Tuesday, March 15, 2011
Could King Benjamins angelic visitor have been none other than Abinadi?
In an article I recently read entitled, "Abinadi The Man and the Message" by Todd B. Parker that brought an interesting correlation between Abinadi, his message, and King Benjamin. He explained that if we compare the timelines and lives of Abinadi and King Benjamin you will notice that when King Benjamin was giving wonderful speech from the tower built at the temple, with the time when Abinadi was martyred for his preaching to the wicked King Noah and his priests, you will see that Abinadi's message to King Noah took place first. As a matter of fact, by the time that King Benjamin was giving is speech Abinadi had been dead for approximatly 36 years or so. Abinadi gave his message to King Noah in 160 BC while King Benjamin gave his speech to his people in 124 BC (approx. 36 years difference). This is commonly mistaken because we read the Book of Mormon from cover to cover we first read about King Benjamin starting in "Words of Mormon" and then with the beginning of the book of Mosiah. You don't even hear about Abinadi until you are 10 chapters into the Book of Mosiah. But upon comparison with the bottom timelines between these two Prophets you realize that Abinadi actually took place first.
With this in mind when you compare there speeches you will realize that not only do they have a lot in common you will notice there are 25 distinct things that King Benjamin taught that Abinadi had already taught in basically the same form. They both teach that God will come down; he will do miracles; he will suffer temptation; he will be called Jesus; he is the Father of heaven and earth; he will bring salvation; he will be scouged and crucified; he will overcome death; he will do these things that men can be judged; his atonement redeems those who have ignorantly sinned; those who willfully rebel will not be redeemed; all prophets declare this same message; the prophets spoke as if these things had already happened; because Israel was stiff-necked, the law was given them (the law of Moses); the law included types, or shadows, or symbols, of things to come; the prophets spake concerning his coming; Israel hardened their hearts against the prophets; the law of Moses is ineffectual without the atonement; the atonement provides eternal life for little children; salvation is in Christ, and there is no other way under heaven whereby man can be saved; the natural man is an enemy to God; the knowledge of Christ is going to spread throughout the whole word; receiving this message makes a person accountable; everybody is going to be judged; and the prophets' words stand as a testimony.
Since each one taught basically the same thing we can't help but ask the question, is there any correlation between these two prophets? Since we already know that Abinadi came first and was already dead when King Benjamin gave his speech to his people. This brings us to our next step where did King Benjamin get his information from on his speech? Well if we read in Mosiah 3:3 we see that King Benjamin was visited by an angel who stated, "Awake, and hear the words which I shall tell thee; for behold, I am come to declare unto you the glad tidings of great joy". Perhaps this angel has an affiity for these words. It's an example of the Bibles phrase "Behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy". (Luke 2:10) Is it possible that this angel is none other than our friend Abinadi? They certainly teach the same things. Notice what Benjamin says, "The things which I shall tell you are made known unto me by an angel" ( Mosiah 3:2). In essence, he's saying, "I'm giving you what the angel gave me," and its almost scripted all the way through. Well, you can make your own decision there, but I think there's definitely a correlation between those two messages.