have selected and condensed these verses
hoping to create greater interest
in reading the entire Book of Mormon itself.
1 Nephi 2 Nephi Jacob
Enos Jarom Omni
Words of Mormon
Mosiah Alma Helaman
4 Nephi Mormon Moroni
teachings and doctrines
(about 600 B.C.)
In the first year of Zedekiah, king of Judah, there came many prophets, prophesying unto the people that they must repent, or Jerusalem must be destroyed.
My father, Lehi, prayed and, being filled with the Spirit of the Lord, he went forth among the people and testified of their abominations.
Wherefore, they were angry with him and sought his life.
(journey to the promised land)
The Lord commanded my father that he should take his family and depart into the wilderness.
And he came down by the shore of the Red Sea with his family, which consisted of my mother, Sariah, and my elder brothers, who were Laman, Lemuel, and Sam.
Laman and Lemuel knew not God. Neither did they believe that Jerusalem, that great city, could be destroyed.
I Nephi, having great desires to know the mysteries of God, the Lord did visit me and soften my heart that I did not rebel, like unto my brothers.
And I spake unto Sam that he believed in my words.
We did pitch our tents by the seashore.
And the Lord spake unto me, saying: Thou shalt construct a ship, after the manner which I shall show thee, that I may carry thy people across these waters.
We did not work the timbers after the manner which was learned by men, but which the Lord had shown unto me.
Now, my father had begat two sons in the wilderness; the elder was called Jacob and the younger Joseph.
We did go down into the ship, with our wives and our children, and all our provisions, and we did put forth into the sea.
After many days we did arrive at the promised land, and began to till the earth. We were blessed in abundance.
I did make plates of ore that I might engrave upon them the record of my people, that the things written should be kept for purposes known unto the Lord.
I do not write anything upon these plates save I think it be sacred.
For the things which some men esteem to be of great worth, others set at naught and trample under their feet. Yea, even the very God of Israel do men trample under their feet; in other words – they set him at naught.
Behold, he cometh.
And the world shall judge him to be a thing of naught; wherefore they scourge him, and he suffereth it; and they smite him, and he suffereth it. Yea, they spit upon him, and he suffereth it because of his loving kindness and his long-suffering towards the children of men.
Yea, the very God of Abraham yieldeth himself, as a man, into the hands of wicked men to be lifted up, crucified.
The Holy Messiah offereth himself a sacrifice for sin, to answer the ends of the law, unto all those who have a broken heart and a contrite spirit.
(our moral agency
and the need for opposition in all things)
There must be an opposition in all things. If not so, righteousness could not be brought to pass, neither wickedness, neither holiness nor misery, neither good nor bad.
But God created both things to act and things to be acted upon.
And to bring about his eternal purposes in the end of man, after God had created our first parents, there was an opposition.
God gave unto man that he should act for himself.
An angel fallen from heaven became a devil.
And because he had become miserable forever, he sought also the misery of all mankind. Wherefore, he said: Partake of the forbidden fruit.
After Adam and Eve had partaken, they were driven out of the garden of Eden.
And now, if they had not transgressed they would not have fallen, but they would have had no children. They would have remained in a state of innocence, having no joy, for they knew no misery; doing no good, for they knew no sin.
But in the wisdom of him who knoweth all things, Adam fell that men might be; and men are, that they might have joy.
And the Messiah cometh to redeem the children of men from the fall.
And because they are redeemed they have become free forever, knowing good from evil, to act for themselves and not to be acted upon.
Wherefore, men are free - free to choose liberty and eternal life or to choose captivity and death, according to the captivity and power of the devil, who seeketh that all men might be miserable like unto himself.
(Nephites and Lamanites seperate)
I, Nephi, did cry much unto the Lord because of the anger of my brethren.
But their anger did increase against me.
Now I do not write on these plates all the words which they spake against me, but it sufficeth me to say that they did seek to take away my life.
Wherefore, my family and all those who would go with me did journey in the wilderness.
And after many days, we did pitch our tents. And the Lord was with us, and we did prosper exceedingly.
The people who were now called Lamanites did become an idle people, full of mischief and sublety.
I Nephi did consecrate Jacob and Joseph to be priests and teachers over my people. And we lived after the manner of happiness.
(words of Jacob)
(resurrection and the judgment)
I speak unto you these things that ye may rejoice.
Ye know that our flesh must waste away and die; nevertheless, in our bodies we shall see God.
By reason of transgression, man became fallen and they were cut off from the presence of the Lord.
O how great the goodness of our God, who prepareth a way for our escape from the grasp of this awful monster which I call the death of the body, and also the death of the spirit.
The bodies and the spirits of men will be restored one to the other by the power of the resurrection of the Holy One of Israel.
O how great the plan of our God! For the spirit and the body is restored to itself again, and all men become incorruptible, and immortal, and they are living souls, having a perfect knowledge like us in the flesh, save that our knowledge shall be perfect.
We shall have a perfect knowledge of all our guilt, and our uncleanness; and the righteous shall have a perfect knowledge of their enjoyment, and their righteousness, being clothed with purity, yea, even with the robe of righteousness.
And when all men shall have passed from this death unto life, insomuch as they have become immortal, they must appear before the judgment-seat of the Holy One of Israel.
O that cunning plan of the evil one! O the vainness, and the frailties, and the foolishness of men! When they are learned they think they are wise, and they hearken not unto the counsel of God, for they set it aside, supposing they know of themselves, wherefore, their wisdom is foolishness and it profiteth them not.
But to be learned is good if they hearken unto the counsels of God.
But wo unto the rich as to the things of the world. For because they are rich they despise the poor, and they persecute the meek, and their hearts are upon their treasures; wherefore, their treasure is their god. And behold, their treasure shall perish.
O then, my beloved brethren, come unto the Lord, the Holy One of Israel.
And whoso knocketh, to him will he open; and the wise, and the learned, and they that are rich, who are puffed up because of their learning, and their wisdom, and their riches — yea, save they shall cast these things away, and consider themselves fools before God, and come down in the depths of humility, he will not open unto them.
But the things of the wise and the prudent shall be hid from them — yea, that happiness which is prepared for the saints.
(words of Nephi)
(modern sophistries foreseen)
In the last days, the churches which are built up, and not unto the Lord, shall contend one with another; and their priests shall teach with their learning, and deny the Holy Ghost. And they deny the power of God, the Holy One of Israel.
They shall say unto the people: If there is a miracle wrought by the hand of the Lord, believe it not; for this day he is not a God of miracles; he hath done his work.
Yea, and there shall be many which say: It shall be well with us. God will justify in committing a little sin; yea, lie a little, take the advantage of one because of his words, dig a pit for thy neighbor; there is no harm in this; and do all these things, for if it so be that we are guilty, God will beat us with a few stripes, and at last we shall be saved in the kingdom of God.
They persecute the meek and the poor in heart.
They have all gone astray save it be a few, who are the humble followers of Christ; nevertheless, they are led, that in many instances they do err because they are taught by the precepts of men.
O the wise, and the learned, and the rich, that are puffed up in the pride of their hearts, that turn aside the just for a thing of naught and revile against that which is good, and say that it is of no worth!
For the kingdom of the devil must shake, and they which belong to it be stirred up unto repentance.
For at that day shall he rage in the hearts of men, and stir them up to anger against that which is good.
And others he flattereth away, and he saith unto them: I am no devil, for there is none.
(about 544 B.C.)
Fifty and five years had passed away from the time that Lehi left Jerusalem.
My brother Nephi gave me, Jacob, a commandment concerning these small plates, upon which these things are engraven, that I should write upon them a few of the things which I considered to be most precious; that I should not touch, save it were lightly, concerning the history of this people which are called the people of Nephi and that I should preserve these plates and hand them down unto my seed, from generation to generation.
We had many revelations, and the spirit of much prophecy; wherefore, we knew of Christ and his kingdom.
Wherefore we labored diligently among our people, that we might persuade them to come unto Christ, and partake of the goodness of God, that they might enter into his rest.
And it came to pass that Nephi died.
And now the people of Nephi began to grow hard in their hearts, and indulge themselves somewhat in wicked practices, and began to be lifted up somewhat in pride.
And a hundredth part of the proceedings of this people, which now began to be numerous, cannot be written upon these plates.
And I cannot write but a little because of the difficulty of engraving our words upon plates, and we know that the things which we write upon plates must remain.
Many means were devised to reclaim and restore the Lamanites to the knowledge of the truth; but it all was vain, for they delighted in wars and bloodshed, and they had an eternal hatred against us, their brethren. And they sought by the power of their arms to destroy us continually.
I, Jacob, began to be old; and the record of this people being kept on the other plates of Nephi, wherefore, I conclude this record, declaring that I have written according to the best of my knowledge, by saying that the time passed away with us, and also our lives passed away like as it were unto us a dream, we being a lonesome and a solemn people, wanderers, cast out from Jerusalem, born in tribulation, in a wilderness, and hated of our brethren; wherefore, we did mourn out our days.
And I said to my son Enos: Take these plates.
And I make an end of my writing, which writing has been small. And to the reader I bid farewell, hoping that many of my brethren may read my words.
(about 420 B.C.)
And I, Enos, bear record that the Lamanites became wild, and ferocious, and a blood-thirsty people, full of idolatry and filthiness; feeding upon beasts of pray.
And many of them did eat nothing save it was raw meat; and they were continually seeking to destroy us.
And the people of Nephi did till the land.
And they were a stiffnecked people.
And there was nothing save it was great plainness of speech, continually reminding them of death and the duration of eternity and the judgments and power of God — stirring them up continually — I say nothing short of these things would keep them from going down speedily to destruction.
And I began to be old, and an hundred and seventy and nine years had passed away from the time that our father Lehi left Jerusalem.
(about 399–361 B.C.)
I, Jarom, write a few words according to the commandment of my father, Enos.
Two hundred years had passed away, and the people of Nephi had waxed strong in the land.
And the Lamanites were more numerous than the Nephites; and they loved murder and would drink the blood of beasts.
They came many times against us to battle, but did not prosper against us.
Our leaders taught the people to look forward unto the Messiah, and believe in him as though he already had come.
And I write no more, for the plates are small.
(about 361 B.C.)
I, Omni, am commanded by my father, Jarom, that I should write somewhat upon these plates. In my days I fought to preserve my people from their enemies. But behold, I of myself am a wicked man. I kept these plates, and conferred them upon my son Amaron. And I make an end.
And now I, Amaron, write in the book of my father. I deliver the plates unto my brother Chemish.
Now I, Chemish, write what few things I write, in the same book with my brother; for behold, I saw the last which he wrote, that he wrote with his own hand; and he wrote it in the day that he delivered it unto me. And after this manner we keep the records. And I make an end.
Behold, I, Abinadom, am the son of Chemish. I saw much war and I, with my own sword, have taken the lives of many of the Lamanites. And I know of no revelation save that which has been written. And I make an end.
Behold, I am Amaleki, the son of Abinadom. I was born in the days of Mosiah; and I have lived to see his death; and Benjamin, his son reigneth in his stead. I began to be old; and, having no seed, and knowing king Benjamin to be a just man before the Lord, I shall deliver up these plates unto him. And I am about to lie down in my grave; and these plates are full.
(The writings from Nephi through Ameleki were unabridged. What follows, after Mormon inserts a few comments of his own, is his abridgment of subsequent writings.)
And it is many hundred years after the coming of Christ.
After Amaleki had delivered up all the records into the hands of King Benjamin, they were handed down from generation to generation until they have fallen into my hands.
And now I, Mormon, proceed to finish out my record.
(about 130 B.C.)
King Benjamin waxed old and had one of his sons, Mosiah brought before him and gave him charge concerning the kingdom.
And moreover, he also gave him charge concerning the records.
King Benjamin began to speak to his people, and these are the words which he spake and caused to be written:
The things which I shall tell you are made known unto me by an angel from God. And he said unto me:
Rejoice; and thy people may also be filled with joy.
The time is not far distant, that the Lord Omnipotent who reigneth, who was, and is from all eternity to all eternity, shall come down from heaven among the children of men, and shall dwell in a tabernacle of clay, and shall go forth amongst men, working mighty miracles.
And lo, he shall suffer temptations, and pain of body, hunger, thirst, and fatigue, even more than man can suffer, except it be unto death; for behold, blood cometh from every pore, so great shall be his anguish for the wickedness and the abominations of his people.
And he shall be called Jesus Christ, the Son of God.
And they shall consider him a man, and shall scourge him, and shall crucify him.
And he shall rise the third day from the dead; and behold, he standeth to judge the world.
His blood atoneth for the sins of those who have died not knowing the will of God concerning them, or who have ignorantly sinned.
Little children are blessed; and the infant perisheth not that dieth in his infancy; but men drink damnation to their own souls except they humble themselves and become as little children.
For the natural man is an enemy to God unless he yields to the enticings of the Holy Spirit and putteth off the natural man and becometh as a child, submissive, meek, humble, patient, full of love.
None shall be found blameless before God, except it be little children, only through repentance and faith.
(about 74 B.C.)
This Anti-Christ, Korihor, began to preach, saying:
Why do ye look for a Christ?
These are foolish traditions. Ye cannot know of things which ye do not see, therefore ye cannot know that there shall be a Christ.
It is the effect of a frenzied mind; and this derangement comes because your fathers bound themselves under foolish ordinances laid down by ancient priests, to usurp power and authority over them, to keep them in ignorance.
Ye say that this is a free people. Behold, I say they are in bondage.
Ye say that Christ shall come, and thus ye lead away this people according to your own desires; and ye keep them down by their pretended mysteries, that they might not offend some unknown being, who they say is God - who never has been seen, who never was, nor ever will be.
Now as Alma was teaching the people, there came a multitude who were poor in heart because of their poverty as to the things of the world. Alma beheld that their afflictions had truly humbled them, and that they were prepared to hear the word. Therefore, he said unto them:
Because your exceeding poverty has brought you to a lowliness of heart, blessed are ye.
And now, more blessed are they who humble themselves without being compelled to be humble; or rather, that believe in the word of God, without stubbornness of heart.
Yea, there are many who say: If thou wilt show unto us a sign from heaven, then we shall believe.
Now I ask, is this faith?
Faith is not a perfect knowledge – even so it is with my words. Ye cannot know of their surity at first.
But behold, if ye will arouse your faculties, even to experiment upon my words, and even if ye can no more than desire to believe, let this desire work in you, even until ye can give place for a portion of my words.
Now, we will compare the word unto a seed planted in your heart.
If it be a true seed, or a good seed, if ye do not cast it out, it will begin to swell within you. Ye will begin to say that the word is good, for it beginneth to enlarge my soul; to be delicious to me.
As the seed swelleth, will not this strengthen your faith? Yea, for every seed bringeth forth unto its own likeness.
The word hath swelled your soul, and your mind doth begin to expand. O then, is this not real?
Then as the tree beginneth to grow, if ye nourish it, it will get root and bring forth fruit.
But if ye neglect the tree, it will not get any root.
Now this was not because the seed was not good, but because ye will not nourish the tree, therefore ye cannot have the fruit thereof.
But if ye will nourish the word with patience, it shall be a tree springing up unto everlasting life.
Ye shall pluck the fruit which is sweet above all that is sweet, and pure above all that is pure; and ye shall feast upon this fruit even until ye are filled, that ye hunger not, neither shall ye thirst.
Now Alma caused that his sons should be gathered together, that he might give unto them his charge.
And we have an account according to his own record.
And now, my son Helaman, take the records and keep all these things sacred.
Ye may suppose that this is foolishness in me; but by small and simple things are great things brought to pass, and by very small means the Lord doth confound the wise and bringeth about the salvation of many souls.
Now these mysteries are not yet fully made known unto me; therefore I shall forbear. But it may suffice if I only say [these records] are preserved for a wise purpose, which purpose is known unto God, that he might show forth his power unto future generations.
Concerning the state of the soul between death and the resurrection, the spirits of all men, whether they be good or evil, are taken home to that God who gave them life.
And the righteous are received into a state of happiness, which is called paradise, a state of peace, where they shall rest form all their troubles and from all care and sorrow.
But the wicked have no part nor portion of the Spirit of the Lord; for behold, they chose evil works rather than good.
This is the space between death and the resurrection of the body; yea, a state of the soul in happiness or in misery until the time that the soul shall be restored to the body, and the body to the soul.
And all things shall be restored to their proper and perfect frame.
And then shall the righteous shine forth in the kingdom of God.
But behold, the wicked are unclean, and no unclean thing can inherit the kingdom of God; but they are consigned to partake of the fruits of their labors, which have been evil; and they drink the dregs of a bitter cup.
It is requisite with the justice of God that all things should be restored to their proper order; that men should be judged according to their works, and the desires of their hearts.
The one raised to happiness according to his desires for happiness, or good according to his desires for good; and the other to evil according to his desires for evil; for as he has desired to do evil all the day long, even so shall he have his reward of evil when the night cometh.
And thus they stand or fall; for behold, they are their own judges, whether to do good or to do evil.
But do not suppose that ye shall be restored from sin to happiness. Behold, wickedness never was happiness.
All men that are in a state of nature, or I would say, in a carnal state, are without God in the world, and they have gone contrary to the nature of God; therefore, they are in a state contrary to the nature of happiness.
And now behold, is the meaning of the word restoration to take a thing and place it in a state opposite to its nature?
Therefore, my son, see that you are merciful unto your brethren; deal justly, judge righteously, and do good continually; and if ye do all these things, ye shall have mercy restored unto you again; ye shall have justice restored unto you again; and ye shall have good restored to you again.
For that which ye send out shall return unto you again.
(about 23 B.C.)
Nephi, the son of Helaman, returned to the land of Zarahemla, for he had been among the people in the land northward, and did preach the word of God unto them. And they did reject all his words, insomuch that he could not stay among them, but returned again unto the land of his nativity.
And seeing the people in a state of such awful wickedness, and robbers filling the judgment-seats, doing no justice; condemning the righteous because of their righteousness; letting the guilty and the wicked go unpunished because of their money, now this great iniquity had come upon the Nephites, in the space of not many years; and when Nephi saw it, his heart was swollen with sorrow.
And now there was a tower in the garden of Nephi, which was by the highway which led to the chief market, and Nephi bowed himself upon the tower.
Certain men passing by saw Nephi as he was pouring out his soul unto God, and they ran and told the people. And the people came that they might know the cause of so great mourning.
When Nephi arose he said: Why have ye gathered yourselves together? That I may tell you of your iniquities?
Because of my mourning and lamentation ye have gathered, and do marvel; yea, and ye have great need to marvel; yea, ye ought to marvel because the devil has got so great hold upon your hearts.
Yea, how could you hurl away your souls?
Why will ye die?
Behold, it is to get gain, to be praised of men. Ye have set your hearts upon the vain things of this world, for which ye do murder, and plunder, and steal, and bear false witness against your neighbor.
And now, behold, there were men who were judges.
And those judges were angry with him because he spake plainly unto them concerning their secret works of darkness; nevertheless, they durst not lay their own hands upon him, for they feared the people.
Therefore he began again to speak unto them, seeing that he had gained favor in the eyes of some, insomuch that the remainder of them did fear.
Behold, ye have rejected the truth, and rebelled against God; and instead of laying up for yourselves treasures in heaven, ye are heaping up for yourselves wrath against the day of judgment.
Even at this time ye are ripening for destruction.
It is now even at your doors; yea, go ye in unto the judgment-seat and search; your judge is murdered, and he lieth in his blood; murdered by his brother, who seeketh to sit in the judgment-seat.
Certain men ran to the judgment-seat; yea, there were five who went, and they said among themselves:
Now we will know of a surety whether this man be a prophet.
They ran in their might, and came in unto the judgment-seat; and behold, the chief judge had fallen to the earth, and did lie in his blood.
When they saw this they were astonished exceedingly, insomuch that they fell to the earth, for they had not believed the words which Nephi had spoken. But now, fear came upon them.
Now, immediately when the judge had been murdered — he being stabbed by his brother, and he fled, the servants ran and told the people, raising the cry of murder.
The people did gather — and behold, to their astonishment they saw those five men who had fallen to the earth.
The people knew nothing concerning the multitude who had gathered together at the garden of Nephi; therefore they said: These men are they who have murdered the judge, and God has smitten them that they could not flee from us.
And there was a proclamation sent abroad that the judge was slain, and that the murderers had been taken and were cast into prison.
On the morrow the people did assemble to mourn at the burial of the great chief judge who had been slain.
And thus also those judges who were at the garden of Nephi, and heard his words, were also at the burial.
They inquired among the people, saying: Where are the five who were sent to inquire concerning the chief judge whether he was dead? And they answered and said: Concerning this five whom ye say ye have sent, we know not; but there are five who are the murderers, whom we have cast into prison.
The judges desired that they should be brought; and they were brought, and behold they were the five who were sent; and they told them all that they had done, saying:
We ran to the judgment-seat, and when we saw all things even as Nephi had testified, we were astonished insomuch that we fell to the earth; and when we were recovered, behold they cast us into prison.
Now, as for the murder, we know not who has done it; and only this much we know, behold he was dead, according to the words of Nephi.
And now the judges did cry out against Nephi, saying: This Nephi must have agreed with some one to slay the judge, and then he might declare it unto us, that he might convert us unto his faith, that he might raise himself to be a great man.
And now he shall confess.
The five were liberated.
They caused that Nephi should be taken and they began to question him in divers ways that they might cross him.
O ye fools, ye ought to howl and mourn because of the destruction which awaits you, except ye repent.
Because I showed you this sign ye are angry with me, and seek to destroy my life.
And now behold, I will show unto you another sign, and see if ye will then seek to destroy me.
I say unto you: Go to the house of Seantum and say unto him:
Has Nephi agreed with thee, in the which ye have murdered your brother?
And he shall say: Nay.
And ye shall say: Have ye murdered your brother?
And he shall make as if he were astonished and declare unto you that he is innocent.
But ye shall find blood upon the skirts of his cloak.
Then shall he tremble, and shall look pale, even as if death had come upon him.
Then shall ye say: Because of this fear and this paleness upon your face, we know that thou art guilty.
And then shall greater fear come upon him; and he shall say that I, Nephi, know nothing save by the power of God.
They went and did according as Nephi had said, and he did confess.
There were some who believed on the words of Nephi.
And there were some who said that Nephi was a prophet.
There were others who said: He is a god.
There arose a division among the people, insomuch that they divided and went their ways, leaving Nephi alone, as he was standing in the midst of them.
Nephi went his way towards his own house, pondering — being much cast down because of the wickedness of the people.
And it came to pass as he was thus pondering in his heart, behold, a voice came unto him saying:
Blessed art thou, Nephi, for those things which thou hast done; for I have beheld how thou hast with unwearingness declared the word, which I have given unto thee. And thou hast not feared them, and hast not sought thine own life, but hast sought my will.
And now, because thou hast done this with such unwearyingness, behold, I will bless thee forever; and I will make thee mighty in word and in deed.
And now Nephi did not go unto his own house, but did return unto the multitudes, and began to declare the word of the Lord concerning their destruction if they did not repent.
Now behold, notwithstanding that great miracle which Nephi had done in telling them concerning the death of the chief judge, they did revile against him, and did seek to lay their hands upon him.
But they could not take him.
And there began to be contentions, insomuch that they were divided against themselves and began to slay one another with the sword.
And now the contentions did increase, insomuch that there were wars throughout the land among the Nephites.
And now the Nephites did still remain in wickedness, while the Lamanites did keep the commandments of God,
One Samuel, a Lamanite, came into Zarahemla, and began to preach.
And they did cast him out, therefore he got upon the wall and prophesied:
Five more years, then cometh the Son of God.
And behold, there shall be great lights in heaven, insomuch that in the night before he cometh there shall be no darkness.
But behold, in the day that he shall suffer death the sun shall be darkened; and also the moon and the stars; and there shall be no light upon the face of this land.
There shall be thunderings and lightnings, and the earth shall shake and tremble.
Now there was but little alteration in the affairs of the people, save to be more hardened in iniquity.
But great signs and wonders were given unto them. And angels did appear unto some.
Nevertheless, the people did harden their hearts, all save the most believing part of them, and began to depend upon their own wisdom, saying:
It is not reasonable that such a being as a Christ shall come; if so, why will he not show himself unto us as well as unto Jerusalem?
We know that this tradition has been handed down that we should believe in some great thing not among us, but in a land which we know not; therefore they can keep us in ignorance, for we cannot witness with our own eyes.
And thus ended the book of Helaman, according to the record of Helaman and his sons.
Now it was six hundred years from the time that Lehi left Jerusalem.
Nephi, the son of Helaman who was the son of Alma, had given charge unto his eldest son Nephi concerning all the sacred records.
Now the prophecies of the prophets began to be fulfilled more fully, for there began to be greater signs and miracles wrought among the people.
But some began to say that the time was past for the words to be fulfilled, which were spoken by Samuel, the Lamanite.
They did make a great uproar, and the people who believed began to be very sorrowful, lest by any means those things might not come to pass.
But they did watch steadfastly.
There was a day set apart by the unbelievers, that all those who believed should be put to death except the sign should come to pass, which had been given by Samuel.
When Nephi saw this, his heart was exceedingly sorrowful.
He went out and bowed himself down upon the earth, and cried mightily in behalf of his people who were about to be destroyed because of their faith.
And the voice of the Lord came unto him, saying:
Lift up your head and be of good cheer; for behold, the time is at hand, and on this night shall the sign be given, and on the morrow come I into the world.
And at the going down of the sun there was no darkness; and the people began to be astonished; so exceedingly astonished that they began to fear because of their iniquity and their unbelief.
And the sun did rise in the morning again, according to its proper order; and they knew that it was the day that the Lord should be born, because of the sign which had been given.
And also a new star did appear, according to the word.
From this time forth there began to be lyings sent forth among the people by Satan, to harden their hearts that they might not believe in what they had seen.
But notwithstanding this, the more part of the people were converted and baptized unto repentance, in the which there was a great remission of sins.
There were many dissenters and they had many children who did grow up and began to decrease as to their faith and righteousness, and the people began to be less and less astonished at a sign or a wonder from heaven.
Many things transpired which, in the eyes of some, would be great and marvelous; nevertheless, this book cannot contain even a hundredth part of what was done among so many people in the space of twenty and five years.
And I make my record on plates which I have made with mine own hands.
I am Mormon, being called after the land of Mormon, in which Alma did establish the church among the people.
I am a disciple of Jesus Christ, the Son of God.
I make my record from the accounts given by those who were before me, until my day.
And then will I make a record of the things which I have seen with mine own eyes.
I know the record which I make to be just and true, nevertheless there are many things which, according to our language, we are not able to write.
And now I make an end of my saying, which is of myself, and proceed to give my account of the things which have been before me.
There began to be men inspired and sent preaching boldly of the sins of the people, and the redemption which the Lord would make for his people; and they did testify boldly of his death and sufferings.
Now many were exceedingly angry; and those were chiefly the chief judges, and lawyers.
Many of those who testified were taken and put to death secretly by the judges.
In the thirtieth year, they did murder the chief judge.
The people were divided one against another; and they did separate into tribes, every man according to his kindred and friends.
And the regulations of the government were destroyed.
The more righteous part of the people had nearly all become wicked; yea, there were but few righteous among them.
The people began to look with great earnestness for the time that there should be darkness for the space of three days over the land.
In the beginning of the thirty and fourth year, there arose a great storm, such as never had been known; also a great and terrible tempest; and there was terrible thunder that did shake the whole earth as if it was about to divide asunder.
And there were exceedingly sharp lightnings, such as never had been known.
And there was a great and terrible destruction, for the whole face of the land was changed.
And many cities were sunk, and many were burned, and many were shaken till the buildings thereof had fallen and the inhabitants were slain.
There were some who were carried away in the whirlwind; and whither they went no man knoweth, save they know that they were carried away.
And the thunderings, and the lightnings, and the storm, and the tempest, and the quakings of the earth did last for about three hours; and it was said by some that the time was greater.
And then behold, there was thick darkness upon all the face of the land, insomuch that the inhabitants thereof who had not fallen could feel the vapor of darkness.
And there could be no light, neither candles nor torches, nor could there be fire kindled, so that there could not be any light at all.
And there was great mourning and howling and weeping among all the people continually.
There was a voice heard upon all the face of this land, saying:
Behold, I am Jesus Christ, the Son of God. I was with the Father from the beginning.
I came unto my own, and my own received me not. And the scriptures concerning my coming are fulfilled.
And by me redemption cometh, and in me is the law of Moses fulfilled.
I am the light and the life of the world. I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end.
And ye shall offer up unto me no more the shedding of blood; yea, your sacrifices and your burnt offerings shall be done away, for I will accept none of your sacrifices and your burnt offerings.
And ye shall offer for a sacrifice unto me a broken heart and a contrite spirit.
I have come unto the world to bring redemption unto the world, to save the world from sin.
Therefore, whoso repenteth and cometh unto me as a little child, him will I receive, for of such is the kingdom of God.
Behold, for such I have laid down my life, and have taken it up again; therefore repent, and come unto me ye ends of the earth, and be saved.
There was silence in the land for many hours; for so great was the astonishment of the people that they did cease lamenting and howling for the loss of their kindred.
And there came a voice again, and all the people did hear it, saying:
O ye people of these great cities which have fallen, how oft have I gathered you as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and have nourished you.
And now the people began to weep and howl again because of the loss of their kindred and friends.
And thus did the three days pass away.
And the darkness dispersed, and the dreadful groanings did cease, and all the tumultuous noises did pass away.
And the mourning, and the weeping, and the wailing of the people who were spared alive did cease; and their mourning was turned into joy, and their lamentations into praise and thanksgiving unto the Lord Jesus Christ, their redeemer.
And it was the more righteous part of the people who were saved.
And they were spared and were not sunk and buried up in the earth; and they were not drowned in the depths of the sea; and they were not burned by fire, neither were they fallen upon and crushed to death; and they were not carried away in the whirlwind; neither were they overpowered by the vapor of smoke and of darkness.
(And now I will show unto you that the people of Nephi who were spared, and also those who had been called Lamanites, who had been spared, did have great blessings poured out upon their heads, insomuch that soon after the ascension of Christ into heaven he did truly manifest himself unto them –
Showing his body unto them. and ministering unto them; and an account of his ministry shall be given hereafter. Therefore for this time I, Mormon, make an end of my sayings.)
And now a great multitude gathered together round about the temple, showing one to another the great change which had taken place, also conversing about this Jesus Christ, of whom the sign had been given concerning his death.
And they heard a voice as if it came out of heaven; and they cast their eyes round about, for they understood not the voice.
It was not a harsh voice, neither was it a loud voice; nevertheless, and notwithstanding it being a small voice, it did pierce them to the center.
Yea, it did pierce them to the very soul, and did cause their hearts to burn.
Again they heard the voice, and they understood it not.
And again the third time they did hear the voice, and they did open their ears to hear it;
And their eyes were towards the sound thereof; and they did look steadfastly towards heaven, from whence the sound came.
And behold, the third time they did understand the voice which they heard; and it said unto them:
Behold my Beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased, in whom I have glorified my name – hear ye him.
And they saw a Man descending out of heaven; and he was clothed in a white robe; and he came down and stood in the midst of them; and the eyes of the whole multitude were turned upon him, and they durst not open their mouths, even one to another, and wist not what it meant, for they thought it was an angel that had appeared unto them.
He stretched forth his hand saying:
I am Jesus Christ, whom the prophets testified shall come into the world.
And I have drunk out of that bitter cup which the Father hath given me, taking upon me the sins of the world.
When Jesus had spoken these words, the whole multitude fell to the earth: for they remembered that it had been prophesied that Christ should show himself unto them after his ascension into heaven.
The Lord spake unto them saying:
Arise and come forth unto me, that ye may thrust your hands into my side, and also feel the prints of the nails in my hands and in my feet, that you may know that I have been slain for the sins of the world.
The multitude went forth, one by one, and did see with their eyes and did feel with their hands, and did know of a surety and did bear record, that it was he.
And they did fall down at the feet of Jesus, and did worship him.
Jesus said unto the twelve whom he had chosen: Ye are my disciples, and not at any time hath the Father given me that I should tell it unto your brethren at Jerusalem.
But this much did the Father command me that I should tell unto them:
That other sheep I have which are not of this fold; them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one fold, and one shepherd.
(John 10:14 –16)
And now, because of unbelief they understood not my words; therefore I was commanded to say no more concerning this.
Ye were separated from them because of their iniquity; therefore they know not of you.
Jesus looked round about again on the multitude, and he said unto them: Behold, my time is at hand.
I perceive that ye are weak, that ye cannot understand all my words.
Therefore, go ye unto your homes, and ponder the things which I have said, and prepare your minds for the morrow, and I come unto you again.
He cast his eyes round about again on the multitude, and beheld they were in tears, and did look steadfastly upon him as if they would ask him to tarry a little longer with them.
And he said unto them: Behold, my bowels are filled with compassion towards you.
Have ye any that are sick among you? Bring them hither, and I will heal them.
And he did heal them every one.
And they did all bow down at his feet, and did worship him; and as many as could come did kiss his feet, insomuch that they did bathe his feet with their tears.
They brought their little children and set them down upon the ground round about him, and he commanded the multitude that they should kneel down upon the ground.
He himself also knelt; and behold, he prayed.
And the things which he prayed cannot be written, but the multitude did bear record after this manner:
The eye hath never seen, neither hath the ear heard before, so great and marvelous things as we saw and heard Jesus speak unto the Father;
And no tongue can speak, neither can there be written by any man, neither can the hearts of men conceive so great and marvelous things; and no one can conceive of the joy which filled our souls at the time we heard him pray for us unto the Father.
When Jesus had made an end of praying, he arose; but so great was the joy of the multitude that they were overcome.
And he said unto them: Blessed are ye because of your faith. And now behold, my joy is full.
And when he had said these words, he wept;
And he took their little children one by one, and blessed them, and prayed unto the Father for them.
And when he had done this he wept again;
And he said unto the multitude: Behold your little ones.
And as they looked, they saw the heavens open, and they saw angels descending out of heaven as it were in the midst of fire; and they came down and encircled those little ones about, and they were encircled about with fire; and the angels did minister unto them.
There came a cloud and overshadowed the multitude that they could not see Jesus.
And while they were overshadowed, he departed and ascended into heaven.
On the morrow, when the multitude was gathered together, Jesus came and ministered unto them.
He commanded them that they should kneel down again; and he commanded his disciples that they should pray.
Jesus went a little way off from them and bowed himself to the earth.
When Jesus had thus prayed, he came unto his disciples, and behold, they did still continue to pray; and they were filled with desire.
And his countenance did smile upon them, and the light of his countenance did shine upon them.
He went a little way off and bowed himself to the earth; and he prayed again.
And the multitude did hear and do bear record; and their hearts were open and they did understand in their hearts the words which he prayed.
Nevertheless, so great and marvelous were the words which he prayed that they cannot be written, neither can they be uttered by man.
The Lord truly did teach the people, for the space of three days; and after that he did show himself unto them often.
He did teach and minister unto the children of the multitude, and he did loose their tongues, and they did speak unto their fathers great and marvelous things.
The people were all converted unto the Lord, both Nephites and Lamanites, and there were no contentions and disputations among them, and every man did deal justly one with another.
And they had all things common among them; therefore there were not rich and poor, bond and free, but they were all made free, and partakers of the heavenly gift.
There was no contention because of the love of God in the hearts of the people.
Surely there could not be a happier people among all the people who had been created by the hand of God.
Nephi, he that kept this last record, died, and his son Amos kept it in his stead.
And he kept it eighty and four years, and there was still peace in the land, save it were a small part of the people who had revolted from the church and taken upon them the name of Lamanites; therefore there began to be Lamanites again in the land.
Amos died also, (and it was an hundred and ninety and four years from the coming of Christ) and his son Amos kept the record in his stead.
Two hundred years passed away; and the people had spread upon all the face of the land, and had become exceedingly rich.
There began to be those who were lifted up in pride.
And from that time forth they did have their goods and their substance no more common among them.
And they began to be divided into classes.
And two hundred and forty and four years passed away, and the more wicked part of the people became more numerous than the people of God.
Amos died; and his brother, Ammaron, did keep the record in his stead.
Ammaron, being constrained by the Holy Ghost, did hide up unto the Lord all the sacred records which had been handed down.
And thus is the end of the record of Ammaron.
(the life of Mormon,
Now about the time that Ammaron hid up the records, he came unto me (I being about ten years of age, and I began to be learned somewhat after the manner of learning of my people) and said: I perceive that thou art a sober child and art quick to observe.
Therefore, when ye are about twenty and four years old I would that ye should remember the things that ye have observed concerning this people; and go to where I have deposited all the sacred engravings.
And ye shall take the plates unto yourself, and engrave the things which ye have observed.
And it came to pass that I, being fifteen years of age and somewhat of a sober mind, therefore I was visited of the Lord, and tasted and knew of the goodness of Jesus.
And I did endeavor to preach unto this people, but my mouth was shut, and I was forbidden; for they had willfully rebelled against their God.
I did remain among them, but I was forbidden to preach.
(beginning of the end for the Nephites)
There began to be a war again between the Nephites and the Lamanites.
And notwithstanding being young, I was large in stature; therefore the people of Nephi appointed me the leader of their armies.
The Lamanites did come upon us with exceedingly great power, and did frighten my armies; therefore they would not fight.
But the Lamanites did still come upon us and there was blood and carnage spread throughout all the face of the land
The Nephites were pursued to the land of Jashon, before it was possible to stop them in their retreat.
Now Jashon was near the land where Ammaron had deposited the records that they might not be destroyed.
I did go according to his word and take the plates unto myself, and I make my record.
Now a continual scene of wickedness and abominations has been before mine eyes ever since I have been sufficient to behold the ways of man.
The people of Nephi again were hunted and driven.
I did speak with great energy, that they would stand boldly and fight for their wives, and their children, and their homes.
And my words did arouse them somewhat to vigor, insomuch that they did not flee from before the Lamanites, but did stand before them with such firmness that they did flee from before us.
They did come down again to battle. And we did beat them again, and did slay a great number of them, and their dead were cast into the sea.
And now, because of this great thing which my people had done, they began to boast in their own strength.
And I Mormon, did utterly refuse from this time forth to be a commander of this people, because of their wickedness.
I had loved them; and my soul had been poured out in prayer for them; nevertheless, it was without faith, because of the hardness of their hearts.
And now the Nephites did go up to battle, and were driven back.
And while they were yet weary, a fresh army of the Lamanites did come upon them.
And it is impossible for the tongue to describe, or for man to write a perfect description of the horrible scene of blood and carnage which was among the people, both the Nephites and the Lamanites; and every heart was hardened, so that they delighted in the shedding of blood continually.
And there never had been so great wickedness among all the children of Lehi.
The Lamanites did take many prisoners, both women and children, and did offer them up as sacrifices unto their idol gods.
The Nephites being angry because the Lamanites had sacrificed their women and their children, did go against the Lamanites with exceedingly great anger, and did beat them again and drive them out.
But from this time forth did the Nephites gain no power over the Lamanites, but began to be swept off by them even as the dew before the sun.
I, Mormon, do not desire to harrow up the souls of men in casting before them such an awful scene of blood and carnage as was laid before mine eyes; therefore I write a small abridgment, daring not to give a full account.
I, Mormon, began to be old; and knowing it to be the last struggle of my people, and having been commanded of the Lord that I should not suffer the records to fall into the hands of the Lamanites, (for they would destroy them) therefore I hid up in the hill Cumorah all the records which had been entrusted to me, save it were these few plates which I gave unto my son, Moroni.
My people, with their wives and their children, did now behold the armies of the Lamanites marching towards them; and with that awful fear of death which fills the breasts of all the wicked, did they await to receive them.
And every soul was filled with terror because of the greatness of their numbers.
And they did fall upon my people.
I fell wounded in the midst; and they passed by me that they did not put an end to my life.
They had hewn down all my people save it were twenty and four of us, (among whom was my son Moroni).
All my people had fallen; and their flesh, and bones, and blood lay upon the face of the earth to molder upon the land.
And my soul was rent with anguish, and I cried:
O ye fair sons and daughters, ye fathers and mothers, ye husbands and wives, ye fair ones, how is it that ye could have fallen!
But behold, ye are gone, and my sorrows cannot bring your return.
(Moroni finishes the record of his father, Mormon)
And now behold I, Moroni, do finish the record of my father, Mormon.
After the great and tremendous battle at Cumorah, behold, the Nephites were hunted down until they were all destroyed.
And my father also was killed by them, and I even remain alone to write the sad tale of the destruction of my people. And whether they will slay me, I know not.
Therefore I will write and hide up the records in the earth; and whither I go it mattereth not, for I am alone.
Behold, my father hath made this record, and he hath written the intent thereof. I would write it also if I had room upon the plates, but I have not; and ore I have none, for I am alone.
My father hath been slain in battle, and all my kinsfolk, and I have not friends nor whither to go; and how long the Lord will suffer that I may live I know not.
The Lamanites are at war one with another; and the whole face of this land is one continual round of murder and bloodshed; and no one knoweth the end of the war.
I am the son of Mormon, and I am the same who hideth up this record unto the Lord.
None can have power to bring it to light save it be given him of God.
It shall be brought out of the earth, and shall shine forth out of darkness, and come unto the knowledge of the people in a day when it shall be said that miracles are done away; when the power of God shall be denied;
In a day of great pollutions upon the earth and all manner of abominations; when there shall be many who say, do this, or do that, and it mattereth not.
Behold, the Lord hath shown unto me that day when these things shall come forth among you.
I speak unto you as if ye were present, and yet ye are not. But behold, Jesus Christ hath shown you unto me, and I know your doing.
There are none save a few only who do not lift themselves up in the pride of their hearts.
Ye do love money, and your substance, more than ye love the poor and the needy, the sick and the afflicted.
Ye teachers, who sell yourselves for that which will canker, why are you ashamed to take upon you the name of Christ?
I speak unto you as though from the dead; for I know that ye shall have my words.
Behold, we have written this record in the characters handed down and altered by us, according to our manner of speech.
If our plates had been sufficiently large, we should have written in Hebrew.
But the Lord knoweth the things which we have written, and also that none other people knoweth our language; therefore he hath prepared means for the interpretation thereof.
(Between A.D.400 and 421)
Now I, Moroni, had supposed not to have written more, but I have not as yet perished; and I make not myself known to the Lamanites lest they should destroy me.
Their wars are exceedingly fierce among themselves; wherefore, I wander whithersoever I can for the safety of mine own life;
Wherefore I write a few more things, contrary to that which I had supposed.
I remember the word of God which saith by their works ye shall know them; for if their works be good, then they are good also.
That which is of God inviteth to do good continually; wherefore, every thing which enticeth to do good, and to love God, and to serve him, is inspired of God.
Wherefore, take heed that ye do not judge that which is evil to be of God, or that which is good to be of the devil.
For behold, the Spirit of Christ is given to every man, that he may know good from evil.
Wherefore, I show unto you the way to judge; for every thing which inviteth to do good, and persuadeth to believe in Christ, is sent forth by the power and gift of Christ; wherefore ye may know it is of God.
I beseech you, that ye should search diligently in the light of Christ that ye may know good from evil, and if ye will lay hold upon every good thing, and condemn it not, ye certainly will be a child of Christ.
None is acceptable before God save the meek and lowly in heart.
Wherefore, pray unto the Father with all the energy of heart, that ye may be filled with the pure love of Christ; that when he shall appear, we shall be like him; that we may be purified even as he is pure.
(to the reader - a sacred promise)
Ask God, the Eternal Father, in the name of Christ,
if these things are not true;
and if ye shall ask with a sincere heart, with real intent, having faith in Christ,
he will manifest the truth of it unto you, by the power of the Holy Ghost.
Yea, come unto Christ, and lay hold upon every good gift.
(selected and condensed
by David Van Alstyne)
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