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 a sacred text of the Latter Day Saint movement, which adherents believe contains writings of ancient prophets who lived on the American continent from approximately 2200 BC to AD 421. It was first published in March 1830 by Joseph Smith as The Book of Mormon: An Account Written by the Hand of Mormon upon Plates Taken from the Plates of Nephi.

According to Smith's account and the book's narrative, the Book of Mormon was originally written in otherwise unknown characters referred to as "reformed Egyptian" engraved on golden plates. Smith said that the last prophet to contribute to the book, a man named Moroni, buried it in Cumorah Hill in present-day New York, then returned to Earth in 1827 as an angel, revealing the location of the plates to Smith, and instructing him to translate it into English for use in the restoration of Christ's true church in the latter days. Critics claim that it was fabricated by Smith, drawing on material and ideas from contemporary 19th-century works rather than translating an ancient record.

The Book of Mormon has a number of original and distinctive doctrinal discussions on subjects such as the fall of Adam and Eve, the nature of the Atonement, eschatology, redemption from physical and spiritual death, and the organization of the latter-day church. The pivotal event of the book is an appearance of Jesus Christ in the Americas shortly after his resurrection.

The Book of Mormon is the earliest of the unique writings of the Latter Day Saint movement, the denominations of which typically regard the text primarily as scripture, and secondarily as a historical record of God's dealings with the ancient inhabitants of the Americas. 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. As of 2011, more than 150 million copies of the Book of Mormon had been published.

Selected article

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. Read more...

Selected history

Map showing the generally accepted model of human spread over the world. Numbers indicate years before present. The indigenous peoples of the Americas are held by modern scientists to descend from the Paleo-Indians, who migrated from North Asia to Alaska via the Beringia land bridge, and not from the Middle East as claimed by the Book of Mormon.

The Book of Mormon, the founding document of the Latter Day Saint movement and one of the four books of scripture of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church), is an account of three groups of people. According to the book, two of these groups originated from ancient Israel. There is generally no direct support amongst mainstream historians and archaeologists for the historicity of the Book of Mormon.

Since the late 1990s pioneering work of Luigi Luca Cavalli-Sforza and others, scientists have developed techniques that attempt to use genetic markers to indicate the ethnic background and history of individual people. The data developed by these mainstream scientists tell us that the Native Americans have very distinctive DNA markers, and that some of them are most similar, among old world populations, to the DNA of people anciently associated with the Altay Mountains area of central Asia. This conclusion from a genetic perspective supports a large amount of archaeological, anthropological, and linguistic evidence that Native American peoples' ancestors migrated from Asia at the latest 16,500–13,000 years ago. (See Settlement of the Americas and Genetic history of indigenous peoples of the Americas).

The mainstream scientific consensus about the origin of the ancient Americans and peoples is at odds with the claims put forth in the Book of Mormon, though Mormon apologists have made efforts to reconcile these contradictions. The LDS Church released an essay on their website titled "Book of Mormon and DNA Studies". The conclusion states, "Much as critics and defenders of the Book of Mormon would like to use DNA studies to support their views, the evidence is simply inconclusive." Read more...

Selected Location

Map showing the possible lands and sites of the Book of Mormon

In the Book of Mormon, the land of Lehi-Nephi (/ˈlh ˈnf/; also referred to as the land of Nephi) is the homeland of the Nephites in the early times of the Book of Mormon. The land is later conquered by the Lamanites, and the remaining Nephites flee to the land of Zarahemla, home of the Mulekites. In later years, an expedition under Zeniff returns to Lehi-Nephi to recolonize the area, and at first, the Lamanites allow them to settle. Zeniff, his son Noah, and Noah's son Limhi rule as kings over their people in the land of Lehi-Nephi. Ultimately the Nephite settlers leave the land of Nephi because of Lamanite oppression. They are led by Ammon, the leader of a party sent by king Mosiah son of king Benjamin to learn the fate of Zeniff's group. They return to Zarahemla as refugees.

According to the Book of Mormon, the land of Nephi was south of and at higher elevation than Zarahemla. A strip of wilderness running east and west divided the land of Nephi from the land of Zarahemla.

In the 1st century BC, the lands of Nephi and Zarahemla were bordered on the east and on the west by bodies of water that were called respectively "the east sea" and "the west sea." There is no unequivocal indication in the Book of Mormon that the seas were intended to represent oceans, but te term "lake" is not used in the Book of Mormon to describe an inland body of water, and a parallel is seen between the American Promised Land of the Book of Mormon and the Biblical Promised Land, which is bordered by inland seas. Read more...

Selected biography

An artist's interpretation of Amalackiah, Nephite dissenter and usurper of the Lamanite throne. Digital sculpture by Josh Cotton.

In the Book of Mormon, Amalickiah (/əˈmæl.əˈk.ə/) (Ameleckiah as a frequent scribal variant in the Original Manuscript) was a Nephite leader of a movement to reestablish a king, specifically himself, as the king of the Nephites. When he failed to gain power through a popular uprising he dissented to the Lamanites becoming their king and using them as a means to gain power over the Nephites. He was killed during the ensuing war. Read more...

Selected Quotes

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THE BOOK OF MOSIAH CHAPTER 13

Abinadi is protected by divine power—He teaches the Ten Commandments—Salvation does not come by the law of Moses alone—God himself shall make an atonement and redeem his people. About 148 B.C.

11 And now I read unto you the remainder of the commandments of God, for I perceive that they are not written in your hearts; I perceive that ye have studied and taught iniquity the most part of your lives.

12 And now, ye remember that I said unto you: Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of things which are in heaven above, or which are in the earth beneath, or which are in the water under the earth.

13 And again: Thou shalt not bow down thyself unto them, nor serve them; for I the Lord thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquities of the fathers upon the children, unto the third and fourth generations of them that hate me;

14 And showing mercy unto thousands of them that love me and keep my commandments.

15 Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain; for the Lord will not hold him guiltless that taketh his name in vain.

16 Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy.

17 Six days shalt thou labor, and do all thy work;

18 But the seventh day, the sabbath of the Lord thy God, thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy man-servant, nor thy maid-servant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates;

19 For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, and the sea, and all that in them is; wherefore the Lord blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it.

20 Honor thy father and thy mother, that thy days may be long upon the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee.

21 Thou shalt not kill.

22 Thou shalt not commit adultery. Thou shalt not steal.

23 Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor.

24 Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor’s house, thou shalt not covet thy neighbor’s wife, nor his man-servant, nor his maid-servant, nor his ox, nor his ass, nor anything that is thy neighbor’s.

25 And it came to pass that after Abinadi had made an end of these sayings that he said unto them: Have ye taught this people that they should observe to do all these things for to keep these commandments?

26 I say unto you, Nay; for if ye had, the Lord would not have caused me to come forth and to prophesy evil concerning this people.

27 And now ye have said that salvation cometh by the law of Moses. I say unto you that it is expedient that ye should keep the law of Moses as yet; but I say unto you, that the time shall come when it shall no more be expedient to keep the law of Moses.

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