Abinadi preached repentance to a wicked people and the wicked King Noah. In spite of threat to his life, he boldly decried the wicked teachings of the king and his priests. What is known about Abinadi comes from the record made by Alma who was converted by Abinadi's preaching. This record gives us a picture of the events that led up to the death of Abinadi and is found in the Book of Mosiah and the Book of Alma.
The Trial of Abinadi
King Noah imprisoned Abinadi and held a mock trial for him, during which Abinadi recounted the Ten Commandments and accused the king and his priests for their neglect of them and their neglect of teaching them (Mosiah 12).
King Noah angrily ordered his priests to kill Abinadi. He said, “Away with this fellow, and slay him; … for he is mad.”
But when the priests tried to lay their hands on Abinadi, he withstood them, saying: “Touch me not, for God shall smite you if ye lay your hands upon me, for I have not delivered the message which the Lord sent me to deliver. … I must fulfil the commandments wherewith God has commanded me (Mosiah 13).”
The people of King Noah were afraid to touch Abinadi because the Spirit of the Lord was with him. “His face shone with exceeding luster,” and he spoke “with power and authority from God.” Abinadi declared that he would finish the message that God had sent him to deliver—and then it wouldn’t matter what King Noah and the people did to him. (See Mosiah 13:1–9.)
Alma, one of King Noah's priests, listened to Abinadi, and even tried to beg King Noah not to kill Abinadi. Alma repented of his sins and went out preaching Abinadi's word, the Word of God (Mosiah 17).
Death by Fire
When Abinadi concluded his message, King Noah demanded that he deny the words he had spoken—or he would be put to death. But Abinadi refused.
Abinadi was sentenced to death by King Noah, and prophesied that the king would die in a similar manner.
The firmness of Abinadi’s faith is found in this touching entry in the sacred record: “And now, when Abinadi had said these words, he fell, having suffered death by fire; yea, having been put to death because he would not deny the commandments of God, having sealed the truth of his words by his death” (Mosiah 17:20).