1 And now Abinadi said unto them: I would that ye should understand that God himself shall come down among the children of men, and shall redeem his people.
2 And because he dwelleth in flesh he shall be called the Son of God, and having subjected the flesh to the will of the Father, being the Father and the Son—
3 The Father, because he was conceived by the power of God; and the Son, because of the flesh; thus becoming the Father and Son—
4 And they are one God, yea, the very Eternal Father of heaven and of earth.
5 And thus the flesh becoming subject to the Spirit, or the Son to the Father, being one God, suffereth temptation, and yieldeth not to the temptation, but suffereth himself to be mocked, and scourged, and cast out, and disowned by his people.
6 And after all this, after working many mighty miracles among the children of men, he shall be led, yea, even as Isaiah said, as a sheep before the shearer is dumb, so he opened not his mouth.
7 Yea, even so he shall be led, crucified, and slain, the flesh becoming subject even unto death, the will of the Son being swallowed up in the will of the Father.
In our mortal state, we are dual beings, consisting of a physical body and a spirit. When we are born, our spirit enters our mortal body, and when we die, our spirit leaves our body. As President Russell M. Nelson has taught, part of the test of mortality is “to determine if your body can become mastered by the spirit that dwells within it” (“Self-Mastery,” General Conference, October 1985).
Jesus Christ, who is the literal Son of God, always submits His will to the will of His Father. (See, for example, 3 Nephi 11:11.) In the passage above, Abinadi uses that submissiveness as a metaphor for the submission of His mortal body to His immortal Spirit. Abinadi calls the Savior’s body “the Son,” and he calls the Savior’s spirit “the Father.” The Savior’s body becomes subject to His spirit (“or the Son to the Father”) as He overcomes temptations and refuses to react to those who persecute Him. In the end, He pays the ultimate sacrifice, “the flesh becoming subject even unto death, the will of the Son being swallowed up in the will of the Father.”
This is an appropriate metaphor because there is a strong connection between the Savior’s mastery of His body and His willingness to obey His Father. Consider His prayer in the garden of Gethsemane: After telling His disciples, “My soul is exceeding sorrowful, even unto death,” He pleaded, “O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt” (Matthew 26:38-39). His willingness to submit to the Father gave Him strength to overcome His mortal body’s natural aversion to suffering and to endure the pain required to atone for our sins.
Today, I will strive to follow the Savior’s example of self-discipline through obedience. I will ensure that the will of my body is subject to the will of my spirit by being obedient to the commandments of God.