Noah was the second of the Nephite kings in the colony established by Zeniff among the Lamanites in the land of Nephi. Noah was struck with fear at the compelling message of the impending judgments of God, but his priests stirred him up in anger against Abinadi, who was then sent to a fiery death. Before his death the prophet declared to Noah, “Behold, even as ye have done unto me, so shall it come to pass that thy seed shall cause that many shall suffer the pains that I do suffer, even the pains of death by fire; and this because they believe in the salvation of the Lord their God”.
Noah fled into the wilderness before the invading Lamanite armies, commanding his people to pursue a cowardly strategy of abandoning their wives and children and leaving them to the mercy of the enemy. Some, including Limhi, son of Noah, refused to obey, however, and remained to protect their families. The Lamanites had compassion upon them and permitted them to remain in the land, provided they would pay a heavy tribute to the Lamanites and also deliver the king into their custody. Limhi “was desirous that his father should not be destroyed; nevertheless, Limhi was not ignorant of the iniquities of his father, he himself being a just man”. During this same time, Gideon, a strong member of Noah’s army who had rebelled against the king and attempted at one point to slay him , sent a search party to find the king in the wilderness. Instead, they found the remainder of the people who had fled before the Lamanites. These people informed Gideon’s party that they had been filled with remorse at having abandoned their families and sought the king’s permission to return to their homes—even at the peril of their own lives. When he refused to allow them to return, they became angry “and caused that he should suffer, even unto death by fire” , thus fulfilling, in part, the prophecy made by Abinadi.
The priests of the wicked king fled into the wilderness. Eventually they and their successors set up conspiracies with the Lamanites and caused much suffering among the Nephite peoples and their Lamanite converts, even putting many to death by fire and thus fulfilling the remainder of Abinadi’s prophecy. As a result, the priests of wicked king Noah were driven and smitten by their enemies according to the judgments of the Almighty , and many Lamanites repented and joined the people of God. Meanwhile, Alma, previously a member of Noah’s court, had been touched by the words of Abinadi and fled with his followers into the wilderness. He, like Limhi and his people, eventually reached Zarahemla to enjoy a period of peace and prosperity.
History: It was around 150 BC—some ten years into the tenure of Noah—that the Lord sent the prophet Abinadi to preach repentance and warn the members of the royal court and their followers against the inevitable destruction because of their wickedness. Abinadi returned two years later to announce the impending judgment of God and was martyred—thus inaugurating the series of events that forced Noah to flee. Alma and his party followed shortly thereafter, around 120 BC.
The wicked priests of Noah and their successors, in league with the Lamanites, subjected the people to much pain and suffering over the next generation or two before they received the judgments of God. Mosiah later reminded his readers, “Yea, remember king Noah, his wickedness and his abominations, and also the wickedness and abominations of his people. Behold what great destruction did come upon them; and also because of their iniquities they were brought into bondage”.O