give up on them, then they are not real beliefs. This is not to say you can’t strengthen them, but until your willing to stand up for what you believe, they are not truly a part of you.
Abinadi is the best example from The Book of Mormon of standing for what you believe. The Lord commanded Abinadi to tell the wicked King Noah and his people to repent (Mosiah 11:20–21), as they were living lives of sin. King Noah also taxed his people a fifth of all their possessions to support himself and his lifestyle (Mosiah 11:1–7, 14–15, 19). Notice how this is a stark contrast to King Benjamin from the previous lesson.
Abinadi had boldly testified to the wicked King Noah and his priests of the Ten Commandments given to Moses on Mount Sinai (Mosiah 12:33–36; 13:11–24). Abinadi pointed out to them that these commandments were not a part of what they truly believe (“written on their hearts”) because they were not living them.
The Wicked are Often Sacred of and Offended By Truth
King Noah and his people responded to the words of Abinadi by trying to kill him, but because of Abinadi’s faith, conviction, and unfinished mission, God gave him the power to evade them (Mosiah 11:26–29). Even after Abinadi was captured and brought before King Noah, Abinadi was protected by the power of God which caused the people of King Noah afraid to lay their hands on him (Mosiah 13:3–5).
This gave Abinadi the time to testify about Jesus Christ and his atonement. (Mosiah 15:1, 6–8; 16:14–15). Despite this King Noah still wanted to have Abinadi killed (Mosiah 17:1). As you can read in various verses from the books of Nephi (see: 1 Nephi 16:2-3, 2 Nephi 9:40), this disdain towards those who speak truth can often be expected from those who are wiked like King Noah. Despite this, Abinadi stood his ground and continued to stand for what he believed.
It can sometimes be difficult to stand for what is right, but we can find strength through Christ to stand for the right.
Abinadi Seals His Testimony with his Life
Abinadi continued to show his strength and courage by being willing to seal his words with his life (Mosiah 17:7–10). By being willing to do this, he not only proved his true belief in the Gospel but also helped to convert others to follow Jesus Christ. Abinadi was burned to death, sealing his words with his death (Mosiah 17:20).
“For the Lord suffereth the righteous to be slain that his justice and judgment may come upon the wicked; therefore ye need not suppose that the righteous are lost because they are slain; but behold, they do enter into the rest of the Lord their God” (Alma 60:13).
King Noah “placed his heart upon his riches” and himself (Mosiah 11:14; 19:7–8). In contrast, Abinadi placed his heart upon the things of God (Mosiah 13:4; 17:7–10). King Noah’s heart was on things of this life and this world, but Abinadi was focused on things beyond this life knowing that his eternal salvation was more important than his earthly life. Sometimes righteous people have died for defending the truth, but when this happens, they “do enter into the rest of the Lord their God.” The Lord allows this so “that his justice and judgment may come upon the wicked” (Alma 60:13).
Abinadi’s testimony affected Alma before his death. (Mosiah 17:1–4). We will learn more about Alma in our next lesson.
For another example like Abinadi, read about Alma and Amulek who stood up for what they believed, despite being in prison and watching other believers being executed: Alma 14.
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