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Books of the Book of Mormon

The Book of Mormon is a sacred text of the Latter Day Saint movement. It was first published in March 1830 by Joseph Smith, Jr. as The Book of Mormon: An Account Written by the Hand of Mormon upon Plates Taken from the Plates of Nephi.[1] According to Smith's account, and written in the book itself, it was originally written in otherwise unknown characters referred to as "reformed Egyptian" on golden plates. Smith said that he received these plates in 1827 from an angel named Moroni,[2] whom Smith identified as a resurrected[3] indigenous American who wrote part of the book over a millennium ago. According to Smith, this ancient Moroni buried the plates in a hill near Smith's home in Manchester, New York.

The Book of Mormon is the earliest of the defining publications of the Latter Day Saint movement. The churches of the movement typically regard the Book of Mormon not only as scripture, but as a historical record of God's dealings with the ancient inhabitants of the Americas, written by American prophets from perhaps as early as 2500 B.C. to about 400 A.D.[4]

The Book of Mormon is divided into smaller books, titled after the individuals named as primary authors and, in most versions, divided into chapters and verses. It is written in English, very similar to the Early Modern English linguistic style of the King James Version of the Bible, and has since been fully or partially translated into 108 languages.[5][6] The Book of Mormon has a number of original and distinctive doctrinal discussions on subjects such as the fall of Adam and Eve[7], the nature of the Atonement[8], eschatology, redemption from physical and spiritual death[9], and the organization of the latter-day church.

Contents

Origin

A page from the original manuscript of the Book of Mormon, covering 1 Nephi 4:38- 5:14

Joseph Smith Jr. said that when he was seventeen years of age an angel of God, named Moroni, appeared to him[10] and told him that a collection of ancient writings, engraved on golden plates by ancient prophets, was buried in a nearby hill in Wayne County, New York. The writings described a people whom God had led from Jerusalem to the Western Hemisphere 600 years before Jesus’ birth. According to the narrative, Moroni was the last prophet among these people and had buried the record, which God had promised to bring forth in the latter days. Smith stated that he was instructed by Moroni to meet at the hill annually each September 22 to receive further instructions and that four years after the initial visit, in 1827, he was allowed to take the plates and was directed to translate them into English.[10][11]

Smith's first published description of the plates said that the plates "had the appearance of gold," and were described by Martin Harris, one of Smith's early scribes, to be "fastened together in the shape of a book by wires."[12] Smith called the engraved writing on the plates "reformed Egyptian."[13] A portion of the text on the plates was also "sealed" according to his account, so its presumed content was not included in the Book of Mormon.[14]

In addition to Smith's account regarding the plates, eleven others signed affidavits that they saw and handled the golden plates for themselves. Their written testimonies are known as the Testimony of Three Witnesses[15] and the Testimony of Eight Witnesses.[16] These affidavits are published as part of the introductory pages to the Book of Mormon.

Smith enlisted the help of his neighbor, Martin Harris (one of the Three Witnesses), who later mortgaged his farm to underwrite the printing of the Book of Mormon, as a scribe during his initial work on the text. In 1828, Harris, prompted by his wife, Lucy Harris, repeatedly requested that Smith lend him the current pages that had been translated. Smith reluctantly relented to Harris' requests. Lucy Harris is thought to have stolen the first 116 pages.[17] After the loss, Smith recorded that he had lost the ability to translate, and that Moroni had taken back the plates to be returned only after Smith repented.[18][19][20][21] Smith later stated that God allowed him to resume translation, but directed that he begin translating another part of the plates. In 1829, with the assistance of Oliver Cowdery, work on the Book of Mormon recommenced, and was completed in a remarkably short period (April-June 1829).[22] Smith said that he then returned the plates to Moroni upon the publication of the book.[19][23]

Allegations of fabrication

Critics of the Book of Mormon claim that the book was fabricated by Smith[24][25][26][27][28][29] and/or portions of it were plagarized from various works that were available to Smith, ranging from the King James Bible,[30][31] The Wonders of Nature,[32][33] View of the Hebrews,[25][26][34] to an unpublished manuscript written by Solomon Spalding.[35][36][37]

For a few followers of the LDS movement, unresolved issues of the book's historical authenticity and the lack of conclusive archaeological evidence have led them to adopt a compromise position that the Book of Mormon may be the creation of Smith, but that it was nevertheless created through divine inspiration.[38] Most in the LDS movement believe Smith's position that it is a literal historical record.[39]

Content

Title

Smith stated that the title page, and presumably the actual title of the 1830 edition, came from the translation of "the very last leaf" of the golden plates, and was written by the prophet-historian Moroni.[40][41] The title page states that the purpose of the Book of Mormon is "to [show] unto the remnant of the house of Israel what great things the Lord hath done for their fathers;...and also to the convincing of the Jew and Gentile that Jesus is the Christ, the eternal God, manifesting himself unto all nations."[42]

Organization

The Book of Mormon is organized as a compilation of smaller books, each named after its main named narrator or a prominent leader, beginning with the First Book of Nephi (1 Nephi) and ending with the Book of Moroni.

The book's sequence is primarily chronological based on the narrative content of the book. Exceptions include the Words of Mormon and the Book of Ether. The Words of Mormon contains editorial commentary by Mormon. The Book of Ether is presented as the narrative of an earlier group of people who had come to America before the immigration described in 1 Nephi. 1 Nephi through Omni are written in first-person narrative, as are Mormon and Moroni. The remainder of the Book of Mormon is written in third-person historical narrative, said to be compiled and abridged by Mormon (with Moroni abridging the Book of Ether).

Most modern editions of the book have been divided into chapters and verses. Most editions of the book also contain supplementary material, including the Testimony of Three Witnesses and the Testimony of Eight Witnesses, which are statements by men who said they saw the golden plates with Joseph Smith and could verify their existence.

Chronology

Cover page of The Book of Mormon from an original 1830 edition, by Joseph Smith, Jr.
(Image from the U.S. Library of Congress Rare Book and Special Collections Division.)

The books from 1 Nephi to Omni are described as being from "the small plates of Nephi".[43] This account begins in ancient Jerusalem around 600 BC. It tells the story of a man named Lehi, his family, and several others as they are led by God from Jerusalem shortly before the fall of that city to the Babylonians in 586 BC. The book describes their journey across the Arabian peninsula, and then to the promised land, the Americas, by ship.[44] These books recount the group's dealings from approximately 600 BC to about 130 BC, during which time the community grew and split into two main groups, which are called the Nephites and the Lamanites, that frequently warred with each other.

Following this section is the Words of Mormon. This small book, said to be written in AD 385 by Mormon, is a short introduction to the books of Mosiah, Alma, Helaman, 3 Nephi, and 4 Nephi.[45] These books are described as being abridged from a large quantity of existing records called "the large plates of Nephi" that detailed the people's history from the time of Omni to Mormon's own life. The book of 3 Nephi is of particular importance within the Book of Mormon because it contains an account of a visit by Jesus from heaven to the Americas sometime after his resurrection and ascension. The text says that during this American visit, he repeated much of the same doctrine and instruction given in the Gospels of the Bible and he established an enlightened, peaceful society which endured for several generations, but which eventually broke into warring factions again.

The book of Mormon is an account of the events during Mormon's life. Mormon is said to have received the charge of taking care of the records that had been hidden, once he was old enough. The book includes an account of the wars, Mormon's leading of portions of the Nephite army, and his retrieving and caring for the records. Mormon is eventually killed in battle after having handed down the records to his son Moroni.

According to the text, Moroni then made an abridgment (called the Book of Ether) of a record from a previous people called the Jaredites.[45] The account describes a group of families led from the Tower of Babel [46] to the Americas, headed by a man named Jared and his brother. The Jaredite civilization is presented as existing on the American continent beginning about 2500 BC,[47] - long before Lehi's family arrived in 600 BC - and as being much larger and more developed. The dating in the text is only an approximation.

The Book of Moroni then details the final destruction of the Nephites and the idolatrous state of the remaining society.[48] It mentions a few spiritual insights and some important doctrinal teachings,[49] then closes with Moroni's testimony and an invitation to pray to God for a confirmation of the truthfulness of the account.[50]

Doctrinal and philosophical teachings

A depiction of Joseph Smith's description of receiving the golden plates from the angel Moroni at the Hill Cumorah.

The Book of Mormon contains doctrinal and philosophical teachings on a wide range of topics, from basic themes of Christianity and Judaism to political and ideological teachings.

Jesus

Stated on the title page, the Book of Mormon's central purpose is for the "convincing of the Jew and Gentile that Jesus is the Christ, the Eternal God, manifesting himself unto all nations."[51]

The book describes Jesus, prior to his birth, as a spirit "without flesh and blood", although with a spirit "body" that looked similar to how Jesus would appear during his physical life.[52] Jesus is described as "the Father and the Son".[53] He is said to be:

"God himself [who] shall come down among the children of men, and shall redeem his people...[b]eing the Father and the Son — the Father, because he was conceived by the power of God; and the Son, because of the flesh; thus becoming the Father and Son — and they are one God, yea, the very Eternal Father of heaven and of earth."[54]

Other parts of the book portray the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost as "one"[55] Beliefs among the churches of the Latter Day Saint movement encompass nontrinitarianism (in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints) to Trinitarianism (particularly among the Community of Christ). See Godhead (Latter Day Saints).

In furtherance of its theme of reconciling Jews and Gentiles to Jesus, the book describes a variety of visions or visitations to some of the early inhabitants in the Americas involving Jesus. Most notable among these is a described visit of Jesus to a group of early inhabitants shortly after his resurrection.[56] Many of the book's narrators described other visions of Jesus, including one by a narrator who, according to the book, lived thousands of years before Jesus, but who saw the "body" of Jesus' spirit thousands of years prior to his birth.[52] In another vision, according to the book, a different narrator described a vision of the birth, ministry, and death of Jesus,[57], including a prophecy of Jesus' name,[58] said to have taken place nearly 600 years prior to Jesus' birth,[59]

In the narrative, at the time of King Benjamin (about 130 BC), the Nephite believers were called "the children of Christ".[60] At another place, the faithful members of the church at the time of Captain Moroni (73 B.C.) were called "Christians" by their enemies, because of their belief in Jesus Christ.[61] The book also states that for nearly 200 years after Jesus' appearance at the temple in the Americas,[62] the land was filled with peace and prosperity because of the people's obedience to his commandments.[63] Later, the prophet Mormon worked to convince the faithless people of his time (360 A.D.) of Christ. The prophet Moroni is said to have buried the plates with faith in Christ.[64] Many other prophets in the book also wrote of the reality of the Messiah.

Jesus spoke to the Jews in Jerusalem of “other sheep” who would hear his voice,[65] which the Book of Mormon claims meant that the Nephites and other remnants of the lost tribes of Israel throughout the world were to be visited by Jesus after his resurrection.[66]

Other distinctive religious teachings

On most religious issues, Book of Mormon doctrines are similar to those found in the Bible and among other Christian denominations. Among its distinctive theological interpretations are the following:

  • The Old Testament prophet Isaiah spoke of prophets who would "whisper out of the dust."[67] The Book of Mormon interprets this as a reference to itself.[68]
  • The Book of Mormon describes the Fall of Man as a prerequisite for procreation. "Adam fell that men might be, and men are, that they might have joy."[69]

Teachings about political theology

The book delves into political and ideological themes, but places them within a Christian or Jewish context. Among these themes are American exceptionalism. According to the book, the Americas are portrayed as a "land of promise", the world's most exceptional land[70] of the time. The book states that any righteous society possessing the land would be protected, whereas if they became wicked they would be destroyed and replaced with a more righteous civilization.[71]

On the issue of war and violence, the book teaches that war is justified for people to "defend themselves against their enemies". However they were never to "give an offense," or to "raise their sword...except it were to preserve their lives."[72] The book praises the faith of a group of former warriors who took an oath of complete pacifism, refusing to take arms even to defend themselves and their people.[73] However, 2,000 of their descendants, who had not taken the oath of their parents not to take up arms against their enemies, chose to go to battle against the Lamanites, and it states that in the battle the 2,000 men were protected by God, and none of them died.[74]

The book points out monarchy as an ideal form of government, but only when the monarch is righteous.[73][75] However, the book warns of the evil that occurs when the king is wicked and therefore suggests that it is not generally good to have a king.[76] The book further records the decision of the people to be ruled no longer by kings,[77] choosing instead a form of democracy led by elected judges.[78] When citizens referred to as "king-men" attempted to overthrow a democratically-elected government and establish an unrighteous king, the book praises a military commander who executed pro-monarchy citizens who had vowed to destroy the church of God and were unwilling to defend their country from hostile invading forces.[79] The book also speaks favorably of a particular instance of what appears to be a peaceful Christ-centered theocracy, which lasted approximately 194 years before contentions began again.[80]

The book supports notions of economic justice, achieved through voluntary donation of "substance, every man according to that which he had, to the poor"[81] In one case, all the citizens held their property in common[80] Concern for the poor is portrayed as leading to collective wealth[82] However, when individuals within a society began to disdain and ignore the poor, to "wear costly apparel," and otherwise engage in wickedness for personal gain, such societies are repeatedly portrayed in the book as being ripe for destruction.[83]

Religious significance

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

The Book of Mormon is one of four sacred texts or standard works of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The other texts are the Bible (the King James Version), the Doctrine and Covenants, and the Pearl of Great Price.[84] Church members officially regard the Book of Mormon as the "most correct" book of scripture, in that "a man would get nearer to God by abiding by its precepts, than any other book."[85] This is, in part, because church members believe the Bible was the result of a multiple-step translation process and the Book of Mormon was not.[86] Joseph Smith told of receiving a revelation condemning the "whole church" for treating the Book of Mormon and the former commandments lightly[87]. Every church president since Joseph Smith has stressed the importance of studying the Book of Mormon along with the church's other standard works.

The Book of Mormon’s significance was reiterated in the late 20th century by Ezra Taft Benson, Apostle and 13th President of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints[88]. In an August 2005 Ensign message, then LDS President Gordon B. Hinckley challenged each member of the church to re-read the Book of Mormon before the year's end.[89] The book’s importance is commonly stressed at the twice-yearly general conference and at special devotionals by general authorities.

The church encourages discovery of the book’s truth by following the suggestion in the final chapter to study, ponder, and pray to God concerning its veracity. This passage is referred to as Moroni's Promise.[90]

Community of Christ

The Community of Christ, formerly known as the Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, views the Book of Mormon as an additional witness of Jesus Christ and publishes two versions of the book through its official publishing arm, Herald House. The Authorized Edition is based on the original printer's manuscript and the 1837 Second Edition (or Kirtland Edition) of the Book of Mormon. Its content is similar to the Book of Mormon published by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, but the versification is different. The Community of Christ also publishes a 1966 "Revised Authorized Edition" which attempts to modernize some of the language.

In 2001, Community of Christ President W. Grant McMurray reflected on increasing questions about the Book of Mormon: "The proper use of the Book of Mormon as sacred scripture has been under wide discussion in the 1970s and beyond, in part because of long-standing questions about its historical authenticity and in part because of perceived theological inadequacies, including matters of race and ethnicity."[91]

At the 2007 Community of Christ World Conference, President Stephen M. Veazey ruled out of order a resolution to "reaffirm the Book of Mormon as a divinely inspired record." He stated that "while the Church affirms the Book of Mormon as scripture, and makes it available for study and use in various languages, we do not attempt to mandate the degree of belief or use. This position is in keeping with our longstanding tradition that belief in the Book of Mormon is not to be used as a test of fellowship or membership in the church."[92]

Greater Latter Day Saint movement

There are a number of other churches that are part of the Latter Day Saint movement.[93] Most of these churches were created as a result of issues ranging from differing doctrinal interpretations and acceptance of the movement's scriptures (the Book of Mormon, the Doctrine and Covenants, and the Pearl of Great Price), to disagreements with the leadership of the original Church of Christ as formed by Joseph Smith or his successors. These groups all have in common the acceptance of the Book of Mormon as scripture. It is this acceptance which distinguishes the churches of the Latter Day Saint Movement from other Christian denominations. A number of churches in the Latter Day Saint Movement have published their own editions of the Book of Mormon, along with private individuals and foundations not endorsed by any specific denomination. The Book of Mormon has been published under alternate titles such as The Nephite Record and The Record of the Nephites.[citation needed]

Historical authenticity

The consensus within the non-Mormon archaeological, historical and scientific communities is that the claims of the Book of Mormon do not correlate with the physical and historical evidence. These descrepancies cover four main areas:

  • The lack of correlation between locations described in the Book of Mormon and American archaeological sites.[94]


Most adherents of the LDS movement consider the Book of Mormon to be a historically accurate account[citation needed], although within the LDS movement there have been many apologetical groups attempting to reconcile the apparent discrepancies. Among those apologetic groups, a great amount of work has been published by Foundation for Ancient Research and Mormon Studies (FARMS), and Foundation for Apologetic Information & Research (FAIR), attempting to either prove the veracity of Book of Mormon claims, or countering arguments critical of its historical authenticity.

Manuscripts

The Book of Mormon was dictated by Joseph Smith to several scribes over a period of nearly two years, resulting in an original manuscript that was eventually printed into the 1830 edition of the Book of Mormon, minus the first 116 pages of the Book of Lehi, which were lost after Smith lent the uncopied manuscript to Martin Harris who gave them to his wife Lucy.[17] These pages were never returned and are assumed to be lost.[17] The original manuscript was then hand copied by Oliver Cowdery and two other scribes into a manuscript for the printer.[107] It is at this point that initial copyediting of the Book of Mormon was completed. Observations of the original manuscript show little evidence of corrections to the text. [108][109] Critical comparisons between surviving portions of the manuscripts show an average of two to three changes per page from the original manuscript to the printer's manuscript, with most changes being corrections of scribal errors such as misspellings or the correction, or standardization, of grammar inconsequential to the meaning of the text.[107][109] The printer's manuscript was further edited, adding paragraphing and punctuation to the first third of the text.[107]

The printer's manuscript was not used fully in the typesetting of the 1830 version of Book of Mormon, portions of the original manuscript were also used for typesetting.[107] The original manuscript was used by Joseph Smith to further correct errors printed in the 1830 and 1837 versions of the Book of Mormon for the 1840 printing of the book.[107] In October 1841, the entire original manuscript was placed into the cornerstone of the Nauvoo House, and sealed up until nearly forty years later when the cornerstone was reopened. It was then discovered that much of the original manuscript had been destroyed by water seepage and mold.[108] Surviving manuscript pages were handed out to various families and individuals in the 1880s.[108] A total of only 28% of the original manuscript now survives, including a remarkable find of fragments from 58 pages in 1991.[107] The majority of what remains of the original manuscript is now kept in the LDS Church Archives.[107] The printer's manuscript is now the earliest complete surviving copy of the Book of Mormon, being nearly 100% extant;[110] it is owned by the Community of Christ.[107]

Editions

Current

The Book of Mormon is published by the following:

Church publishers Year Titles and notes
LDS Church 1982 The Book of Mormon: Another Testament of Jesus Christ.[111] New introductions, chapter summaries, and footnotes. 1920 edition errors corrected based on Original Manuscript and 1840 edition.[112]
Community of Christ 1966 "Revised Authorized Version", based on 1908 Authorized Version, 1837 edition and "original manuscript".
The Church of Jesus Christ (Bickertonite) 2001 Compiled by a committee of Apostles.
Richard Drew 1992 Photo-enlarged facsimile of the 1840 edition[113]
Church of Christ (Temple Lot) 1990 Uses 1908 RLDS edition, 1830 edition, Printer's Manuscript, and corrections by church leaders.
Church of Christ with the Elijah Message 1957 The Record of the Nephites, "Restored Palmyra Edition". 1830 text with LDS chapters and verses.
Other publishers Year Titles and notes
Herald Heritage 1970 Facsimile of the 1830 edition.
Zarahemla Research Foundation 1999 The Book of Mormon: Restored Covenant Edition. Text from Original and Printer's Manuscripts, in poetic layout.[114]
Bookcraft 1999 The Book of Mormon for Latter-Day Saint Families. Large print with numerous visuals and explanatory notes.
University of Illinois Press 2003 The Book of Mormon: A Reader's Edition. Based on the 1920 LDS edition.
Doubleday 2006 [115] The Book of Mormon: Another Testament of Jesus Christ. Text from the current LDS edition without footnotes. First Doubleday edition was in 2004.[116]
Experience Press 2006 Reset type matching the original 1830 edition in word, line and page. Fixed typographical errors.[117]
Stratford Books 2006 Facsimile reprint of 1830 edition.
Penguin Classics 2008 Paperback with 1840 text.
Yale University Press 2009 The Book of Mormon: The Earliest Text. First edition text with hundreds of corrections from Royal Skousen's study of the original manuscripts.[118]

Historic

The following non-current editions marked major developments in the text or reader's helps printed in the Book of Mormon.

Publisher Year Titles and notes
E. B. Grandin 1830 "First edition" in Palmyra. Based on Printer's Manuscript copied from Original Manuscript.
Pratt and Goodson 1837 "Second edition" in Kirtland. Revision of first edition, using the Printer's Manuscript with emendations and grammatical corrections.[112]
Robinson and Smith 1840 "Third edition" in Nauvoo. Revised by Joseph Smith in comparison to the Original Manuscript.[112]
Young, Kimball and Pratt 1841 "First European edition". 1837 reprint with British spellings.[112] Future editions descended from this, not the 1840 edition.[119]
Franklin D. Richards 1852 "Third European edition". Edited by Richards. Introduced primitive verses (numbered paragraphs).[112]
James O. Wright 1858 Unauthorized reprinting of 1840 edition. Used by the early RLDS Church in 1860s.[112]
RLDS Church 1874 First RLDS edition. 1840 text with verses.[112]
Deseret News 1879 Edited by Orson Pratt. Introduced footnotes, new verses, and shorter chapters.[112]
RLDS Church 1908 "Authorized Version". New verses and corrections based on Printers Manuscript.[112]
LDS Church 1920 Edited by James E. Talmage. Added introductions, double columns, chapter summaries, new footnotes,[112] pronunciation guide.[120]

Online

The following versions are available online:

Online editions Link Year Description and notes
Original 1830 Edition link 1830 Scanned copy of original 1830 printing of the Book of Mormon, by page.
LDS Church Internet Edition link 1994 Official internet edition of the Book of Mormon for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
LDS Church Audio Edition link 1994 Official LDS version of the Book of Mormon in mp3 audio format, 32 kbit/s.
RLDS Edition link 1908 Online version of the 1908 edition for the Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (Community of Christ).
Church of Christ (Temple Lot) Independence Edition link 1990 Official online 1990 Independence Edition, Church of Christ, PDF viewer required.
Restored Covenant Edition link 1999 The Restored Covenant Edition of The Book of Mormon
The Record of The Nephites link 1957 The name of the Book of Mormon given by The Church of Christ with the Elijah Message

Textual Criticism

In 1989, scholars at Brigham Young University began work on a critical text edition of the Book of Mormon. Volumes 1 and 2, published in 2001, contain transcriptions of all the text variants of the English editions of the Book of Mormon, from the original manuscript to the newest editions.[121] Volume 4, which is being published in parts, is a critical analysis of all the text variants. Volume 3, which is not yet published, will describe the history of all the English-language texts from Joseph Smith to today.[122]

Differences between the original and printer's manuscript, the 1830 printed version, and modern versions of the Book of Mormon have led some critics to claim that evidence has been systematically removed that could have proven that Smith fabricated the Book of Mormon, or are attempts to hide embarrassing aspects of the church's past.[25][107][123][26][124][27][125][28][126][29]

Non-English translations

Translations of the Book of Mormon.

The LDS version of the Book of Mormon has been translated into 83 languages, and selections of the Book of Mormon have been translated into an additional 25 languages. In 2001, the LDS church reported that all or part of the Book of Mormon was available in the native language of 99% of Latter-day Saints and 87% of the world's total population.[127]

Translations into languages without a tradition of writing (e.g., Kakchiqel, Tzotzil) are available on audio cassette.[128] Translations into American Sign Language are available on videocassette and DVD.

Typically, translators are members of the LDS Church who are employed by the church and translate the text from the original English. Each manuscript is reviewed many times before it is approved and published.[129]

In 1998, the LDS Church stopped translating selections from the Book of Mormon, and instead announced that each new translation it approves will be a full edition.[130]

Footnotes

  1. ^ Smith (1830, title page). In 1982, in an effort to clarify and emphasize its purpose, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church) retitled its editions of the book to The Book of Mormon: Another Testament of Jesus Christ LDS Church (2008).
  2. ^ Roberts (1902, pp. 11, 18–19).
  3. ^ Smith (1838, pp. 42–43).
  4. ^ "Praise to the Man" Gordon B. Hinckley, Church President from 1995 to 2008, mentions the millions who have believed in the Book of Mormon, Statistical Report 2007
  5. ^ http://www.fairlds.org/FAIR_Brochures/King_James_Bible_and_the_Book_of_Mormon.pdf
  6. ^ http://www.lds-mormon.com/bookofmormonquestions.shtml#BOM10
  7. ^ See for example
  8. ^ See for example
  9. ^ See for example
  10. ^ a b “The Life and Ministry of Joseph Smith,” Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Joseph Smith, (2007),xxii–25 [1]
  11. ^ Pearl Of Great Price, Joseph SMith - History 1:59
  12. ^ Smith, Joseph, Jr. (March 1, 1842). "Church History [Wentworth Letter"]. Times and Seasons (Nauvoo, Illinois) 3 (9): 906–936. http://www.centerplace.org/history/ts/v3n09.htm. .
  13. ^ Only LDS linguists accept the existence of any language or character set known as "reformed Egyptian" as described in LDS tradition. The only example of reformed Egyptian extant is the "Caractors Document", also known as the "Anthon Transcript", a paper written by Smith with examples of what he claimed to be "reformed Egyptian" characters. See Reformed Egyptian for details and references.
  14. ^ Smith (1842, p. 707).
  15. ^ Testimony of Three Witnesses
  16. ^ Testimony of Eight Witnesses
  17. ^ a b c Hitchens 2007, pp. 163, Givens 2002, pp. 33, Givens 2002, pp. 33
  18. ^ Doctrine and Covenants, Section 3 and
  19. ^ a b Brodie 1971
  20. ^ Givens 2002
  21. ^ Hitchens 2007, pp. 163–164
  22. ^ Joseph Smith: Rough Stone Rolling (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 2005), 70."
  23. ^ Testimony of Joseph Smith Hitchens 2007, pp. 164
  24. ^ Tanner, Jerald and Sandra (1987). Mormonism - Shadow or Reality?. Utah Lighthouse Ministry. pp. 91. ISBN 9993074438. 
  25. ^ a b c Brody, Fawn (1971). No Man Knows My History: The Life of Joseph Smith (2d ed.). New York: Alfred A. Knopf. 
  26. ^ a b c Krakauer, Jon (2003). Under the Banner of Heaven: A Story of Violent Faith. New York: Doubleday. 
  27. ^ a b Abanes, Richard (2003). One Nation Under Gods: A History of the Mormon Church. Thunder's Mouth Press. pp. 73. ISBN 1568582838. 
  28. ^ a b Beckwith, Francis (2002). The New Mormon Challenge. Zondervan. p. 367–396. ISBN 0310231949. 
  29. ^ a b Cowan, Marvin (1997). Mormon Claims Answered. 
  30. ^ Abanes, Richard (2003). One Nation Under Gods: A History of the Mormon Church. Thunder's Mouth Press. pp. 72. ISBN 1568582838. 
  31. ^ Tanner, Jerald and Sandra (1987). Mormonism - Shadow or Reality?. Utah Lighthouse Ministry. pp. 73–80. ISBN 9993074438. 
  32. ^ Abanes, Richard (2003). One Nation Under Gods: A History of the Mormon Church. Thunder's Mouth Press. pp. 68. ISBN 1568582838. 
  33. ^ Tanner, Jerald and Sandra (1987). Mormonism - Shadow or Reality?. Utah Lighthouse Ministry. pp. 84–85. ISBN 9993074438. 
  34. ^ Roberts, Brigham H. (1992), Brigham D. Madsen, ed., Studies of the Book of Mormon, Salt Lake City, UT: Signature Books, ISBN 1-56085-027-2, http://books.google.com/books?id=EXgFAAAACAAJ&dq=Studies+of+the+Book+of+Mormon 
  35. ^ Howe, Eber D (1834), Mormonism Unvailed, Painesville, Ohio: Telegraph Press, http://www.solomonspalding.com/docs/1834howb.htm 
  36. ^ Spaulding, Solomon (1996), Reeve, Rex C, ed., Manuscript Found: The Complete Original "Spaulding" Manuscript, Provo, Utah: Religious Studies Center, Brigham Young University 
  37. ^ Roper, Matthew (2005), "The Mythical "Manuscript Found"", FARMS Review (Provo, Utah: Maxwell Institute) 17 (2): 7–140, http://farms.byu.edu/display.php?table=review&id=584, retrieved 2007-01-31 
  38. ^ Grant H. Palmer. 2002. An Insider's View of Mormon Origins. Salt Lake City, Signature Books.
    Brent Lee Metcalfe, ed. 1993. New Approaches to the Book of Mormon: Explorations in Critical Methodology. Salt Lake City: Signature Books.
  39. ^ “The Life and Ministry of Joseph Smith,” Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Joseph Smith, (2007),xxii–25
  40. ^ Joseph Smith stated that the "title page is not by any means a modern composition either of mine or of any other man's who has lived or does live in this generation."
  41. ^ Smith, Joseph (October 1842). "Truth Will Prevail". Times and Seasons III (24): 943. http://www.centerplace.org/history/ts/v3n24.htm#943. Retrieved 2009-01-30. 
  42. ^ The Book of Mormon Title Page
  43. ^ Book Of Mormon, Words Of Mormon 1:3
  44. ^ 1 Nephi 18:23
  45. ^ a b Book Of Mormon, A BRIEF EXPLANATION ABOUT THE BOOK OF MORMON
  46. ^ http://scriptures.lds.org/en/ether/1 See verse 3
  47. ^ Sacred Sites: Searching for Book of Mormon Lands. by Joseph L. Allen Published: October 2003 p.8
  48. ^ Book Of Mormon, Book of Moroni Chapter Summaries
  49. ^ Book of Mormon, Moroni Ch. 10
  50. ^ Book Of Mormon, Moroni 10:4
  51. ^ Template:Harvtxty
  52. ^ a b Ether 3:16.
  53. ^ Ether 3:14.
  54. ^ Mosiah 15:1-14
  55. ^ 3 Nephi 19:22-23.
  56. ^ See 3 Nephi 11 to 3 Nephi 26
  57. ^ 1 Nephi 11
  58. ^ Mosiah 3:8
  59. ^ See 1 Nephi 10:4, 1 Nephi 19:8; See also 3 Nephi 1
  60. ^ Mosiah 5:7
  61. ^ Alma 46:13-15
  62. ^ 4 Nephi 22-23
  63. ^ 4 Nephi 1
  64. ^ See Book of Mormon Title page
  65. ^ See John 10:16 in the King James Version of the Bible
  66. ^ 3 Nephi 15:13-24, 3 Nephi 16:1-4, 2 Nephi 29:7-14
  67. ^ Isaiah 29:4
  68. ^ 2 Nephi 26:15-16
  69. ^ 2 Nephi 2:25
  70. ^ 1 Nephi 2:20; 1 Nephi 13:30; 2 Nephi 1:5; 2 Nephi 10:19; Jacob 5:43; Ether 1:38-42; Ether 2:7,10-15; Ether 9:20; Ether 10:28; Ether 13:2.
  71. ^ 1 Nephi 2:20; 1 Nephi 4:14; 2 Nephi 1:20; 2 Nephi 4:4; Jarom 1:9; Omni 1:6; Mosiah 1:7; Mosiah 2:22,31; Alma 9:13; Alma 36:1,30; Alma 38:1; Alma 48:15,25.
  72. ^ Alma 48:14
  73. ^ a b Alma 24
  74. ^ Alma 56:47-56
  75. ^ Mosiah 29:13
  76. ^ Mosiah 29:18-22
  77. ^ Mosiah 29
  78. ^ Helaman 6:17
  79. ^ Alma 1:26-27
  80. ^ a b 3 Nephi 26:19.
  81. ^ Alma 1:26-27.
  82. ^ Helaman 6:17.
  83. ^ Jacob 2:13-13; Alma 4:6; Alma 5:53; 4 Nephi 1:24.
  84. ^ See e.g. Russell M. Nelson, “Living by Scriptural Guidance,” Ensign, Nov 2000, 16–18 (discusses how the four standard works of the church can provide guidance in life)
  85. ^ History of the Church, 4:461; see also Additional Information
  86. ^ Ezra Taft Benson, “The Keystone of Our Religion,” Ensign, Jan 1992.
  87. ^ http://scriptures.lds.org/dc/84/54-57#54; see also
  88. ^ Ezra Taft Benson, “The Book of Mormon—Keystone of Our Religion,” Ensign, Nov 1986, 4
  89. ^ Gordon B. Hinckley (August 2005). "A Testimony Vibrant and True". Ensign. http://www.lds.org/ldsorg/v/index.jsp?vgnextoid=2354fccf2b7db010VgnVCM1000004d82620aRCRD&locale=0&sourceId=e82b2ee01e31c010VgnVCM1000004d82620a____&hideNav=1. Retrieved 2008-03-07. 
  90. ^ Moroni 10:3-5; for further discussion see Gene R. Cook, “Moroni’s Promise,” Ensign, Apr 1994, 12.
  91. ^ McMurray, W. Grant, "They "Shall Blossom as the Rose": Native Americans and the Dream of Zion," an address delivered February 17, 2001, accessed on Community of Christ website, September 1, 2006 at http://www.cofchrist.org/docs/NativeAmericanConference/keynote.asp
  92. ^ Andrew M. Shields, "Official Minutes of Business Session, Wednesday March 28, 2007," in 2007 World Conference Thursday Bulletin, March 29, 2007. Community of Christ, 2007
  93. ^ http://www.religioustolerance.org/lds.htm
  94. ^ Citing the lack of specific New World geographic locations to search, Michael D. Coe, a prominent Mesoamerican archaeologist and Professor Emeritus of Anthropology at Yale University, writes (in a 1973 volume of Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought): "As far as I know there is not one professionally trained archaeologist, who is not a Mormon, who sees any scientific justification for believing [the historicity of The Book of Mormon], and I would like to state that there are quite a few Mormon archaeologists who join this group."
  95. ^ Cecil H. Brown. 1999. Lexical Acculturation in Native American Languages. Oxford Studies in Anthropological Linguistics, 20. Oxford
    Paul E. Minnis & Wayne J. Elisens, ed. 2001. Biodiversity and Native America. University of Oklahoma Press.
    Gary Paul Nabhan. 2002. Enduring Seeds: Native American Agriculture and Wild Plant Conservation. University of Arizona Press.
    Stacy Kowtko. 2006. Nature and the Environment in Pre-Columbian American Life. Greenwood Press.
    Douglas H. Ubelaker, ed. 2006. Handbook of North American Indians, Volume 3, Environment, Origins, and Population. Smithsonian Institution.
    Elizabeth P. Benson. 1979. Pre-Columbian Metallurgy of South America. Dumbarton Oaks Research Library.
    R.C. West, ed. 1964. Handbook of Middle American Indians, Volume 1, Natural Environment & Early Cultures. University of Texas Press.
    G.R. Willey, ed. 1965. Handbook of Middle American Indians, Volumes 2 & 3, Archeology of Southern Mesoamerica. University of Texas Press.
    Gordon Ekholm & Ignacio Bernal, ed. 1971. Handbook of Middle American Indians, Volume 10 & 11, Archeology of Northern Mesoamerica. University of Texas Press.
  96. ^ 1 Nephi 18:25
    LDS scholars think that this may be a product of reassigning familiar labels to unfamiliar items. For example, the Delaware Indians named the cow after the deer, and the Miami Indians labeled sheep, when they were first seen, "looks-like-a cow."
    John L. Sorenson, An Ancient American Setting for the Book of Mormon (Salt Lake City, Utah : Deseret Book Co. ; Provo, Utah : Foundation for Ancient Research and Mormon Studies, 1996 [1985]), 294. ISBN 1-57345-157-6
    http://www.mormonfortress.com/cows1.html
  97. ^ a b c 1 Nephi 18:25
  98. ^ "[H]orses became extinct in North America at the end of the Pleistocene..." (Donald K. Grayson. 2006. "Late Pleistocene Faunal Extinctions," Handbook of North American Indians, Volume 3, Environment, Origins and Population. Smithsonian. Pages 208-221. quote on pg 211)
    "The youngest dates on North American fossil horses are about 8150 years ago, although most of the horses were gone around 10,000 years ago" (Donald R. Prothero & Robert M. Schoch. 2002. Horns, Tusks, and Flippers: The Evolution of Hoofed Mammals. The Johns Hopkins University Press. Page 215.)
    "During the Pleistocene both New World continents abounded in [horses] and then, some 8000 years ago, the last wild horses in the Americas became extinct..." (R.J.G. Savage & M.R. Long. 1986. Mammal Evolution: An Illustrated Guide. Facts on File Publications. Page 204.)
  99. ^ Asses and horses are both in the genus Equus so see the footnote concerning horses.
  100. ^ 1 Nephi 18:25
    http://www.irr.org/mit/smithsonian.html paragraph 4
  101. ^ Ether 9:19
  102. ^ Donald K. Grayson. 2006. "Late Pleistocene Faunal Extinctions," Handbook of North American Indians, Volume 3, Environment, Origins and Population. Smithsonian. Pages 208-221. The Pleistocene extinction of the two Proboscidea genera Mammut and Mammuthus are mentioned on pages 209 and 212-213.
    "T[he] megafauna [of North America] then disappeared from the face of the earth between 12,000 and 9,000 years ago..." (Donald R. Prothero & Robert M. Schoch. 2002. Horns, Tusks, and Flippers: The Evolution of Hoofed Mammals. The Johns Hopkins University Press. Page 176.)
    "In North America three other proboscideans survived the end of the Ice Age--the tundra woolly mammoth (Mammuthus primigenius), the woodland American mastodont (Mammut americanum) and the grazing mammoth (Mammuthus jeffersoni). Hunting by early man is the most likely cause of the final extinction..." (R.J.G. Savage & M.R. Long. 1986. Mammal Evolution: An Illustrated Guide. Facts on File Publications. Page 157.)
    "Mammut became extinct only about 10,000 years ago." (Dougal Dixon et al. 1988. The Macmillan Illustrated Encyclopedia of Dinosaurs and Prehistoric Animals. Collier Books. Page 244.)
    "M[ammuthus] primigenius survived until about 10,000 years ago." (Dixon et al. 1988, page 245)
  103. ^ 1 Nephi 4:9
  104. ^ Alma 18:9
  105. ^ Lyle Campbell. 1979. "Middle American languages," The Languages of Native America: Historical and Comparative Assessment. Ed. Lyle Campbell and Marianne Mithun. Austin: University of Texas Press. Pages 902-1000.
    Lyle Campbell. 1997. American Indian Languages: The Historical Linguistics of Native America. Oxford University Press.
    Jorge Súarez. 1983. The Mesoamerican Indian Languages. Cambridge University Press.
  106. ^ The traditional view of the Book of Mormon suggests that Native Americans are principally the descendents of an Israelite migration around 600 BC. However, DNA evidence shows no Near Eastern component in the Native American genetic make-up. For example:
    Simon G. Southerton. 2004. Losing a Lost Tribe: Native Americans, DNA, and the Mormon Church. Signature Books. The entire book is devoted to the specific topic of DNA evidence and the Book of Mormon." ...[T]he DNA lineages of Central America resemble those of other Native American tribes throughout the two continents. Over 99 percent of the lineages found among native groups from this region are clearly of Asian descent. Modern and ancient DNA samples tested from among the Maya generally fall into the major founding lineage classes... The Mayan Empire has been regarded by Mormons to be the closest to the people of the Book of Mormon because its people were literate and culturally sophisticated. However, leading New World anthropologists, including those specializing in the region, have found the Maya to be similarly related to Asians. Stephen L. Whittington...was not aware of any scientists 'in mainstream anthropology that are trying to prove a Hebrew origin of Native Americans... Archaeologists and physical anthropologists have not found any evidence of Hebrew origins for the people of North, South and Central America.'" (pg 191)
    D. Andrew Merriwether. 2006. "Mitochondrial DNA," Handbook of North American Indians. Smithsonian Institution Press. Pg 817-830. "Kolman, Sambuughin, and Bermingham (1995) and Merriwether et al. (1996) used the presence of A, B, C, and D to argue for Mongolia as the location for the source population of the New World founders. More specifically perhaps, they argued that the present-day Mongolians and present-day Native Americans are both derived from the same ancestral population in Asia, presumably in the Mongolia-Southern Siberia-Lake Baikal region. T.G. Schurr and S.G. Sherry (2004) strongly favor a southern Siberian origin for the majority of lineages found in the New World." (pg 829)
    Tatiana M. Karafet, Stephen L. Zegura, and Michael F. Hammer. 2006. "Y Chromosomes," Handbook of North American Indians. Smithsonian Institution. Pp. 831-839. "Zegura et al. (2004) have presented the following scenario for the early peopling of the Americas based on Y chromosome data: a migration of a single, polymorphic Asian population across Beringia with a potential common source for both North American founding lineages (Q and C) in the Altai Mountains of southwest Siberia. Since all their STR-based SNP lineage divergence dates between the Altai and North Asians versus Native Americans...ranged from 10,100 to 17,200 year ago, they favored a relatively late entry model." (pg. 839)
    Defenders of the book's historical authenticity suggest that the Book of Mormon does not disallow for other groups of people to have contributed to the genetic make-up of Native Americans.[citation needed] Nevertheless, this is a departure from the traditional view that Israelites are the primary ancestors of Native Americans, and therefore would be expected to present some genetic evidence of Near Eastern origins. A recently announced change in the Book of Mormon's introduction, however, allows for a greater diversity of ancestry of Native Americans. See, for example, the following Deseret News article published on November 9, 2007: Intro Change in Book of Mormon Spurs Discussion
  107. ^ a b c d e f g h i Skousen, Royal. "Changes in the Book of Mormon" (Transcription of live presentation). 2002 FAIR Conference: FAIR. http://www.fairlds.org/FAIR_Conferences/2002_Changes_in_the_Book_of_Mormon.html. Retrieved 2009-09-25. "LDS apologetics perspective to changes in versions of the Book of Mormon." 
  108. ^ a b c http://www.lightplanet.com/mormons/book_of_mormon/manuscripts.html
  109. ^ a b http://www.jefflindsay.com/LDSFAQ/FQ_changes.shtml#printed
  110. ^ There are three lines missing from the printer's manuscript in its current condition, covering 1 Nephi 1:7—8, 20. http://mi.byu.edu/publications/jbms/?vol=15&num=1&id=401
  111. ^ The revised text was first published in 1981 and the subtitle was added in October 1982: "Report of the 152nd Semiannual General Conference of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints". Ensign: 1. November 1982. http://www.lds.org/ldsorg/v/index.jsp?vgnextoid=2354fccf2b7db010VgnVCM1000004d82620aRCRD&locale=0&sourceId=2e48c5e8b4b6b010VgnVCM1000004d82620a____&hideNav=1. Retrieved 2009-02-12. 
  112. ^ a b c d e f g h i j Skousen, Royal (1992). "Book of Mormon Editions (1830-1981)". Encyclopedia of Mormonism. 1. Macmillan. pp. 175–6. http://eom.byu.edu/index.php/Book_of_Mormon_Editions_(1830-1981). Retrieved 2009-02-12. 
  113. ^ BYU Catalog for "Book of Mormon. English. 1840 (1992)"
  114. ^ Johnson, D. Lynn (2000). "The Restored Covenant Edition of the Book of Mormon—Text Restored to Its Purity?". FARMS Review (Provo, Utah: FARMS) 12 (2). http://ispart.byu.edu/publications/review/?vol=12&num=2&id=352. Retrieved 2009-02-12. 
  115. ^ Moore, Carrie A. (November 9, 2007). "Intro change in Book of Mormon spurs discussion". Deseret News. http://www.deseretnews.com/article/1,5143,695226049,00.html. Retrieved 2009-08-26. 
  116. ^ Moore, Carrie A. (November 11, 2004). "Doubleday Book of Mormon is on the way". Deseret News. http://www.deseretnews.com/article/1,5143,595104489,00.html. Retrieved 2009-08-26. 
  117. ^ Experience Press
  118. ^ "The Book of Mormon - Skousen, Royal; Smith, Joseph". Yale University Press. http://yalepress.yale.edu/yupbooks/book.asp?isbn=9780300142181. Retrieved 2009-09-22. 
  119. ^ Crawley, Peter (1997). A Descriptive Bibliography of the Mormon Church, Volume One 1830-1847. Provo, Utah: Religious Studies Center, Brigham Young University. p. 151. ISBN 1-57008-395-9. http://contentdm.lib.byu.edu/u?/rsc,3772. Retrieved 2009-02-12. 
  120. ^ Woodger, Mary Jane (2000). "How the Guide to English Pronunciation of Book of Mormon Names Came About". Journal of Book of Mormon Studies (Provo, Utah: FARMS) 9 (1). http://farms.byu.edu/publications/jbms/?vol=9&num=1&id=211. Retrieved 2009-02-21. 
  121. ^ Skousen May 2001;Skousen January 2001;Skousen March 2001
  122. ^ Skousen 2004;Skousen 2005;Skousen 2006
  123. ^ 3913 Changes in The Book of Mormon Jerald and Sandra Tanner
  124. ^ Abanes, Richard (2003). One Nation Under Gods: A History of the Mormon Church. Thunder's Mouth Press. pp. 59–80. ISBN 1568582838. 
  125. ^ Tanner, Jerald and Sandra (1987). Mormonism - Shadow or Reality?. Utah Lighthouse Ministry. pp. 50–96. ISBN 9993074438. 
  126. ^ "Criticism of changes to Book of Mormon". http://www.utlm.org/onlinebooks/3913intro.htm. 
  127. ^ "Taking the Scriptures to the World", Ensign, July 2001, 24
  128. ^ Welcome
  129. ^ "Translation Work Taking Book of Mormon to More People in More Tongues," Ensign, February 2005, 75–76
  130. ^ "Translation Work Taking Book of Mormon to More People in More Tongues", 6 February 2005

See also

References

Further reading

External links


Quotes

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikiquote

Cover page of The Book of Mormon from an original 1830 edition, by Joseph Smith, Jr.
Image from the U.S. Library of Congress Rare Book and Special Collections Division.

The Book of Mormon is a sacred texts of the Latter Day Saint movement. It is regarded by Latter Day Saints as divinely revealed and is named after the prophet–historian Mormon who, according to the text, compiled most of the book. It was published by the founder of the LDS movement, Joseph Smith, Jr., in March 1830 in Palmyra, New York, USA.

Contents

Sourced

  • The Book of Mormon: An Account Written by the Hand of Mormon upon Plates Taken from the Plates of Nephi
    • Original publication title of the Book of Mormon.
  • Which is to show unto the remnant of the House of Israel what great things the Lord hath done for their fathers; and that they may know the covenants of the Lord, that they are not cast off forever—And also to the convincing of the Jew and Gentile that JESUS is the CHRIST, the ETERNAL God, manifesting himself unto all nations—And now, if there are faults they are the mistakes of men; wherefore, condemn not the things of God, that ye may be found spotless at the judgment-seat of Christ.
    • Title page of the Book of Mormon.

First Book of Nephi: His Reign and Ministry

  • And inasmuch as ye shall keep my commandments, ye shall prosper, and shall be led to a land of promise; yea, even a land which I have prepared for you; yea, a land which is choice above all other lands.
    • 1 Nephi, 2:20.
  • Adam fell that men might be; and men are, that they might have joy.
    • 2 Nephi, 2:25.
  • Wherefore, men are free according to the flesh; and all things are given them which are expedient unto man. And they are free to choose liberty and eternal life, through the great Mediator of all men, or to choose captivity and death, according to the captivity and power of the devil; for he seeketh that all men might be miserable like unto himself.
    • 2 Nephi, 2:27.
  • I will go and do the things which the Lord hath commanded, for I know that the Lord giveth no commandment unto the children of men, save he shall prepare a way for them that they may accomplish the thing which he commandeth them.
    • 1 Nephi, 3:7.
  • And it came to pass that the Lord spake unto me, saying: Thou shalt construct a ship, after the manner which I shall show thee, that I may carry thy people across these waters.
    • 1 Nephi, 17:8, interpreted as God's instruction that Nephi and his followers sail to the Americas.

Second Book of Nephi

  • The gospel of Jesus Christ shall be declared among them [the Lamanites] … [a]nd then shall they rejoice; … and their scales of darkness shall begin to fall from their eyes; and many generations shall not pass away among them, save they shall be a white and a delightsome people.
  • And now, my beloved brethren, and also Jew, and all ye ends of the earth, hearken unto these words and believe in Christ; and if ye believe not in these words believe in Christ. And if ye shall believe in Christ ye will believe in these words, for they are the words of Christ, and he hath given them unto me; and they teach all men that they should do good.
    • 2 Nephi 33:10.

Book of Jacob: The Brother of Nephi

  • Wherefore, we would to God that we could persuade all men not to rebel against God, to provoke him to anger, but that all men would believe in Christ, and view his death, and suffer his cross and bear the shame of the world; wherefore, I, Jacob, take it upon me to fulfil the commandment of my brother Nephi.
    • Jacob, 1:8.
  • And now, my brethren, I have spoken unto you concerning pride; and those of you which have afflicted your neighbor, and persecuted him because ye were proud in your hearts, of the things which God hath given you, what say ye of it? Do ye not suppose that such things are abominable unto him who created all flesh? And the one being is as precious in his sight as the other. And all flesh is of the dust; and for the selfsame end hath he created them, that they should keep his acommandments and glorify him forever. And now I make an end of speaking unto you concerning this pride. And were it not that I must speak unto you concerning a grosser crime, my heart would rejoice exceedingly because of you.
    • Jacob, 2:20–22.
  • For behold, thus saith the Lord, I will liken thee, O house of Israel, like unto a tame olive-tree, which a man took and nourished in his vineyard; and it grew, and waxed old, and began to decay.
    • Jacob, 5:3.

Book of Enos

  • And I will tell you of the wrestle which I had before God, before I received a remission of my sins. Behold, I went to hunt beasts in the forests; and the words which I had often heard my father speak concerning eternal life, and the joy of the saints, sunk deep into my heart. And my soul hungered; and I kneeled down before my Maker, and I cried unto him in mighty prayer and supplication for mine own soul; and all the day long did I cry unto him; yea, and when the night came I did still raise my voice high that it reached the heavens.
    • Enos, 1:2–4.
  • And there came a voice unto me, saying: Enos, thy sins are forgiven thee, and thou shalt be blessed. And I, Enos, knew that God could not lie; wherefore, my guilt was swept away.
    • Enos, 1:5–6.

Book of Jarom

  • And it came to pass that the prophets of the Lord did threaten the people of Nephi, according to the word of God, that if they did not keep the commandments, but should fall into transgression, they should be destroyed from off the face of the land.
    Wherefore, the prophets, and the priests, and the teachers, did labor diligently, exhorting with all long-suffering the people to diligence; teaching the law of Moses, and the intent for which it was given; persuading them to look forward unto the Messiah, and believe in him to come as though he already was. And after this manner did they teach them.
    And it came to pass that by so doing they kept them from being destroyed upon the face of the land; for they did prick their hearts with the word, continually stirring them up unto repentance.
    And it came to pass that two hundred and thirty and eight years had passed away—after the manner of wars, and contentions, and dissensions, for the space of much of the time.
    • Jarom, 1:10-13.

Book of Omni

  • And behold, the record of this people is engraven upon plates which is had by the kings, according to the generations; and I know of no revelation save that which has been written, neither prophecy; wherefore, that which is sufficient is written. And I make an end.
    • Omni, 1:11.
  • Behold, I am Amaleki, the son of Abinadom. Behold, I will speak unto you somewhat concerning Mosiah, who was made king over the land of Zarahemla; for behold, he being warned of the Lord that he should flee out of the land of Nephi, and as many as would hearken unto the voice of the Lord should also depart out of the land with him, into the wilderness—
    And it came to pass that he did according as the Lord had commanded him. And they departed out of the land into the wilderness, as many as would hearken unto the voice of the Lord; and they were led by many preachings and prophesyings. And they were admonished continually by the word of God; and they were led by the power of his arm, through the wilderness until they came down into the land which is called the land of Zarahemla.
    And they discovered a people, who were called the people of Zarahemla. Now, there was great rejoicing among the people of Zarahemla; and also Zarahemla did rejoice exceedingly, because the Lord had sent the people of Mosiah with the plates of brass which contained the record of the Jews.
    Behold, it came to pass that Mosiah discovered that the people of Zarahemla came out from Jerusalem at the time that Zedekiah, king of Judah, was carried away captive into Babylon.
    • Omni, 1:12-15.

Words of Mormon

  • And now I, Mormon, being about to deliver up the record which I have been making into the hands of my son Moroni, behold I have witnessed almost all the destruction of my people, the Nephites.
    And it is many hundred years after the coming of Christ that I deliver these records into the hands of my son; and it supposeth me that he will witness the entire destruction of my people. But may God grant that he may survive them, that he may write somewhat concerning them, and somewhat concerning Christ, that perhaps some day it may profit them.
    And now, I speak somewhat concerning that which I have written; for after I had made an abridgment from the plates of Nephi, down to the reign of this king Benjamin, of whom Amaleki spake, I searched among the records which had been delivered into my hands, and I found these plates, which contained this small account of the prophets, from Jacob down to the reign of this king Benjamin, and also many of the words of Nephi.
    • Words of Mormon, 1:1-3.

Book of Mosiah

  • And behold, I tell you these things that ye may learn wisdom; that ye may learn that when ye are in the service of your fellow beings ye are only in the service of your God.
    • Mosiah, 2:17.
  • And now, because of the covenant which ye have made ye shall be called the children of Christ, his sons, and his daughters; for behold, this day he hath spiritually begotten you; for ye say that your hearts are changed through faith on his name; therefore, ye are born of him and have become his sons and his daughters.
    • Mosiah, 5:7.

Book of Alma: The Son of Alma

  • And according to his faith there was a mighty change wrought in his heart. Behold I say unto you that this is all true. And behold, he preached the word unto your fathers, and a mighty change was also wrought in their hearts, and they humbled themselves and put their trust in the true and living God. And behold, they were faithful until the end; therefore they were saved.
    • Alma, 5:12–13.
  • And now I would that ye should be humble, and be submissive and gentle; easy to be entreated; full of patience and long-suffering; being temperate in all things; being diligent in keeping the commandments of God at all times; asking for whatsoever things ye stand in need, both spiritual and temporal; always returning thanks unto God for whatsoever things ye do receive. And see that ye have faith, hope, and charity, and then ye will always abound in good works.
    • Alma, 7:23–24.
  • Yea, he that repenteth and exerciseth faith, and bringeth forth good works, and prayeth continually without ceasing—unto such it is given to know the mysteries of God; yea, unto such it shall be given to reveal things which never have been revealed; yea, and it shall be given unto such to bring thousands of souls to repentance, even as it has been given unto us to bring these our brethren to repentance.
    • Alma, 26:22.
  • And now as I said concerning faith—faith is not to have a perfect knowledge of things; therefore if ye have faith ye hope for things which are not seen, which are true.
    • Alma, 32:21.

Book of Helaman

  • And remember also the words which Amulek spake unto Zeezrom, in the city of Ammonihah; for he said unto him that the Lord surely should come to redeem his people, but that he should not come to redeem them in their sins, but to redeem them from their sins.
    • Helaman, 5:10.

Third Nephi: The Book of Nephi, The Son of Nephi, Who Was the Son of Helaman

  • Behold, I am Jesus Christ, whom the prophets testified shall come into the world.
    And behold, I am the light and the life of the world; and I have drunk out of that bitter cup which the Father hath given me, and have glorified the Father in taking upon me the sins of the world, in the which I have suffered the will of the Father in all things from the beginning.
    And it came to pass that when Jesus had spoken these words the whole multitude fell to the earth; for they remembered that it had been prophesied among them that Christ should show himself unto them after his ascension into heaven.
    • 3 Nephi 10:10-12.
  • And again I say unto you, ye must repent, and become as a little child, and be baptized in my name, or ye can in nowise receive these things.
    And again I say unto you, ye must repent, and be baptized in my name, and become as a little child, or ye can in nowise inherit the kingdom of God.
    • 3 Nephi 11:37-38 (Jesus Christ).

Fourth Nephi: The Book of Nephi, Who Is the Son of Nephi, One of the Disciples of Jesus Christ

  • And it came to pass in the thirty and sixth year, the people were all converted unto the Lord, upon all the face of the land, both Nephites and Lamanites, and there were no contentions and disputations among them, and every man did deal justly one with another.
    • 4 Nephi, 1:2.

Book of Mormon (Mormon's record)

  • And now I, Mormon, make a record of the things which I have both seen and heard, and call it the Book of Mormon.
    • Mormon, 1:1.
  • O ye fair ones, how could ye have departed from the ways of the Lord! O ye fair ones, how could ye have rejected that Jesus, who stood with open arms to receive you! Behold, if ye had not done this, ye would not have fallen. But behold, ye are fallen, and I mourn your loss. O ye fair sons and daughters, ye fathers and mothers, ye husbands and wives, ye fair ones, how is it that ye could have fallen! But behold, ye are gone, and my sorrows cannot bring your return.
    • Mormon, 6:17-20
  • Therefore repent, and be baptized in the name of Jesus, and lay hold upon the gospel of Christ, which shall be set before you, not only in this record but also in the record which shall come unto the Gentiles from the Jews, which record shall come from the Gentiles unto you. For behold, this is written for the intent that ye may believe that; and if ye believe that ye will believe this also; and if ye believe this ye will know concerning your fathers, and also the marvelous works which were wrought by the power of God among them. And ye will also know that ye are a remnant of the seed of Jacob; therefore ye are numbered among the people of the first covenant; and if it so be that ye believe in Christ, and are baptized, first with water, then with fire and with the Holy Ghost, following the example of our Savior, according to that which he hath commanded us, it shall be well with you in the day of judgment. Amen.
    • Mormon, 7:8–10.
  • Behold, I speak unto you as if ye were present, and yet ye are not. But behold, Jesus Christ hath shown you unto me, and I know your doing.
    • Mormon, 8:35.
  • And behold, these things which we have desired concerning our brethren, yea, even their restoration to the knowledge of Christ, are according to the prayers of all the saints who have dwelt in the land.
    • Mormon, 9:36.

Book of Ether

  • And the Lord said unto the brother of Jared: What will ye that I should do that ye may have light in your vessels? For behold, ye cannot have windows, for they will be dashed in pieces; neither shall ye take fire with you, for ye shall not go by the light of fire.
    • Ether, 2:23.
  • And then shall my revelations which I have caused to be written by my servant John be unfolded in the eyes of all the people. Remember, when ye see these things, ye shall know that the time is at hand that they shall be made manifest in very deed.
    • Ether, 4:16.

Book of Moroni

  • Now I, Moroni, write somewhat as seemeth me good; and I write unto my brethren, the Lamanites; and I would that they should know that more than four hundred and twenty years have passed away since the sign was given of the coming of Christ.
    • Moroni, 10:1.
  • Behold, I would exhort you that when ye shall read these things, if it be wisdom in God that ye should read them, that ye would remember how merciful the Lord hath been unto the children of men, from the creation of Adam even down until the time that ye shall receive these things, and ponder it in your hearts.
    And when ye shall receive these things, I would exhort you that ye would ask God, the Eternal Father, in the name of Christ, if these things are not true; and if ye shall ask with a sincere heart, with real intent, having faith in Christ, he will manifest the truth of it unto you, by the power of the Holy Ghost.
    And by the power of the Holy Ghost ye may know the truth of all things.
  • And now I bid unto all, farewell. I soon go to rest in the paradise of God, until my spirit and body shall again reunite, and I am brought forth triumphant through the air, to meet you before the pleasing bar of the great Jehovah, the Eternal Judge of both quick and dead. Amen.
    • Moroni, 10:34; last words of the Book of Mormon.

About

  • I told the brethren that the Book of Mormon was the most correct of any book on earth, and the keystone of our religion, and a man would get nearer to God by abiding by its precepts, than by any other book.
  • We are sometimes told that we are not a biblical church. We are a biblical church. This wonderful testament of the Old World, this great and good Holy Bible is one of our standard works. We teach from it. We bear testimony of it. We read from it. It strengthens our testimony. And we add to that this great second witness, the Book of Mormon, the testament of the New World, for as the Bible says, "In the mouth of two or three witnesses shall [all things] be established" (2 Cor. 13:1).”
    • Gordon B. Hinckley, Selections from Addresses of President Gordon B. Hinckley, Ensign, Mar. 2001, 64.
  • All men have heard of the Mormon Bible, but few except the "elect" have seen it, or, at least, taken the trouble to read it. I brought away a copy from Salt Lake. The book is a curiosity to me, it is such a pretentious affair, and yet so "slow," so sleepy; such an insipid mess of inspiration. It is chloroform in print. If Joseph Smith composed this book, the act was a miracle - keeping awake while he did it was, at any rate. If he, according to tradition, merely translated it from certain ancient and mysteriously-engraved plates of copper, which he declares he found under a stone in an out-of-the-way locality, the work of translating was equally a miracle, for the same reason.

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The Book of Mormon: An Account Written by the Hand of Mormon, Upon Plates Taken from the Plates of Nephi
by Joseph Smith, Jr.
The Book of Mormon: An Account Written by the Hand of Mormon, Upon Plates Taken from the Plates of Nephi; 1830 Palmyra, New York version

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Proper noun

Singular
Book of Mormon

Plural
Books of Mormon

Book of Mormon (plural Books of Mormon)

  1. (Mormonism) A sacred text of the Latter-Day Saint movement, published in 1830 by Joseph Smith, Jr.

Derived terms

Related terms

Translations


Simple English

The Book of Mormon is a book that Latter Day Saints believe is the word of God along with the Bible.

The original English version of the Book of Mormon was published in March 1830 by a man named Joseph Smith, Jr. who claimed to be a prophet like the ones in the Old Testament.

Joseph Smith said that he translated the book into English from gold plates given to him by an angel. The book claims that the language it was first written in was made from "the learning of the Jews and the language of the Egyptians."

The story contained in the Book of Mormon is a shortened version written by a man named Mormon of the record of two groups of people called the Nephites and the Lamanites. Their ancestors left Jerusalem with their father Lehi about 600 years before the birth of Christ, sailed across a very big ocean, and settled in the New World. It gives an account of their families, cities, wars, systems of government, spiritual experiences and religious beliefs among other things. The main purpose of the Book of Mormon is to teach about Jesus Christ.

It also contains the Book of Ether (a very old book discovered by the Nephites) which told the story of another people (called the Jaredites) who had lived in some of the same areas shortly after the time of the Tower of Babel, but died out because of wars.

Usually, Book of Mormon stories show the Nephites as the more righteous, industrious and peaceful people and the Lamanites as wicked, lazy and warlike. Wars happen all the time between the two groups. But, near the end of the book, the Nephites become more wicked than the Lamanites, and all the Nephites die in their last war, except for one named Moroni who was directed by God to bury the Book of Mormon in a hill so that Joseph Smith Jr. could find it.

The central theme of the book revolves around Jesus Christ visiting the people described, performing miracles and showing them the right way to live.

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