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

The First Book of Nephi (pronounced /ˈniːfaɪ/) is the first book of the Book of Mormon. Its full title is The First Book of Nephi: His Reign and Ministry. The book is usually referred to as First Nephi and abbreviated as "1 Ne.". It is a first-person narrative, beginning around 600 BC, of a prophet named Nephi. The Second Book of Nephi is a continuation of this narrative. The book begins in Jerusalem at the time of King Zedekiah, where Nephi's father, Lehi, has a vision, wherein he sees God the Father, Christ, and the twelve apostles. Lehi is also made aware of the imminent Babylonian destruction of Jerusalem. Hence as a result of this experience, Lehi begins to preach repentance to his people. As with the other prophets living at that time, such as Jeremiah, they reject his teachings and attempt to kill him. In a dream, God commands Lehi to leave Jerusalem with his family (which include his wife, Sariah, and his four sons Laman, Lemuel, Sam, and Nephi). Yet almost immediately upon their exile, Lehi is commanded by God to send his sons back to Jerusalem to retrieve the brass plates. The brass plates are a record similar to what the Old Testament is, owned by Laban, a powerful leader in Jerusalem. Nephi returns with his brothers and after several failed attempts, where Laban even tries to steal Lehi's property and murder his sons, become frustrated. Laman and Lemuel take out their frustration by beating Nephi. An angel appears and commands Laman and Lemuel to stop beating Nephi and return to retrieve the plates. One of the great visions of this book is Lehi's vision of the tree of life.

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

In the Book of Mormon, the land of Lehi-Nephi (/ˈl.h ˈn.f/; 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 re-colonize 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 depart the land of Nephi due to 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.

Selected biography

The angel Moroni delivering the plates of the Book of Mormon to Joseph Smith.

Moroni (/məˈrn/), according to the Book of Mormon, was the last Nephite prophet, historian, and military commander who lived in the Americas in the late fourth and early fifth centuries. He is identified as the same angel who presented the golden plates to Joseph Smith, who said he translated the plates upon which the Book of Mormon was originally written. Moroni had been commanded by his father to complete the Nephite record, which Mormon had abridged from previous records. Moroni is the ascribed author of chapters 8 and 9 of the Book of Mormon (Mormon's record within the larger Book of Mormon), the entire Book of Moroni, and the Title Page of the Book of Mormon. He has also added the Book of Ether into the plates, which is primarily an abridgment of Jaredite writings but also contains extensive commentary by Moroni. Moroni was the last prophet to write in the Book of Mormon.

Selected Quotes

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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