Download a PDF of this Reader’s Theater – Abinadi.
Here’s a novel way to involve kids in the scriptures. While you can tell scripture stories to Junior Primary children, you can ask Senior Primary kids to perform the story using words of the scriptures themselves! Children take the parts of the various scripture characters, with a narrator reading the story line in between.
Here’s an example of this idea, using the story of Abinadi and King Noah. Children who are very familiar with the scriptures can read right from the scriptures. Unfortunately the story of Abinadi and King Noah spans several chapters, so we’ve just included excerpts here. But even reading from a script will get the children used to hearing the actual words of the scriptures, and help them to imagine these scenes as they actually unfolded. This helps the children see these stories as real events that happened to real people.
Reader’s Theater: ABINADI STANDS UP TO WICKED KING NOAH
Readers for these parts needed:
Narrator, Abinadi, Noah, and two or more priests.
Before you begin, explain a few essential scripture words. Don’t try to explain every word. You may want to put these on wordstrips on the board so children can refer to the meanings as the words are read.
- “pervert” = to mess something up
- “mad” = crazy
- “revile” = to criticize or say bad things about someone
- “faggots” = a bundle of sticks tied together
Narrator: And it came to pass that there was a man among them whose name was Abinadi; and he went forth among them, and began to prophesy, saying:
Abinadi: Behold, thus saith the Lord, and thus hath he commanded me, saying, Go forth, and say unto this people, thus saith the Lord—Wo be unto this people, for I have seen their abominations, and their wickedness, and their whoredoms; and except they repent I will visit them in mine anger.
Narrator: Now when king Noah had heard of the words which Abinadi had spoken unto the people, he was also wroth; and he said:
King Noah: Who is Abinadi, that I and my people should be judged of him, or who is the Lord, that shall bring upon my people such great affliction? I command you to bring Abinadi hither, that I may slay him, for he has said these things that he might stir up my people to anger one with another, and to raise contentions among my people; therefore I will slay him.
Narrator: And now Abinadi said unto them:
Abinadi: 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.
Narrator: And now when the king had heard these words, he said unto his priests:
King Noah: Away with this fellow, and slay him; for what have we to do with him, for he is mad.
Narrator: 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:
Abinadi: And now, ought ye not to tremble and repent of your sins, and remember that only in and through Christ ye can be saved?
Narrator: And now king Noah was about to release him, for he feared his word; for he feared that the judgments of God would come upon him But the priests lifted up their voices against him, and began to accuse him, saying:
Priests (in unison): He has reviled the king.
Narrator: Therefore the king was stirred up in anger against him, and he delivered him up that he might be slain. And it came to pass that they took him and bound him, and scourged his skin with faggots, yea, even unto death. And now when the flames began to scorch him, he cried unto them, saying:
Mosiah 17: 19-20
Abinadi: Thus God executeth vengeance upon those that destroy his people. O God, receive my soul.
Narrator: And now, when Abinadi had said these words, he fell, having suffered death by fire; yea, having been put to death because he would not deny the commandments of God, having sealed the truth of his words by his death.