Abish, Faith Among the Lamanites
Cedar Fort, 2009
The story of Abish in the Book of Mormon has always intrigued me.
Abish is first mentioned in Alma chapter 19. The part she plays is small
and may lead to lots of questions about her. How is it that her father
was able to have a vision and teach her? What were the dangers of
having a father that believed as the Nephites did? How hard was it for
her to accept what her father told her? How did she end up in the
King’s household? So many questions and not a lot of answers in the
Brenda Anderson portrays a young woman who is taking care of an ill
father and their small holding.
“...Abish awoke, frozen into inaction – a sound was missing – a sound
harsher yet quieter than the crickets..., closer and scarier than the wind
roaring in the nearby trees. Jashon, her father, rested a mere seven
steps away, ...The absent sound was his labored breathing....
“She moved across the dirt floor toward her father, biting her lip,
fighting the desperate urge to rush forward and the terrifying need to
flee, to not know. She edged forward, then back, in halting motions
that stretched the seven steps into twenty before she finally knelt
Thus begins the journey of Abish and her father, Jashon. After Jashon
wakes up from his illness he starts to tell Abish what happened and how
it is going to affect them. Abish is extremely uneasy about what her
father is telling her. She is afraid that they will be labeled as
traitors. As Abish puts her trust in her father, she starts to gain her
own faith and testimony.
As the two of them practice their new faith, there is an individual that
will use them to bring down his cousin and his family. It isn’t enough
that his cousin is not interested in what his inheritance could bring
him or that he would willingly give it all up. Tikan will plot and plan
the downfall of all that is held dear by his Uncles’ family.
Once Jashon and Abish's secret is out, Jashon tells Abish to flee to the
King’s house and hide from Tikan. The journey is long and dangerous.
Once there she is taken in and given basic jobs to do. After being busy
all her life taking care of the holding and in an effort to fight her
grief over her father, Abish starts to do more than is asked of her.
This brings her to the notice of the head servant who promotes her to
work directly for the Queen.
This is a masterful telling of a woman mentioned so briefly in the Book
of Mormon. Most of the questions now have probable answers, and Abish
ends up in a better situation than being on a small holding. Brenda
Anderson has woven a rich fabric that is full of culture and real life.
I adored reading this book and hope that others will as well.