30 Know ye not that I speak the truth? Yea, ye know that I speak the truth; and you ought to tremble before God.
It’s easy to understand why Noah preferred the words of his people to the words of Abinadi. It’s much more pleasant to hear, “What great evil hast thou done?” and, “Behold, we are guiltless,” than to hear, “Except [ye] repent I will utterly destroy [you] from off the face of the earth.” The only problem is that the people were completely wrong and Abinadi was telling the truth!
The priests may have been trying to emphasize the distastefulness of Abinadi’s message when they asked him to interpret a scripture. The passage they chose suggests that true servants of the Lord bring good news and messages of peace, not unpleasant warnings of destruction: “How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him that bringeth good tidings…. Break forth into joy; sing together…for the Lord hath comforted his people” (Mosiah 12:21-24, Isaiah 52:7-10). Against that backdrop, Abinadi’s words did seem harsh and disagreeable. But as he pointed out, the priests knew better. “Ye know that I speak the truth,” he said, “and ye ought to tremble before God.”
Brigham Young once told of a conversation between Orson Hyde and Joseph Smith. Orson described a theory in minute detail. Joseph “replied that it appeared very beautiful, and that he did not know of but one serious objection to it. Says Brother Hyde, ‘What is that?’ Joseph replied, ‘It is not true'” (Journal of Discourses, Volume 4, Discourse 50).
Today, I will seek the truth, not the easy answer. I will pay particular attention when I am given advice that is easy to accept, and I will be open to advice that is difficult to hear.