I turned in ABINADI yesterday to my publisher! I don't have an official title. So it's named after the main character for now. Abinadi is a prophet whose story is told in the Book of Mormon in the Book of Mosiah chapters. Intertwined with Abinadi’s life is the introduction of the high priest, Alma, another prophet whose story unfolds within the same scriptural text.
Abinadi is a new elder in his church, the least likely to receive a call from the Lord to preach repentance to His people. Yet the Lord’s commandment is clear. Abinadi must warn the people in the city of Nephi of imminent destruction if they do not change their wicked ways. But King Noah, and those who surround him, will do anything to prevent their idolatrous ways to be disturbed. Abinadi is chased out of the city, a death sentence upon his head. Two years later, Abinadi is called again to deliver the Lord’s final message. This time, Abinadi leaves behind a young wife and new child, only to finally meet his fate—death by fire.
Special Note: I have written Abinadi as a young man in his early twenties. This is a contrast to popular LDS art that depicts Abinadi as an elderly man in King Noah’s court, although research shows there is no documentation of Abinadi’s age. When I stumbled upon a painting done of King Noah’s court, by Walter Rane, I was pleased to see my decision supported with a young Abinadi portrayed in art. I think a young Abinadi who sacrifices his life, leaving behind a young wife and child, is a more compelling read than a man who has lived a long and full life.
This book takes place in 155 B.C. in Mesoamerica--specifically the Guatemala Valley region. The research has been quite fascinating--predominately of the Maya people.
Some things that made it into my book:
Idol worshipping: ie. The Jaguar God, and the Moon Goddess (Ix Chel)
Autosacrificing: human or animal bloodletting done in "atonement" for sins and requests for blessings from the gods.
Herbal medicines: The Maya are well-known for their herbal remedies. They even practiced obstetrics and dentistry.
Agave Wine: Think Tequila. Made from the blue agave plant.
Harlots/Concubines: There is a difference between the two, of course, and the Book of Mormon text is full of references to these diabolical practices.