Book of Mormon

The Book of Mormon is a sacred text of the Latter Day Saint movement, which, according to Latter Day Saint theology, contains writings of ancient prophets who lived on the American continent from approximately 2200 BC to AD 421.[1][2] 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.[3] The Book of Mormon is one of 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.[4] Mainstream archaeological, historical and scientific communities do not consider the Book of Mormon to be an ancient record of actual historical events.[5]

Book of Mormon
Book of Mormon
ReligionLatter Day Saint movement
Period19th century

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"[6] engraved on golden plates. Smith said that the last prophet to contribute to the book, a man named Moroni, buried it in the Hill Cumorah in present-day Manchester, New York, before his death, and then appeared in a vision to Smith in 1827 as an angel,[7] revealing the location of the plates, and instructing him to translate the plates into English for use in the restoration of Christ's true church in the latter days. Critics say that it was authored by Smith, drawing on material and ideas from his contemporary 19th-century environment rather than translating an ancient record.[8][9][10]

The Book of Mormon has a number of doctrinal discussions on subjects such as the fall of Adam and Eve,[11] the nature of the Christian atonement,[12] eschatology, redemption from physical and spiritual death,[13] 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.[14][15]

The Book of Mormon is divided into smaller books, titled after individuals named as primary authors or other caretakers of the ancient record the Book of Mormon describes itself as and, in most versions, divided into chapters and verses.[16] 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 112 languages.[17][18] As of 2020, more than 192 million copies of the Book of Mormon had been printed.[19]


A page from the original manuscript of the Book of Mormon, covering 1_Nephi 4:38 - 1_Nephi 5:14

According to Joseph Smith, he was seventeen years of age when an angel of God named Moroni appeared to him[20] and said that a collection of ancient writings was buried in a nearby hill in present-day Wayne County, New York, engraved on golden plates by ancient prophets. The writings were said to describe a people whom God had led from Jerusalem to the Western hemisphere 600 years before Jesus' birth. According to the narrative, Moroni was the last prophet among these people and had buried the record, which God had promised to bring forth in the latter days. Smith stated that this vision occurred on the evening of September 21, 1823, and that on the following day, via divine guidance, he located the burial location of the plates on this hill; was instructed by Moroni to meet him at the same hill on September 22 of the following year to receive further instructions; and that, in four years from this date, the time would arrive for "bringing them forth", i.e., translating them. Smith's description of these events recounts that he was allowed to take the plates on September 22, 1827, exactly four years from that date, and was directed to translate them into English.[20][21]

Accounts vary of the way in which Smith dictated the Book of Mormon. Smith himself implied that he read the plates directly using spectacles prepared by the Lord for the purpose of translating.[22] Other accounts variously state that he used one or more seer stones placed in a top hat.[23] Beginning around 1832, both the special spectacles and the seer stone were at times referred to as the "Urim and Thummim".[23] During the translation process itself, Smith sometimes separated himself from his scribe with a blanket between them.[24] Additionally, the plates were not always present during the translation process, and when present, they were always covered up.[24]:42

Smith's first published description of the plates said that the plates "had the appearance of gold". They were described by Martin Harris, one of Smith's early scribes, as "fastened together in the shape of a book by wires."[25] Smith called the engraved writing on the plates "reformed Egyptian". A portion of the text on the plates was also "sealed" according to his account, so its content was not included in the Book of Mormon.[26]

In addition to Smith's account regarding the plates, eleven others stated that they saw the golden plates and, in some cases, handled them. Their written testimonies are known as the Testimony of Three Witnesses[27] and the Testimony of Eight Witnesses.[28] These statements have been published in most editions of the Book of Mormon.[29]

A depiction of Joseph Smith dictating the Book of Mormon through the use of a seer stone placed in a hat to block out light.

Smith enlisted his neighbor Martin Harris as a scribe during his initial work on the text. Harris later mortgaged his farm to underwrite the printing of the Book of Mormon. In 1828, Harris, prompted by his wife Lucy Harris, repeatedly requested that Smith lend him the current pages that had been translated. Smith reluctantly acceded to Harris's requests. Lucy Harris is thought to have stolen the first 116 pages.[30] After the loss, Smith recorded that he had lost the ability to translate, and that Moroni had taken back the plates to be returned only after Smith repented.[31][32][33][34] Smith later stated that God allowed him to resume translation, but directed that he begin translating another part of the plates (in what is now called the Book of Mosiah). In 1829, work resumed on the Book of Mormon, with the assistance of Oliver Cowdery, and was completed in a short period (April–June 1829).[35] Smith said that he then returned the plates to Moroni upon the publication of the book.[32][36] The Book of Mormon went on sale at the bookstore of E. B. Grandin in Palmyra, New York on March 26, 1830.[37] Today, the building in which the Book of Mormon was first published and sold is known as the Book of Mormon Historic Publication Site. The first edition print-run was 5,000 copies.[38] The publisher charged $3,000 for the production cost (wholesale to the author Joseph Smith at 60 cents per book; equivalent to $14 in 2019.

Since its first publication and distribution, critics of the Book of Mormon have claimed that it was fabricated by Smith[8][9][10] and that he drew material and ideas from various sources rather than translating an ancient record. Works that have been suggested as sources include the King James Bible,[39][40] The Wonders of Nature,[41][42] View of the Hebrews,[9][10][43] and an unpublished manuscript written by Solomon Spalding.[44][45][46] FAIR and other Mormon apologetics organizations maintain that all these arguments have been disproven by Mormon and non-Mormon sources. The position of most adherents of the Latter Day Saint movement and the official position of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church) is that the book is an accurate historical record.[47]


Cover page of The Book of Mormon from an original 1830 edition, by Joseph Smith
(Image from the U.S. Library of Congress Rare Book and Special Collections Division.)


Smith said the title page, and presumably the actual title of the 1830 edition, came from the translation of "the very last leaf" of the golden plates, and was written by the prophet-historian Moroni.[48][49] The title page states that the purpose of the Book of Mormon is "to [show] unto the remnant of the house of Israel what great things the Lord hath done for their fathers; ... and also to the convincing of the Jew and Gentile that Jesus is the Christ, the eternal God, manifesting himself unto all nations."[50]


The Book of Mormon is organized as a compilation of smaller books, each named after its main named narrator or a prominent leader, beginning with the First Book of Nephi (1 Nephi) and ending with the Book of Moroni.[16]

The book's sequence is primarily chronological based on the narrative content of the book. Exceptions include the Words of Mormon and the Book of Ether.[16] The Words of Mormon contains editorial commentary by Mormon. The Book of Ether is presented as the narrative of an earlier group of people who had come to America before the immigration described in 1 Nephi. First Nephi through Omni are written in first-person narrative, as are Mormon and Moroni. The remainder of the Book of Mormon is written in third-person historical narrative, said to be compiled and abridged by Mormon (with Moroni abridging the Book of Ether and writing the latter part of Mormon and the Book of Moroni).

Most modern editions of the book have been divided into chapters and verses.[16] Most editions of the book also contain supplementary material, including the "Testimony of Three Witnesses" and the "Testimony of Eight Witnesses" which appeared in the original 1830 edition and every official Latter-day Saint edition thereafter.[29]


The books from First Nephi to Omni are described as being from "the small plates of Nephi".[51] This account begins in ancient Jerusalem around 600 BC. It tells the story of a man named Lehi, his family, and several others as they are led by God from Jerusalem shortly before the fall of that city to the Babylonians in 586 BC. The book describes their journey across the Arabian peninsula, and then to the "promised land", the Americas, by ship.[52] These books recount the group's dealings from approximately 600 BC to about 130 BC, during which time the community grew and split into two main groups, which are called the Nephites and the Lamanites, that frequently warred with each other.

An artistic depiction of the climactic moment in the Book of Mormon, the visitation of Jesus to the Nephites.[15]

Following this section is the Words of Mormon. This small book, said to be written in AD 385 by Mormon, is a short introduction to the books of Mosiah, Alma, Helaman, Third Nephi, and Fourth Nephi.[53] These books are described as being abridged from a large quantity of existing records called "the large plates of Nephi" that detailed the people's history from the time of Omni to Mormon's own life. The Book of Third Nephi is of particular importance within the Book of Mormon because it contains an account of a visit by Jesus from heaven to the Americas sometime after his resurrection and ascension. The text says that during this American visit, he repeated much of the same doctrine and instruction given in the Gospels of the Bible and he established an enlightened, peaceful society which endured for several generations, but which eventually broke into warring factions again.

The book or section within the greater Book of Mormon dealing with events during Mormon's life is also called the Book of Mormon. Mormon is said to have received the charge of taking care of the records that had been hidden, once he was old enough. The book includes an account of the wars, Mormon's leading of portions of the Nephite army, and his retrieving and caring for the records. Mormon is eventually killed after having handed down the records to his son Moroni.

According to the text, Moroni then made an abridgment (called the Book of Ether) of a record from a previous people called the Jaredites.[53] The account describes a group of families led from the Tower of Babel[54] to the Americas, headed by a man named Jared and his brother. The Jaredite civilization is presented as existing on the American continent beginning about 2500 BC,[55]—long before Lehi's family arrived shortly after 600 BC—and as being much larger and more developed.

The Book of Moroni then details the final destruction of the Nephites and the idolatrous state of the remaining society.[56] It also includes significant doctrinal teachings and closes with Moroni's testimony and an invitation to pray to God for a confirmation of the truthfulness of the account.[57]

Doctrinal and philosophical teachingsEdit

A depiction of Joseph Smith's description of receiving the golden plates from the angel Moroni at the Hill Cumorah

Interspersed throughout the narrative are sermons and orations by various speakers, making up just over 40 percent of the Book of Mormon.[58] These passages contain doctrinal and philosophical teachings on a wide range of topics, from basic themes of Christianity and Judaism to political and ideological teachings.[59] Some of the teachings found in the Book of Mormon reiterate themes common to nineteenth-century American Christianity such as describing the Bible as scripture and affirming covenantal theology.[60][61] Other teachings are unique and distinctive, such as its rejection of original sin doctrine, depiction of inner revelation with propositional content, and descriptions of Jesus and the Atonement.[62][61][63][64]


As stated on the title page, the Book of Mormon's central purpose is for the "convincing of the Jew and Gentile that Jesus is the Christ, the Eternal God, manifesting himself unto all nations."[3] Jesus is mentioned every 1.7 verses on average and is referred to by one hundred different names.[65]

Though much of the Book of Mormon's internal chronology takes place prior to the birth of Jesus, prophets in the book frequently see him in vision and preach about him, and the people in the book worship Jesus as, in the words of literature professor Terryl L. Givens, "pre-Christian Christians."[66][15][67][68][69] For example, the book's first narrator Nephi describes having a vision of the birth, ministry, and death of Jesus, said to have taken place nearly 600 years prior to Jesus' birth.[67][16] Later in the narrative (about 130 BC), King Benjamin dubs the Nephite believers "children of Christ".[70] At another point in the book, faithful members of the church at the time of Captain Moroni (about 73 BC) are called "Christians" by their enemies because of their belief in Jesus Christ.[71] By depicting ancient prophets and peoples as familiar with Jesus as a Savior, the Book of Mormon universalized Christian salvation as being the same in all times and places, and it implied that even more ancient peoples were familiar with Jesus.[15]

In the Book of Mormon, Jesus visits some early inhabitants of the Americas after his resurrection, and this event is often described as the climax of the book.[4][14][15] During this ministry, he reiterates many teachings from the New Testament and re-emphasizes salvific baptism.[72] He also introduces the sacramental consumption of bread and water "in remembrance of [his] body," a teaching that became the basis for Latter-day Saints' "memorialist" view of their sacrament ordinance (analogous to communion).[15][73] Jesus's ministry in the Book of Mormon has been compared to Jesus's portrayal in the Gospel of John, as Jesus similarly teaches without parables and preaches faith and obedience as a central message.[16][74]

After this visit, the book states that for nearly 200 years after Jesus's appearance in the Americas, the land was filled with peace and prosperity because the joint Nephite-Lamanite society obeyed his commandments.[16][75] After these 200 years, the people increasingly apostatized, during which time narrators and prophets Mormon and Moroni try to convince the faithless people of their times to have faith in Christ and teach their future readers about Jesus.[16][76][77]

The Book of Mormon depicts Jesus with "a twist" on Christian trinitarianism, as historian John G. Turner describes.[15] Jesus in the Book of Mormon is distinct from God the Father, much as he is in the New Testament, as he prays to God while during a post-resurrection visit with the Nephites. However, Turner explains that the Book of Mormon also emphasizes that Jesus and God have "divine unity," and other parts the book of call Jesus "the Father and the Son" or describe the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost as "one."[73][15][78] As a result, beliefs among the churches of the Latter Day Saint movement range between nontrinitarianism (such as in the LDS Church) and trinitarianism (such as in Community of Christ).[79][80]

Distinctively, the Book of Mormon describes Jesus as having, prior to his birth, a spiritual "body" "without flesh and blood" that looked similar to how he would appear during his physical life.[81][15] According to the book, the Brother of Jared lived before Jesus and saw him manifest in this spiritual "body" thousands of years prior to his birth.[82][15]

In the Bible, Jesus spoke to the Jews in Jerusalem of "other sheep" who would hear his voice.[83] The Book of Mormon claims this meant that the Nephites and other remnants of the lost tribes of Israel throughout the world were to be visited by Jesus after his resurrection.[84]

Teachings about political theologyEdit

The book delves into political theology within a Christian or Jewish context. Among these themes are American exceptionalism. According to the book, the Americas are portrayed as a "land of promise", the world's most exceptional land of the time.[85] The book states that any righteous society possessing the land would be protected, whereas if they became wicked they would be destroyed and replaced with a more righteous civilization.[86]

On the issue of war and violence, the book teaches that war is justified for people to "defend themselves against their enemies". However, they were never to "give an offense," or to "raise their sword ... except it were to preserve their lives."[87] The book praises the faith of a group of former Lamanite warriors who took an oath of complete pacifism, refusing to take arms even to defend themselves and their people.[88] However, 2,000 of their descendants, who had not taken the oath of their parents not to take up arms against their enemies, chose to go to battle against the Lamanites, and it states that in their battles the 2,000 men were protected by God through their faith and, though many were injured, none of them died.[89]

The book recommends monarchy as an ideal form of government, but only when the monarch is righteous.[90][91] The book warns of the evil that occurs when the king is wicked, and therefore suggests that it is not generally good to have a king.[92] The book further records the decision of the people to be ruled no longer by kings,[93] choosing instead a form of democracy led by elected judges.[94] When citizens referred to as "king-men" attempted to overthrow a democratically elected government and establish an unrighteous king, the book praises a military commander who executed pro-monarchy citizens who had vowed to destroy the church of God and were unwilling to defend their country from hostile invading forces.[95] The book also speaks favorably of a particular instance of what appears to be a peaceful Christ-centered theocracy, which lasted approximately 194 years before contentions began again.[96]

The book supports notions of economic justice, achieved through voluntary donation of "substance, every man according to that which he had, to the poor."[97] In one case, all the citizens held their property in common.[96] When individuals within a society began to disdain and ignore the poor, to "wear costly apparel", and otherwise engage in wickedness for personal gain, such societies are repeatedly portrayed in the book as being ripe for destruction.[98]

Historical contextEdit

Most early European Americans had a biblical worldview, and numerous attempts were made to explain the origin of the Native Americans biblically.[99] From the 16th century through the early 19th, a common belief was that the Jews, particularly the Lost Ten Tribes, were the ancestors of Native Americans.[100] The Book of Mormon provided theological backing to this proposition, and suggested that the lost Tribes of Israel would be found in other locations throughout the world as well.[99]

Additionally, European settlers viewed the impressive earthworks left behind by the Mound Builder culture and had difficulty believing that the Native Americans, whose numbers had been decimated over the previous centuries, could have produced them. A common theory was that a more technologically advanced and often white race had built them, but were overrun and destroyed by a more savage, numerous and often colored race. Numerous observers have suggested that the Book of Mormon parallels others within the 19th-century "mound-builder" genre that was pervasive at the time.[101][102][103][104][105] As historian Curtis Dahl wrote, "Undoubtedly the most famous and certainly the most influential of all Mound-Builder literature is the Book of Mormon (1830). Whether one wishes to accept it as divinely inspired or the work of Joseph Smith, it fits exactly into the tradition."[106]

Religious significanceEdit

Joseph SmithEdit

Like many other early adherents of the Latter Day Saint movement, Smith referenced Book of Mormon scriptures in his preaching relatively infrequently and cited the Bible more often, likely because he was more familiar with the Bible, which he had grown up with.[107] In 1832, Smith dictated a revelation that condemned the "whole church" for treating the Book of Mormon lightly, though even after doing so Smith still referenced the Book of Mormon less often than the Bible.[108][107] Nevertheless, in 1841 Joseph Smith characterized the Book of Mormon as the "keystone" of Mormonism, and he called it "the most correct of any book on earth."[4][109][110] While they were held in Carthage Jail together, shortly before being killed in a mob attack, Joseph's brother Hyrum Smith read aloud from the Book of Mormon, and Joseph told the jail guards present that the Book of Mormon was divinely authentic.[111]

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day SaintsEdit

The Book of Mormon is one of four sacred texts or standard works of the LDS Church.[112] Church leaders have frequently restated Smith's claims of the book's significance to the faith.[113][114] According to the church's "Articles of Faith"—a document written by Joseph Smith in 1842 and canonized by the church as scripture in 1880—members "believe the Bible to be the word of God as far as it is translated correctly," and they "believe the Book of Mormon to be the word of God," without the translation qualification.[15][115][116] In the 1980s, the church placed greater emphasis on the Book of Mormon and on studying and reading it as a means for devotional communion with Jesus Christ.[15] As part of this effort, in 1982 the church added the subtitle "Another Testament of Jesus Christ" to its official editions of the Book of Mormon.[117][118][119]

The importance of the Book of Mormon was a focus of Ezra Taft Benson, the church's thirteenth president.[113][120][15] Referencing Smith's 1832 revelation, Benson said the church was still under condemnation for treating the Book of Mormon lightly.[108][121][122] In an August 2005 message, church president Gordon B. Hinckley challenged each member of the church to re-read the Book of Mormon before the year's end.[123] The book's importance is commonly stressed at the twice-yearly general conference, at special devotionals by general authorities, and in the church's teaching publications.[citation needed] Since the late 1980s, the church has encouraged members to read from the Book of Mormon daily, and in 2016 historian John G. Turner noted, "Increasing numbers of Latter-day Saints use the [Book of Mormon] for private and family devotions."[15][121]

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.[124][125] This passage is sometimes referred to as "Moroni's Promise."[126][127]

As of October 2020, the LDS Church has published more than 192 million copies of the Book of Mormon.[19]

Community of ChristEdit

The Community of Christ, formerly known as the Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, views the Book of Mormon as an additional witness of Jesus Christ and publishes two versions of the book through its official publishing arm, Herald House: the Authorized Edition, which is based on the original printer's manuscript, and the 1837 Second Edition (or "Kirtland Edition") of the Book of Mormon. Its content is similar to the Book of Mormon published by the LDS Church, but the versification is different. The Community of Christ also publishes a 1966 "Revised Authorized Edition," which attempts to modernize some language.

In 2001, Community of Christ president W. Grant McMurray reflected on increasing questions about the Book of Mormon: "The proper use of the Book of Mormon as sacred scripture has been under wide discussion in the 1970s and beyond, in part because of long-standing questions about its historical authenticity and in part because of perceived theological inadequacies, including matters of race and ethnicity."[128]

At the 2007 Community of Christ World Conference, church president Stephen M. Veazey ruled out-of-order a resolution to "reaffirm the Book of Mormon as a divinely inspired record." He stated that "while the Church affirms the Book of Mormon as scripture, and makes it available for study and use in various languages, we do not attempt to mandate the degree of belief or use. 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."[129]

Greater Latter Day Saint movementEdit

There are a number of other smaller churches that are part of the Latter Day Saint movement.[130] Most of these churches were created as a result of issues ranging from differing doctrinal interpretations and acceptance of the movement's scriptures, including the Book of Mormon, to disagreements as to who was the divinely chosen successor to Joseph Smith. 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.

Historical authenticityEdit

Mainstream archaeological, historical and scientific communities do not consider the Book of Mormon an ancient record of actual historical events.[5][131][132][133] Their skepticism tends to focus on four main areas:

Most adherents of the Latter Day Saint movement consider the Book of Mormon to generally be a historically accurate account.[143][47] Within the Latter Day Saint movement there are several apologetic groups that disagree with the skeptics and seek to reconcile the discrepancies in diverse ways. Among these apologetic groups, much work has been published by the Foundation for Ancient Research and Mormon Studies (FARMS) and FAIR (Faithful Answers, Informed Response) defending the Book of Mormon as a literal history, countering arguments critical of its historical authenticity, or reconciling historical and scientific evidence with the text. One of the more common 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 a belief that science will support the historical authenticity of the Book of Mormon.[144]


Book of Mormon printer's manuscript, shown with a 19th-century owner, George Schweich (grandson of early Latter Day Saint movement figure David Whitmer)
Replica of the cabin in Fayette (Waterloo), New York (owned by Peter Whitmer) where much of the manuscript of the Book of Mormon was written

The Book of Mormon was dictated by Joseph Smith to several scribes over a period of 13 months,[145] resulting in three manuscripts.

Although 13 months elapsed, the actual translation time was less than 65 actual days of translating. / Translation Work Days

The 116 lost pages contained the first portion of the Book of Lehi; it was lost after Smith loaned the original, uncopied manuscript to Martin Harris.[30]

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.[146] In October 1841, the entire original manuscript was placed into the cornerstone of the Nauvoo House, and sealed up until nearly forty years later when the cornerstone was reopened. 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 1880s.[147]

Only 28 percent of the original manuscript now survives, including a remarkable find of fragments from 58 pages in 1991. The majority of what remains of the original manuscript is now kept in the LDS Church's Archives.[146]

The second completed manuscript, called the printer's manuscript, was a copy of the original manuscript produced by Oliver Cowdery and two other scribes.[146] It is at this point that initial copyediting of the Book of Mormon was completed. Observations of the original manuscript show little evidence of corrections to the text.[147] Shortly before his death in 1850, Cowdery gave the printer's manuscript to David Whitmer, another of the Three Witnesses. In 1903, the manuscript was bought from Whitmer's grandson by the Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, now known as the Community of Christ.[148] On September 20, 2017, the LDS Church purchased the manuscript from the Community of Christ at a reported price of $35 million.[146][149][150] The printer's manuscript is now the earliest surviving complete copy of the Book of Mormon.[151] The manuscript was imaged in 1923 and was recently made available for viewing online.[152]

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.[146] The printer's manuscript was further edited, adding paragraphing and punctuation to the first third of the text.[146]

The printer's manuscript was not used fully in the typesetting of the 1830 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 1830 and 1837 versions of the Book of Mormon for the 1840 printing of the book.[146]

Ownership history: Book of Mormon printer's manuscriptEdit

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 1870s, led the Church of Christ (Whitmerite). During the 1870s, according to the Chicago Tribune, the LDS Church unsuccessfully attempted to buy it from Whitmer for a record price. LDS Church president Joseph F. Smith refuted this assertion in a 1901 letter, believing such a manuscript "possesses no value whatever."[153] In 1895, Whitmer's grandson George Schweich inherited the manuscript. By 1903, Schweich had mortgaged the manuscript for $1,800 and, needing to raise at least that sum, sold a collection including 72-percent of the book of the original printer's manuscript (John Whitmer's manuscript history, parts of Joseph Smith's translation of the Bible, manuscript copies of several revelations, and a piece of paper containing copied Book of Mormon characters) to the RLDS Church (now the Community of Christ) for $2,450, with $2,300 of this amount for the printer's manuscript. The LDS Church had not sought to purchase the manuscript.

In 2015, this remaining portion was published by the Church Historian's Press in its Joseph Smith Papers series, in Volume Three of "Revelations and Translations"; and, in 2017, the LDS Church bought the printer's manuscript for US$35,000,000.[154][155]


Chapter and verse notation systemsEdit

The original 1830 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 1879, and the RLDS system, which is based on the original 1830 chapter divisions.[156]

The RLDS 1908 edition, RLDS 1966 edition, the Church of Christ (Temple Lot) edition, and Restored Covenant editions use the RLDS system while most other current editions use the LDS system.


The Book of Mormon is currently printed by the following publishers:

Church publishers Year Titles and notes Link
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints 1981 The Book of Mormon: Another Testament of Jesus Christ.[157] New introductions, chapter summaries, and footnotes. 1920 edition errors corrected based on original manuscript and 1840 edition.[158] Updated in a revised edition in 2013.[159] link
Community of Christ 1966 "Revised Authorized Version", based on 1908 Authorized Version, 1837 edition and original manuscript.[160] Notable for the omission of repetitive "it came to pass" phrases.
The Church of Jesus Christ (Bickertonite) 2001 Compiled by a committee of Apostles. It uses the chapter and verse designations from the 1879 LDS version.[citation needed]
Church of Christ with the Elijah Message 1957 The Record of the Nephites, "Restored Palmyra Edition". 1830 text with 1879 LDS chapters and verses. link
Church of Christ (Temple Lot) 1990 Based on 1908 RLDS edition, 1830 edition, printer's manuscript, and corrections by church leaders. link
Fellowships of the remnants 2019 Based on Joseph Smith's last personally-updated 1840 version, with revisions per Denver Snuffer Jr.[161] Distributed jointly with the New Testament, in a volume called the "New Covenants". link
Richard Drew 1992 Photo-enlarged facsimile of the 1840 edition[162]
Other publishers Year Titles and notes Link
Herald Heritage 1970 Facsimile of the 1830 edition.[citation needed]
Zarahemla Research Foundation 1999 The Book of Mormon: Restored Covenant Edition. Text from Original and Printer's Manuscripts, in poetic layout.[163] link
Bookcraft 1999 The Book of Mormon for Latter-day Saint Families. Large print with numerous visuals and explanatory notes.[citation needed]
University of Illinois Press 2003 The Book of Mormon: A Reader's Edition. The text of the 1920 LDS edition reformatted into paragraphs and poetic stanzas and accompanied by some footnotes. link
Doubleday 2006[164] The Book of Mormon: Another Testament of Jesus Christ. Text from the current LDS edition without footnotes. First Doubleday edition was in 2004.[165]
Experience Press 2006 Reset type matching the original 1830 edition in word, line and page. Fixed typographical errors.[166]
Stratford Books 2006 Facsimile reprint of 1830 edition.[citation needed]
Penguin Classics 2008 Paperback with 1840 text. link
Yale University Press 2009 The Book of Mormon: The Earliest Text. Joseph Smith's dictated text with hundreds of corrections from Royal Skousen's study of the original and printer's manuscripts.[167] link
The Olive Leaf Foundation 2017 A New Approach To Studying The Book Of Mormon.
This contains the complete text of the 1981 edition, but with more modern text formatting. Cross-references and footnotes are replaced by the authors' own marginal notes, and chapter and verse breaks are also removed.[168]
Neal A. Maxwell Institute 2018 The Book of Mormon: Another Testament of Jesus Christ, Maxwell Institute Study Edition. Text from the 1981/2013 LDS editions reformatted into paragraphs and poetic stanzas. Selected textual variants discovered in the Book of Mormon Critical Text Project appear in footnotes.[169]
Digital Legend Press 2018 Annotated Edition of the Book of Mormon


The following non-current editions marked major developments in the text or reader's helps printed in the Book of Mormon.

Publisher Year Titles and notes Link
E. B. Grandin 1830 "First edition" in Palmyra. Based on printer's manuscript copied from original manuscript. link
Pratt and Goodson 1837 "Second edition" in Kirtland. Revision of first edition, using the printer's manuscript with emendations and grammatical corrections.[158]
Ebenezer Robinson and Smith 1840 "Third edition" in Nauvoo. Revised by Joseph Smith in comparison to the original manuscript.[158] Facsimiles of an original 1840 edition. link
Young, Kimball and Pratt 1841 "First European edition". 1837 reprint with British spellings.[158] Future LDS Church editions descended from this, not the 1840 edition.[170]
Joseph Smith Jr. 1842 "Fourth American edition" in Nauvoo. A reprint of the 1840 edition. Facsimiles of an original 1842 edition.
Franklin D. Richards 1852 "Third European edition". Edited by Richards. Introduced primitive verses (numbered paragraphs).[158] link
James O. Wright 1858 Unauthorized reprinting of 1840 edition. Used by the early RLDS Church in 1860s.[158] link
Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints 1874 First RLDS edition. 1840 text with verses.[158] link
Deseret News 1879 Edited by Orson Pratt. Introduced footnotes, new verses, and shorter chapters.[158] link
Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints 1908 "Authorized Version". New verses and corrections based on printer's manuscript.[158] link
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints 1920 Edited by James E. Talmage. Added introductions, double columns, chapter summaries, new footnotes,[158] pronunciation guide.[171] link

Non-print editionsEdit

The following versions are published online:

Online editions Year Description and notes Link
Restoration Edition

"New Covenants"

2019 The New Testament and Book of Mormon are published in one book. "It is not the will of the Lord to print any of the new Translation in the [Evening and Morning] Star; but when it is published, it will all go to the world together, in a volume by itself; and the New Testament and the Book of Mormon will be printed together."Joseph Smith Jr. Letter, April 21, 1833. Also available in PDF link
LDS Church internet edition 2013 Official Internet edition of the Book of Mormon for the LDS Church. link
LDS Church audio edition 1994 Official LDS version of the Book of Mormon in mp3 audio format, 32 kbit/s link

Textual criticismEdit

Although some earlier unpublished studies had been prepared, not until the early 1970s was true textual criticism applied to the Book of Mormon. At that time BYU Professor Ellis Rasmussen and his associates were asked by the LDS Church to begin preparation for a new edition of the church's scriptures. 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 1974. 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 1829–1830), and compared them with the first, second, and third editions of the Book of Mormon; this was done to determine what sort of changes had occurred over time and to make judgments as to which readings were the most original.[172] Larson proceeded to publish a set of well-argued articles on the phenomena which he had discovered.[173] Many of his observations were included as improvements in the 1981 LDS edition of the Book of Mormon.

By 1979, with the establishment of the Foundation for Ancient Research and Mormon Studies (FARMS) as a California non-profit research institution, an effort led by Robert F. Smith began to take full account of Larson's work and to publish a critical text of the Book of Mormon. Thus was born the FARMS Critical Text Project which published the first volume of the three-volume Book of Mormon Critical Text in 1984. The third volume of that first edition was published in 1987, but was already being superseded by a second, revised edition of the entire work,[174] greatly aided through the advice and assistance of a team that included Yale doctoral candidate Grant Hardy, Dr. Gordon C. Thomasson, Professor John W. Welch (the head of FARMS), and Professor Royal Skousen. However, these were merely preliminary steps to a far more exacting and all-encompassing project.

In 1988, with that preliminary phase of the project completed, 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.[175] He also closely examined the printer's manuscript (then owned by RLDS Church) 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.[176]

Skousen and the Critical Text Project have published complete transcripts of the Original and Printer's Manuscripts (volumes I and II), parts of a history of the text (volume III), and a six-part analysis of textual variants (volume IV).[177][17][178][179] The remainder of the eigh-part history of the text and a complete electronic collation of editions and manuscripts (volumes 5 of the Project) remain forthcoming.[177][180] In 2009, Yale University published an edition of the Book of Mormon which incorporates all aspects of Skousen's research.[181]

Differences between the original and printer's manuscript, the 1830 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.[9][10] Latter-day Saint scholars view the changes as superficial, done to clarify the meaning of the text.[182][146]

Non-English translationsEdit

Translations of the Book of Mormon

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 2001, 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.[183]

Translations into languages without a tradition of writing (e.g., Kaqchikel, Tzotzil) have been published as audio recordings and as transliterations with Latin characters.[184] Translations into American Sign Language are available as video recordings.[185][186][187]

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.[188]

In 1998, 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.[188]

Representations in mediaEdit

Still from The Life of Nephi (1915)

Events of the Book of Mormon are the focus of several LDS Church films, including The Life of Nephi (1915), How Rare a Possession (1987) and The Testaments of One Fold and One Shepherd (2000). Such films in Mormon cinema (i.e., films not officially commissioned by the LDS Church) include The Book of Mormon Movie, Vol. 1: The Journey (2003) and Passage to Zarahemla (2007).

Second Nephi 9:20–27 from the Book of Mormon is quoted in a funeral service in Alfred Hitchcock's film Family Plot.

In 2003, a South Park episode titled "All About Mormons" parodied the origins of the Book of Mormon.[189]

In 2011, a long-running religious satire musical titled The Book of Mormon, written by South Park creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone in collaboration with Robert Lopez, premiered on Broadway, winning nine Tony Awards, including Best Musical.[190] Its London production won the Olivier Award for best musical. Though it is titled The Book of Mormon, musical does not depict Book of Mormon events, though characters do make references to the content of the Book of Mormon.[191] Its plot tells an original story about Latter-day Saint missionaries in the twenty-first century.[191]

In 2019, the LDS Church began producing a series of live-action adaptations of various stories within the Book of Mormon, titled Book of Mormon Videos, which it distributed on its website and YouTube channel.[192][193][194]


The LDS Church, which distributes free copies of the Book of Mormon, reported in 2011 that 150 million copies of the book have been printed since its initial publication.[195]

The initial printing of the Book of Mormon in 1830 produced 5000 copies.[196] The 50 millionth copy was printed in 1990, with the 100 millionth following in 2000 and reaching 150 million in 2011.[196]

In October 2020, the church announced it had printed over 192 million copies of the Book of Mormon.[19]

Literary criticismEdit

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., and made things satisfactory again. "And it came to pass" was his pet. If he had left that out, his Bible would have been only a pamphlet.

— Mark Twain, Roughing It, Chapter XVI

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.

— Fawn M. Brodie, No Man Knows My History, (New York, 1945), pp. 68-69

Terryl Givens wrote,

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.[197]

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.[197]

Grant Hardy wrote,

The Book of Mormon began as 588 densely printed pages in 1830, and the current official edition (reformatted with substantial grammatical editing) still runs to 531 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.[198]

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.

In 2019, Oxford University published Americanist Approaches to The Book of Mormon.[199][200][201]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Hinckley, Gordon B. (November 4, 1979). "Joseph Smith: 'Praise to the Man'". Retrieved July 30, 2018.
  2. ^ Church Educational System (1996, rev. ed.). Book of Mormon Student Manual (Salt Lake City, Utah: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints), ch. 6.
  3. ^ a b The Book of Mormon: An Account Written by the Hand of Mormon, Upon Plates Taken from the Plates of Nephi (1830 edition). Palmyra, New York: E. B. Grandin. 1830.
  4. ^ a b c "Introduction". The Book of Mormon: Another Testament of Jesus Christ. Salt Lake City, UT: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. 2013.
  5. ^ a b Southerton, Simon G. (2004). Losing a Lost Tribe: Native Americans, DNA, and the Mormon Church. Signature Books. p. xv. ISBN 9781560851813. Anthropologists and archaeologists, including some Mormons and former Mormons, have discovered little to support the existence of [Book of Mormon] civilizations. Over a period of 150 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.
  6. ^ Mormon 9:32
  7. ^ Roberts (1902, pp. 11, 18–19).
  8. ^ a b Tanner, Jerald and Sandra (1987). Mormonism - Shadow or Reality?. Utah Lighthouse Ministry. p. 91. ISBN 978-99930-74-43-4.
  9. ^ a b c d Brody, Fawn (1971). No Man Knows My History: The Life of Joseph Smith (2d ed.). New York: Alfred A. Knopf.
  10. ^ a b c d Krakauer, Jon (2003). Under the Banner of Heaven: A Story of Violent Faith. New York: Doubleday.
  11. ^ E.g. 2_Nephi 2
  12. ^ E.g. 2_Nephi 9
  13. ^ E.g. Alma 12
  14. ^ a b Hardy, Grant; Hodges, Blair (2016). "Understanding Understanding the Book of Mormon: An Interview with Grant Hardy". Journal of the Book of Mormon and Other Restoration Scripture. 25 (1): 20–36 – via BYU ScholarsArchive.
  15. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n Turner, John G. (2016). "Another Testament of Jesus Christ". The Mormon Jesus: A Biography. Cambridge, MA: Belknap Press of Harvard University Press. pp. 19–48. ISBN 9780674737433.
  16. ^ a b c d e f g h Hardy, Grant (2010). Understanding the Book of Mormon: A Reader's Guide. New York, NY: Oxford University Press. ISBN 9780199745449.
  17. ^ a b Carmack, Stan; Skousen, Royal (August 2016). "Finishing up the Book of Mormon Critical Text Project: An Introduction to The History of the Text of the Book of Mormon". FAIR. Retrieved April 10, 2021.
  18. ^ Translations of the Book of Mormon at
  19. ^ a b c Walch, Tad (October 4, 2020). "12 Things I Learned About the Church That I Didn't Know Before General Conference". Deseret News. Retrieved April 21, 2021.
  20. ^ a b "The Life and Ministry of Joseph Smith". Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Joseph Smith. 2007. pp. xxii–25.
  21. ^ Pearl of Great Price: Joseph Smith History 1:59
  22. ^ Rathbone, Tim; Welch, John W. (1992), "Book of Mormon Translation By Joseph Smith", in Ludlow, Daniel H (ed.), Encyclopedia of Mormonism, New York: Macmillan Publishing, pp. 210–213, ISBN 978-0-02-879602-4, OCLC 24502140
  23. ^ a b "Book of Mormon Translation",, LDS Church, n.d.
  24. ^ a b Brodie, Fawn M. (1995). No man knows my history: the life of Joseph Smith, the Mormon prophet (rev. and enl. 2nd ed.). New York: Vintage Books. pp. 53, 61. ISBN 978-0679730545.
  25. ^ Smith, Joseph, Jr. (March 1, 1842). "Wentworth Letter/Church History". Times and Seasons. Nauvoo, Illinois. 3 (9): 906–936.
  26. ^ Smith (1842, p. 707) harvtxt error: multiple targets (2×): CITEREFSmith1842 (help).
  27. ^ Introduction The Testimony of Three Witnesses
  28. ^ Introduction The Testimony of Eight Witnesses
  29. ^ a b Hardy 2003, p. 631.
  30. ^ a b Hitchens 2007, p. 163, Givens 2002, p. 33 harvnb error: multiple targets (2×): CITEREFGivens2002 (help), Givens 2002, p. 33 harvnb error: multiple targets (2×): CITEREFGivens2002 (help)
  31. ^ Doctrine and Covenants, section 3 and
  32. ^ a b Brodie 1971
  33. ^ Givens 2002 harvnb error: multiple targets (2×): CITEREFGivens2002 (help)
  34. ^ Hitchens 2007, pp. 163–164
  35. ^ Joseph Smith: Rough Stone Rolling (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 2005), 70."
  36. ^ "Testimony of Joseph Smith" Hitchens 2007, p. 164
  37. ^ Kunz, Ryan (March 2010). "180 Years Later, Book of Mormon Nears 150 Million Copies". Ensign: 74–76. Retrieved March 24, 2011.
  38. ^ Printing and Publishing the Book of Mormon,
  39. ^ Abanes, Richard (2003). One Nation Under Gods: A History of the Mormon Church. Thunder's Mouth Press. p. 72. ISBN 978-1-56858-283-2.
  40. ^ Tanner, Jerald and Sandra (1987). Mormonism - Shadow or Reality?. Utah Lighthouse Ministry. pp. 73–80. ISBN 978-99930-74-43-4.
  41. ^ Abanes, Richard (2003). One Nation Under Gods: A History of the Mormon Church. Thunder's Mouth Press. p. 68. ISBN 978-1-56858-283-2.
  42. ^ Tanner, Jerald and Sandra (1987). Mormonism - Shadow or Reality?. Utah Lighthouse Ministry. pp. 84–85. ISBN 978-99930-74-43-4.
  43. ^ Roberts, Brigham H. (1992). Brigham D. Madsen (ed.). Studies of the Book of Mormon. Salt Lake City, UT: Signature Books. ISBN 978-1-56085-027-4.
  44. ^ Howe, Eber D (1834). "Mormonism Unvailed". Painesville, Ohio: Telegraph Press. Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  45. ^ Spaulding, Solomon (1996). Reeve, Rex C (ed.). Manuscript Found: The Complete Original "Spaulding" Manuscript. Provo, Utah: Religious Studies Center, Brigham Young University.
  46. ^ Roper, Matthew (2005). "The Mythical "Manuscript Found"". FARMS Review. 17 (2): 7–140. Archived from the original on February 18, 2007. Retrieved January 31, 2007.
  47. ^ a b "The limited success so far in swaying popular LDS opinion is a constant source of frustration for Mormon apologists...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. Southerton (2004, Signature Books), Losing a Lost Tribe, pp. 164-165.
    "Some of the [Community of Christ]'s senior leadership consider the Book of Mormon to be inspired historical fiction. For leaders of the Utah church, this is still out of the question. [The leadership], and most Mormons, believe that the historical authenticity of the Book of Mormon is what shores up Joseph Smith's prophetic calling and the divine authenticity of the Utah church", Southerton (2004), pg. 201.
    Quotations from temple dedicatory sermons and prayers in Central and South America by President Gordon B. Hinckley in 1999-2000 continually refer to Native LDS members in attendance as "children of Lehi" (Southerton [2004], pp. 38-39).
    "Latter-Day Saints believe their scripture to be history, written by ancient prophets", Grant Hardy (2009, Yale University Press), "Introduction," The Book of Mormon: The Earliest Text, ed. Royal Skousen, pg. x.
  48. ^ Joseph Smith stated that the "title page is not by any means a modern composition either of mine or of any other man's who has lived or does live in this generation."
  49. ^ Smith, Joseph (October 1842). "Truth Will Prevail". Times and Seasons. III (24): 943. Retrieved January 30, 2009.
  50. ^ Book of Mormon Introduction
  51. ^ Words_of_Mormon 1:3
  52. ^ 1_Nephi 18:23
  53. ^ a b "A Brief Explanation about the Book of Mormon".
  54. ^ Ether 1:3
  55. ^ Joseph L. Allen, Sacred Sites: Searching for Book of Mormon Lands (2003) p. 8.
  56. ^ "Book of Moroni".
  57. ^ Moroni 10:4
  58. ^ Davis, W. L. (2020). "Visions in a seer stone: Joseph Smith and the making of the Book of Mormon." Chapel Hill, NC: The University of North Carolina Press. 2020 page 89
  59. ^ Gary J. Coleman, "The Book of Mormon: A Guide for the Old Testament", Ensign, January 2002.
  60. ^ Matthews, Robert J. (1989). "Establishing the Truth of the Bible". In Nyman, Monte S.; Tate, Charles D. (eds.). The Book of Mormon: First Nephi, the Doctrinal Foundation. Provo, UT: Religious Studies Center. ISBN 0-8849-4647-9.
  61. ^ a b Spencer, Joseph M.; Hodges, Blair. "Briefly First Nephi, with Joseph M. Spencer". Maxwell Institute Podcast. Maxwell Institute. Retrieved April 12, 2021.
  62. ^ Givens, Terryl L.; Hodges, Blair. "Briefly Second Nephi, with Terryl Givens". Maxwell Institute Podcast. Neal A. Maxwell Institute. Retrieved April 12, 2021.
  63. ^ Merrill, Byron R. (1992). "Original Sin". In Ludlow, Daniel H. (ed.). Encyclopedia of Mormonism. New York, NY: Macmillan Publishing. pp. 485–486. ISBN 0-02-879602-0.
  64. ^ Matthews, Robert J. (1992). "Fall of Adam". In Ludlow, Daniel H. (ed.). Encyclopedia of Mormonism. New York, NY: Macmillan Publishing. pp. 485–486. ISBN 0-02-879602-0.
  65. ^ Susan Ward Easton, "Names of Christ in the Book of Mormon", Ensign, July 1978.
  66. ^ Givens, Terryl L. (2002). By the Hand of Mormon: The American Scripture that Launched a New World Religion. New York, NY: Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0-19-513818-4.
  67. ^ a b 1 Nephi 11
  68. ^ Mosiah 3:8
  69. ^ See 1 Nephi 10:4, 1 Nephi 19:8; See also 3 Nephi 1
  70. ^ Mosiah 5:7
  71. ^ Alma 46:13-15
  72. ^ See 3 Nephi 11 to 3 Nephi 26
  73. ^ a b 3 Nephi 18:7
  74. ^ Stendahl, Krister (1978). "The Sermon on the Mount and Third Nephi". In Madsen, Truman G. (ed.). Reflections on Mormonism: Judaeo-Christian Parallels. Provo, UT: Religious Studies Center. ISBN 0-88494-358-5.
  75. ^ 4_Nephi 1:22-23
  76. ^ Miller, Adam; Fluhman, Spencer. "Briefly Mormon, with Adam Miller and Spencer Fluhman". Maxwell Institute Podcast. Neal A. Maxwell Institute. Retrieved April 21, 2021.
  77. ^ Holland, David; Fluhman, Spencer. "Briefly Moroni, with David F. Holland & Spencer Fluhman". Maxwell Institute Podcast. Neal A. Maxwell Institute. Retrieved April 21, 2021.
  78. ^ 3_Nephi 19:22-23
  79. ^ Hales, Robert D. (November 2014). "Eternal Life—to Know Our Heavenly Father and His Son, Jesus Christ". Ensign. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
  80. ^ "Basic Beliefs". Community of Christ. Retrieved April 21, 2021.
  81. ^ Ether 3:16
  82. ^ Ether 3:16
  83. ^ See John 10:16 in the King James Version of the Bible
  84. ^ 3_Nephi 15:13-24, 3_Nephi 16:1-4, 2_Nephi 29:7-14
  85. ^ 1_Nephi 2:20; 1_Nephi 13:30; 2_Nephi 1:5; 2_Nephi 10:19; Jacob 5:43; Ether 1:38-42; Ether 2:7-15; Ether 9:20; Ether 10:28; Ether 13:2.
  86. ^ 1_Nephi 2:20; 2_Nephi 4:14; 2_Nephi 1:20; 2_Nephi 4:4;Jarom 1:9;Omni 1:6; Mosiah 1:7; Mosiah 2:22-31;Alma 9:13;Alma 36:1;Alma 36:30; Alma 38:1; Alma 48:15-25.
  87. ^ Alma 48:14
  88. ^ Alma 24
  89. ^ Alma 56:47-56
  90. ^ Alma 24
  91. ^ Mosiah 29:13
  92. ^ Mosiah 29:18-22
  93. ^ Mosiah 29
  94. ^ Helaman 6:17
  95. ^ Alma 62:9-11
  96. ^ a b 3_Nephi 26:19
  97. ^ Alma 1:26-27
  98. ^ Jacob 2:13-14; Alma 4:6; Alma 5:53; 4_Nephi 1:24.
  99. ^ a b Benite, Z. B. (2013). The ten lost tribes: A world history. New York, NY: Oxford University Press.
  100. ^ Chapman, Jefferson. "Prehistoric American Indians in Tennessee". University of Tennessee, Knoxville. Archived from the original on February 5, 2012. Retrieved February 8, 2012.
  101. ^ COLAVITO, J. "The Mound Builder Myth" UNIV OF OKLAHOMA Press. 2020 page 96
  102. ^ Roger Kennedy, Hidden Cities: The Discovery and Loss of Ancient North American Civilization (Free Press, 1994)
  103. ^ Garlinghouse, Thomas (September 2001). "Revisiting the Mound Builder Controversy" (PDF). History Today. 51 (9): 38.
  104. ^ Robert Silverberg, Mound Builders of Ancient America: The Archeology of a Myth (New York: New York Graphic Society, 1968); Silverberg 1969.
  105. ^ Vogel, Dan (1986). Indian Origins and the Book of Mormon: Religious Solutions from Columbus to Joseph Smith. Salt Lake City, UT: Signature Books. ISBN 0-941214-42-7.
  106. ^ Dahl, Curtis (1961). "Mound-Builders, Mormons, and William Cullen Bryant". The New England Quarterly. 34 (2): 178–190. doi:10.2307/362525. JSTOR 362525.
  107. ^ a b Underwood, Grant (Fall 1984). "Book of Mormon Usage in Early LDS Theology". Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought. 17 (3): 36–74.
  108. ^ a b Doctrine and Covenants 84:54–57.
  109. ^ Joseph Smith, B. H. Roberts (ed.), History of the Church, 4, p. 461
  110. ^ Millet, Robert L. (2007). "The Most Correct Book: Joseph Smith's Appraisal". In Strathearn, Gaye; Swift, Charles (eds.). Living the Book of Mormon: Abiding by Its Precepts. Provo, UT: Religious Studies Center, Brigham Young University. pp. 55–71. ISBN 978-1-59038-799-3.
  111. ^ Weaver, Sarah Jane; Evyre, Aubrey (June 27, 2019). "A Timeline of the 96-hour Period Surrounding the Martyrdom of Joseph Smith and Hyrum Smith". Church News. Retrieved April 21, 2021.
  112. ^ The other texts are the Bible (King James Version), the Doctrine and Covenants, and the Pearl of Great Price: Nelson, Russell M. (November 2000), "Living by Scriptural Guidance", Ensign: 16–18 (discussing how the four standard works of the church can provide guidance in life).
  113. ^ a b Benson, Ezra Taft (November 1986). "The Book of Mormon–Keystone of Our Religion". Ensign. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
  114. ^ Faust, James E. (January 2004). "The Keystone of Our Religion". Ensign. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
  115. ^ Davidson, Karen Lynn; Whittaker, David J.; Ashurst-McGee, Mark; Jensen, Richard L., eds. (2012). "Historical Introduction to 'Church History,' 1 March 1842". Joseph Smith Histories, 1832–1844. Histories. The Joseph Smith Papers. Salt Lake City, UT: Church Historian's Press. pp. 489–501. ISBN 978-1-60641-196-4.
  116. ^ Articles of Faith:8
  117. ^ "Since 1982, Subtitle has Defined Book as 'Another Testament of Jesus Christ'". Church News. January 2, 1988. Retrieved April 21, 2021.
  118. ^ "Book of Mormon: Another Testament of Jesus Christ". Church Newsroom. Retrieved April 21, 2021.
  119. ^ Packer, Boyd K. (November 1982). "Scriptures". Ensign. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
  120. ^ Ezra Taft Benson, "Cleansing the Inner Vessel", Ensign, May 1986.
  121. ^ a b Benson, Ezra Taft (November 1988). "Flooding the Earth with the Book of Mormon". Ensign. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
  122. ^ Dallin H. Oaks, "'Another Testament of Jesus Christ'", Ensign, March 1994 (reporting that Benson told a meeting of church leaders on 5 March 1987 that "[t]his condemnation has not been lifted, nor will it be until we repent").
  123. ^ Gordon B. Hinckley, "A Testimony Vibrant and True", Ensign, August 2005.
  124. ^ Moroni 10:3-5
  125. ^ Hardy 2010, p. xiii. sfn error: multiple targets (3×): CITEREFHardy2010 (help)
  126. ^ Cook, Gene R. (April 1994). "Moroni's Promise". Ensign. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
  127. ^ "Question: What is Moroni's Promise?". FAIR. Retrieved April 21, 2021.
  128. ^ McMurray, W. Grant, "They 'Shall Blossom as the Rose': Native Americans and the Dream of Zion," an address delivered February 17, 2001,
  129. ^ Andrew M. Shields, "Official Minutes of Business Session, Wednesday March 28, 2007," in 2007 World Conference Thursday Bulletin, March 29, 2007. Community of Christ, 2007.
  130. ^ Robinson, B.A. (June 8, 2010). "The LDS Restorationist movement, including The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints". Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance. Retrieved January 1, 2013.
  131. ^ While most scientific organizations simply ignore the Book of Mormon just as they ignore the Bible and other religious books as sources of scientific information ([1]), the Smithsonian Institution and the National Geographic Society have issued explicit denials that the Book of Mormon has ever been used in scientific research sponsored by their organizations.
  132. ^ The Book of Mormon is often included in lists of archeological "hoaxes".Custer, Jay F. (1993). "Reviewed work: Fantastic Archaeology: The Wild Side of North American Prehistory, Stephen Williams". American Antiquity. 58 (2): 372–373. doi:10.2307/281980. JSTOR 281980. Williams takes on the Cardiff Giant, the Grave Creek Stone, the Lenape Stone, the Holly Oak Pendant, the Walam Olum, the Paleolithic tools of the Trenton Gravels, Atlantis, Mu, the book of Mormon and its associated finds of Holy Stones, various and sundry rune stones, Thor Heyerdahl, the Tucson Crosses, Mystery Hill, George Carter's pre-pre-Clovis occupations of North America, 'psychic archaeology,' and other 'fantasies'.
  133. ^ The exceptions are several Latter-day Saint organizations that sponsor historical and archeological research, such as FAIR (Faithful Answers, Informed Response), the Foundation for Ancient Research and Mormon Studies (now defunct), Brigham Young University, and the Interpreter Foundation; and some journals operated by Latter-day Saints, such as the FARMS Review (prior to being renamed the Mormon Studies Review and pivoting away from apologetics) and Interpreter: A Journal of Latter-day Saint Faith and Scholarship.
  134. ^ Coe, Michael D. (Summer 1973). "Mormons and Archaeology: An Outside View". Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought. 8 (2): 41–48.
  135. ^ Citing the lack of specific New World geographic locations to search, Michael D. Coe, a prominent Mesoamerican archaeologist and Professor Emeritus of Anthropology at Yale University, wrote, "As far as I know there is not one professionally trained archaeologist, who is not a Mormon, who sees any scientific justification for believing [the historicity of The Book of Mormon], and I would like to state that there are quite a few Mormon archaeologists who join this group." See Coe (1973, pp. 42).
  136. ^ 1 Nephi 18:25
    LDS scholars think that this may be a product of reassigning familiar labels to unfamiliar items. 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."
    John L. Sorenson, An Ancient American Setting for the Book of Mormon (Salt Lake City, Utah : Deseret Book Co.; Provo, Utah : Foundation for Ancient Research and Mormon Studies, 1996 [1985]), 294. ISBN 1-57345-157-6 Archived April 2, 2013, at the Wayback Machine
  137. ^ a b c 1 Nephi 18:25
  138. ^ 1 Nephi 18:25
    Smithsonian Institution statement on the Book of Mormon paragraph 4 Archived May 20, 2012, at the Wayback Machine
  139. ^ Ether 9:19
  140. ^ 1 Nephi 4:9
  141. ^ Alma 18:9
  142. ^ The traditional view of the Book of Mormon suggests that Native Americans are principally the descendants of an Israelite migration around 600 BC. However, DNA evidence shows no Near Eastern component in the Native American genetic make-up. For example:
    Simon G. Southerton. 2004. Losing a Lost Tribe: Native Americans, DNA, and the Mormon Church. Signature Books.
    The entire book is devoted to the specific topic of DNA evidence and the Book of Mormon." ...[T]he DNA lineages of Central America resemble those of other Native American tribes throughout the two continents. 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. Whittington...was not aware of any scientists 'in mainstream anthropology that are trying to prove a Hebrew origin of Native Americans... Archaeologists and physical anthropologists have not found any evidence of Hebrew origins for the people of North, South and Central America.'" (pg 191)
    Defenders of the book's historical authenticity suggest that the Book of Mormon does not disallow for other groups of people to have contributed to the genetic make-up of Native Americans.[citation needed] Nevertheless, this is a departure from the traditional view that Israelites are the primary ancestors of Native Americans, and therefore would be expected to present some genetic evidence of Near Eastern origins. 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, 2007: Intro Change in Book of Mormon Spurs Discussion
  143. ^ Welch, Rosalynde; Park, Benjamin E. (December 15, 2014). "From Benjamin Park: A Statement Regarding a Recent Review Essay". Times & Seasons. Retrieved April 12, 2021.
  144. ^ Peterson, Daniel C. (January 2000), "Mounting Evidence for the Book of Mormon", Ensign
  145. ^ editor, Dennis L. Largey, general (2003). Book of Mormon reference companion. Salt Lake City, Utah: Deseret Book. ISBN 978-1573452311.CS1 maint: extra text: authors list (link)
  146. ^ a b c d e f g h Skousen, Royal. "Changes in the Book of Mormon" (Transcription of live presentation). 2002 FAIR Conference: FAIR. Retrieved September 25, 2009.CS1 maint: location (link)
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  148. ^ Toone, Trent (August 6, 2015). "Recounting the preservation of the printer's manuscript of the Book of Mormon". Retrieved September 23, 2017.
  149. ^ "Church Acquires Printer's Manuscript of Book of Mormon". Mormon Newsroom. Retrieved September 21, 2017.
  150. ^ Walch, Tad (September 20, 2017). "LDS Church buys printer's manuscript of Book of Mormon for record $35 million". Deseret (Salt Lake City) News. Retrieved September 22, 2017.
  151. ^ There are three lines missing from the printer's manuscript in its current condition, covering 1 Nephi 1:7–8, 20.
  152. ^ "Printer's Manuscript of the Book of Mormon, 1923 Photostatic Copies". pp. 0–464. Retrieved January 13, 2016.
  153. ^ "3. "A History of All the Important Things" (D&C 69:3): John Whitmer's Record of Church History | Religious Studies Center". Retrieved September 25, 2017.
  154. ^ Montgomeryrmontgomery, Rick (September 21, 2017). "Book of Mormon manuscript may be world's most expensive book | The Kansas City Star". Retrieved September 25, 2017.
  155. ^ Mims, Bob (September 21, 2017). "Historian: At $35M, original printer's manuscript of Book of Mormon a bargain - The Salt Lake Tribune". Retrieved September 25, 2017.
  156. ^ The Zarahemla Research Foundation publishes a 48-page booklet titled "Book of Mormon Chapter & Verse: RLDS–LDS Conversion Table" to enable readers of an LDS edition to find references from an RLDS edition and vice versa.
  157. ^ The revised text was first published in 1981 and the subtitle was added in October 1982: Packer, Boyd K. (November 1982). "Scriptures". Ensign. 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.'
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  159. ^ "Church Releases New Edition of English Scriptures in Digital Formats". The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Retrieved March 6, 2013.
  160. ^ Reeve, W. Paul; Parshall, Ardis E. (August 13, 2010). Mormonism: A Historical Encyclopedia: A Historical Encyclopedia. ABC-CLIO. p. 74. ISBN 9781598841084. Retrieved March 24, 2018.
  161. ^ "Preface to the Book of Mormon". Retrieved March 21, 2020.
  162. ^ BYU Catalog for "Book of Mormon. English. 1840 (1992)"
  163. ^ Johnson, D. Lynn (2000). "The Restored Covenant Edition of the Book of Mormon—Text Restored to Its Purity?". FARMS Review. 12 (2). Archived from the original on October 16, 2008. Retrieved February 12, 2009.
  164. ^ Moore, Carrie A. (November 9, 2007). "Intro change in Book of Mormon spurs discussion". Deseret News. Archived from the original on January 8, 2009. Retrieved August 26, 2009.
  165. ^ Moore, Carrie A. (November 11, 2004). "Doubleday Book of Mormon is on the way". Deseret News. Archived from the original on May 13, 2010. Retrieved August 26, 2009.
  166. ^ Experience Press
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  168. ^ "A New Approach To Studying The Book Of Mormon - Rosenvall, Lynn A. & Rosenvall, David L. (ed)". Oliver Tree Foundation. Retrieved October 11, 2020.
  169. ^ Austin, Michael (Summer 2019). "Reasonably Good Tidings of Greater-than-Average Joy Grant Hardy, ed. The Book of Mormon: Another Testament of Jesus Christ, Maxwell Institute Study Edition". Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought. 52 (2): 173–181 – via Dialogue Foundation.
  170. ^ Crawley, Peter (1997). A Descriptive Bibliography of the Mormon Church, Volume One 1830–1847. Provo, Utah: Religious Studies Center, Brigham Young University. p. 151. ISBN 978-1-57008-395-2. Archived from the original on June 11, 2011. Retrieved February 12, 2009.
  171. ^ Woodger, Mary Jane (2000). "How the Guide to English Pronunciation of Book of Mormon Names Came About". Journal of Book of Mormon Studies. 9 (1). Archived from the original on December 23, 2008. Retrieved February 21, 2009.
  172. ^ Stanley R. Larson, “A Study of Some Textual Variations in the Book of Mormon, Comparing the Original and Printer's MSS., and Comparing the 1830, 1837, and 1840 Editions,” unpublished master's thesis (Provo: BYU, 1974).
  173. ^ Stanley Larson, “Early Book of Mormon Texts: Textual Changes to the Book of Mormon in 1837 and 1840,” Sunstone, 1/4 (Fall 1976), 44–55; Larson, “Textual Variants in the Book of Mormon Manuscripts,” Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought, 10/4 (Autumn 1977), 8–30 [FARMS Reprint LAR-77]; Larson, "Conjectural Emendation and the Text of the Book of Mormon," BYU Studies, 18 (Summer 1978), 563–569 [FARMS Reprint LAR-78].
  174. ^ Robert F. Smith, ed., Book of Mormon Critical Text, 2nd ed., 3 vols. (Provo: FARMS, 1986–1987).
  175. ^ Skousen, Royal (1993). "The Book of Mormon Critical Text Project". In Black, Susan Easton; Tate, Charles D. (eds.). Joseph Smith: The Prophet, the Man. Provo, UT: Religious Studies Center. ISBN 0-8849-4876-5.
  176. ^ McIntyre, Frank (October 3, 2009). "Royal Skousen's 12 questions — The Critical Text Version". Times & Seasons. Retrieved April 10, 2021.
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  178. ^ The Original Manuscript of the Book of Mormon (Provo: FARMS, 2001); The Printer's Manuscript of the Book of Mormon, 2 vols. (FARMS, 2001).
  179. ^ Analysis of Textual Variants of the Book of Mormon, 6 vols. (Provo: FARMS, 2004–2009) -- now superseded by a second ed.
  180. ^ "Volume V: A Complete Electronic Collation of the Book of Mormon | The Book of Mormon Critical Text Project". Retrieved April 11, 2021.
  181. ^ Skousen, ed., The Book of Mormon: The Earliest Text (Yale Univ. Press, 2009).
  182. ^ "Book of Mormon textual changes". Fairmormon. Fairmormon. Retrieved December 18, 2017.
  183. ^ "Taking the Scriptures to the World", Ensign: 24, July 2001
  184. ^ "Mayan Language Scriptures Online in Audio & Text". LDS365. January 22, 2016. Retrieved April 22, 2021.
  185. ^ "Church Resources in American Sign Language (ASL)". LDS365. August 26, 2019. Retrieved April 22, 2021.
  186. ^ Wilding-Diaz, Minnie Mae (1991). "The American Sign Language Translation of the Book of Mormon: Linguistic and Cultural Considerations". Deseret Language and Linguistic Society Symposium. 17: 33–36 – via BYU ScholarsArchive.
  187. ^ Dockstader, Julie A. (June 10, 1995). "Book of Mormon Available in Sign Language". Church News. Retrieved April 22, 2021.
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  189. ^ Parker, T. (Writer), & Parker, T. (Director). (2003). All About Mormons. In Trey Paker and Matt Stone, South Park. Los Angeles: South Park Digital Studios LLC.
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  192. ^ Harris, Elizabeth A. (October 13, 2019). "Lights. Camera. Prayer. A Mini-Hollywood Grows in Utah". The New York Times. Retrieved July 31, 2020.
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  194. ^ Christensen, Danielle (September 20, 2019). "Watch the first video in the Book of Mormon series". Church News. Retrieved July 31, 2020.
  195. ^ "150 Million and Counting: The Book of Mormon reaches another milestone", Church News, 2011-04-18.
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  197. ^ a b Givens, Terryl (2009). The Book of Mormon: A Very Short Introduction. Oxford: Oxford University Press. pp. 60–61. ISBN 9780195369311. OCLC 301705600.
  198. ^ Hardy, Grant (2010). Understanding the Book of Mormon : a reader's guide. Oxford: Oxford University Press. p. 5. ISBN 9780199731701. OCLC 436310425.
  199. ^ "Americanist Approaches to The Book of Mormon". Oxford University Press. Retrieved April 10, 2021.
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  201. ^ Christensen, Kevin (2020). "Table Rules: A Response to Americanist Approaches to the Book of Mormon". Interpreter: A Journal of Latter-day Saint Faith and Scholarship. 37: 67–96 – via Interpreter Foundation.


Further readingEdit

External linksEdit