Abinadi and King Noah
• Print the visual aids. Number the visual aids on the back in the order printed.
• Items needed: tape, an envelope or small paper bag, a clear jar full of nine opened rolls of pennies (or 450 of some other item), small pieces of paper, pencils, a Book of Mormon for each child.
• Print and cut out the situation cards. Put them in an envelope or small bag.
Show the children the jar of pennies. Have them each write on a piece of paper how many pennies they think are in the jar. After they have guessed, instruct them to put their papers under their chairs. Explain that in today’s lesson they will learn about how one person, who stood up for the right, influenced the lives of as many people as there are pennies in the jar.
Scripture Story Activity
Attach the visual aid pictures onto a wall or chalkboard in random order. Tell the following story, stopping whenever you see the initials WHN. Have the children guess “What Happens Next” by picking out a picture on the wall. After you continue, have them decide if the picture they picked goes with that part of the story. If it doesn’t, have them choose the correct picture.
Many years before King Benjamin’s address to his people, a group of people led by a man named Zeniff left Zarahemla and went back to the land of Nephi. Zeniff and his people wanted to return to the land of Nephi because they considered it to be the land of their inheritance.
• What was the problem with their plan to return to the land of Nephi? The Lord had commanded the people to leave the land of Nephi because of the danger from the Lamanites.
• Were Zeniff and his people being obedient to the Lord’s commands when they went back to the land of Nephi? What usually happens when people don’t listen to the Lord? (They have to suffer the resulting consequences and sorrows.) We need to trust in the Lord, that he knows what is best for us.
WHN – When Zeniff and his people arrived at their destination, Zeniff took four men and went to talk to the king of the Lamanites about allowing them to possess the land of Nephi.
• The Lamanite King allowed them to possess the land, but he had a reason for allowing it. What might that reason have been? (See Mosiah 9:10) The Lamanite king was cunning and devious, and he allowed them to possess the land so that the Lamanites could bring Zeniff’s people into bondage. The Lamanites were a lazy people, and they hated the Nephites. They wanted to glut themselves on the Nephites labor.
WHN – The king of the Lamanites allowed Zeniff and his people to live in peace for several years to give the Nephites time to establish their crops and flocks.
WHN – The king of the Lamanites then incited his people to attack Zeniff’s people.
WHN – Zeniff and his people fought against the Lamanites, and eventually they were able to drive them off because Zeniff and his people turned to the Lord for help.
They set guards around the land to keep watch so the Lamanites could not come upon them and destroy them. Zeniff eventually became old. Before he died, Zeniff conferred his kingdom upon his son Noah.
WHN – Unlike his father, Noah was not a good king, and he did not keep the commandments of God.
• What were some of the things King Noah did that were against the commandments? (See Mosiah 11:2, 5 and 14 to find the answers.)
o He had many wives and concubines, which was not lawful.
o He placed his heart upon riches. He taxed the people to support himself in luxury. He had a palace and many elegant and spacious buildings built. He used gold and other precious items to ornate them.
o He spent his time in partying, wild living, and excessive wine drinking.
o He got rid of all the consecrated priests. He appointed his own priests, men who would sustain him and his wicked life style.
o He caused and encouraged his people to commit sin.
• Why would King Noah want his people to commit sin? Through getting others to sin, Noah may have hoped to justify his sins and make sin seem acceptable and normal. (Encourage the children to remember the story of wicked King Noah when someone tries to get them to do something wrong.)
After many years the Lamanites began to attack the people again. King Noah’s armies drove them back, but King Noah’s people had become wicked and prideful. They boasted of their strength because of their victory. They also delighted in the killing and the bloodshed of their enemies.
WHN – A prophet named Abinadi was commanded by the Lord to go among the people to preach and prophesy.
• Ask the children what they think Abinadi told the people. (See Mosiah 11:21) He warned them that unless they repented they would be delivered into the hands of their enemies and be brought into bondage.
• How did you think the people responded to Abinadi’s words? (See Mosiah 11:26) The people were angry with him and they wanted to kill him, but the Lord delivered him out of their hands.
• Why do you think some people get angry with those who call them to repentance? Answers may include: it brings out into the open their evil actions and guilt, or they desire to continue doing the evil things, or their pride is offended because they don’t want to acknowledge they have weaknesses.
Because of their anger, those who are sinning may try to make it appear as if the person who is calling them to repentance is in the wrong or at fault. King Noah became angry and tried to make Abinadi seem like a self-righteous person trying to cause contentions.
• When we are told to repent and improve some area of our life how does the Lord want us to respond? He wants us to be humble and teachable.
.Why does the Lord want us to repent? Because he loves us and does not want us to suffer the resulting eternal and mortal consequences of sin.
King Noah sent his men to get Abinadi so he could kill him, but they could not find him. After two years Abinadi came back among the people.
• Why did the Lord wait two years before sending Abinadi back? To give the people time to repent.
But the people had not repented. Abinadi told them because they did not repent they would be smitten with bondage, afflictions, famine and pestilence. He also said they would be utterly destroyed if they did not then change their ways.
WHN – The people were angry with Abinadi. They bound him and took him before King Noah.
WHN – The priests questioned Abinadi, trying to cross him so they would have something to accuse him of. Abinadi answered them boldly and withstood all their questions. He confounded them to their astonishment. He accused them of altering and misrepresenting the ways of the Lord for their own purposes, and he accused them of not keeping the laws that they were supposed to be teaching.
• How did King Noah respond to Abinadi’s words? (See Mosiah 13:1) King Noah wanted to kill Abinadi, and he tried to make it seem as if Abinadi was crazy. Why would King Noah try to make it seem as if something was wrong with Abinadi?
WHN – They attempted to take Abinadi, but he withstood them. He told them not to touch him because he had not finished delivering his message. The people didn’t dare lay their hands upon him because the spirit was with him, and his face shone with exceeding luster. He also spoke as with power and authority from God. Abinadi preached to them many things about the commandments and about the Savior Jesus Christ.
• When Abinadi was done with his message how did King Noah respond this time? Did King Noah repent after witnessing that the power of God was with Abinadi? (See Mosiah 17:1) King Noah commanded that Abinadi should be put to death.
• Why did King Noah want to slay Abinadi? (See Mosiah 13:7) Because it cut him to the heart that Abinadi was speaking the truth about his iniquities.
• Did anyone repent and believe Abinadi’s words? (See beginning of Mosiah 17:2) There was a priest named Alma that believed the words of Abinadi.
WHN - Alma pleaded with the king for Abinadi’s life.
WHN – The king cast Alma out and sent his servants to kill him. Alma hid and could not be found. While he was hiding he wrote down all the words Abinadi had spoken.
King Noah and the priests told Abinadi they would kill him unless he denied the things he had said.
• How did Abinadi respond? (See Mosiah 17:9-10) Abinadi told King Noah he would not recall the words he had spoken, and if King Noah killed him then his innocent blood would stand as a witness against the king at the last day.
To take innocent life is murder and merits eternal punishment. This made Noah fearful and he was about to release Abinadi, but the priests stirred Noah back into anger.
WHN – They whipped Abinadi, and then they burned him to death. As Abinadi was burning he cried out that even as they had done to him so would they endure the same.
• Why did the Lord allow Abinadi to be killed? Sometimes the Lord’s servants are called to seal their testimony with their blood. Their death stands as a witness of the truth of their words and also stands as a witness against the wicked.
• Why was Abinadi not afraid to die? Abinadi knew that he would receive eternal life and salvation because of his faithfulness.
WHN – After Abinadi’s death his prophecies that God would deliver the people into the hands of their enemies began to come true when the Lamanites attacked the city.
WHN – The king commanded the people to flee, but the Lamanites pursued them and overtook them and began to slay them. The king commanded that the men should leave their wives and children.
• Why would King Noah command his men to leave their wives and children? He was concerned about his own safety, and the women and children were slowing them down.
Some of the men stayed with their families and were able to convince the Lamanites to spare them and their loved ones. They were taken captive.
WHN – The men that had left with the king wanted to return for their wives and children, but the king commanded them not to. They became angry and caused him to be burned to death.
Point out that that Abinadi had prophesied that King Noah would suffer the same manner of death that he had inflicted upon Abinadi.
Abinadi stood as a witness for God. A witness for God is someone who states his or her beliefs in God and his commandments. Ordinarily they do not have to sacrifice their lives to do this.
• How can we stand as witnesses for God?
Tell the children they are going to do an activity to help them see how they can stand for the right and be a witness for God. Divide the children into sets of two. Have each set of children choose a situation card from the envelope. Have the children act out the scenario found on the card. Have them demonstrate how they can be a witness for God in each situation by sharing their beliefs and standing for the right. Give the children a couple of minutes beforehand to talk about and prepare their scenes with their partners.
When we are valiant in standing as a witness for God we can be an influence for good in others lives.
• Who did Abinadi influence? Abinadi influenced Alma the former priest of King Noah, and Alma shared Abinadi’s message with many others.
Get out the jar of pennies, and have the children get their papers from under their chairs. Tell the children that 450 souls listened to and believed Alma’s message, and there are 450 pennies in the jar. Later, Alma influenced even more people because he became the high priest in Zarahemla.
Ask the children if any of them came close to guessing how many pennies were in the jar. Praise everyone for their guesses.
Encourage the children to be witnesses of God and to be good influences upon those who are around them. Explain that even though some people may not be interested in listening, we may have an influence upon more people than we realize.
Weekly Reading Assignment
Remind the children to do their scripture reading assignment for this week – Mosiah 11-13, Mosiah 17 and Mosiah 19:4–20.
Note: It is important to complete the lesson and do the activity to help the children see how to apply what has been learned. If there is not enough time, it may be necessary to discard the WHN activity and just show the pictures and tell the story.