Portal:Book of Mormon

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The Book of Mormon Portal

The Book of Mormon published by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

The Book of Mormon is one of the sacred texts of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, named after the prophet-historian Mormon who, according to the text, compiled most of the book. It was published by the founder of the Church, Joseph Smith, Jr., in March 1830 in Palmyra, New York, USA. Its purpose, as stated on its title page, "is to show the remnant of the House of Israel what great things the Lord has done for their fathers" and to convince "Jew and Gentile that Jesus is the Christ, the Eternal God, manifesting himself to all nations."

Joseph Smith, Jr. said the book was a translation of Golden Plates. He said that the angel Moroni told him the plates were buried in a hill near his home (which he later called the Hill Cumorah). He said the translation was made through the power of God with aid of the Urim and Thummim, which were with the plates. He also used seer stones for translation. During the production of the work Smith obtained the affidavits of Three Witnesses and Eight Witnesses who testified they saw and handled the plates. These affidavits are published as part of the Book. When the book was complete, he said he returned the plates to the angel Moroni.

Along with the Bible, which is also held by Latter Day Saints to be the Word of God as far as it is translated correctly, the Book of Mormon is esteemed as part of canon by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, the Community of Christ, The Church of Jesus Christ and other churches that claim Joseph Smith as their founder. In 1982, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints added the subtitle Another Testament of Jesus Christ to its editions of the book to help clarify and emphasize its purpose. Prior to 1982, some editions of the Book of Mormon had included the subtitle, A Second Testament of Jesus Christ.

Selected article

A 21st-century artistic representation of the Golden plates, Urim and Thummim, Sword of Laban, and Liahona

The Book of Mormon is the name of a book, or division, in the larger Book of Mormon. This "inner" book has nine chapters. According to the text, the first seven chapters were written by the prophet Mormon and the last two by his son Moroni. These men were given a sacred charge to observe the destruction of their people for their wickedness and failure to repent; and to record their observations on metal plates which would be hidden until the Lord would reveal them to the world at a future time.

The book thus explains the alleged provenance of the Book of Mormon as an ancient record, mostly of the Nephites, compiled by Mormon and Moroni on Golden Plates.

Selected history

Photograph of what is believed to be the 1830 document known as the "Anthon Transcript"

The Book of Mormon, a work of scripture of the Latter Day Saint movement, describes itself as having originally been written in reformed Egyptian characters on plates of metal or "ore" by prophets living in the Western Hemisphere from perhaps as early as 2600 BC until as late as AD 421. Joseph Smith, Jr., the movement's founder, published the Book of Mormon in 1830 as a translation of these golden plates. Scholarly reference works on languages do not, however, acknowledge the existence of either a "reformed Egyptian" language or "reformed Egyptian" script as it has been described in Mormon belief. No archaeological, linguistic, or other evidence of the use of Egyptian writing in ancient America has been discovered. On their website, Bad Archaeology, two British archaeologists, Keith Fitzpatrick-Matthews and Dames Doeser, say "The only writing systems to have been recognised in the Americas are those used by the Maya and the Aztecs, neither of which resembles Egyptian hieroglyphs, although Joseph Smith, the founder of the religion, produced a scrap of papyrus containing hieroglyphs he claimed to be a Reformed Egyptian text written by the Patriarch Abraham."

Selected Location

Map showing the possible Lands and Sites of the Book of Mormon

According to the beliefs of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, or "Mormons", Zarahemla (/zɛr.əˈhɛm.lə/) refers to a large city in the ancient Americas which is described in the Book of Mormon. It also is used to refer to a large political division, and a minor character in the book. The Book of Mormon is revered by members of various Latter Day Saint churches as sacred scripture. Non-Mormon archaeologists and historians do not consider Zarahemla to be an actual place that existed in ancient America and dismiss the historical claims of the Book of Mormon. (See Archaeology and the Book of Mormon for more detail about the archaeological debate between Mormons and mainstream archaeologists). Some Mormons speculate that the name “Zarahemla” is a compound Biblical Hebrew name זֶרַע חֶמְלָה Zéraʻ Ḥemlah meaning "seed of compassion". Others interpret the name differently.

Selected biography

A depiction of the Tree of life vision in the Hill Cumorah Pageant

According to the Book of Mormon, Lehi (/ˈlh/ LEE-hy) was a prophet who lived in Jerusalem during the reign of king Zedekiah (approximately 600 BC). Lehi was an Israelite of the Tribe of Manasseh, and father to Nephi, another prominent prophet in the Book of Mormon. In the first book of the Book of Mormon, First Nephi, Lehi and Nephi lead their family out of Jerusalem, and across the sea to the "promised land" (the Americas). Mormon scholar Hugh Nibley has suggested that he was a merchant and contemporary of the Seven Wise Men of Greece. The modern-day city of Lehi, Utah, is named after Lehi. According to the Book of Mormon narrative, the families of Lehi, his friend Ishmael and another man named Zoram left Jerusalem some time before its destruction by the Babylonians in approximately 587 BC. Lehi's group proceeded southward down the Arabian Peninsula until they reached a location called Nahom. Ishmael is reported to have died by this time, and he was buried at this location.

Selected Quotes

The Book of Helaman Chapter 7

Nephi is rejected in the north and returns to Zarahemla—He prays upon his garden tower and then calls upon the people to repent or perish.

1 Behold, now it came to pass in the sixty and ninth year of the reign of the judges over the people of the Nephites, that Nephi, the son of Helaman, returned to the land of Zarahemla from the land northward.

2 For he had been forth among the people who were in the land northward, and did preach the word of God unto them, and did prophesy many things unto them;

3 And they did reject all his words, insomuch that he could not stay among them, but returned again unto the land of his nativity.

4 And seeing the people in a state of such awful wickedness, and those Gadianton robbers filling the judgment-seats—having usurped the power and authority of the land; laying aside the commandments of God, and not in the least aright before him; doing no justice unto the children of men;

5 Condemning the righteous because of their righteousness; letting the guilty and the wicked go unpunished because of their money; and moreover to be held in office at the head of government, to rule and do according to their wills, that they might get gain and glory of the world, and, moreover, that they might the more easily commit adultery, and steal, and kill, and do according to their own wills—

6 Now this great iniquity had come upon the Nephites, in the space of not many years; and when Nephi saw it, his heart was swollen with sorrow within his breast; and he did exclaim in the agony of his soul:

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