Book of Mormon | BYU Studies

Book of Mormon

The Miraculous Timing of the Translation of the Book of Mormon

Author John W. Welch,
This Bookshelf Single is an excerpt from the book Opening the Heavens: Accounts of Divine Manifestations, 1820–1844, Second Edition. Few events in the history of the Restoration are as consequential as the bestowal of the priesthood upon Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery. The following excerpts from early Church documents recount all of the known direct statements from the first twenty years of... Read more

Science and the Book of Mormon

Author Various Authors, Compiler BYU Studies Staff,
This compilation of groundbreaking Book of Mormon articles is selected from over fifty years of LDS scholarship published by BYU Studies. This volume features articles on how the El Niño weather pattern may have made Lehi's voyage to the Americas possible, geological insights into the destruction chronicled in 3 Nephi, and information about olives in antiquity. Contents "Lehi and El Niño: A... Read more

Social and Political Studies about the Book of Mormon

Author Various Authors, Compiler BYU Studies Staff,
This compilation of groundbreaking Book of Mormon articles is selected from over fifty years of LDS scholarship published by BYU Studies. This volume features articles that explore comparisons between the American Revolution and Book of Mormon governments, Nephi's justification of his ascent to leadership, protracted war in the Book of Mormon and in modern times, and much more. Contents "The Book... Read more

The Book of Mormon as Literature

Author Various Authors, Compiler BYU Studies Staff,
This compilation of groundbreaking Book of Mormon articles is selected from over fifty years of LDS scholarship published by BYU Studies. This volume features articles that look at literary aspects of the Book of Mormon, including a lyric reading of Nephi's psalm, the exodus pattern and Moses typology in the book, the literary context that affected its acceptance in England in 1837, a comparison... Read more

The Coming Forth of the Book of Mormon

Author Various Authors, Compiler BYU Studies,
This compilation of groundbreaking Book of Mormon articles is selected from over fifty years of LDS scholarship published by BYU Studies. This volume features articles on Moroni's visits, the Anthon transcript, the original Book of Mormon manuscript, the Dogberry Papers, copyright law in 1830, and more. Contents "A Survey of Pre-1830 Historical Sources Relating to the Book of Mormon" David A... Read more

Lehi and Nephi

Author Various Authors, Compiler BYU Studies Staff,
This compilation of groundbreaking Book of Mormon articles is selected from over fifty years of LDS scholarship published by BYU Studies. This volume examines the first two books of Nephi, with articles on focusing on the experiences and writings of the first two Book of Mormon prophets. Contents "Nephi's Outline" Noel B. Reynolds "Lehi's Personal Record: Quest for a Missing Source" S. Kent Brown... Read more

Doctrines in the Book of Mormon

Author Various Authors, Compiler BYU Studies Staff,
This compilation of groundbreaking Book of Mormon articles is selected from over fifty years of LDS scholarship published by BYU Studies. This volume features articles that look at doctrines in the Book of Mormon, including resurrection, the allegory of the olive tree, and the appearance of Jesus Christ to the brother of Jared. Contents "The Doctrine of the Resurrection as Taught in the Book of... Read more

Chiasmus and Book of Mormon Textual Studies

Author Various Authors, Compiler BYU Studies,
This compilation of groundbreaking Book of Mormon articles is selected from over fifty years of LDS scholarship published by BYU Studies. This volume features articles on Hebraisms and chiasmus in the Book of Mormon, as well as articles discussing emendation of the text, naturalistic assumptions, wordprint analyses, variations between copies of the first edition, and more. Contents "Hebraisms in... Read more

Book of Mormon Archaeology and Anthropology

Author Various Authors, Compiler BYU Studies Staff,
This compilation of groundbreaking Book of Mormon articles is selected from over fifty years of LDS scholarship published by BYU Studies. This volume features articles on archaeological and anthropological aspects of the Book of Mormon, such as the use of the wheel in ancient America, Hagoth and the Polynesian tradition, the Mulekites, ancient writing in the Americas, and the use of metal plates... Read more

Blasphemers and Believers: Personal Reactions to the Book of Mormon

Author Various Authors, Compiler BYU Studies Staff,
This compilation of groundbreaking Book of Mormon articles is selected from over fifty years of LDS scholarship published by BYU Studies. This volume features articles on various believers and nonbelievers, including William E. McLellan, Mark Twain, B. H. Roberts, and Minerva Teichert. Contents "William E. McLellan's Testimony of the Book of Mormon" Larry C. Porter "'The Testimony of Men':... Read more

The Book of Mormon and the American Revolution

The late Thomas O'Dea, a sympathetic but critical scholar, thought of the Book of Mormon that too many "American sentiments permeate the work." O'Dea purports to find evidence of nineteenth century American political culture in the Book of Mormon—for example, the prophecy of the American Revolution early in Nephi's narrative, and later, the switch from monarchy to government by elected Judges. On... Read more

The Israelite Background of Moses Typology in the Book of Mormon

Nephi tells the story of the founding events of the Nephite people in such a way that his readers will see him as a second Moses. Although Nephi's use of the Moses typology has been previously noted, what has not been noticed before is that his father, Lehi, also employs this same typology in his farewell address in 2 Nephi 1-4 in order to persuade his descendants of his own divine calling and of... Read more

"Securing" the Prophet's Copyright in the Book of Mormon: Historical and Legal Context for the So-called Canadian Copyright Revelation

To read the extended version of this article click here . The 2009 publication of the Manuscript Revelation Books as part of the Joseph Smith Papers makes available, for the first time, the text of a revelation received in 1829 or 1830 by the Prophet Joseph Smith on securing the copyright of the Book of Mormon in all the world and selling a copyright for its publication in the four then-existing... Read more

Understanding Christian Baptism through the Book of Mormon

Early Christianity saw a wide proliferation of theories and practices concerning baptism, and now many Christians, including Mormons, commonly understand it as a means to repent and wash away one's sins. But the Book of Mormon prophets taught that baptism is a covenant and a witnessing to God that one has already repented and commits to follow Jesus Christ, and that sins are remitted by the Holy... Read more

Dating the Departure of Lehi from Jerusalem

Dating the departure of Lehi from Jerusalem is problematic and has resulted in various proposed dates, most falling between 597 and 587 BC, which do not allow for 600 years to elapse between the departure and the birth of Christ in late 5 BC or early 4 BC. In this article, the author introduces a variety of evidence to show that Lehi's departure can be dated to sometime in late 605 BC. Much of... Read more

The Coming Forth of the Book of Mormon in the Twentieth Century

As the twentieth century draws to a close, the Book of Mormon clearly holds center stage in Latter-day Saint scriptural study and appreciation. Congregations, the Church Educational System, individuals, and families are focusing on the Book of Mormon with unprecedented enthusiasm, largely because of the leadership of President Ezra Taft Benson. In his landmark conference addresses in 1986,... Read more

The "Mulekites"

The "people of Zarahemla" referred to in the Nephite record remain enigmatic to Latter-day Saint readers. Although they were more populous than the Nephites-by-descent, only a handful of statements in the scripture give explicit information about them. No one has attempted to combine these into a systematic picture of who these people were and what their role in Nephite history was. This article... Read more

Kingship, Democracy, and the Message of the Book of Mormon

Gregory Steven Dundas offers a detailed reading of governmental forms in the Book of Mormon in the context of other ancient civilizations. He makes the case that democracy was almost unknown in the ancient world and that nearly all people assumed that kingship was the best form of government. This makes King Mosiah’s decision to implement a form of democracy (elected judges) among the Nephites a... Read more

Scriptural Perspectives on How to Survive the Calamities of the Last Days

Hugh Nibley provides insights from Latter-day Saint scripture about the last days. In the Little Apocalypse of Matthew 24 and Joseph Smith—Matthew, Jesus prophesies of the events that will precede the end of the world and emphasizes that his Second Coming will be a complete surprise. People are not supposed to prepare for that day; rather, they should live every day as if the Lord were coming on... Read more

The "Perfect Pattern": The Book of Mormon as a Model for the Writing of Sacred History

In his article "How Should Our Story Be Told?" Robert L. Millet argued that Latter-day Saint history as a 'sacred saga" should be presented in a manner that expressly bears witness of God' s hand and does not dilute that witness by emphasizing mortal weaknesses. While Millet's principal support for this proposition consisted of various quotes from modern Church leaders, he did cite the Book of... Read more

The Political Dimension in Nephi's Small Plates

Every people needs to know that its laws and rulers are legitimate and authoritative. This is why stories of national origins and city foundings are so important to human societies throughout the world. Such stories provide explanations of the legitimate origins of their laws and their rulers. Not untypically, such traditions also deal with ambiguous elements of the founding, explaining away... Read more

Lehi's Personal Record: Quest for a Missing Source

The Book of Mormon teems with references to numerous works known by its compilers and authors but not included in its final collection of texts. The documents comprising the brass plates, for instance, are mentioned merely in passing. Further, Mormon alludes to a substantial collection from which he distilled the nearly thousand-year history of his people. These countless unnamed texts, moreover... Read more

Naturalistic Assumptions and the Book of Mormon

Gary Novak explains the problems caused by looking at religious history through naturalistic assumptions. He uses the naturalistic writings of Dale Morgan and Fawn Brodie to show that such assumptions exclude God from the writing of history, transforming the meaning of faith and eroding collective religious memory. He looks at biases created when Marvin Hill and Leonard Arrington adopt... Read more

Violence and the Gospel: The Teachings of the Old Testament, the New Testament, and the Book of Mormon

This is a study of religious teachings on force and war as they apply in the nuclear age. In particular, Old Testament prophetic teachings are examined, as distinguished from Israel's experience in the conquest of Canaan through the Davidic monarchy, teachings of Jesus on force and violence; and Book of Mormon teachings on force and war. These teachings may be more important now than ever. All of... Read more

The Gospel of Jesus Christ as Taught by the Nephite Prophets

While all the elements of the gospel as it is defined in the Book of Mormon occur in the New Testament, the formulaic relationship the Book of Mormon ascribes to them is not so obvious. Yet, once the Book of Mormon definition is understood, there is little difficulty accommodating New Testament usages to it. The Lord has repeatedly stated that the Book of Mormon contains "the fulness of the... Read more

The Book of Mormon in the English Literary Context of 1837

"Do you know anything of a wretched set of religionists in your country, superstitionists I ought rather to say, called Mormonites, or Latter-Day Saints?" So wrote the great English poet William Wordsworth to his American editor Henry Reed early in 1846. This is the only reference to Mormonism in Wordsworth's surviving letters or other writings, and it may come as a shock to modern Latter-day... Read more

Understanding the Abrahamic Covenant through the Book of Mormon

The revival of scholarly interest in Abraham in recent decades provides a timely opportunity to explore the contemporary findings of biblical scholars from a Latter-day Saint perspective. This review leads to an in-depth exploration of how the Lord’s covenants with Abraham were understood by the Nephite prophets in the Book of Mormon, how their perspectives compare with contemporary biblical... Read more

The Israelite Roots of Atonement Terminology

This article focuses on three common English terms— atonement, salvation, and redemption ; their usual Hebrew equivalents as rendered in the King James Version of the Bible (KJV); and their associated conceptions found within the Hebrew Bible. In general, ancient Israelites understood redeem primarily in terms of kinship and family law and secondarily as a covenantal term. Salvation was found... Read more

Textual Similarities in the Words of Abinadi and Alma's Counsel to Corianton

John Hilton examines textual similarities between two texts found in the Book of Mormon: the words of Abinadi in Mosiah 12–17 and the words of Alma the Younger in Alma 39–42. Hilton used both human-based and computer-based techniques to search for textual matches. Read more

The Doctrine of the Resurrection as Taught in the Book of Mormon

The frequency with which the subject of resurrection is discussed, the wide range of details, and the high level of agreement among the many testimonies all show that the doctrine of the resurrection is a major teaching of the Book of Mormon. The extent of these teachings is in keeping with the prophecy of Enoch in Moses 7:62, which says that the record will come out of the earth, "to bear... Read more

Towards a Critical Edition of the Book of Mormon

Over the past few years the Foundation for Ancient Research and Mormon Studies (hereafter referred to as FARMS) has published a critical edition of the Book of Mormon in three volumes: 1 (1 Nephi–Words of Mormon, 1984), 2 (Mosiah–Alma, 1986), and 3 (Helaman–Moroni, 1987). During 1986–87 a second three-volume (corrected) edition was published. The purpose of this paper is not only to review the... Read more

The Ancient Doctrine of the Two Ways and the Book of Mormon

The Bible describes a bifurcated world in which God bids, commands, and teaches the people he has created to follow him in the way of righteousness, and in which the devil leads people into wickedness. This way of seeing things surfaces explicitly in various texts and is known among scholars as the Doctrine of the Two Ways. While the same teaching has been noticed in the Book of Mormon, there is... Read more

Hebraisms in the Book of Mormon: A Preliminary Survey

Though the Book of Mormon expressly states that it is written in the "language of the Egyptians," (1 Nephi 1:2), nevertheless, it quite clearly reflects a number of Hebrews idioms and contains numerous Hebrews words. This is no doubt due to the fact that the Nephites retained the Hebrews language, albeit in an altered form (See Mormon 9:35). Moreover, it is not impossible that the plates... Read more

1 and 2 Nephi: An Inspiring Whole

A common method to scripture study among Latter-day Saints is to search a broad range of verses by topic. While certainly useful, such a fragmented approach does not illuminate thematic elements and patterns that emerge only when surveying entire sections of scripture. To illustrate, the author of this article analyzes the first two books in the Book of Mormon, 1 and 2 Nephi. He suggests that... Read more

A Study in Seven: Hebrew Numerology in the Book of Mormon

The subject of Hebrew numerology in the Book of Mormon has been identified as a promising field of study still open to fruitful exploration. Meaning is found in many ways, and one way is in the symbolism of numbers. Previous studies have discussed significant uses of the numbers ten, twenty-four, and fifty in the Book of Mormon, beginning with explanations of the symbolic importance of such... Read more

Lehi and El Niño: A Method of Migration

The acceptance of ad hoc ideas on Book of Mormon geography has been a continuing problem in Church history, and for a very good reason. Specifics are generally lacking, and attempts to quantify missing geographic data are frequently met with considerable skepticism. Some Church members find it equally difficult to accept the suggestion that naturally occurring events played a role in anything... Read more

Reading Competency in the Book of Mormon: Abish and Other Model Readers

Michael J. Call draws from the work of such reception theorists as Gerald Prince, who propose that embedded in every narrative are examples of the very act in which the actual reader is engaged at every moment of the reading process, that is, the assimilation and interpretation of observed phenomena. Call proposes that, among others, the story of Abish, servant of King Lamoni's wife, offers such... Read more

Hagoth and the Polynesian Tradition

In what amounts to an aside in the story of the Book of Mormon peoples, there is in the 63rd chapter of Alma a brief reference to a "curious man" named Hagoth. What we have here, is an account of a colonizing movement of men, women, and children who went out in ships presumably into the Pacific Ocean sometime between 53 and 57 B.C. And they were never heard of again. According to tacit Mormon... Read more

Minerva Teichert: Scriptorian and Artist

Minerva Teichert felt that her Book of Mormon paintings were her most important work. By the time she painted them, she had reared five children, pitched hay, broken horses, raised chickens, homesteaded by herself, and all the while had painted in her living room and recited Book of Mormon scriptures on almost any given occasion. Read more

The Throne-Theophany and Prophetic Commission in 1 Nephi: A Form-Critical Analysis

The first chapter of the Book of Mormon, in the words of Hugh Nibley, "has the authenticity of a truly ancient pseudepigraphic writing stamped all over it. It is a well-nigh perfect example of the genre." Indeed, the first chapter of 1 Nephi conforms precisely to a literary pattern that form-critical studies have demonstrated to be the very essence of the prophetic commission in ancient Israel... Read more

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