Discussions of Mormons and Mormon life, Book of Mormon issues and evidences, and other Latter-day Saint (LDS) topics.

Sunday, June 06, 2004

Lessons from Abinadi and Alma

I had the chance to substitute teach a couple of Gospel Doctrine lessons recently dealing with the Book of Mosiah. I was impressed with a comment from a visitor (E. Sheldon, I think, from Chillicothe, Ohio) about the parallels between Abinadi and John the Baptist. Have others noted this before? Both prophets testified against the wickedness of a king and ended up being imprisoned and then executed. OK, that's a relatively common archetype. But in both cases, the king had qualms that had to be overcome by others, and in both cases, the work of the martyred prophet paved the way for establishing the Gospel in that area. John prepared the way for Christ, and Abinadi prepared the way, in a sense, for the establishment of the Church under the hands of Alma. I thought that was interesting.

On a related note, I am impressed with the modern relevance of King Noah's reaction to Abinadi. Initially, King Noah decries Abinadi as being divisive (Mosiah 11:28), and then mentally ill ("mad" in Mos. 13:1). After Abinadi's work gains momentum through Alma's ministry, the King declares that Alma is "in rebellion" (Mos. 18:33) and sends his armies to destroy Alma and his people.

I see many parallels to modern clashes between the world and the Gospel. For example, on the issue of homosexuality, those who raise questions about the propriety or morality of homosexual behavior are condemned for being divisive. They are called mentally ill (homophobic - a phobia being a form of mental illness). Reasoned debate is just not allowed in many cases. How long before force is used to advance the cause of gay activists and to silence those who speak out against gay marriage or homosexual practices in general? (See, for example, the related and arguably insensitive spoof on smokophobia.)

3 comments:

Kim Siever said...

"...parallels between King Benjamin and John the Baptist..."

Should that be "Abinadi and John the Baptist"?

Mormanity said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Mormanity said...

Yes, thanks! I fixed it.