Abinadi, Book of Mormon, Nephite Identity, Redemption, Redeem, Mosiah 7-24


Though there is no question that the Book of Mormon’s primary purpose is to impart an understanding of the gospel of Jesus Christ, this message is generally embedded by its editors and authors in very distinct historical and political settings. This is particularly true of Mormon, who often crafted his narratives so that a given prophetic ministry intersected and interacted with the sociopolitical concerns of the contemporary Nephite population. One such concern emerging again and again in Nephite history was their identity or relationship as Israel. This question lay at the heart of a number of social and religious movements described by Mormon and reflected confusion on the part of the Nephites as to how they were to understand their place in the promised land. Significantly, these movements often reflected disagreements with prophetic instruction, thus suggesting that Mormon wished to highlight those disagreements. One such narrative is the recolonization attempt of the land of Nephi that makes up Mosiah 7–24. This scripture block describes both the reclamation project of the people of Zeniff as well as the prophetic ministry of Abinadi, highlighting the contrasting definitions each one provided as to what redemption was and how that affected what it meant to be Nephite. This chapter will use a sociopolitical lens to demonstrate that Mormon’s interest in the Abinadi narrative was closely connected to the views of redemption that were most important to him and to the entire Book of Mormon narrative.

Original Publication Citation

Abinadi: He Came Among Them In Disguise, Shon D. Hopkin, editor (Provo, UT: Religious Studies Center/Deseret Book, 2018)

Document Type

Book Chapter

Publication Date


Permanent URL


Religious Studies Center/Deseret Book




Religious Education


Ancient Scripture

University Standing at Time of Publication

Associate Professor