A couple of nights ago, my wife, daughter and I were reading our evening scriptures. One verse stuck out like a sore thumb. Actually, a welcome…..thumbs up!
Abinadi is a Book of Mormon prophet of serious renown. Around 148 B.C., somewhere in the Americas, he called a king and the church leaders to repent of their evil doings. Rather than reform, this supreme secular and religious coterie responded with fire. Real fire. Abinadi was sentenced to a dreadful death. This heaven sent messenger was burned at the stake.
Here are the final words of this powerful Book of Mormon story:
“He fell, having suffered death by fire; yea, having been put to death because he would not deny the commandments of God.” –Mosiah 17:20
He Would Not Deny the Commandments of God
That sentence stopped me in my tracks. Here’s a man who was willing to suffer one of the most torturous deaths imaginable. I can’t conceive of the appalling pain.
He forfeited his life because of his unwillingness to “deny the commandments of God.” What commandments was he not willing to deny? The king and priests simply wanted Abinadi to take back the words that he had spoken. He refused. God had sent him to speak a message. Abinadi obeyed. He would not turn back. For doing what was right, he was consumed in the firelight.
Liken the scriptures unto ourselves. Another very special and practical Book of Mormon teaching. Of course, we, the rank-n-file members, are not prophets like Abinadi. But, perhaps there is an example here that we should attempt to follow.
Jesus has asked us, every one of His fellowcitizens, to regularly offer up our honest opinions to His religious leaders. It’s called the Law of Common Consent and occurs at least four times every year. Jesus, himself, designated Common Consent as a vital function for governing His church.
Listen to the succinct words of Christ’s plain and simple commandment:
“For ALL things MUST be done in order, and by Common Consent in the church.” –D&C 28:13
Following Abinadi’s lead, let us not deny the commandments of God. Certainly, not this one. There is too much at stake. In memory of our God, our religion and our freedom, may we stand up and embrace vs. deny this command of Jesus.
Christ’s Law of Common Consent requires that all “policies, major decisions, acceptance of new scripture, and other things that affect the lives of the Saints” be ratified by common consent. This is not happening. There is a desperate need for the Law of God to be fully restored in His restored church.
Abinadi had to die for not denying. If the church stops denying it can once again live up to it’s “Living” name.
A Time to be Silent and a Time to Speak
Two short weeks from now, on October 1, during the afternoon session of general conference, our next Abinadi moment will be presented. I encourage us all to give careful consideration to voting our honest opinions. Jesus, the founder of our church, highly values our views. May we value our own vote as much.