The Book of Mormon Portal
The Book of Mormon is a sacred text of the Latter Day Saint movement, which adherents believe contains writings of ancient prophets who lived on the American continent from approximately 2200 BC to AD 421. It was first published in March 1830 by Joseph Smith as The Book of Mormon: An Account Written by the Hand of Mormon upon Plates Taken from the Plates of Nephi.
According to Smith's account and the book's narrative, the Book of Mormon was originally written in otherwise unknown characters referred to as "reformed Egyptian" engraved on golden plates. Smith said that the last prophet to contribute to the book, a man named Moroni, buried it in the Hill Cumorah in present-day Manchester, New York, then returned to Earth in 1827 as an angel, revealing the location of the plates to Smith, and instructing him to translate it into English for use in the restoration of Christ's true church in the latter days. Critics claim that it was fabricated by Smith, drawing on material and ideas from contemporary 19th-century works rather than translating an ancient record.
The Book of Mormon has a number of original and distinctive doctrinal discussions on subjects such as the fall of Adam and Eve, the nature of the Atonement, eschatology, redemption from physical and spiritual death, and the organization of the latter-day church. The pivotal event of the book is an appearance of Jesus Christ in the Americas shortly after his resurrection.
The Book of Mormon is the earliest of the unique writings of the Latter-day Saint movement, the denominations of which typically regard the text primarily as scripture, and secondarily as a historical record of God's dealings with the ancient inhabitants of the Americas. The archaeological, historical and scientific communities generally reject the claims that the Book of Mormon is an ancient record of actual historical events.
The Book of Mormon is divided into smaller books, titled after the individuals named as primary authors and, in most versions, divided into chapters and verses. It is written in English very similar to the Early Modern English linguistic style of the King James Version of the Bible, and has since been fully or partially translated into 108 languages. As of 2011, more than 150 million copies of the Book of Mormon had been published.
Photograph of what is believed to be the 1830 document known as the "Anthon Transcript"
The Book of Mormon, a work of scripture of the Latter Day Saint movement, describes itself as having originally been written in reformed Egyptian characters on plates of metal or "ore" by prophets living in the Western Hemisphere from perhaps as early as the 4th century BC until as late as the 5th century AD. Joseph Smith, the movement's founder, published the Book of Mormon in 1830 as a translation of these golden plates. Scholarly reference works on languages do not, however, acknowledge the existence of either a "reformed Egyptian" language or "reformed Egyptian" script as it has been described in Mormon belief. No archaeological, linguistic, or other evidence of the use of Egyptian writing in ancient America has been discovered. Read more...
Map showing current sites with red dots and possible Book of Mormon
sites with black dots; Zarahemla placed in modern-day Chiapas state of Mexico.
According to the beliefs of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, or "Mormons", Zarahemla () refers to a large city in the ancient Americas which is described in the Book of Mormon. It also is used to refer to a large political division, and a minor character in the book. The Book of Mormon is revered by members of various Latter Day Saint churches as sacred scripture. Archaeologists and historians have not been able to archaeologically verify a location for the city. (See Archaeology and the Book of Mormon for more detail about the archaeological debate between Mormons and mainstream archaeologists). Read more...
An artist's impression of Captain Moroni, commander of the Nephite forces from approximately 74–56 BC. Digital sculpture by Josh Cotton.
According to the Book of Mormon, Captain Moroni was an important Nephite military commander and patriot who lived during the 1st century BC. He is perhaps best known for raising a "title of liberty" as a call to arms for his people to defend their country, family, freedom, peace, and religion. He is first mentioned in the Book of Alma as "the chief captain over the Nephites."
Captain Moroni is presented as a righteous and skilled military commander. Among his accomplishments were his extensive preparations for battle and his fierce defense of the right of the Nephites to govern themselves and worship as they saw fit.
Captain Moroni shares a name with the prophet Moroni; the former is indexed in the LDS edition of the Book of Mormon as Moroni1. Read more...
||The Book of Ether Chapter 13
Ether speaks of a New Jerusalem to be built in America by the seed of Joseph—He prophesies, is cast out, writes the Jaredite history, and foretells the destruction of the Jaredites—War rages over all the land.
1 And now I, Moroni, proceed to finish my record concerning the destruction of the people of whom I have been writing.
2 For behold, they rejected all the words of Ether; for he truly told them of all things, from the beginning of man; and that after the waters had receded from off the face of this land it became a choice land above all other lands, a chosen land of the Lord; wherefore the Lord would have that all men should serve him who dwell upon the face thereof;
3 And that it was the place of the New Jerusalem, which should come down out of heaven, and the holy sanctuary of the Lord.
4 Behold, Ether saw the days of Christ, and he spake concerning a New Jerusalem upon this land.
5 And he spake also concerning the house of Israel, and the Jerusalem from whence Lehi should come—after it should be destroyed it should be built up again, a holy city unto the Lord; wherefore, it could not be a new Jerusalem for it had been in a time of old; but it should be built up again, and become a holy city of the Lord; and it should be built unto the house of Israel—
6 And that a New Jerusalem should be built up upon this land, unto the remnant of the seed of Joseph, for which things there has been a type.
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