And it came to pass that they said unto the king: Bring him hither that we may question him; and the king commanded that he should be brought before them. And they began to question him, that they might cross him, that thereby they might have wherewith to accuse him; but he answered them boldly, and withstood all their questions, yea, to their astonishment; for he did withstand them in all their questions, and did confound them in all their words.
And it came to pass that one of them said unto him: What meaneth the words which are written, and which have been taught by our fathers, saying:
“How beautiful upon the mountains
are the feet of him that bringeth good tidings;
that publisheth peace.
“That bringeth good tidings of good.
“That publisheth salvation;
that saith unto Zion, “Thy God reigneth”;
“Thy watchmen shall lift up the voice;
with the voice together shall they sing.
“For they shall see eye to eye
when the Lord shall bring again Zion;
“Break forth into joy.
“Sing together ye waste places of Jerusalem.
“For the Lord hath comforted his people,
he hath redeemed Jerusalem;
“The Lord hath made bare his holy arm
in the eyes of all the nations,
and all the ends of the earth
shall see the salvation of our God?”
And now Abinadi said unto them:
“Are you priests, and pretend to teach this people, and to understand the spirit of prophesying, and yet desire to know of me what these things mean? I say unto you, wo be unto you for perverting the ways of the Lord! For if ye understand these things ye have not taught them; therefore, ye have perverted the ways of the Lord. Ye have not applied your hearts to understanding; therefore, ye have not been wise.”
“Therefore, what teach ye this people?”
And they said:
“We teach the law of Moses.”
And again he said unto them:
“If ye teach the law of Moses why do ye not keep it? Why do ye set your hearts upon riches? Why do ye commit whoredoms and spend your strength with harlots, yea, and cause this people to commit sin, that the Lord has cause to send me to prophesy against this people, yea, even a great evil against this people?
“Know ye not that I speak the truth? Yea, ye know that I speak the truth; and you ought to tremble before God. And it shall come to pass that ye shall be smitten for your iniquities, for ye have said that ye teach the law of Moses. And what know ye concerning the law of Moses? Doth salvation come by the law of Moses? What say ye?”
And they answered and said that salvation did come by the law of Moses.
But now Abinadi said unto them:
“I know if ye keep the commandments of God ye shall be saved; yea, if ye keep the commandments which the Lord delivered unto Moses in the mount of Sinai, saying:
‘I am the Lord thy God,
who hath brought thee out of the land of Egypt,
out of the house of bondage.
Thou shalt have no other God before me.
thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image,
or any likeness of any thing in heaven above,
or things which are in the earth beneath. ’”
Now Abinadi said unto them,
“Have ye done all this? I say unto you, Nay, ye have not. And have ye taught this people that they should do all these things? I say unto you, Nay, ye have not.”
And now when the king had heard these words, he said unto his priests:
“Away with this fellow, and slay him;
for what have we to do with him, for he is mad.”
And they stood forth and attempted to lay their hands on him; but he withstood them, and said unto them:
“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; neither have I told you that which ye requested that I should tell; therefore, God will not suffer that I shall be destroyed at this time. But I must fulfil the commandments wherewith God has commanded me; and because I have told you the truth ye are angry with me. And again, because I have spoken the word of God ye have judged me that I am mad.”
Now it came to pass after Abinadi had spoken these words that the people of king Noah durst not lay their hands on him, for the Spirit of the Lord was upon him; and his face shone with exceeding luster, even as Moses’ did while in the mount of Sinai, while speaking with the Lord. And he spake with power and authority from God; and he continued his words, saying:
“Ye see that ye have not power to slay me, therefore I finish my message. Yea, and I perceive that it cuts you to your hearts because I tell you the truth concerning your iniquities. Yea, and my words fill you with wonder and amazement, and with anger. But I finish my message; and then it matters not whither I go, if it so be that I am saved. But this much I tell you, what you a do with me, after this, shall be as a type and a shadow of things which are to come.”
And now it came to pass that when Abinadi had finished these sayings, that the king commanded that the priests should take him and cause that he should be put to death.
But there was one among them whose name was Alma, he also being a descendant of Nephi. And he was a young man, and he believed the words which Abinadi had spoken, for he knew concerning the iniquity which Abinadi has testified against them; therefore he began to plead with the king that he would not be angry with Abinadi, but suffer that he might depart in peace.
But the king was more wroth, and caused that Alma should be cast out from among them, and sent his servants after him that they might slay him.
But he fled from before them and hid himself that they found him not. And he being concealed for many days did write all the words which Abinadi had spoken.
And it came to pass that the king caused that his guards should surround Abinadi and take him; and they bound him and cast him into prison.