Updated: Jul 19
Read the original Spanish version here.
The Ballad of Abinadi
by Mario R. Montani
translated by Whitney Hemsath
Back in the land of Nephi
and the borders of Shilom,
the people had perverted
all the ways of Chist, their Lord.
So God sent forth Abinadi
in wicked Noah’s day
to preach of virtue and the law
and help them to obey.
“Behold, saith the Lord of Hosts
to you who won’t repent,
Wo, wo unto this people!
The commandments must be kept.
Jehovah has revealed his arm
in ev’ry land and nation,
showing that His name alone
can bring to men salvation.
How beautiful upon the mount,
the feet of those who bring
good tidings to the sons of men
and make known Zion’s king.
Break forth in joy and sing aloud
from every desert place.
Jerusalem has been redeemed,
consoled by Christ’s embrace.”
They brought him to King Noah then
with all the wicked priests,
and though they hated what he said,
the prophet did not cease.
“Are you really priests who claim
to teach this people doctrine?
Who claim to have prophetic gifts
Yet these things you’ve forgotten?
You pay no heed to all the truths
That you’ve already have learned
And seek instead for me to give
The answers you’ve not earned.
I say again Wo, wo to you
who won’t apply your minds
to understanding God’s great love
and nurturing designs.
If you believe in Moses’s law,
why do you not teach it?
Why do you commit such sins?
You know it’s truth I’m speaking.
Remember the commandments
and keep each one with respect.
The Law is but a schoolmaster
for hard and stiffened necks.
Our God will bring salvation
when he steps down from his throne.
It’s for your very sins that he
will suffer and atone.
They’ll call him the Messiah.
No deceit will touch his lips.
His hour on earth will come to pass--
Isaiah promised this.
In ev’ry tribe and ev’ry tongue,
they’ll state before the Lord
that there is only justice
in his judgements and rewards.
Through his redemption, he’ll defeat
the power of the grave,
and death will lose its bitter sting;
we’ll be no more its slaves.”
The priests accused Abinadi
of sland’ring the King’s name
and did not fear to sentence him
to death amongst the flames.
But one man they called Alma,
who himself was Noah’s priest,
believed the words the prophet said
and felt his faith increase.
While suffering within the flames,
in days to come, they’d share his fate.
Then death his witness sealed.
From that fire’s great light arose
A blaze of faith once dormant
In the fountain, pure and clear—
The waters they called Mormon.