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An unofficial guide to the Book of Mormon by ordinary Mormons sharing their faith. Free site book and epub digitized and proofread by Project The Book of Mormon by Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and Smith. THE BOOK OF MORMON: An Account Written by THE HAND OF MORMON UPON PLATES TAKEN FROM THE PLATES OF NEPHI · THE TESTIMONY OF.
But behold, I have obtained a land of promise, in the which thing I do rejoice; yea, and I know that the Lord will deliver my sons out of the hands of Laban, and bring them down again unto us in the wilderness.
And after this manner of language did my father Lehi comfort my mother Sariah, concerning us, while we journied in the wilderness up to the land of Jerusalem, to obtain the record of the Jews. And when we had returned to the tent of my father, behold their joy was full, and my mother was comforted; and she spake, saying: Now I know of a surety that the Lord hath commanded my husband to flee into the wilderness; yea, and I also know of a surety that the Lord hath protected my sons and delivered them out of the hands of Laban, and gave them power whereby they could accomplish the thing which the Lord hath commanded them.
And after this language did she speak. And it came to pass that they did rejoice exceedingly, and did offer sacrifice and burnt offerings unto the Lord; and they gave thanks unto the God of Israel.
And after that they had given thanks unto the God of Israel, my father Lehi took the records which were engraven upon the plates of brass, and he did search them from the beginning. And he beheld that they did contain the five books of Moses, which gave an account of the creation of the world, and also of Adam and Eve, which was our first parents; and also a record of Jews from the beginning, even down to the commencement of the reign of Zedekiah, King of Judah; and also the prophecies of the Holy prophets, from the beginning, even down to the commencement of the reign of Zedekiah; and also many prophecies which have been spoken by the mouth of Jeremiah.
And it came to pass that my father Lehi also found upon the plates of brass, a genealogy of his fathers; wherefore he knew that he was a descendant of Joseph; yea, even that Joseph which was the son of Jacob, which was sold into Egypt, and which was preserved by the hand of the Lord, that he might preserve his father Jacob and all his household from perishing with famine.
And they were also led out of captivity and out of the land of Egypt, by the same God who had preserved them. And thus my father Lehi did discover the genealogy of his fathers. And Laban also was a descendant of Joseph, wherefore he and his fathers had kept the records. And now when my father saw all these things, he was filled with the spirit, and began to prophesy concerning his seed; that these plates of brass should go forth unto all nations, kindreds, tongues, and people which were of his seed.
Wherefore he said that these plates of brass should never perish; neither should they be dimmed any more by time. And he prophesied many times concerning his seed. And it came to pass that thus far I and my father had kept the commandments wherewith the Lord had commanded us. And we had obtained the record which the Lord had commanded us, and searched them and found that they were desirable yea, even of great worth unto us, insomuch that we could preserve the commandments of the Lord unto our children.
Wherefore it was wisdom in the Lord that we should carry them with us, as we journied in the wilderness towards the land of promise. And now I, Nephi, do not give the genealogy of my fathers in this part of my record; neither at any time shall I give it after upon these plates which I am writing; for it is given in the record which has been kept by my father; wherefore I do not write it in this work.
For it sufficeth me to say, that we are a descendant of Joseph. And it mattereth not to me that I am particular to give a full account of all things of my father, for they cannot be written upon these plates, for I desire the room, that I may write of the things of God.
For the fullness of mine intent is that I may persuade men to come unto the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, and be saved. Wherefore the things which are pleasing unto the world, I do not write, but the things which are pleasing unto God and unto them which are not of the world.
Wherefore I shall give commandment unto my seed, that they shall not occupy these plates with things which are not of worth unto the children of men. And now I would that ye might know, that after my father Lehi had made an end of prophesying concerning his seed, it came to pass that the Lord spake unto him again, saying, that it was not mete for him, Lehi, that he should take his family into the wilderness alone; but that his sons should take daughters to wife that they might raise up seed unto the Lord in the land of promise.
And it came to pass that the Lord commanded him that I, Nephi, and my brethren, should again return unto the land of Jerusalem, and bring down Ishmael and his family into the wilderness. And it came to pass that I, Nephi, did again, with my brethren, go forth into the wilderness to go up to Jerusalem.
And it came to pass that we went up unto the house of Ishmael, and we did gain favor in the sight of Ishmael, insomuch that we did speak unto him the words of the Lord. And it came to pass that the Lord did soften the heart of Ishmael, and also his household, insomuch that they took their journey with us down into the wilderness to the tent of our father. And it came to pass as we journied in the wilderness, behold, Laman and Lemuel, and two of the daughters of Ishmael, and the two sons of Ishmael, and their families, did rebel against us; yea, against I, Nephi, and Sam, and their father, Ishmael, and his wife, and his three other daughters.
And it came to pass in the which rebellion, they were desirous to return unto the land of Jerusalem. And now I, Nephi, being grieved for the hardness of their hearts, therefore I spake unto them, saying; yea, even unto Laman and unto Lemuel, behold, thou art mine elder brethren; and how is it that ye are so hard in your hearts, and so blind in your minds, that ye have need that I, your younger brother, should speak unto you, yea, and set an example for you?
How is it that ye have not hearkened unto the word of the Lord?
How is it that ye have forgotten that ye have seen an angel of the Lord? Yea, and how is it that ye have forgotten how great things the Lord hath done for us in delivering us out of the hands of Laban, and also that we should obtain the record? Yea, and how is it that ye have forgotten that the Lord is able to do all things, according to his will, for the children of men, if it so be that they exercise faith in him; wherefore, let us be faithful in him.
And if it so be that we are faithful in him, we shall obtain the land of promise; and ye shall know at some future period, that the word of the Lord shall be fulfilled, concerning the destruction of Jerusalem; for all things which the Lord hath spoken concerning the destruction of Jerusalem, must be fulfilled. For, behold, the spirit of the Lord ceaseth soon to strive with them; for behold, they have rejected the prophets, and Jeremiah have they cast into prison.
And they have sought to take away the life of my father, insomuch that they have driven him out of the land. Now behold, I say unto you, that if ye will return unto Jerusalem, ye shall also perish with them. And now, if ye have choice, go up to the land, and remember the words which I speak unto you, that if ye go, ye will also perish; for thus the spirit of the Lord constraineth me that I should speak. And it came to pass that when I, Nephi, had spoken these words unto my brethren, they were angry with me.
And it came to pass that they did lay their hands upon me; for, behold, they were exceeding wroth; and they did bind me with cords, for they sought to take away my life, that they might leave me in the wilderness, to be devoured by wild beasts. But it came to pass that I prayed unto the Lord, saying: O Lord, according to my faith which is in thee, wilt thou deliver me from the hands of my brethren; yea, even give me strength that I may burst these bands with which I am bound.
And it came to pass that when I had said these words, behold, the bands were loosed from off my hands and feet, and I stood before my brethren, and I spake unto them again. And it came to pass that they were angry with me again, and sought to lay hands upon me; but, behold, one of the daughters of Ishmael, yea, and also her mother, and one of the sons of Ishmael, did plead with my brethren; and they did cease striving to take away my life.
And it came to pass that they were sorrowful, because of their wickedness, insomuch that they did bow down before me, and did plead with me, that I would forgive them of the thing that they had done against me.
And it came to pass that I did frankly forgive them all that they had done, and I did exhort them that they would pray unto the Lord their God, for forgiveness. And it came to pass that they did so. And after that they had done praying unto the Lord, we did again travel on our journey toward the tent of our father.
And it came to pass that we did come down unto the tent of our father. And after that I and my brothers, and all the house of Ishmael, had come down unto the tent of my father, they did give thanks unto the Lord their God; and they did offer sacrifice and burnt offerings unto him.
And it came to pass that we had gathered together all manner of seeds of every kind; both of grain of every kind, and also of the seeds of fruits of every kind. And it came to pass that while my father tarried in the wilderness, he spake unto ,us, saying: Behold, I have dreamed a dream; or, in other words, I have seen a vision.
And behold, because of the thing which I have seen, I have reason to rejoice in the Lord, because of Nephi, and also of Sam, for I have reason to suppose that they, and also many of their seed, will be saved. And it came to pass that I saw a man, and he was dressed in a white robe; and he came and stood before me.
And it came to pass that he spake unto me, and bade me follow him. And it came to pass that as I followed him, and after I had followed him, I beheld myself that I was in the dark and dreary waste.
And after that I travelled for the space of many hours in darkness, I began to pray unto the Lord, that he would have mercy on me, according to the multitude of his tender mercies.
And it came to pass that after I had prayed unto the Lord, I beheld a large and spacious field. And it came to pass that I beheld a tree, whose fruit was desirable, to make one happy. And it came to pass that I did go forth, and partake of the fruit thereof; and I beheld that it was most sweet, above all that I ever had before tasted. Yea, and I beheld that the fruit thereof was white, to exceed all the whiteness that I had ever seen.
And as I partook of the fruit thereof, it filled my soul with exceeding great joy; wherefore, I began to be desirous that my family should partake of it also; for I knew that it was desirous above all other fruit.
And as I cast my eyes round about, that perhaps I might discover my family also, I beheld a river of water; and it ran along, and it was near the tree of which I was partaking the fruit. And I looked to behold from whence it came; and I saw the head thereof, a little way off; and at the head thereof, I beheld your mother Sariah, and Sam, and Nephi; and they stood as if they knew not whither they should go.
And it came to pass that I beckoned unto them; and I also did say unto them, with a loud voice, that they should come unto me, and partake of the fruit, which was desirable above all other fruit. And it came to pass that they did come unto me, and partake of the fruit also. And it came to pass that I was desirous that Laman and Lemuel should come and partake of the fruit also; wherefore, I cast mine eyes towards the head of the river, that perhaps I might see them.
And it came to pass that I saw them, but they would not come unto me. And I beheld a rod of iron; and it extended along the bank of the river, and led to the tree by which I stood. And I also beheld a straight and narrow path which came along by the rod of iron, even to the tree by which I stood; and it also led by the head of the fountain, unto a large and spacious field, as if it had been a world; and I saw numberless concourses of people; many of whom were pressing forward, that they might obtain the path which led unto the tree by which it stood.
And it came to pass that they did come forth, and commence in the path which led to the tree. And it came to pass that there arose a mist of darkness; yea, even an exceeding great mist of darkness, insomuch that they which had commenced in the path, did lose their way, that they wandered off, and were lost. And it came to pass that I beheld others pressing forward; and they came forth, and caught hold of the end of the rod of iron, and they did press through the mist of darkness, clinging to the rod of iron, even until they did come forth and partake of the fruit of the tree.
And after that they had partaken of the fruit of the tree, they did cast their eyes about as it they were ashamed. And I also cast my eyes round about, and beheld, on the other side of the river of water, a great and spacious building; and it stood as it were in the air, high above the earth; and it was filled with people, both old and young, both male and female; and their number of dress was exceeding fine; and they were in the attitude of mocking and pointing their fingers towards those which had come at, and were partaking of the fruit.
And after that they had tasted of the fruit, they were ashamed, because of those that were scoffing at them; and they fell away into forbidden paths, and were lost. And now I, Nephi, do not speak all the words of my father. But to be short in writing: Behold, he saw other multitudes pressing forward; and they came and caught hold of the end of the rod of iron; and they did press their way forward, continually holding fast to the rod of iron, until they came forth and fell down, and partook of the fruit of the tree.
And he also saw other multitudes, feeling their way towards that great and spacious building. And it came to pass that many were drowned in the depths of the fountain; and many were lost from his view, wandering in strange roads.
And great was the multitude that did enter into that strange building. And after that they did enter into that building, they did point the finger of scorn at me, and those that were partaking of the fruit also; but we heeded them not.
These are the words of my father: For as many as heeded them, had fallen away. And Laman and Lemuel partook not of the fruit, saith my father.
And it came to pass that after my father had spoken all the words of his dream or vision, which were many, he said unto us, because of these things which he saw in a vision. And after he had preached unto them, and also prophesied unto them of many things, he bade them to keep the commandments of the Lord; and he did cease speaking unto them.
And all these things did my father see, and hear, and speak, as he dwelt in a tent, in the valley of Lemuel; and also a great many more things, which cannot be written upon these plates. And now, as I have spoken concerning these plates, behold, they are not the plates upon which I make a full account of the history of my people, I have given the name of Nephi; wherefore, they are called the plates of Nephi, after mine own name; and these plates also, are called the plates of Nephi.
Nevertheless, I have received a commandment of the Lord, that I should make these plates, for the special purpose that there should be an account engraven of the ministry of my people.
Upon the other plates should be engraven an account of the reign of the Kings, and the wars, and contentions of my people; wherefore, these plates are, for the more part, of the ministry; and the other plates are, for the more part, of the reign of the Kings, and the wars, and the contentions of my people. Wherefore, the Lord hath commanded me to make these plates, for a wise purpose in him; which purpose, I know not. Behold the Lord knoweth all things, from the beginning; wherefore, he prepareth a way to accomplish all his works among the children of men; for behold, he hath all power unto the fulfilling of all his words.
And thus it is. And now I, Nephi, proceed to give an account upon these plates, of my proceedings, and my reign and ministry; therefore, to proceed with mine account. I must speak somewhat of the things of my father, and also of my brethren. For behold, it came to pass that after my father had made an end of speaking the words of his dream, and also exhorting them to all diligence, he spake unto them concerning the Jews: How that after they were destroyed, yea, even that great city Jerusalem; and that many were carried away captive into Babylon; that according to the own due time of the Lord, they should return again; yea, even be brought back out of captivity; and after they are brought back out of captivity, to possess again the land of their inheritance.
Yea, even six hundred years from the time that my father left Jerusalem, a Prophet would the Lord God raise up among the Jews; yea, even a Messiah; or, in other words, a Saviour of the world. And he also spake concerning the prophets: How great a number had testified of these things, concerning this Messiah, of which he had spoken, or this Redeemer of the world.
Wherefore, all mankind was in a lost and in a fallen state; and ever would be, save they should rely on this Redeemer. And he spake also, concerning a prophet, which should come before the Messiah, to prepare the way of the Lord; yea, even he should go forth and cry in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord, and make his paths straight; for there standeth one among you whom ye know not; and he is mightier than I, whose shoe's latchet I am not worthy to unloose.
And much spake my father concerning this thing. And my father saith that he should baptise in Bethabara, beyond Jordan; and he also spake, that he should baptise with water.
And after that he had baptised the Messiah with water, he should behold and bear record, that he had baptised the Lamb of God, which should take away the sins of the world.
And it came to pass that after my father had spoken these words, he spake unto my brethren concerning the Gospel, which should be preached among the Jews; and also, concerning the dwindling of the Jews in unbelief. And after that they had slain the Messiah which should come, and after that he had been slain, he should rise from the dead, and should make himself manifest, by the Holy Ghost, unto the Gentiles. Yea, even my father spake much concerning the Gentiles, and also concerning the House of Israel: that they should be compared like unto an olive tree, whose branches should be broken off, and should be scattered upon all the face of the earth.
Wherefore, he said, it must needs be that we should be led with one accord, into the land of promise, unto the fulfilling of the word of the Lord: That we should be scattered upon all the face of the earth.
And after that the house of Israel should be scattered, they should be gathered together again; or, in fine, that after the Gentiles had received the fulness of the Gospel, the natural branches of the olive tree, or the remnants of the House of Israel, should be grafted in, or come to the knowledge of the true Messiah, their Lord and their Redeemer.
And after this manner of language did my father prophesy ,and speak unto my brethren; and also, many more things, which I do not write in this book: for I have written as many of them, as were expedient for me, in mine other book: And all these things of which I have spoken, was done, as my father dwelt in a tent, in the valley of Lemuel.
And it came to pass that after I, Nephi, having heard all the words of my father, concerning the things which he saw in a vision; and also the things which he spake by the power of the Holy Ghost; which power, he received by faith on the Son of God. And the Son of God was the Messiah, which should come. And it came to pass that I, Nephi, was desirous also, that I might see, and hear, and know of these things, by the power of the Holy Ghost, which is the gift of God unto all those who diligently seek him, as well in times of old in the time that he should manifest himself unto the children of men; for he is the same yesterday, to-day, and forever; and the way is prepared from the foundation of the world, if it so be that they repent and come unto him; for he that diligently seeketh, shall find; and the mysteries of God shall be unfolded unto them, by the power of the Holy Ghost, as well in these times, as in times of old; and as well as in times of old, as in times to come; wherefore, the courses of the Lord is one eternal round.
Therefore, remember, O man, for all thy doings, thou shalt be brought into judgment. Wherefore, if ye have sought to do wickedly before the judgment seat of God; and no unclean thing can dwell with God; wherefore, ye must be cast off forever. And the Holy Ghost giveth authority that I should speak these things, and deny them not. For it came to pass that after I had desired to know the things that my father had seen, and believing that the Lord was able to make them known unto me; wherefore, as I sat pondering in mine heart, I was caught away in the spirit of the Lord, yea, into an exceeding high mountain, which I, never had before seen, and upon which I never had before sat my foot.
And the spirit saith unto me, Behold, what desirest thou? And I saith, I desire to behold the things which my father saw. And the spirit saith unto me, Believest thou that thy father saw the tree of which he hath spoken?
And I said yea; thou knowest that I believe all the words of my father. And when I had spoken these words, the spirit cried with a loud voice, saying: Hosanna to the Lord, the most high God; for he is God over all the earth, yea, even above all; and blessed art thou, Nephi, because thou believest in the Son of the Most High God; wherefore, thou shalt behold the things which thou desired.
And behold, this thing shall be given unto thee for a sign: that after thou hast beheld the tree which bore the fruit which thy father tasted, thou shalt also behold a man descending out of Heaven, and him shall ye witness; and after that ye have witnessed him, ye shall bear record that it is the Son of God.
And it came to pass that the spirit saith unto me, look! And it came to pass that after that I had seen the tree, I said unto the spirit, I behold thou hast shewn unto me the tree which is precious above all. And he saith unto me, What desirest thou?
And I said unto him, to know the interpretation thereof; for I spake unto him as a man speaketh; for I beheld that he was in the form of a man; yet, nevertheless, I knew that it was the spirit of the Lord; and he spake unto me as a man speaketh with another. And it came to pass that he said unto me, look: And I looked as if to look upon him, and I saw him not; for he had gone from before my presence.
And it came to pass that I looked and beheld the great city Jerusalem, and also other cities. And I beheld the city of Nazareth; and in the city of Nazareth I beheld a virgin, and she was exceeding fair and white. And it came to pass that I saw the Heavens open; and an angel came down and stood before me; and he saith unto me, Nephi, what beholdest thou? And I saith unto him, a virgin, most beautiful and fair above all other virgins. And he saith unto me, Knowest thou condescention of God?
And I said unto him, I know that he loveth his children; nevertheless, I do not know the meaning of all things. And he said unto me, Behold, the virgin which thou seest, is the mother of God, after the manner of flesh. And it came to pass I beheld that she was carried away in the spirit; and after that she had been carried away in the spirit for the space of time, the angel spake unto me, saying, look!
And I looked and beheld the virgin again, bearing a child in her arms. And the angel said unto me, behold the Lamb of God, yea, even the Eternal Father! Knowest thou the meaning of the tree which thy father saw? And I answered him, saying: Yea, it is the love of God, which sheddeth itself abroad in the hearts of the children of men; wherefore, it is the most desirable above all things. And he spake unto me, saying, Yea, and the most joyous to the soul.
And after that he had said those words, he said unto me, look! And I looked, and I beheld the Son of God going forth among the children of men; and I saw many fall down at his feet and worship him. And it came to pass that I beheld that the rod of iron which my father had seen, was the word of God, which let to the fountain of living waters, or to the tree of life; which waters are a representation of the love of God; and I also beheld that the tree of life was a representation of the love of God.
And the angel said unto me again, Look and behold the condescention of God! And I looked and beheld the Redeemer of the world, of which my father had spoken; and I also beheld the prophet, which should prepare the way before him. And the Lamb of God went forth, and was baptised of him; and after that he was baptised, I beheld the Heavens open, and the Holy Ghost come down out of Heaven and abode upon him in the form of a dove.
And I beheld that he went forth ministering unto the people, in power and great glory; and the multitudes were gathered together to hear him; and I beheld that they cast him out from among them.
And I also beheld twelve others following him. And it came to pass that they were carried away in the spirit, from before my face, that I saw them not. And it came to pass that the angel spake unto me again, saying, look! And I looked, and I beheld the Heavens open again, and I saw angels descending upon the children of men; and they did minister unto them.
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And he spake unto me again, saying. And I looked, and beheld the Lamb of God going forth among the children of men. And I beheld multitudes of people which were sick, and which were afflicted of all manner of diseases, and with devils, and unclean spirits; and the angel spake, and shewed all these things unto me. And they were healed by the power of the Lamb of God; and the devils and the unclean spirits were cast out. And I looked and beheld the Lamb of God, that he was taken by the people; yea, the Everlasting God, was judged of the world; and I saw and bear record.
And I, Nephi, saw that he was lifted up upon the cross, and slain for the sins of the world. And after that he was slain, I saw the multitudes of the earth, that they were gathered together to fight against the apostles of the Lamb; for thus were the twelve called by the angel of the Lord. And the multitude of the earth was gathered together; and I beheld that they were in a large spacious building, like unto the building which my father saw.
And the angel of the Lord spake unto me again, saying, Behold the world and the wisdom thereof; yea, behold, the House of Israel hath gathered together, to fight against the twelve apostles of the Lamb. And it came to pass I saw and bear record, that the great and spacious building was the pride of the world; and it fell; and the fall thereof was exceeding great.
And the angel of the Lord spake unto me again, saying: Thus shall be the destruction of all nations, kindreds, tongues, and people, that shall fight against the twelve apostles of the Lamb. And it came to pass that the angel said unto me, Look, and behold thy seed, and also the seed of thy brethren!
And I looked and beheld the land of promise; and I beheld multitudes of people, yea, even as it were in number, as many as the sand of the sea. And it came to pass that I beheld multitudes gathered together, to battle one against the other; and I beheld wars, and rumors of wars, and great slaughters with the sword among my people. And it came to pass that I beheld many generations pass away after the manner of wars and contentions in the land; and I beheld many cities, yea, even that I did not number them.
And it came to pass that I saw a mist of darkness on the face of the land of promise; and I saw lightnings, and I heard thunderings, and earthquakes, and all manner of tumultuous noises; and I saw the earth and the rocks, that rent; and I saw mountains tumbling into pieces; and I saw the plains of the earth.
And it came to pass that after I saw these things, I saw the vapor of darkness, that it passed from off the face of the earth; and behold, I saw the multitudes which had fallen, because of the great and terrible judgments of the Lord. And I saw the Heavens open, and the Lamb of God descending out of Heaven; and he came down and shewed himself unto them.
And I also saw and bear record, that the Holy Ghost fell upon twelve others; and they were ordained of God, and chosen. And the angel spake unto me, saying: Behold the twelve disciples of the Lamb, which are chosen to minister unto thy seed.
And he saith unto me, Thou remembereth the twelve apostles of the Lamb? Behold, they are they which shall judge the twelve tribes of Israel; wherefore, the twelve ministers of thy seed, shall be judged of them; for ye are of the house of Israel; and these twelve ministers which thou beholdest, shall judge thy seed. And behold, they are righteous forever; for because of their faith in the Lamb of God, their garments are made white in his blood.
And the angel saith unto me, look! And I looked and beheld three generations did pass away in righteousness; and their garments were white, even like unto the Lamb of God. And the angel said unto me, These are made white in the blood of the Lamb, because of their faith in him.
And I, Nephi, also many of the fourth generation, which did pass away in righteousness. And it came to pass that I saw the multitudes of the earth gathered together. And the angel said unto me, Behold they seed, and also the seed of thy brethren!
The LDS Church encourages discovery of the book's truth by following the suggestion in its final chapter to study, ponder, and pray to God concerning its veracity. This passage is sometimes referred to as "Moroni's Promise".
The Community of Christ also publishes a "Revised Authorized Edition", which attempts to modernize some language. In , Community of Christ President W. Grant McMurray reflected on increasing questions about the Book of Mormon: Veazey ruled out-of-order a resolution to "reaffirm the Book of Mormon as a divinely inspired record. 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.
There are a number of other churches that are part of the Latter Day Saint movement. 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.
Separate editions of the Book of Mormon have been published by a number of churches in the Latter Day Saint movement, along with private individuals and foundations not endorsed by any specific denomination. Most of the archaeological, historical and scientific communities do not consider the Book of Mormon an ancient record of actual historical events.
Most adherents of the Latter Day Saint movement consider the Book of Mormon to generally be a historically accurate account. One of the more common recent arguments is the limited geography model , which states that the people of the Book of Mormon covered only a limited geographical region in either Mesoamerica , South America , or the Great Lakes area. The LDS Church has published material indicating that science will support the historical authenticity of the Book of Mormon.
The Book of Mormon was dictated by Joseph Smith to several scribes over a period of 13 months,  resulting in three manuscripts. The lost pages contained the first portion of the Book of Lehi ; it was lost after Smith loaned the original, uncopied manuscript to Martin Harris.
The first completed manuscript, called the original manuscript, was completed using a variety of scribes. Portions of the original manuscript were also used for typesetting. It was then discovered that much of the original manuscript had been destroyed by water seepage and mold. Surviving manuscript pages were handed out to various families and individuals in the s.
Only 28 percent of the original manuscript now survives, including a remarkable find of fragments from 58 pages in The second completed manuscript, called the printer's manuscript , was a copy of the original manuscript produced by Oliver Cowdery and two other scribes.
Observations of the original manuscript show little evidence of corrections to the text. In , the manuscript was bought from Whitmer's grandson by the Community of Christ, known at the time as the Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. 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.
The printer's manuscript was not used fully in the typesetting of the version of Book of Mormon; portions of the original manuscript were also used for typesetting. The original manuscript was used by Smith to further correct errors printed in the and versions of the Book of Mormon for the printing of the book. In the late 19th century the extant portion of the printer's manuscript remained with the family of David Whitmer , who had been a principal founder of the Latter Day Saints and who, by the s, led the Church of Christ Whitmerite.
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During the s, according to the Chicago Tribune , the LDS Church unsuccessfully attempted to download it from Whitmer for a record price. LDS president Joseph F. Smith refuted this assertion in a letter, believing such a manuscript "possesses no value whatever. The LDS Church had not sought to download the manuscript. The original publication did not have verse markers, although the individual books were divided into relatively long chapters. Just as the Bible's present chapter and verse notation system is a later addition of Bible publishers to books that were originally solid blocks of undivided text, the chapter and verse markers within the books of the Book of Mormon are conventions, not part of the original text.
Publishers from different factions of the Latter Day Saint movement have published different chapter and verse notation systems. The two most significant are the LDS system, introduced in , and the RLDS system, which is based on the original chapter divisions. The following non-current editions marked major developments in the text or reader's helps printed in the Book of Mormon.
Although some earlier unpublished studies had been prepared, not until the early s was true textual criticism applied to the Book of Mormon. One aspect of that effort entailed digitizing the text and preparing appropriate footnotes, another aspect required establishing the most dependable text. To that latter end, Stanley R. Larson a Rasmussen graduate student set about applying modern text critical standards to the manuscripts and early editions of the Book of Mormon as his thesis project—which he completed in To that end, Larson carefully examined the Original Manuscript the one dictated by Joseph Smith to his scribes and the Printer's Manuscript the copy Oliver Cowdery prepared for the Printer in — , and compared them with the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd editions of the Book of Mormon to determine what sort of changes had occurred over time and to make judgments as to which readings were the most original.
Smith began to take full account of Larson's work and to publish a Critical Text of the Book of Mormon. The third volume of that first edition was published in , but was already being superseded by a second, revised edition of the entire work,  greatly aided through the advice and assistance of then Yale doctoral candidate Grant Hardy , Dr.
Gordon C. Thomasson , Professor John W. However, these were merely preliminary steps to a far more exacting and all-encompassing project. In , with that preliminary phase of the project completed, Professor Skousen took over as editor and head of the FARMS Critical Text of the Book of Mormon Project and proceeded to gather still scattered fragments of the Original Manuscript of the Book of Mormon and to have advanced photographic techniques applied to obtain fine readings from otherwise unreadable pages and fragments.
He also closely examined the Printer's Manuscript then owned by the Community of Christ —RLDS Church in Independence, Missouri for differences in types of ink or pencil, in order to determine when and by whom they were made.
He also collated the various editions of the Book of Mormon down to the present to see what sorts of changes have been made through time. Thus far, Professor Skousen has published complete transcripts of the Original and Printer's Manuscripts,  as well as a six-volume analysis of textual variants.
Yale University has in the meantime published an edition of the Book of Mormon which incorporates all aspects of Skousen's research.
Differences between the original and printer's manuscript, the 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,    with Mormon scholars viewing the changes as superficial, done to clarify the meaning of the text.
The LDS version of the Book of Mormon has been translated into 83 languages and selections have been translated into an additional 25 languages. In , the LDS Church reported that all or part of the Book of Mormon was available in the native language of 99 percent of Latter-day Saints and 87 percent of the world's total population. Translations into languages without a tradition of writing e. 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 several times before it is approved and published. In , 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. Such films in LDS cinema i.
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The Journey and Passage to Zarahemla Second Nephi 9: In , a long-running religious satire musical titled The Book of Mormon , by the South Park creators, premiered on Broadway , winning 9 Tony Awards , including best musical. The LDS Church, which distributes free copies of the Book of Mormon, reported in that million copies of the book have been printed since its initial publication.
The initial printing of the Book of Mormon in produced copies. The Book of Mormon has occasionally been analyzed in a non-religious context for its literary merits. The author labored to give his words and phrases the quaint, old-fashioned sound and structure of our King James's translation of the Scriptures; and the result is a mongrel -- half modern glibness, and half ancient simplicity and gravity.
The latter is awkward and constrained; the former natural, but grotesque by the contrast. Whenever he found his speech growing too modern -- which was about every sentence or two -- he ladled in a few such Scriptural phrases as "exceeding sore," "and it came to pass," etc.
If he had left that out, his Bible would have been only a pamphlet. Non-Mormons attempting psychiatric analyses [Of Joseph Smith] have been content to pin a label upon the youth and have ignored his greatest creative achievement because they found it dull. Dull it is, in truth, but not formless, aimless, or absurd.
Its structure shows elaborate design, its narrative is spun coherently, and it demonstrates throughout a unity of purpose. Its matter is drawn directly from the American frontier, from the impassioned revivalist sermons, the popular fallacies about Indian origin, and the current political crusades. Searching for literary wonders in the Book of Mormon is a bit like seeking lyrical inspiration in the books of Chronicles or Judges.
The Book of Mormon is a work of substantial complexity, however, with numerous well-spun narratives subsumed with a larger comprehensive vision There is a neat symmetry to the bible as we have received it. Givens later concluded,. The Book of Mormon remains a potent and disruptive force in the twenty-first century, challenging analysis with its authoritative claims.
The Book remains an important cultural document of the nineteenth century and its literary merits are beginning to encourage further enquiry. The growth of Mormonism worldwide is also challenging older questions of wider appeal and accessibility of the Book of Mormon.
The themes of the dislocation and decentring are coming to greater relevance in a globalised world. The Book of Mormon began as densely printed pages in , and the current official edition reformatted with substantial grammatical editing still runs to pages.
In some ways this is surprising. If the primary purpose of the Book of Mormon were to function as a sign—as tangible evidence that Joseph Smith was a true prophet of God—that mission could have been accomplished much more concisely. A fifty page book delivered by an angel is no less miraculous than a thick volume; it's the heavenly messenger part that makes it hard to believe. True or not, the Book of Mormon is a powerful epic written on a grand scale with a host of characters, a narrative of human struggle and conflict, of divine intervention, heroic good and atrocious evil, of prophecy, morality, and law.
Its narrative structure is complex. The idiom is that of the King James Version, which most Americans assumed to be appropriate for divine revelation The Book of Mormon should rank among the great achievements of American literature, but it has never been accorded the status it deserves, since Mormons deny Joseph Smith's authorship, and non-Mormons, dismissing the work as a fraud, have been more likely to riducule than to read it.
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. This is the latest accepted revision , reviewed on 27 May For other uses, see Book of Mormon disambiguation. Prophets and people. Historical authenticity and criticism. Main articles: Main article: Book of Mormon chronology.
Historical authenticity of the Book of Mormon. See also: List of Book of Mormon translations.
This article is missing information about further criticism positive or negative. Please expand the article to include this information. Further details may exist on the talk page. July The Transformation of America, — , Pg.
Outline of the Book of Mormon. November 4, Retrieved July 30, Mormonism - Shadow or Reality? Utah Lighthouse Ministry. No Man Knows My History: The Life of Joseph Smith 2d ed.
New York: Alfred A. Under the Banner of Heaven: A Story of Violent Faith. Losing a Lost Tribe: Joseph Smith , xxii— Macmillan Publishing , pp. No man knows my history: Vintage Books. March 1, Times and Seasons. Nauvoo, Illinois. Rough Stone Rolling New York: Knopf, , Retrieved One Nation Under Gods: A History of the Mormon Church. Thunder's Mouth Press. Brigham D. Madsen ed. Studies of the Book of Mormon.
Salt Lake City, UT: Signature Books. Painesville, Ohio: Telegraph Press. Reeve, Rex C ed. Manuscript Found: The Complete Original "Spaulding" Manuscript. Provo, Utah: Archived from the original on Shadow or Reality? Neal A. Maxwell Institute for Religious Scholarship.
It appears that Mormons are generally content to picture the Book of Mormon story in a setting that is factually wrong. For most Mormons, the limited geography models create more problems than they solve. They run counter to the dominant literal interpretation of the text and contradict popular folklore as well as the clear pronouncements of all church presidents since the time of Joseph Smith", Simon G.
For leaders of the Utah church, this is still out of the question. Hinckley in continually refer to Native LDS members in attendance as "children of Lehi" Southerton , pp. The Earliest Text , ed. Royal Skousen, pg. III Allen, Sacred Sites: Searching for Book of Mormon Lands p. Coleman , "The Book of Mormon: Roberts ed. Strathearn, Gaye; Swift, Charles eds.
The Most Correct Book: Joseph Smith's Appraisal. Nelson, Russell M. November , "Living by Scriptural Guidance" , Ensign: Zelophads Daughters. Retrieved 14 April Another Testament of Jesus Christ" , mormonnewsroom. Packer , "Scriptures" , Ensign , November Oaks , "'Another Testament of Jesus Christ'" , Ensign , March reporting that Benson told a meeting of church leaders on 5 March that "[t]his condemnation has not been lifted, nor will it be until we repent".
April , "Moroni's Promise" , Ensign: Retrieved 9 April Grant, "They 'Shall Blossom as the Rose': Native Americans and the Dream of Zion," an address delivered February 17, , cofchrist. Community of Christ, June 8, Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance. Over a period of years, as scholars have seriously studied Native American cultures and prehistory, evidence of a Christian civilization in the Americas has eluded the specialists These [Mesoamerican] cultures lack any trace of Hebrew or Egyptian writing, metallurgy, or the Old World domesticated animals and plants described in the Book of Mormon.
Custer, "Review of 'Fantastic Archaeology: Coe, a prominent Mesoamerican archaeologist and Professor Emeritus of Anthropology at Yale University, writes in a volume of Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought: 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.
Deseret Book Co. Foundation for Ancient Research and Mormon Studies,  , For example: Simon G. 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. Archaeologists and physical anthropologists have not found any evidence of Hebrew origins for the people of North, South and Central America. 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, Largey, general Book of Mormon reference companion.
Salt Lake City, Utah: Deseret Book. Changes in the Book of Mormon". November 27, Deseret Salt Lake City News. Retrieved 22 September Packer, Boyd K. November You should know also that by recent decision of the Brethren the Book of Mormon will henceforth bear the title 'The Book of Mormon,' with the subtitle 'Another Testament of Jesus Christ.
In Ludlow, Daniel H ed.
Encyclopedia of Mormonism. Macmillan Publishing. Retrieved 6 March Paul; Parshall, Ardis E. August 13, A Historical Encyclopedia: A Historical Encyclopedia. Retrieved March 24, Lynn November 9, Deseret News.
November 11, Yale University Press. Archived from the original on 11 June Journal of Book of Mormon Studies. BYU, Smith, ed. FARMS, — FARMS, FARMS, — -- now superseded by a second ed. The Earliest Text Yale Univ. Press, Retrieved 18 December May 3, Retrieved May 3, The Book of Mormon reaches another milestone" , Church News , The Book of Mormon:Wherefore it came to pass, that my father Lehi, as he went forth, prayed unto the Lord, yea, even with all his heart, in behalf of his people.
And it came to pass that they did so. Foundation for Ancient Research and Mormon Studies. He is the quiet middle brother. Upon the other plates should be engraven an account of the reign of the Kings, and the wars, and contentions of my people; wherefore, these plates are, for the more part, of the ministry; and the other plates are, for the more part, of the reign of the Kings, and the wars, and the contentions of my people. And he also spake unto Lemuel: O that thou mightest be like unto this valley, firm, and steadfast, and immoveable in keeping the commandments of the Lord.
This four-year pattern, however, must not be followed by Church members in their personal and family study. And it came to pass that after I had prayed unto the Lord, I beheld a large and spacious field. Retrieved 14 April Most editions of the book also contain supplementary material, including the "Testimony of Three Witnesses " and the "Testimony of Eight Witnesses ".
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