1 Nephi 2 Nephi Jacob
Enos Jarom Omni
Words of Mormon
Mosiah Alma Helaman
4 Nephi Mormon Moroni
teachings and doctrines
THE BOOK OF
*(about 600 B.C.)
I, Nephi, having seen many afflictions, yet having been highly favored of the Lord, and having a great knowledge of the goodness and mysteries of God, I make a record of my doings.
In the *first year of Zedekiah, king of Judah, many prophets came, warning the people that they must repent, or Jerusalem would be destroyed.
My father, Lehi, prayed and, being filled with the Spirit of the Lord, he went among the people and testified of their abominations.
Wherefore, they were angry with him and sought his life.
(journey to the promised land)
He came down by the Red Sea with my mother, Sariah, my elder brothers, Laman, Lemuel, and Sam, and others who would go with us.
Laman and Lemuel knew not God. Neither did they believe that Jerusalem, that great city, could be destroyed.
But I, Nephi, having great desires to know the mysteries of God, the Lord visited me and softened my heart that I did not rebel like my brothers.
And I spoke to Sam, and he believed in my words.
After a long journey and much tribulation, we pitched our tents by the seashore.
And the Lord spoke to me, saying: Thou shalt construct a ship after the manner which I will show thee, that I might carry thy people across these waters.
And he told me where I should find ore from which to make tools.
We did not work the timbers after the manner learned by men, but as the Lord had shown me.
Now, my father had begat two sons in the wilderness; the elder called Jacob and the younger Joseph.
We went down into the ship, with our wives and children, and all our provisions, and we put forth into the sea.
After many days of contention and travail, and the Lord's sustaining mercies, we arrived at the promised land, and began to till the earth. We were blessed in abundance.
I made plates of ore that I might engrave upon them the record of my people, which writing should be kept for purposes known to the Lord.
I write nothing on these plates unless I think it is 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.
Behold, he will come.
And the world will judge him to be a thing of naught; wherefore they scourge him, and he suffers it; they smite him, and he suffers it. Yea, they spit on him, and he suffers it because of his loving kindness and his long-suffering towards them.
Yea, the very God of Abraham yields himself, as a man, into the hands of wicked men to be lifted up, crucified.
The Holy Messiah offers himself a sacrifice for sin, to answer the ends of the law, unto all those who have a broken heart and a contrite spirit.
THE BOOK OF
(Nephites and Lamanites seperate)
I, Nephi, cried often to the Lord because of the anger of my brothers. But their anger still increased against me until they started seeking to slay me.
Wherefore, my family, and all who would go with me, took our journey into the wilderness.
After many days we pitched our tents, and the Lord was with us, and we prospered exceedingly.
I consecrated Jacob and Joseph to be priests and teachers over my people, and we lived after the manner of happiness.
And the people who were now called Lamanites became idle, full of mischief and sublety.
(words of Jacob)
(resurrection and the judgment)
The Lord will one day show himself to those at Jerusalem, from whence we came.
It behooves the Great Creator that he suffer himself to become subject to men in the flesh, and die for all men, that all men might become subject unto him.
For as death has passed upon all men, to fulfill his merciful plan there must be a resurrection.
We know that our flesh must die; nevertheless, in our bodies we shall see God.
Our bodies and our spirits will be restored one to another by the power of the resurrection, and all men will become incorruptible and immortal.
We will have a perfect knowledge of all our guilt, and our uncleanness and our nakedness;
and the righteous will have a perfect knowledge of their enjoyment, and their righteousness, being clothed with purity, yea, even with the robe of righteousness;
and they who have endured the crosses of the world will inherit the kingdom of God, and their joy will be full forever.
O the vanity and foolishness of men!
For when they are learned they think they are wise, and they hearken not to the counsels of God, but suppose they know for themselves; wherefore, their wisdom is foolishness and it profits them nothing.
But to be learned is good if they hearken to the counsels of God.
Wo unto the rich who despise the poor, who persecute the meek, and whose hearts are set upon their treasures, for their treasures are their god.
And their treasures will perish with them.
They who are puffed up because of their learning and their wisdom, and their riches; unless they consider themselves as fools before God and come down into the depths of humility, to them he will not open.
Yea, do not spend your money for that which is of no worth, nor your labor for that which cannot satisfy,
but come unto the Lord and feast upon that which perishes not, nor can be corrupted, and let your souls delight in fatness.
(words of Nephi)
(modern sophistries foreseen)
In the last days, many will say: God is no longer a God of miracles; the Redeemer has done his work.
It will be well with us. God will justify our committing a little sin; we can lie a little, and take advantage of others because of their words, and we can dig a pit for our neighbor;
there is no harm in this; for if we are guilty, God will beat us with a few stripes, and then in the end we will be saved.
O the wise and the learned who are puffed up in the pride of their hearts, who revile against that which is good, and say it is of no worth!
For the kingdom of the devil must shake; he will rage in the hearts of men, and stir them up to anger against that which is good.
And others he will pacify, and lull them away into carnal security.
He will flatter others, and say to them: I am no devil, for there is none.
And wo unto those who say, We already have the word of God, and we need no more of his word, for we have enough!
But the Lord says, I will give line upon line, precept upon precept, and blessed are they who harken; for to them that receive, I will give more.
And why should you murmur because you receive more of my word?
I am the same God yesterday, today and forever. I speak forth my words according to my own pleasure, and my work shall never be finished.
THE BOOK OF
Fifty-five years have passed away since Lehi left Jerusalem.
My brother Nephi gave me, Jacob, a commandment that I should write on these plates a few of the things which I consider to be most precious; that I should keep them safe and hand them down from generation to generation.
We had many revelations, and the spirit of much prophecy; so we knew of Christ and his kingdom.
Therefore we labored hard among our people to persuade them to come unto Christ, and partake of his goodness 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 they started to indulge themselves in wicked practices.
And a hundredth part of the doings of this people cannot be written on these plates.
We can write only a little because of the difficulty of engraving our words, and we know that what we write upon these plates must remain.
Many means were devised to restore the Lamanites to a knowledge of the truth, but it was all in vain, for they delighted in wars and bloodshed, and they had an eternal hatred of us, their brethren, and they were continually seeking to destroy us.
I, Jacob, am beginning to be old, so I give these plates to my son Enos. And now I make an end of my writings, which have been small. And to the reader I bid farewell, hoping that many of my brethren may read my words.
THE BOOK OF
(about 420 B.C.)
I, Enos, bear record that the Lamanites became a wild and ferocious and blood-thirsty people, full of idolatry and filthiness; feeding on beasts of pray.
Many of them would eat nothing but raw meat; and they were continually seeking to destroy us.
And the people of Nephi did till the land.
But even they themselves were a stiffnecked people. And there was nothing except the plainest of speech, continually reminding them of death and the duration of eternity and the judgments 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 a hundred and seventy-nine years had passed away since our father Lehi left Jerusalem.
THE BOOK OF
I, Jarom, write a few words as my father, Enos, commanded.
Two hundred years have passed away, and the people of Nephi have waxed strong in the land.
But the Lamanites are more numerous than the Nephites; and they love murder, and they drink the blood of beasts. They have come many times to battle, but have not succeeded against us.
Our leaders have taught the people to look forward to the Messiah, and believe in him as though he has already come.
THE BOOK OF
I, Omni, am commanded by my father, Jarom, that I should write on these plates.
In my days I fought to preserve my people from their enemies. But I of myself am a wicked man. I kept these plates, and have conferred them to my son Amaron. And I make an end.
And now I, Amaron, write in the book of my father. I deliver the plates to my brother Chemish.
Now I, Chemish, write what few things I write in the same book with my brother; for I saw the last which he wrote with his own hand; and he wrote it in the day that he delivered it to 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 what has been written. And I make an end.
I am Amaleki, the son of Abinadom. I will speak to you about Mosiah;
for he was warned by the Lord that he, and as many as would follow, should flee out of the land of Nephi, into the wilderness. And they departed.
They were admonished continually by the word of God and were led by him until they came down into Zarahemla, where there was great rejoicing.
Mosiah learned that the people of Zarahemla had left Jerusalem at the time when king Zedekiah was carried captive into Babylon.
And they were brought by the Lord, across the great waters, into the land where Mosiah found them.
And by that time, their language had been corrupted; and they had brought no records with them; and they even denied the being of their Creator.
But Mosiah had them taught in his language; and he was appointed to be their king.
Behold, I, Amaleki, was born in the days of Mosiah; and I have lived to see his death; and Benjamin, his son, reigns in his stead.
And I began to be old; and having no children of my own, and knowing king Benjamin to be a just man before the Lord, I will give these plates to him, exhorting everyone to come unto Christ, and believe in prophesying, and in revelations, and in the ministering of angels, and in all things that are good; for there is nothing that is good except it comes from the Lord.
Yea, come to him, and offer your whole souls as an offering to him.
But first I would speak about a certain number who went back up to the land of Nephi; for they wanted to possess the land of their inheritance.
Their leader was a strong and mighty man, but he caused a contention among them; and all but fifty of them were slain, and they returned to Zarahemla.
And then, joined by a considerable number of others, they again took their journey into the wilderness.
And I, Amaleki, had a brother who went with them; and I have known nothing about them since.
And now I am about to lie down in my grave; and these plates are full. And I make an end of my speaking.
THE WORDS OF
(The writings from Nephi through Amaleki came to us without being abridged. What follows, after Mormon inserts a few comments of his own, is his abridgment of subsequent writings from king Benjamin up to his own day.)
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 with my record.
THE BOOK OF
*(about 130 B.C.)
King Benjamin waxed old and, seeing that he must soon die, these are the words which he *spoke to his people, and caused to be written:
The things which I tell you are made known to me by an angel from God. And he said unto me:
The time is not far distant that the Lord Omnipotent who reigns, who was, and is from all eternity to all eternity, shall come down from heaven and dwell in a tabernacle of clay, and shall go forth among 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 should be unto death;
for behold, blood shall come 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.
But 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 shall stand to judge the world.
His blood atones 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 perishes not that dies in his infancy;
but men drink damnation to their own souls unless 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 puts off the natural man and becomes 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.
King Benjamin gave charge over the kingdom to one of his sons, Mosiah, [named after his grandfather, king Benjamin's father].
Moreover, he also gave him charge concerning the records.
And Mosiah began to reign in his father's stead, about four hundred seventy-six years from the time that Lehi left Jerusalem.
And king Benjamin lived three more years and he died.
King Mosiah tilled the earth that he might not become a burden to his people.
And there was no contention in the land.
And now, after three years, the people wearied king Mosiah to learn what had happened to those who had gone up to the land of Nephi; for they had heard nothing from them since they had left Zarahemla. [see the Book of Omni]
So he chose sixteen of his strongest men to go up to the land of Nephi and inquire about them.
And their leader was Ammon.
They wandered many days in the wilderness until they came to a hill, where they pitched their tents.
From there, Ammon took three of his men into the land of Nephi.
The king's guard surrounded them, and put them into prison.
And after two days they were brought before the king.
The king said: I am Limhi, the son of Noah, who was the son of Zeniff who came from Zarahemla to inherit this land, which was the land of his fathers.
And now, I want to know why you were so bold as to come near the walls of the city.
Ammon bowed and said: O king, I am Ammon, and have come from Zarahemla to inquire concerning our brethren whom Zeniff brought up out of Zarahemla.
And now, Limhi was exceedingly glad, and said: Now I know of a surety that our brethren in Zarahemla are yet alive.
Behold, we are in bondage to the Lamanites. And now, our brethren will deliver us.
THE RECORD OF ZENIFF
An account of his people from the time they left the land of Zarahemla until the time that they were delivered out of the land of the Lamanites. Comprising chapters 9 to 22 inclusive.
I, Zeniff, having a knowledge of the first land of Nephi, the land of our fathers' first inheritance, and having been sent there as a spy among the Lamanites [who had long been occupying the land], when I saw them I was desirous that they should not be destroyed.
Therefore, I contended with my men in the wilderness, until I was rescued by the shedding of much blood and the greater number of our army were destroyed; we returned to Zarahemla to relate that tale to their wives and their children.
And yet, still being over-zealous to inherit the land of our fathers, I collected as many as would come, and we journeyed again into the wilderness.
After many days, we pitched our tents in the place where our brethren had been slain, which was near to the land of our fathers.
This time I went in, with four of my men, to see the king, that I might know if my people could possess the land in peace.
And he made a covenant with me that we might possess it.
Now this was the cunning of king Laman to bring my people into bondage.
As we began to multiply and prosper in the land, he began to fear that his people could not overpower us.
His people were lazy and idolatrous, and they wanted to glut themselves on our labors, and feast themselves on the flocks of our fields.
So now king Laman began to stir up his people to contend with my people.
God heard our cries; and we went forth in his might until we had driven them out of our land.
King Laman died, and his son further stirred his people against my people.
And I, even I, in my old age, went up to battle.
The Lamanites have an eternal hatred against the children of Nephi.
And now, I being old, conferred my little kingdom on one of my sons; therefore I will say no more. And may the Lord bless my people. Amen.
Zeniff conferred the kingdom upon Noah, one of his sons.
Noah caused his people to commit sin.
And he laid a tax of one fifth of all they possessed. And all this he took to support himself.
He put down all of his father's priests, and consecrated new ones.
Noah built a spacious palace and a throne. And the seats for the high priests were above all the other seats, that they might rest their bodies while they spoke lying and vain words to the people.
He also built a tower so high that he could overlook the land.
He placed his heart upon his riches, and he spent his time in riotous living. And his priests spend their time with harlots.
He planted vineyards and made wine in abundance and became a wine-bibber.
And it came to pass that the Lamanites began to come in and slay the people in their fields.
King Noah sent guards to keep them off; but he did not send a sufficient number. Thus the Lamanites began to destroy them.
Noah finally sent his armies against them and drove them back for a time,
and because of this great victory they were lifted up in the pride of their hearts, and they took delight in shedding the blood of their brethren.
A man, named Abinadi, began to prophesy saying:
The life of king Noah shall be valued as a garment in a hot furnace.
They took him before the king, and said:
This man says your life will be as a garment in a furnace of fire.
He says you will be as a stalk of the field, which is run over by beasts and trodden under foot, unless you repent.
The king said to the priests: Away with this fellow and slay him; for he is mad.
But Abinadi said to them: Touch me not, for I have not yet delivered the message the Lord sent me to deliver.
I know that it cuts you to your hearts because I tell you the truth.
But I will finish my message; and then it matters not where I go.
When Abinadi had finally finished, the kind commanded that he be put to death.
But there was one among them whose name was Alma. He was a young man, and he believed the words of Abinadi; therefore, he began to plead with the king.
But the king was more wroth and send his servants after him that they might slay him as well.
So he fled. And being hidden for many days, he wrote all the words which Abinadi had spoken.
Alma went about privately among the people, teaching the words of Abinadi.
And many believed his words.
He said: now as you desire to come into the fold of God and to be called his people,
and are willing to bear one another's burdens, that they may be light;
And are willing to mourn with those that mourn; and comfort those who stand in need of comfort,
and to stand as witnesses of God at all times and in all things,
what have you against being baptized as a witness before him that you have entered into a covenant with him, that he might pour out his spirit more abundantly upon you?
And he baptized every one that went forth; and they were in number about two hundred and four souls.
And they were called The Church of Christ from that time forward.
And he commanded them that there should be no contentions among them,
having their hearts knit together in unity and love one towards another.
But these things came to the knowledge of the king.
Therefore, the people took their tents and their families, and went into the wilderness.
And now the lesser part of the people began to breathe out threatenings against the king, and there arose great contention.
There was a man among them named Gideon, a strong man and an enemy of the king, who swore in his wrath that he would slay the king.
He drew his sword and when the king saw that he was about to be overpowered, he ran and got up on his tower.
Gideon pursued him and was about to get up on the tower and slay him, when the king cast his eyes round about, and behold, the army of the Lamanites were within the borders of the land.
So the king cried out, saying: Gideon, spare me, for the Lamanites are upon us, and they will destroy us.
Now the king was not so much concerned about his people as he was about his own life; nevertheless, Gideon spared his life.
The king commanded the people that they should flee before the Lamanites into the wilderness, with their women and children.
But the Lamanites overtook them, and began to slay them.
Now the king commanded all the men to leave their wives and children behind, and flee for their own lives before the Lamanites.
However, there were many who would not leave their families, but chose to stay and perish with them. But the rest abandoned them and fled.
And those who stayed with their wives and children had their fair daughters stand forth and plead with the Lamanites that they would not slay them.
And the Lamanites had compassion on them, for they were charmed with the beauty of their women.
Therefore the Lamanites spared their lives, and took them captive back to the land of Nephi that they might possess the land, but under the conditions that they would deliver king Noah into their hands, and also deliver up one half of all they possessed,
and thus they should pay tribute to the king of the Lamanites from year to year.
Now one of the sons of king Noah was among those who were taken captive.
His name was Limhi.
And Limhi wanted his father not to be destroyed; nevertheless, Limhi was not ignorant of the iniquities of his father, he himself being a just man.
Now Gideon sent men secretly into the wilderness, to search for king Noah, and they met the people who had fled with him, but the king and his priests were missing.
These people had already sworn in their hearts that they would return to the land of Nephi, and if their captive wives and children had been slain, they would seek revenge, and perish with them.
But king Noah commanded them not to return; so in great anger, they put him to death by fire.
And they were about to take the priests and put them to death too, but they fled.
And as they were getting ready to return to the land of Nephi, they met the men of Gideon, who told them all that had happened to their wives and children; and that the Lamanites had allowed them to possess the land by paying a tribute of one half of all they possessed.
And the people told the men of Gideon that they had slain king Noah, and that his priests had fled from them farther into the wilderness.
They all returned to the land of Nephi, rejoicing, because their wives and children had not been slain.
The king of the Lamanites made an oath to them, that his people should not slay them.
And Limhi, being the son of king Noah, began to establish peace among his people.
Meanwhile, the king of the Lamanites set guards round about, to keep the people of Limhi in the land; and he supported his guards out of the tribute which came from the Nephites.
And now king Limhi had continual peace in his kingdom for two years, and the Lamanites did not molest nor seek to destroy them.
There was a place in Shemlon where the daughters of the Lamanites would gather to sing and dance, and make themselves merry.
Now the priests of king Noah, being ashamed to return to the city of Nephi, and fearing that the people would slay them, they did not dare return to their wives and children.
But having discovered the daughters of the Lamanites, they laid and watched them.
When there were but few of them gathered together, the priests came out of hiding and took them and carried them into the wilderness; yea, twenty-four of the daughters of the Lamanites they carried away.
When the Lamanites found that their daughters were missing, they were angry with the people of Limhi, for they thought it was they who had taken them.
Therefore they sent their armies up to destroy them.
And now Limhi had discovered them from the tower, even all their preparations for war; so he gathered his people together, and laid wait for them in the fields and in the forests.
And when the Lamanites came up, the people of Limhi began to fall upon them, and slay them. And the battle became exceedingly sore, for they fought like lions for their prey.
They were not half so numerous as the Lamanites, but they fought for their lives, and for their wives and their children; therefore they exerted themselves and fought like dragons.
And they found the king of the Lamanites among the dead; yet he was not dead, but only wounded and left on the ground, so speedy was the flight of his people.
They took him and bound up his wounds, and brought him before Limhi, and said: Behold, here is the king of the Lamanites, and they have left him; so now let us slay him.
But Limhi said no, and asked him: Why have you come up to war against my people?
And the king answered: Because your people carried away the daughters of my people.
Now Limhi had heard nothing of this matter; but he said: I will search among my people and whoever did this will perish.
Now when Gideon, being the king's captain, heard these things, he said to the king: I pray thee, do not search this people.
For do you not remember the priests of your father, whom this people sought to destroy? Are they not in the wilderness? And would they not be the ones who have stolen the daughters of the Lamanites?
Now, tell these things to the king of the Lamanites, for his people are already preparing to come against us with their numerous hosts; and unless the king pacifies them towards us, we will perish.
Limhi told the king and the king was pacified; and they all went forth to meet the Lamanites. And the king of the Lamanites pleaded in behalf of the people of Limhi.
And when they saw the people of Limhi, they were pacified towards them.
Limhi and his people began to dwell again in peace.
But after many days the Lamanites began to exercise authority over them, and their new afflictions were great, and there was no way that they could deliver themselves out of their hands.
Now the Lord began to hear their cries. He softened the hearts of the Lamanites, and the people of Limhi began to prosper by degrees.
Nevertheless, they kept close together as much as possible.
And Limhi himself did not trust his person outside the walls of the city, unless he took his guards with him, fearing that he might fall into the hands of the Lamanites.
His people watched the land round about, that they might somehow take those priests of king Noah who had fled into the wilderness and stolen the daughters of the Lamanites.
And there was no more disturbance, even until the time that Ammon came into the land.
[At that time,] the king having been beyond the gates of the city with his guard, discovered Ammon and his men, and supposing them to be those priests of king Noah, he had them cast into prison.
And had they actually been the priests of Noah, they would have been put to death.
But when he found that they were not, but had come from Zarahemla, he was filled with exceedingly great joy.
Now Ammon and his brethren, [upon learning about king Noah,] were filled with sorrow because king Noah and his priests had caused the people to commit so many sins against God; and they also mourned for Abinadi; and also for the necessary departure of Alma and his followers, who had formed a church of God through their faith on the words of Abinadi.
The Lamanites being so numerous, it was impossible for the people of Limhi to free themselves by the sword.
Now Gideon went before the king, and said: Behold the pass through the wall on the back of the city.
The Lamanite guards are drunken at night; therefore let all the people gather their flocks and herds, so they can drive them into the wilderness by night.
I will go and pay the last tribute of wine to the Lamanites, which they will surely drink; and we will go through the secret pass on the left of their camp when they are drunken and asleep.
And thus we will depart.
So king Limhi sent the tribute of wine to the Lamanites; and he also sent more wine, as a present to them; and they drank freely.
And the people departed by night into the wilderness, and they bent their course towards Zarahemla, being led by Ammon and his men.
After many days they arrived in Zarahemla, and joined Mosiah's people, and became his subjects. And Mosiah received them with joy.
And now when the Lamanites found that the people of Limhi had departed, they sent an army into the wilderness to go after them, but after two days, they could no longer follow their tracks.
An account of Alma and the people of the Lord, who were driven into the wilderness by King Noah. Comprising chapters 23 and 24.
Now the Lord warned Alma that the armies of king Noah would come upon his people, so they people fled eight days' journey into the wilderness.
And they came to a very beautiful and pleasant land, a land of pure water, where they began to till the ground and build buildings.
And Alma taught them that every man should love his neighbor as himself, that there should be no contention among them.
And they began to prosper and multiply exceedingly; and they called the land Helam.
Now at this time the Lamanites who had been following the people of Limhi were lost in the wilderness.
But they found the priests of king Noah. And their leader was Amulon.
Amulon pleaded with the Lamanites; and he also sent forth their wives, who were the daughters of the Lamanites which he and the other priests had carried away, to plead with their brethren that they should not destroy their husbands.
And the Lamanites did not destroy them.
But instead, Amulon, and the priests of Noah, joined the Lamanites.
Now they were all in the wilderness, searching for the land of Nephi, when they discovered the land of Helam, which was possessed by Alma and his followers.
And the Lamanites promised Alma that if they would show them the way back to the land of Nephi they would not kill them, but let them go free.
But after Alma had shown them the way, the Lamanites broke their promise, and they set guards over Alma and his followers in the land of Helam.
After the rest of the Lamanites had made it back to the land of Nephi, some of them returned to Helam bringing the wives and children of the guards who had been left in the land.
The Lamanites began to increase in riches, and to be cunning and wise as to the wisdom of the world, yea, very cunning, delighting in all manner of wickedness and plunder, only not among themselves.
Now Amulon knew Alma, for they had both been priests of king Noah, and he knew it was Alma who had believed the words of Abinadi and was driven out before the king; so he was wroth.
And though he was subject to the king of the Lamanites, yet he exercised authority over Alma's people, and put tasks upon them, and put task-masters over them.
And so great were their afflictions that they began to cry mightily to God.
And Amulon ordered that anyone found calling on God should be put to death.
Now the people did not raise their voices, but the Lord knew the thoughts of their hearts.
And his voice came to them, saying: I will ease your burdens, that you cannot feel them on your backs, even while you are in bondage, that ye may stand as witnesses for me hereafter.
And now their burdens were made light; yea, the Lord did strengthen them that they could bear up under their burdens with ease, and they submitted cheerfully and with patience to the will of the Lord.
And so great was their faith and their patience that the voice of the Lord came again, saying: Be of good comfort, for tomorrow I will deliver you out of bondage.
Now in the night, Alma and his people gathered their flocks, and their grain.
And in the morning, the Lord caused a deep sleep to come over the Lamanites, and all the task-masters were in a profound sleep.
And Alma and his people escaped into the wilderness; and when they had traveled all day they pitched their tents.
Yea, they poured out their thanks to God; all their men and their women and children that could speak lifted their voices in the praises of God.
And now the Lord said to Alma: Hasten thee and get out of this land, for the Lamanites have awakened and now they pursue thee.
So they took their journey into the wilderness.
And after twelve days they arrived in Zarahemla; and king Mosiah received them with joy.
Now king Mosiah gathered all the people together.
And they heard the account of Zeniff and his people, from the time they left Zarahemla until they returned again.
And they also read the account of Alma and his brethren, and all their afflictions, from the time they left Zarahemla until they returned again.
And now, the people were struck with wonder and amazement.
They knew not what to think; for when they saw those who had been delivered from bondage, they were filled with exceedingly great joy.
But again, when they thought of their own people who had been slain by the Lamanites, they shed tears of sorrow.
And again, when they thought of the power of God in delivering Alma and his people out of bondage to the Lamanites, they raised their voices in thanks to God.
And again, when they thought upon the sinful and polluted state of the Lamanites, who were their brethren even so, they were filled with pain and anguish for the welfare of their souls.
And now all the people of Zarahemla numbered themselves with the Nephites.
And Mosiah granted that Alma might establish churches throughout all the land of Zarahemla; and although there were many churches, yet they were all one church, yea, even the church of God.
Now the sons of king Mosiah journeyed up to the land of Nephi to impart the word of God to the Lamanites that perhaps they might cure them of their hatred towards the Nephites.
And I [Mormon] shall give an account of their proceedings hereafter.
Now since none of the sons of Mosiah were willing to become king after their father, the government was changed from kings to judges.
And Alma, the son of Alma, was appointed to be the first Chief Judge, he being also the high priest over all the affairs of the church.
And his father, Alma, died, being eighty-two years old.
And king Mosiah died also, being sixty-three years old; making five hundred and nine years from the time Lehi left Jerusalem.
THE BOOK OF
In the ninth year of the reign of the judges, Alma saw with great sorrow that most of the church had begun to be lifted up in the pride of their own eyes and to set their hearts upon riches;
and they began to be scornful towards one another, and to persecute those who did not believe as they did.
And now Alma delivered the judgment-seat to a wise and good man, according to the voice of the people, so that he might go among the church and preach the word of God to them, seeing no way to reclaim them except by bearing down in pure testimony against them.
These are the words which Alma spake to the church in Zarahemla, according to his own record:
Have you spiritually been born of God? Have you received his image in your countenances? Have you experienced this mighty change in your hearts?
Do you look forward to standing before God to be judged according to the deeds which you have done?
Can you imagine hearing his voice say to you: Come unto me ye blessed, for yours have been the works of righteousness?
Or can you imagine yourselves having a perfect remembrance of all your guilt?
Can you look up to him at that day with a pure heart and clean hands?
And now I ask you, if you have experienced this change of heart and have felt to sing the song of redeeming love, can you feel so now?
Have you kept yourselves blameless before God?
Could you say within yourselves, if you were called to die at this time, that you have been sufficiently humble, that your garments have been cleansed and made white through the blood of Christ?
Are you stripped of pride?
Does any of you make a mock of his brother, or heap upon him persecutions?
The Lord invites you into the arms of his mercy.
Hearken to the voice of the good shepherd, who calls unto you saying: Come unto me. Yea, repent, and I will receive you.
These are the words which Alma spake to the church in Gideon, according to his own record:
The time is not far distant that the Son of God shall come upon the face of the earth.
He shall go forth, suffering pains and afflictions and temptations of every kind.
And he shall take upon himself the infirmities of his people, that his bowels might be filled with mercy, according to the flesh, that he might know according to the flesh how to succor his people in their infirmities.
Now the Spirit knows all things; nevertheless the Son of God chooses to suffer according to the flesh that he might take upon himself the sins of his people, that he might blot out their transgressions according to his power of deliverance.
Behold, I would that you should be humble, and be submissive and gentle; easy to be entreated, full of patience and long-suffering.
He does not dwell in unholy temples; neither can anything which is unclean be received into his kingdom.
I say unto you, come unto him and fear not.
Lay aside every sin, and show unto your God that you are willing to enter into a covenant with him to keep his commandments, and witness it unto him by going into the waters of baptism.
And you shall have eternal life.
And now may the peace of God rest upon you.
And now after having taught the people many things and establishing the order of the church, Alma returned to his own house to rest from his labors.
And the next year, Alma traveled over into the land of Melek.
And the people came to him throughout all the land and were baptized.
When he had finished at Melek, he traveled three days north to a city called Ammonihah.
Now Satan had gotten great hold on the hearts of these people; so they said to him: We know that you are Alma; and you are the high priest over the church.
And because we are not of your church, you have no power over us; and because you gave up the judgment-seat, you are no longer the chief judge over us.
Now when the people had withstood all his words, and reviled him, and spit on him, and thrown him out of their city, he took his journey towards the city called Aaron.
And while he was traveling, being weighed down with sorrow, and wading through much tribulation and anguish of soul, behold an angel of the Lord appeared to him, saying:
Return to Ammonihah, and preach again. Say that unless they repent the Lord God will destroy them.
For they are preparing even now to destroy the liberty of thy people.
Now Alma returned speedily to Ammonihah, and he entered the city by a different way.
And he was hungry, and he said to a man: Will you give something to eat to a humble servant of God?
And the man said: You are the man of whom an angel said to me in a vision: Him thou shalt receive. Therefore, I know you will be a blessing to me and my house.
And the man was called Amulek.
And Alma stayed many days with Amulek before he began to preach.
The record and the words of Alma, and also of Amulek, which were declared unto the people of Ammonihah. And also they are cast into prison, and delivered by the miraculous power of God which was in them, according to his record. Comprising chapters 9 through 14.
I, Alma, having been commanded to take Amulek and preach again to this people of Ammonihah,
they began to contend with me and lay their hands on me; but I stood with boldness and said to them:
It will be more tolerable for the Lamanites than for you if you remain in your sins.
For their fathers' traditions caused them to remain in their state of ignorance, and they will be brought to believe; and many of them will be saved.
But if you persist in your wickedness, the Lamanites will be sent upon you; and visit you with utter destruction.
For the Lord will not allow that you should live to destroy his people.
And not many days hence the Son of God will come, the Only Begotten of the Father, full of grace, equity, and truth, full of patience, mercy, and long-suffering, quick to hear the cries of his people and to answer their prayers.
Therefore, prepare ye the way of the Lord.
I call you my beloved brethren, for you are my brethren, and you ought to be beloved, and you ought to bring forth works of repentance.
Now when I, Alma, had spoken these words, the people were angry with me, and sought to cast me into prison. But the Lord did not allow them to take me at that time.
And then Amulek stood forth, and began to preach.
Now these are a part of Amulek's words:
I am a man of no small reputation among those of you who know me. I have many family and friends, and I have acquired much wealth.
I have also known the ways of the Lord, and his mysteries and marvelous power.
Nevertheless, I once hardened my heart, for I was called many times and I would not hear; therefore I knew these things, and yet I would not know.
But an angel appeared to me and said: Amulek, thou shalt feed a prophet of the Lord and receive him into thy house.
And I found the man - and behold it was this same man who has been speaking to you. And I know that the things he says are true.
And now, some lawyers who were skilled in all the arts of cunning sought to question them that by devious legal devices they could be judged and cast into prison.
They began by questioning Amulek.
But they knew not that Amulek was aware of their designs.
And he answered them:
You wicked lawyers and hypocrites, you are laying the foundations of the devil, for you are laying traps and snares to catch the holy ones of God.
You are laying plans to pervert the ways of the righteous, even to the utter destruction of this people.
Yea, well did Mosiah say that if the time should come that the voice of this people were to choose iniquity, then they would be ripe for destruction.
Yea, were it not for the prayers of the righteous who are now in the land, you would already be met with utter destruction through famine and pestilence, and by the sword.
Now this made the people even more angry with Amulek.
But Amulek stretched forth his hand, all the mightier, and said to them: Why will you yield yourselves unto Satan and give him power over you?
For you say I have spoken against your law; but in truth, I have spoken in favor of your law, to your condemnation.
And now I say that the foundation of the destruction of this people is beginning to be laid by the unrighteousness of your lawyers and your judges.
Amulek also had spoken about Christ, and Alma began to further explain:
Amulek has spoken plainly about our being brought before the bar of God to be judged according to our works.
If we have hardened our hearts against God, then our works, our words, and our thoughts will condemn us; and in this state we shall not dare to look up to him; but we will wish we could hide from his presence.
But this cannot be; for we must stand before him in his glory, and acknowledge to our everlasting shame that all his judgments are just.
But all those who harden not their hearts, shall have mercy through God's Only Begotten Son; and they shall enter into his rest.
Many of the people believed Alma's words.
But most of them wanted to destroy Alma and Amulek; and they cast them into prison.
Many came and smote them on their cheeks, saying: Now will you judge this people and condemn our law?
They said many such things, spitting on them and saying: How shall we look when we are damned?
They withheld food and water from them that they might hunger and thirst; and they also took their clothes that they were naked; and in this condition they were bound with strong cords, and confined in prison.
And after they had suffered like this for many days, the judges and lawyers all came back and smote them, saying: If you have the power to deliver yourselves, then we will believe your words.
And the power of God came upon Alma and Amulek.
Alma cried out: How long shall we suffer these afflictions, O Lord? Give us strength. And they broke the cords that bound them; and when the people saw this, they began to flee.
And as the earth shook mightily, so great was the fear of those who smote Alma and Amulek, that they did not reach the outer door of the prison before the walls fell to the earth, and they were all killed.
But Alma and Amulek were not hurt; and they straightway went forth into the city.
Now the people having heard a great noise came running together to learn the cause of it,
and when they saw Alma and Amulek walking out of the prison unhurt, and the walls thereof had fallen to the earth, they were struck with great fear, and they fled.
Alma and Amulek came into the land of Sidom where they found the people who had been stoned and cast out of Ammonihah because they believed in the words of Alma.
Alma established a church there, and many flocked in from all the regions round about, wanting to be baptized.
But as for the people of Ammonihah, they remained hard-hearted and stiffnecked, ascribing all the power of Alma and Amulek to the devil.
Now Amulek had forsaken all his gold and silver and precious things in Ammonihah, and he was rejected by his friends, and also his father and kindred; all for the word of God.
Therefore, Alma took Amulek over to his own house in Zarahemla, and administered to him in his tribulations, and strengthened him in the Lord.
After there had been no wars or contentions for a number of years, the Lamanites came and destroyed the people of Ammonihah; yea, every living soul, and also their great city which they had said even God could not destroy.
Yet in one day it was left desolate; and the carcasses were mangled by dogs and wild beasts of the wilderness.
And after many days their bodies were heaped up and given a shallow covering. But the scent thereof was so great that others would not go in to possess the land of Ammonihah for many years.
An account of the sons of Mosiah, who rejected their rights to the kingdom for the word of God, and went up to the land of Nephi to preach to the Lamanites - their sufferings and deliverance according to the record of Alma. Comprising chapters 17 through 27.
As Alma was going southward to the land of Manti, to his astonishment he met the sons of Mosiah who were going towards the land of Zarahemla.
Alma rejoiced exceedingly to see his brethren; and what added more to his joy, they were still his brethren in the Lord.
Having refused the kingdom offered to them by their father, king Mosiah, they had chosen instead to go up to the land of Nephi, to preach the word of God to the Lamanites.
For the space of fourteen years, they had been waxing strong in their knowledge of the truth and teaching with power and authority, having much success, although they had also suffered much in body and mind.
When they had first arrived in the borders of the Lamanites, they separated from each other, trusting that they should meet again at the close of their harvest; for they supposed that they had undertaken a great work.
And assuredly it was a great work to try to preach the word of God to a wild and ferocious people, a people who delighted in murdering the Nephites, and robbing and plundering them.
Now when Ammon, being the chief among them, entered the land of Ishmael, the Lamanites took him and bound him, and carried him before the king, whose name was Lamoni.
And Ammon said to the king: I would like to live among this people for a time, even perhaps until the day I die.
And king Lamoni was much pleased with Ammon, and he wanted Ammon to marry one of his daughters.
But Ammon said: No, but I will be your servant.
So Ammon became a servant to king Lamoni. And he was set among other servants to watch the king's flocks.
After three days, as Ammon and the other servants were driving the flocks to the watering place, a group of Lamanites who had been watering their own flocks stood and scattered Lamoni's flocks.
The servants began to say: Now the king will kill us, as he has our brethren when their flocks were scattered by these wicked men. And they began to weep exceedingly.
Now when Ammon saw this, his heart was swollen with joy; for he thought, I will show these my fellow-servants the power that is in me, by restoring these flocks to the king, that I might win their hearts and lead them to believe in my words.
So he said: My brethren, be of good cheer and let us gather the flocks back to the watering place; and then the king will not slay us.
They followed Ammon, and moved very quickly to get the flocks back together again.
Those same wicked men, being not a few in number and having no fear of Ammon, tried once again to scatter their flocks. But with mighty power, he began slinging stones at them and killing a number of them.
And seeing they could not hit him with their stones, they came forth with clubs to slay him. But behold, every man that lifted his club to smite Ammon, he smote off their arm with the edge of his sword, insomuch that they began to be astonished, and began to flee before him.
And when they had been driven afar off, the king's flocks were watered and returned to their pasture, and the servants went in to the king, bearing the arms which Ammon had smitten off; this for a testimony of what he had done.
When they had all told the king about Ammon, and his great power, Lamoni was astonished exceedingly, and said: Surely, this is more than a man. Behold, is not this the Great Spirit?
And they answered: Whether he is the Great Spirit or just a man, we know not; but this much we do know, that he cannot be slain by the enemies of the king; therefore, he is a friend to the king.
And the king said: Now I know it is the Great Spirit; and he has come down to preserve your lives, that I might not slay you as I did your brethren.
Now notwithstanding they believed in a Great Spirit, they supposed that whatsoever they did was right.
Nevertheless, Lamoni began to fear exceedingly, lest he might have done wrong in slaying his servants, for he had slain many of them because they had let his flocks be scattered.
King Lamoni asked: Where is this man that has such great power?
And they said: He is feeding your horses.
Now, earlier, the king had commanded his servants to prepare his horses and chariots so they could take him to the land of Nephi where his father, who was king over all the land, was presenting a great feast.
When king Lamoni heard that Ammon was busy doing this, he was more astonished because of Ammon's faithfulness, and said: Now I surely know that this is the Great Spirit, and I would like him to come to me, but I dare not ask.
And when Ammon had made ready the king's horses and chariots, he went in and saw that the countenance of the king was changed; so he was about to withdraw from his presence.
But one of the king's servants said: The king wants you to stay.
So Ammon went back to the king, and said: What may I do for you, O king? And for the space of an hour, according to their time, the king said nothing, because he did not know what to say.
And Ammon again said: What may I do to please you, O king? But the king still could not answer.
Now Ammon, being filled with the Spirit of God, said to him: Is this because you heard of how I defended your servants and your flocks, slaying seven of those wicked men, and smiting off the arms of others? Is this what causes you to marvel?
I tell you, I am just a man, and I am your servant; therefore, whatever you want me to do, and it is right, I will do it.
Now when the king heard these words, he marveled again, and said: Who are you? Are you that Great Spirit?
Ammon answered: I am not.
And the king said: Tell me by what power you smote off the arms of those who scattered my flocks, and if you tell me, I will grant unto you anything you want.
Now Ammon being wise, said: If I tell you by what power I did these things, will you hearken to my words? This is the thing I want from you.
The king answered: Yes, I will believe all your words. And thus he was caught with guile.
And Ammon began speaking with boldness: Do you believe there is a God?
And he answered: I do not know what that means.
Ammon said: Do you believe there is a Great Spirit?
And he said: Yes.
And Ammon said: This is God. Do you believe that this Great Spirit, who is God, created all things which are in heaven and in the earth?
And king Lamoni said: I believe all these things which you have spoken. Are you sent from God?
Ammon said: I am merely a man; but I am called by his Holy Spirit to teach these things to this people. And a portion of that Spirit dwells in me, which gives me knowledge, and also power according to my faith and desires.
Now Ammon rehearsed to them (for it was to the king and his servants) the rebellions of Laman and Lemuel; and he expounded all the records and scriptures from the time that Lehi had left Jerusalem down to the present time.
But this was not all; for he made known unto them the coming of Christ.
And the king believed all his words. And he began to cry: O Lord, have mercy on me, and my people.
And now, when he had said this, he fell to the earth, as if he were dead. And his servants took him and laid him on a bed.
And his wife and his sons and daughters mourned over him after the manner of the Lamanites, greatly lamenting his loss.
After two days and two nights they were about to lay his body in a sepulchre.
Now the queen, having heard about Ammon, wanted to see him. So Ammon went to her.
She said: The servants tell me that you are a prophet of a holy God, and that you have power to do mighty works in his name.
If this is the case, I want you to see my husband, for some say he is not dead, but others say he is dead and that his body stinks, and that he ought to be placed in the sepulchre; but to me he does not stink.
Now, Ammon knew that king Lamoni was under the power of God; therefore, he said to the queen: He is not dead, but he sleeps in God, and tomorrow he will rise again; therefore do not bury him.
So she watched over the bed of her husband, until the time when Ammon said he should rise.
And he did rise, and he stretched forth his hand and said to his wife, the queen: As surely as you live, behold, I have seen my Redeemer; and he will come forth and be born of a woman, and he will redeem all mankind who believe on his name.
Now, when he had said these words, his heart was swollen within him, and he sank again with joy. And the queen also sank down, being overpowered by the Spirit.
Now Ammon seeing the Spirit of the Lord poured out according to his prayers, he fell upon his knees, and began to pour out his soul in thanksgiving. And he also was overpowered with joy; and thus they all three had sunk to the earth.
When the servants of the king saw this, they also began to cry unto God in their might, even until they had all fallen to the earth, all except one of the Lamanite women, whose name was Abish, she having already been converted to the Lord for many years, on account of a remarkable vision of her father, and never having made it known.
So when she saw that all the servants of Lamoni had fallen to the earth, and also her mistress the queen, and the king, and Ammon, all laying prostrate on the ground, and supposing that making known to the people what had happened by the power of God, and that seeing this scene for themselves would cause them to believe in God, therefore she ran forth from house to house, making it known to the people.
There came a multitude, and to their astonishment, they saw the king, and the queen, and their servants, all prostrate on the ground, all laying there as though they were dead.
They also saw Ammon, and behold, he was a Nephite.
This caused some to say that a great evil had come upon the king and his house, because he had allowed the Nephite to remain in the land.
But others said the king had brought this evil upon his own house because he had killed so many of his servants who had let his flocks be scattered at the waters of Sebus.
And the very men who themselves had scattered those flocks said the evil had come from Ammon, and this because they were angry with him for killing their brethren while he was defending the flocks.
Now, one of them, whose own brother had been killed, being even more exceedingly angry with Ammon, drew his sword to kill him while he lay there; and as he lifted the sword, behold, he fell dead.
Thus we see that Ammon could not be slain, for the Lord had said to king Mosiah, his father: I will spare him, according to thy faith - therefore, Mosiah trusted him unto the Lord.
When the crowd saw that the man had fallen dead, they all began to fear and marvel again about what could be the cause of this great power, or what all these things could mean.
Many said that Ammon himself was the Great Spirit, and others said he was only sent by the Great Spirit.
But others said he was a monster sent from the Nephites to torment them.
Their contention became exceedingly sharp. And when Abish, the woman servant who had gathered all the people together, saw the contention, she was exceedingly sorrowful, and started to cry.
She took the queen by the hand, and as soon as she touched her the queen arose and stood upon her feet, and she cried with a loud voice, saying: O blessed God, have mercy on this people!
And when she clasped her hands, being filled with joy, speaking many words which were not understood, she took the king, Lamoni, by the hand, and he arose and stood upon his feet.
And he immediately began to teach his people the words which he had heard from Ammon, and as many as heard his words were converted unto the Lord.
But many among them refused to hear his words, so they went their way.
And finally, when Ammon arose, he and all the servants of Lamoni declared the same thing - that their hearts had been changed; that they had no more desire to do evil.
And as many as did believe were baptized, and they became a righteous people, and they established a church among them.
And thus the work of the Lord commenced among the Lamanites; and thus we see that his arm is extended to all people who will repent and believe on his name.
Now king Lamoni wanted Ammon to go with him to the land of Nephi, so he could show him to his father.
But the Lord spoke to Ammon, saying: Do not go up to the land of Nephi, for the king will try to kill you; but go to the land of Middoni, where your brothers Aaron, Muloki and Ammah are in prison.
Now Lamoni said to Ammon: the king of Middoni, whose name is Antiomno, is a friend to me, so I will go with you to Middoni, and I will plead with him to cast your brothers out of prison.
But as Ammon and Lamoni were going there, they met Lamoni's father, who was king over all the land.
Lamoni's father said to him: Why did you not come on that great day when I made a feast for my sons, and for my people?
Then he added: And where are you going with this Nephite, who is one of the children of a liar?
Lamoni, being afraid to offend his father, told him where he was going, and the reasons why he had not gone to the feast which his father had prepared.
But to Lamoni's astonishment, his father was angry with him, and said: Lamoni, you are on your way to save these Nephites, who are the descendants of liars who robbed our fathers; and now they are still amongst us that they might, by their cunning and their lying, deceive us and again rob us of our property.
Now Lamoni's father commanded him to slay Ammon with the sword.
But Lamoni said: I will not slay Ammon, but we are going to Middoni to seek the release of Ammon's brothers, for I know that they are just men and holy prophets of the true God.
Now when his father had heard these words, he was angry with him, and he drew his sword that he might smite his own son to the earth.
But Ammon stood forth and said to him: You will not slay your son; however, it would be better for him to fall than for you, because he has repented of his sins and you have not.
And if you should murder your son, you would lose your soul.
Now the king answered: I know that if I were to slay my son, I would shed innocent blood; for it is you who has sought to destroy him.
And he stretched forth his hand to slay Ammon. But Ammon withstood his blows, and smote his arm that he could not use it.
Now when the king saw that Ammon could easily slay him, he began to plead for his life.
But Ammon raised his sword, and said: Behold, I will smite you unless you grant unto me that my brothers be cast out of prison.
Now the king, afraid of losing his life, said: If you spare me, I will grant whatever you ask, even up to half the kingdom.
Now when Ammon saw that he had achieved his purpose with the old king, he said: If you will cast my brothers out of prison, and let your son Lamoni keep his kingdom, and be not displeased with him, but grant that he might act according to his own desires, then I will spare you; otherwise I will smite you to the earth.
Now when the king saw that Ammon truly did not want to destroy him, and also the great love he had for his son Lamoni, he was astonished exceedingly, and said: Because this is all that you have wanted, I will grant that my son may keep his kingdom from this time and forever; and I will govern him no more.
And your brothers will be cast out of prison. And I ask that you and your brothers come to me in my kingdom, for I shall greatly desire to see you.
So Ammon and Lamoni went on to Middoni. And Ammon's brothers were brought out of prison.
And when Ammon met them he was exceedingly sorrowful, for they were naked, and their skins were worn exceedingly because of being bound with strong cords. And they also had suffered hunger and thirst, and afflictions of all kinds; but nevertheless they had been patient in all their sufferings.
An account of the preaching of Ammon's brothers to the Lamanites. Comprising chapters 21 through 25.
Now, as Ammon went about teaching the people of Lamoni continually, we will turn to the account of Aaron and his brothers; for after he departed from Middoni, having been released from prison, he was led by the Spirit to the land of Nephi, and to the house of the king, who was Lamoni's father.
They went in and bowed themselves before him, and said: We are the brothers of Ammon, whom you have delivered out of prison.
And now, O king, if you will spare our lives, we will be your servants.
And the king said to them: I will not allow you to be my servants, but I will insist that you administer unto me, for I have been somewhat troubled in mind because of the generosity and greatness of the words of your brother Ammon.
What is the Spirit of the Lord? This is what troubles me. Is your God that Great Spirit that brought our fathers out of the land of Jerusalem?
Aaron explained all these things to the king.
And the king said: What shall I do that I can be born of God, having this wicked spirit rooted out of my breast, and receive his Spirit, that I may be filled with joy?
Behold, he said, I will give up all that I possess, yea, I will forsake my kingdom, just to receive this great joy.
But Aaron said to him: If this is what you most deeply desire, yea, if you will repent of all your sins, and bow down before God and call on his name in faith, fully believing, then you will receive this hope.
And the king did bow down before the Lord, upon his knees; yea, he even prostrated himself on the earth, and cried mightily, saying:
O God, Aaron has told me that there is a God; and if there is a God, and if thou art God, wilt thou make thyself known to me, and I will give away all my sins to know thee.
And now when the king had said these words, he was struck as if he were dead.
And his servants ran and told the queen. And she went to the king, and when she saw him lying there as if he were dead, and also Aaron and his brothers standing as though they had been the cause of his fall, she was angry with them and commanded the servants to take them away and slay them.
But the servants had seen the cause of the king's fall, so they pleaded with the queen saying: Why would you command us to slay these men, when just one of them is mightier than all of us?
Now when the queen saw how fearful the servants were, she commanded them to go call the people, and have them slay Aaron and his brothers.
Now when Aaron saw the determination of the queen, he stretched forth his hand and said to the king: Stand. And he stood on his feet, receiving his strength.
Now the queen saw this, and many of the servants. And Aaron and his brothers ministered to his whole household, and they were all converted to the Lord.
Now the king of the Lamanites sent a proclamation among all his people that they should not lay their hands on Ammon or his brothers, and that they should not bind them, or cast them into prison, or spit on them, or smite them, or scourge them, and neither should they throw rocks at them,
that thus they might freely preach the word and convince the people that they ought not to murder, nor plunder, nor steal, nor commit adultery, nor commit any manner of wickedness.
And now they went out among the Lamanites, and thousands were brought to the knowledge of the Lord, and they became a righteous people.
But the Amalekites were not converted, save only one, neither were any of the Amulonites, but they hardened their hearts.
Now those who were converted wanted to have a name, to distinguish themselves from the other Lamanites, so they called themselves Anti-Nephi-Lehies, and they were no longer called Lamanites.
And those who were not converted became stirred up against their brethren.
And their hatred became so exceedingly sore that they started making preparations for war against the people of God.
But there was not a single soul among all those who had been converted that would take up arms against their brethren. They would not even prepare for war, and also their king commanded them that they should not.
Now, these are a few of the words which he said to his people: I thank God that we have been convinced of our sins and the many murders which we have committed.
And I also thank God that he has forgiven us of those many murders, and taken the guilt from our hearts, through the merits of his Son.
And now, since it has been all that we could do to repent sufficiently, let us never again stain our swords with the blood of our brethren.
Therefore, we will not only hide our swords, but we will bury them deep in the earth, that they will be kept bright, as a testimony that we have never used them, and then if our brethren destroy us, we will go to God and be saved.
Now all the people took their swords and their weapons and buried them deep in the earth. And this they did as a testimony before God, as a special covenant that rather than shed the blood of their brethren they would give up their own lives.
And thus we see that when these Lamanites were brought to believe the truth, they were firm, and would suffer even to death rather than break their covenant.
And behold, their brethren, the Lamanites, did indeed come up to destroy them, the people of Anti-Nephi-Lehi.
And when they saw that the Lamanites were coming against them, rather than run, they went out to meet them, and threw themselves to the ground before them, and began to call on the Lord. This is what they were doing when the Lamanites fell upon them, and began to slay them with the sword.
And thus without meeting any resistance, they slew a thousand and five of them; and we know that they are blessed, for they have gone to dwell with God.
Now when the Lamanites saw that their brethren would not flee, but would rather lie down and perish, and would even praise God in the very act of perishing under the sword, yea when the Lamanites saw this, they began to stop slaying them. And there were many whose hearts became swollen within them for those who had fallen under the sword.
And they threw down their own weapons of war, and would not take them again, for they were stung for the murders which they had committed. And they came down even as their brethren, relying upon the mercies of those whose arms were lifted to slay them.
And the people of God were joined that day by more than the number who had been slain; and those who had been slain were righteous people, therefore we have no reason to doubt that they were saved.
There was not a wicked man slain among them; but there were more than a thousand brought to the knowledge of the truth; thus we see that the Lord works in many ways for the salvation of his people.
Now the Amalekites, because of their loss, were exceedingly angry against the people of Anti-Nephi-Lehi; so they began again to destroy them.
And the people again refused to take up arms, but instead allowed themselves to be slain.
When Ammon saw this great slaughter, the Lord said to him: Get the people out of this land, and I will preserve them.
So the land of Jershon was set aside for them; and the Nephites called them the people of Ammon.
They always looked upon the shedding of blood with the greatest abhorrence, and they could never be prevailed upon to take up arms against their brethren. Therefore, they would suffer death in the most aggravating and distressing manner that could be inflicted on them before they would shed blood in self-defence.
And thus they were a zealous and beloved people, and highly favored of the Lord.
And thus ends the account of Ammon and his brothers, their sufferings in the Land of Nephi, their sorrows, and their afflictions, and their incomprehensible joy, and the reception and safety of the people in the land of Jershon. And now, may the Lord bless their souls forever.
O that I were an angel, that I might go forth and cry as with a voice of thunder to every people that they should repent and come unto God, that there might be no sorrow upon all the face of the earth!
But behold, I am just a man, and I ought to be content with what the Lord has allotted to me.
I know that he grants unto men according to their desires, whether they be unto death or unto life; according to their wills, whether they be unto salvation or unto destruction.
Yea, he that knows not good from evil is blameless.
But he that knows good from evil, to him it is given according to his desires, whether he desires good or evil, life or death, joy or remorse of conscience.
Now, why should I desire to be an angel, that I could speak to the ends of the earth?
For behold, the Lord grants unto all nations, of their own nation and tongue, to teach his word, yea, in wisdom, all that he sees fit that they should have.
There came into Zarahemla a man, named Korihor, who began to preach against the prophecies concerning Christ. And after this manner did he preach:
Oh you that are kept down under a foolish and vain hope, why do you yoke yourselves with such things?
Why do you look for a Christ when no man can know of anything which is to come.
Behold, these things which you call prophecies are just the effect of a frenzied mind; and this derangement of your minds comes because of the traditions of your fathers.
No atonement can be made for your sins, but we all fare in this life according to how we manage ourselves; we each prosper according to our own genius, and we conquer according to our strength.
And whatsoever we do is no crime.
And when we die, that is the end of us.
The high priest said to him: Why do you teach these people that there will be no Christ?
And Korihor said: I do not teach them to bind themselves under those foolish ordinances and performances that were laid down by ancient priests just so they could usurp power and authority over them, and keep them in ignorance.
You say these people are free. But I say you keep them as if in bondage that you might glut yourselves with their labors, that they dare not look up with boldness, or enjoy their rights and privileges.
You priests yoke them according to your traditions and your whims and your pretended mysteries, and you make them afraid that they might easily offend some unknown being, who they say is God - a being who never has been seen or known, who never was nor ever will be.
And then Alma said to him: What evidence do you have that there is no God, or that Christ shall not come? I say that you have none.
I know that you do believe there is a God, but you are possessed with a lying spirit, and the devil has power over you, and he carries you about, working devices that he might destroy the children of God.
Korihor said: If you show me a sign that there is a God, and that he has power, then I will believe you.
But Alma said: You have had enough signs. Besides the testimony of all the holy prophets and the scriptures laid before your eyes, all things denote there is a God: even the earth and all things on the face of it, its motion and all the planets which move in their regular form - they all witness that there is a Supreme Creator.
And yet you still go about, leading away people's hearts, testifying that there is no God.
And Korihor said: Yes, and I will keep denying it unless you show me a sign.
So Alma said to him: I will give you this for a sign. You will be struck dumb, and never be able to speak again.
Now when Alma had said these words, Korihor was struck dumb.
The chief priest said to Korihor: Now are you convinced of the power of God? Would you prefer that Alma had struck other people dumb instead of you?
Korihor put forth his hand and wrote: I know that nothing except the power of God could have brought this upon me. And I always knew there was a God, but the devil deceived me. He appeared to me in the form of an angel and taught me what to say. And I taught his words because they were pleasing to the carnal mind, and I had so much success that even I started believing they were true.
Now he asked Alma to pray that God would remove the curse from him.
But Alma said: You would just return to deceiving the people.
So Korihor was cast out, and he went from house to house begging for food.
And as he went among the people, he was run upon and trodden down, even until he was dead.
And thus we see that the devil will not support his children at the last day.
Now there was a people called the Zoramites who were dissenters from the Nephites. They had seperated themselves and were perverting the ways of the Lord.
Therefore, Alma and his brethren went to preach to them. And when they arrived, to their astonishment they found that the Zoramites worshipped after a manner which they had never beheld.
For there was a place built up in the center of their church, a place for standing, which was high above the head, and only one person could stand at the top. Who ever wanted to worship must go and stand at the top, and stretch his hands up towards heaven, and cry with a loud voice, saying:
Holy God, we believe that thou hast seperated us from our brethren, and we do not believe in their tradition which was handed down to them by the childishness of their fathers, but we believe that thou hast chosen us to be thy holy children; and also thou hast made it known to us that there shall be no Christ.
And thou hast chosen us that we shall be saved, while all those around us are to be cast by thy wrath down to hell, for which holiness, O God, we thank thee.
And we also thank thee that thou hast chosen us not to be led away by the foolish traditions of our brethren, which bind them down to a belief in Christ, which leads their hearts to wander far from thee, our God.
And again we thank thee, O God, that we are a chosen and a holy people. Amen.
Now, after Alma and his brethren had heard these prayers, they were astonished beyond all measure.
And after all the people had gone up and offered their thanks after this manner, they returned to their homes never speaking of their God again until they returned once again to this holy stand.
Alma's heart was grieved, for he saw that their hearts were set upon gold and silver, and all manner of fine goods, and they were lifted up unto great boasting, in their pride.
He lifted up his voice to heaven and cried, How long, O Lord, wilt thou suffer that thy servants shall dwell here below in the flesh, to see such gross wickedness?
O Lord, please give me strength to bear with my infirmities, for I am infirm, and such wickedness among this people pains my soul. My heart is exceedingly sorrowful. Lord, grant me the strength to bear with patience these afflictions which come upon us because of the iniquity of this people.
Their souls are precious, and many of them are our brethren. Therefore, give us power and wisdom that we may bring these, our brethren, again unto thee in Christ.
And after much labor, they began to have success among the people who were poor, for they were cast out of the churches because of the coarseness of their apparel, which caused them to be esteemed as dross and filthiness.
Now as Alma was teaching, a group of people came to him, and he could see that they were poor in heart because of their poverty and had been truly humbled because of their afflictions. They were now prepared to hear the word, so he said to them:
You are blessed because your poverty has brought you to be lowly of heart.
And even more blessed are those who choose to humble themselves without being compelled to be humble; or rather, who believe the word of God freely, with open hearts.
There are many who say: If you can show us a sign from heaven, then we will believe.
Now I ask you, is that faith?
Behold, faith is not perfect knowledge. You cannot know, at first, if what I tell you is true.
But if you will awaken and arouse your faculties just enough to experiment on my words, even if you can no more than feel a desire to believe, then let this desire work in you.
Now, we will compare the word to a seed planted in your heart.
If the seed is true, if you do not throw it out, but give it place, it should start to swell within your heart.
And when you feel these swelling motions, you will begin to say within yourself that the word is good, because it is beginning to enlarge my soul; it is beginning to enlighten my understanding and to be delicious to me.
Now, is this not real? Would this not increase your faith?
As the seed swells and sprouts and begins to grow, then you must know the seed is good, for every seed brings forth unto its own likeness.
Again, is this not real? Yes. It is light, and whatsoever is light is good because it is discernable.
And now, after you have tasted this light, is your knowledge perfect?
But as the tree begins to grow, if you nourish it with great care, it will take root and bring forth fruit.
However, if you neglect the tree, and take no thought for its nourishment, it will not get any root.
This is not because the seed was not good, but because you would not nourish the tree, so you cannot have its fruit.
But if you will nourish the word of God with patience, yea, nourish the tree as it begins to grow, it will take root and be a tree springing up unto everlasting life.
You will pluck its fruit, which is most precious, which is sweet above all that is sweet, and pure above all that is pure; and you will feast on this fruit until you are filled, that you hunger not, neither shall you thrist.
Alma gathered his sons together, and we have an account of what he said to them separately, according to his own record.
And now, my son Helaman, thou art still in thy youth, therefore hear my words and learn of me.
For I do know that whosoever shall put their trust in God shall be supported in their trials, their troubles, and their afflictions, and shall be lifted up at the last day.
But I know this not of myself. If I had not been born of God I should not have known these things,
But God has, by the mouth of his holy angel, made these things known to me. But not by any worthiness of my own, for I had gone about with the sons of Mosiah, seeking to destroy the church of God.
And God sent his holy angel to stop us.
He spoke to us, as if by a voice of thunder, and the earth trembled beneath our feet; and we all fell to the earth.
The voice said to me: Arise.
And I stood up, and beheld the angel.
And he said to me: Even if thou wilt of thyself be destroyed, seek no more to destroy the church of God.
I fell to the earth, and I could not open my mouth, neither had I the use of my limbs.
And the angel spoke more things which were heard by my brethren, but I did not hear them.
I was struck with such great fear and amazement that I heard no more.
But I was racked with eternal torment, for my soul was harrowed up to the greatest degree and racked with all my sins.
Yea, I did remember all my sins, and so great had been my iniquities that the very thought of coming into the presence of my God did fill my soul with inexpressible horror.
I thought, Oh that I could be banished and become extinct both soul and body, that I might not be brought to stand in the presence of God, to be judged of my deeds.
For three days and three nights I was racked, even with the pains of a damned soul.
And while I was harrowed up by the memory of my many sins, behold, I remembered also to have heard my father prophesy the coming of one Jesus Christ, a Son of God, to atone for the sins of the world.
Now, as my mind caught hold upon this thought, I cried within my heart: O Jesus, thou Son of God, have mercy on me.
And now, behold, when I thought this, I could remember my pains no more. Yea, I was harrowed up by the memory of my sins no more.
And oh, what joy, and what marvelous light I did behold; yea, my soul was filled with joy as exceeding as had been my pain!
I say to you, my son, that there could be nothing so exquisite and so bitter as were my pains.
Yea, and on the other hand, there can be nothing so exquisite and sweet as was my joy.
Yea, I thought I saw God sitting upon his throne, and my soul did long to be there.
My limbs did receive their strength again, and I stood upon my feet, and manifested to the people that I had been born of God.
And from that time I have labored without ceasing, that I might bring them to taste of the exceeding joy which I tasted.
And now, the Lord gives me exceedingly great joy in the fruit of my labors.
And now, my son Helaman, take these records and keep them sacred.
And while you may suppose this is foolishness in me, and though not everything has been made known to me, I do know these records must be preserved for a wise purpose, known only to God, that he might show forth his power to future generations.
When we die, every soul, whether it be good or evil, is taken home to God.
And the righteous are received into a state of happiness, which is called paradise, a state of peace, where they rest from all their troubles and from all care and sorrow.
But the wicked have no part nor portion of the Spirit of the Lord because they chose works of evil rather than good.
This space between death and the resurrection of the body is a state of happiness or of misery until the soul is restored to the body, and the body to the soul, and everything is restored to its proper and perfect frame.
And then shall the righteous shine forth in the kingdom of God.
But the truly wicked are unclean, and no unclean thing can inherit the kingdom of God; therefore, they must 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 all souls should be judged according to their works, and the desires of their hearts.
If their works were good in this life, and the desires of their hearts were good, they should be restored to that which is good.
If their works were evil, they shall be restored unto evil.
The one raised unto happiness according to his desires for happiness, and good according to his desires for good;
and the other to evil according to his desires for evil; for as he has chosen to do evil all the day long, so he will have his reward of evil when the night comes.
And if he has repented of his sins, and desired righteousness until the end of his days, he shall be rewarded unto righteousness.
Thus he is redeemed of the Lord.
And thus we stand or fall; for behold, we are our own judges, whether to do good or to do evil.
But do not suppose that we can be restored from sin unto happiness. Behold, wickedness never was happiness.
In this life, we are all in a state of nature, in a carnal condition. Being without God in this world, we have gone contrary to the nature of God; and that means we are in a condition contrary to the nature of happiness.
Now, does restoration mean to take a thing and place it in a state opposite to its nature?
No. Therefore, my son, see that you are merciful, deal justly, judge righteously, and do good continually; and if you do all these things, you will have mercy, justice and goodness restored to you again.
For that which you send out will return to you again and be restored.
THE BOOK OF
(about 23 B.C.)
Nephi, the son of Helaman, returned to Zarahemla after being in the land northward, preaching the word of God.
The people had rejected everything he said.
And now that he was home, having seen the people in a state of such awful wickedness, with robbers filling the judgment seats and doing no justice, condemning the righteous because of their righteousness, letting the guilty and the wicked go unpunished because of their money, and this great iniquity having come upon the Nephites in only a few years - when Nephi saw it, his heart was swollen with sorrow.
Now, there was a tower in Nephi's garden, which was by the highway that led to the main market, and Nephi went up into the tower and bowed himself.
Certain men passing by saw him pouring out his soul to God, and they ran to tell the people. And they gathered to see what such great mourning was all about.
When Nephi arose he said: Why have you all come here? Is it so I can tell you of your iniquities?
You have come because of my mourning and lamentation, and you marvel. And in fact you have great need to marvel. Truly, you should be marvelling at how the devil has gotten such great hold upon your hearts.
How could you simply hurl away your own souls, all in the hope of making yourselves rich, and receiving the praise of men?
You have set your hearts upon the vain things of this world, and for this you are willing to murder, to plunder and steal, and to bear false witness against your neighbor.
Now some of these men were judges.
And those judges were angry with Nephi because he spoke plainly to them about their secret works of darkness. But they dared not lay their own hands on him because of their fear of the people.
Now Nephi, seeing that there were some who believed, spoke more to the people.
You have rebelled against God, and instead of laying up for yourselves treasures in heaven, you are heaping up for yourselves wrath against the day of judgment.
And now you are ripening for destruction. Even now it is at your doors.
Go to the judgment-seat and see: your judge has been murdered, and he lies in his blood; murdered by his brother, who wants to sit in the judgment-seat himself.
There were five men who ran to the judgment-seat, saying to themselves: Now we will know for sure if this man is a prophet.
When they got there, the chief judge had indeed fallen to the ground, and was lying in his blood.
And when they saw this they were so astonished that they fell to the ground in fear, for they had not believed any of Nephi's words.
Now, before the five men had arrived, but immediately when the judge had been murdered, he being stabbed by his brother who fled, the servants had run out among the people, raising the cry of murder.
The people gathered, and to their astonishment they saw those five men who had fallen to the ground.
The people knew nothing about the crowd who had gathered at Nephi's garden, so they said: These men murdered the judge, and God has smitten them so they could not flee from us.
And word was sent abroad that the judge had been murdered, and the murderers had been caught and were cast into prison.
The next day the people gathered to mourn at the burial of the great chief judge who had been slain.
And also attending were the judges who had been at Nephi's garden, and heard his words.
They asked among the people: Where are the five who were sent to see if the chief judge had been murdered? And the people answered: We know nothing about them, but we do have the five murderers, and they have been cast into prison.
The judges had them brought forth and saw that they were the same five who had been sent.
These men reported all that they had done, saying: We ran to the judgment-seat, and when we saw that everything was just as Nephi had testified, we were so astonished that we fell to the earth, and when we had recovered, they cast us into prison.
As for the murder, we know not who did it. All we know is that he was dead, just as Nephi said.
And now the judges cried out against Nephi, saying: This Nephi must have agreed with some one to murder the judge, and then he could tell us about it so he could convert us unto his faith and raise himself up to be a great man. And now he will confess.
The five were set free.
The judges took Nephi and began to question him in different ways, trying to trip him up.
He answered: You fools, you ought to howl and mourn because of the destruction that awaits you unless you repent.
Because I showed you this sign you are angry with me and want to have me killed. But now I will show you another sign, and then see if you want to destroy me.
I say to you: Go to the house of Seantum and say to him: Has Nephi made an agreement with you, in which you have murdered your brother?
And he will say: No.
And you say: Did you murder your brother?
And he will pretend to be astonished and say that he is innocent. But you will find blood on the skirts of his cloak.
Then he will tremble and look pale, even as if death had come upon him.
Then you will say: Because of your sudden fear and your face turning so pale, we know you are guilty.
And then even greater fear will come upon him, and he will tell you that I, Nephi, know nothing except by the power of God.
So they went and did just as Nephi had told them, and the man did confess.
After this, there were some who believed on the words of Nephi. Some said he was a prophet, and others said he was a god.
In much disagreement, the people divided and went their ways, leaving Nephi alone as he was standing in the midst of them.
Nephi walked toward his own house, pondering, being much cast down because of the wickedness of the people. And as he was thus pondering in his heart, a voice came to him saying:
Blessed art thou, Nephi, for I have seen how thou hast, without tiring, declared the words which I have given thee. And thou hast not feared the people, and hast not sought thine own life, but hast sought my will.
And now, because thou hast done this so tirelessly, behold, I will bless thee forever, and I will make thee mighty in word and in deed.
After this, Nephi did not go to his own house, but he went back to the multitudes and declared the Lord's warning of their destruction if they did not repent.
But now, even in spite of that great miracle in telling them about the death of the chief judge, they reviled against him and sought to lay their hands on him. But they could not take him.
And eventually the contentions among them rose to such a pitch that they began to slay one another with the sword.
And there began to be wars throughout the land among the Nephites.
The Nephites remained in wickedness now while the Lamanites were keeping the commandments of God.
A man named Samuel, a Lamanite, came into Zarahemla, and began to preach.
And they cast him out, so he got himself up on the wall and prophesied:
Five more years, then shall come the Son of God.
And there will be such great lights in heaven that in the night before he comes there shall be no darkness.
But in the day that he suffers 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.
But there shall be thunderings and lightnings, and the earth will shake and tremble.
Now there was but little alteration in the affairs of the people, except to be more hardened in iniquity.
But great signs and wonders were given for them to see. And angels appeared to some of them.
In spite of all this, the people still hardened their hearts, all but the most believing part of them, and they began to rely on their own wisdom, saying:
It is not reasonable that someone like a Christ should come; and if he does come, why would he not show himself to us as well as to those in Jerusalem?
We know this is just a tradition handed down so we should believe in some great thing not among us, but in a land we know nothing about. This way we can be kept in ignorance, for we cannot prove anything with our own eyes.
And thus ended the book of Helaman, according to the record of Helaman and his sons.
THE BOOK OF
Now it was six hundred years from the time Lehi had left Jerusalem.
Nephi, the son of Helaman who was the son of Alma, had given charge to his oldest son Nephi concerning all the sacred records.
And now the prophecies of the prophets began to be fulfilled more fully, for there were greater signs and miracles among the people.
But some started saying that the time was past for the words to be fulfilled, which were spoken by Samuel, the Lamanite.
They made a great uproar, and the people who believed began to be very sorrowful, in case somehow those things might not come to pass. But they watched steadfastly.
Now there was a day set apart by the unbelievers, when 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 on 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 to him, saying:
Lift up your head and be of good cheer; for 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 this was the day when the Lord should be born, because of the sign which had been given.
And also a new star appeared, according to the word.
From this time forth there began to be lies spread out among the people by Satan, to harden their hearts that they might not believe in what they had seen.
But notwithstanding this, most of the people were converted and baptized, and thus there was a great remission of sins.
However, there were many dissenters and they had many children who grew up and began to decrease in their faith and righteousness, and the people began to be less and less astonished at a sign or a wonder from heaven.
Many things happened which, in the eyes of some, would be great and marvelous; but this book cannot contain even a hundredth part of what was done among so many people in the space of twenty-five years.
And I make this record on plates which I have made with my own hands.
I am Mormon, being called after the land of Mormon, in which Alma established the church among the people.
I am a disciple of Jesus Christ, the Son of God.
I am making my record from the accounts given by those who were before me, up until my own day.
And when I finish, I will make a record of the things which I have seen with my own eyes.
I know the record I am making is just and true, even though there are many things which, according to our language, we are not able to write.
And now I will make an end of my own speaking, and return to giving my account of the things which have been before me.
There rose up men who were inspired to preach boldly of the sins of the people, and of the redemption which the Lord would make for his people; and they testified boldly of his death and sufferings.
Now this made many people exceedingly angry. These were mainly 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 murdered the chief judge.
By now the people were divided one against another. They separated into tribes, according to their kindred and friends, and the regulations of the government were destroyed.
The more righteous part of the people had nearly all become wicked, and now there were only a few righteous left among them.
The people began to look with great earnestness for the time when there would be darkness for the space of three days over the land, as prophesied.
In the beginning of the thirty-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 shook the whole earth as if it was about to divide asunder.
And there was exceedingly sharp lightning, such as had never been known.
And there was 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 until the buildings had fallen and the inhabitants were slain.
There were some people carried away in the whirlwind, and where they went no one knew except that they were carried away.
And the thunderings and lightnings, and the storm, and the tempest, and the quakings of the earth lasted 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, such that the people who had not fallen could feel the vapor of darkness.
And there could be no light, neither candles nor torches, nor could any fire be 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 the land, saying:
Behold, I am Jesus Christ, the Son of God.
I came to save the world from sin.
In me, the law of Moses is fulfilled.
And ye shall offer unto me no more the shedding of blood; for I will accept no more of your sacrifices and your burnt offerings.
But ye shall offer for a sacrifice unto me a broken heart and a contrite spirit.
Therefore, whoso repents and comes unto me as a little child, him will I receive, for of such is the kingdom of God.
Behold, for such have I 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 then 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 ceased, and all the tumultuous noises passed away.
And the mourning, and the weeping, and the wailing of the people who were spared alive ceased. Their mourning was turned into joy, and their lamentations into praise and thanksgiving to the Lord Jesus Christ, their Redeemer.
And it was the more righteous part of the people who were saved, and were not sunk and buried up in the earth, and were not drowned in the depths of the sea, and were not burned by fire, neither were they fallen upon and crushed to death, nor carried away in the whirlwind, nor were they overpowered by the vapors of smoke and darkness.
And now I will show unto you that Christ did truly manifest himself unto them, showing his body and ministering unto them.
A great multitude had gathered together around 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 again they understood it not.
And a third time they heard the voice, and they looked steadfastly towards heaven, from whence the sound came.
And behold, the third time they understood the voice; 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, clothed in a white robe. He came down and stood in the midst of them, and the whole multitude dared not open their mouths, even one to another.
He stretched forth his hand saying:
I am Jesus Christ, whom the prophets testified should 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 it had been prophesied that Christ would show himself to them after his ascension into heaven.
The Lord spake to them saying:
Arise and come unto me, that ye may thrust your hands into my side, and also feel the prints of the nails in my hands and my feet, that you may know that I have been slain for the sins of the world.
And the multitude went forth, one by one, and saw with their eyes and felt with their hands, and knew of a surety and bore record that it was he.
And they fell down at the feet of Jesus, and did worship him.
Jesus said: You are they of whom I told your brethren at Jerusalem:
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 I said no more to them concerning this. Ye were separated from them because of their iniquity, therefore they know not of you.
Jesus looked again on the multitude, and said to them: Behold, my time is at hand.
I perceive that you cannot understand all my words. Therefore, go into your homes and ponder the things which I have said, and prepare your minds for the morrow, and I will come to you again.
He cast his eyes again upon the multitude and saw that they were in tears and were looking steadfastly upon him as if they would ask him to stay a little longer.
And he said to them: Behold, my bowels are filled with compassion towards you.
Have you any that are sick among you? Bring them here, and I will heal them.
And he did heal them, every one.
And they all bowed down at his feet and worshipped him, and as many as could, came and kissed his feet, insomuch that they bathed his feet with their tears.
He asked them to bring their little children and set them down on the ground around him, and he had the multitude kneel down.
He himself also knelt, and he prayed.
And the things which he prayed cannot be written, but the multitude wrote and bore record of it after this manner:
Eye has never seen, neither has the ear heard, such great and marvelous things as we saw and heard Jesus speak to the Father. And no tongue can speak, neither can there be written by any man, neither can the hearts of men conceive of such 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 to them: Blessed are you 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 to the Father for them.
And when he had done this he wept again.
And he said to 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 to them.
There came a cloud which overshadowed the multitude that they could not see Jesus.
And while they were overshadowed, he departed and ascended into heaven.
The next day, when the multitude was gathered together, Jesus came and ministered to them.
He asked them to kneel again, and he went a little way off from them and bowed himself to the earth.
And when he had thus prayed, he came to his twelve disciples whom he had called, and behold, they still continued to pray, and they were filled with desire.
And his countenance smiled upon them, and the light of his countenance shone upon them.
Jesus went a little way off and bowed himself to the earth, and he prayed again.
And the multitude heard and bore record; and their hearts were opened and they understood 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 showed himself to them often.
And he taught and ministered to the children of the multitude, and he did loosen their tongues that they spoke to their fathers great and marvelous things.
THE BOOK OF
The people were all converted to the Lord, both Nephites and Lamanites, and there were no contentions among them, and every man dealt justly one with another.
And they had all things common among them, therefore there were not rich and poor or bond and free, but they were all made free, and partakers of the heavenly gift.
There was no contention among them because of the love of God in their hearts.
Surely there could not be a happier people among all 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 there was still peace, except for a small group of people who revolted from the church and called themselves Lamanites; therefore there began to be Lamanites again in the land.
Amos also died, and his son Amos kept the record in his place.
Two hundred years passed away, and the people were spreading everywhere, and becoming exceedingly rich.
Some started lifting themselves up in pride, and from then on, they no longer shared their material possessions with each other.
Their society became divided into classes.
After two hundred and forty-four years had passed away, there were more wicked people than the people of God.
Amos died; and his brother, Ammaron, kept the record in his place.
Finally Ammaron, being moved upon by the Holy Ghost, hid up all the sacred records which had been handed down.
And thus ends the record of Ammaron.
THE BOOK OF
(the life of Mormon,
About the time that Ammaron hid the records, he came to me (I was then about ten years old and began to be somewhat learned after the manner of my people) and said: I perceive that you are a sober child, and quick to observe.
Therefore, when you are about twenty-four years of age I want you to remember the things that you have seen among this people; and go to where I have deposited all the sacred engravings. And you must take the plates for yourself, and engrave the things you have seen.
It came to pass that when I was fifteen years old, and somewhat sober-minded, the Lord visited me, and I tasted and knew of the goodness of Jesus.
And I attempted to preach to the people, but my mouth was shut and I was forbidden; for they had willfully rebelled against God. I stayed among them, but I was forbidden to preach.
(beginning of the end for the Nephites)
There was another war between the Nephites and the Lamanites. And notwithstanding I was young, I was large in stature; therefore the Nephites appointed me the leader of their armies.
The Lamanites came against us with such great power that my armies were afraid to fight. But they kept coming upon us regardless, and there was blood and carnage all over the land.
They pursued the Nephites all the way to the land of Jashon before I could stop them in their retreat.
Now Jashon was near the place where Ammaron had hid up the records to keep them safe. So I went as he had told me and took possession of the plates, and thus I make my record.
Now a continual scene of wickedness and abominations has been before my eyes ever since I was able to observe and comprehend the ways of man.
The Nephites were hunted and driven once again.
I urged them with great energy to stand boldly and fight for their wives, and their children, and their homes.
And my words did arouse them somewhat to vigor, at least enough that they stopped fleeing, but stood before the Lamanites with such firmness that they fled from us instead.
But they came down again to battle. And we beat them again and slew a great number of them, and we threw their dead 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 utterly refused 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, but it was without faith because of the hardness of their hearts.
Now the Nephites went up to battle, and were driven back. And while they were yet weary, a fresh army of Lamanites came upon them.
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.
Every heart was hardened, and they delighted in the shedding of blood continually. There never had been such great wickedness among all the children of Lehi.
The Lamanites took many prisoners, both women and children, and offered them up as sacrifices to their idol gods.
The Nephites being angry because of this, went against them with exceeding fury, and beat them again and drove them out.
But from this time forth the Nephites could not overpower the Lamanites, and began to be swept off by them even as the dew before the sun.
I 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 my eyes; therefore I dare not to give a full account.
I began to be old; and knowing it would be the last struggle of my people, and the Lord having commanded that I should not allow 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, except for these few plates which I shall give to my son, Moroni.
My people, with their wives and children, now saw the armies of the Lamanites marching towards them, and with that awful fear of death which fills the breasts of the wicked, they waited to receive them.
And every soul was filled with terror because of the greatness of their numbers. And they fell upon my people.
I fell wounded in the midst of them, and they passed by me without putting an end to my life.
They had finally hewn down all my people save it were twenty-four of us, among whom was my son Moroni.
All my people had fallen; and their flesh, and bones, and blood lay on the face of the earth to molder on the land. And my soul was rent with anguish, and I cried:
O you fair sons and daughters, you fathers and mothers, you husbands and wives, how is it that you could have fallen!
But you are gone, and my sorrows cannot bring your return.
(Moroni finishes the record of his father, Mormon)
And now I, Moroni, finish the record of my father, Mormon.
After the great and tremendous battle at Cumorah, the remaining Nephites were hunted down until they were destroyed. And my father also was killed. I 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 where I go it matters not, for I am alone.
Now 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 knows when it will end.
I, Moroni, am the son of Mormon, and I am the same who will hide up this record unto the Lord.
It will be brought out of the earth and shine forth in a day when it is said that miracles are done away, when the power of God will be denied; in a day of great pollutions on the earth and all kinds of abominations; when there are many who say, do this, or do that, and nothing matters.
Behold, the Lord has shown me that day when these things will come forth among you. I speak to you as if you were present, and yet you are not. But, Jesus Christ himself has shown you to me, and I know your doing.
There are none but a few of you who do not lift yourselves up in the pride of your hearts.
You love money, and your substance, more than you love the poor and the needy, the sick and the afflicted.
I speak to you as though from the dead, for I know you will have my words.
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 large enough, we would have written in Hebrew.
But the Lord knows what we have written, and also that no other people know our language. Therefore he has prepared the means for its translation.
THE BOOK OF
(Between A.D.400 and 421)
Now I, Moroni, had supposed not to have written more, but I have not yet perished. I keep myself hidden from the Lamanites so they will not destroy me.
Their wars are exceedingly fierce among themselves, so I wander wherever I can for my own safety. Therefore I can still write a few more things, contrary to what I had thought.
That which is from God invites us to do good continually. Wherefore, every thing that entices us to do good, and to love God, and to serve him, is inspired of him.
Therefore, take heed not to judge that which is evil to be of God, or that which is good to be of the devil. For the Spirit of Christ is given to every man, that he can know good from evil.
Wherefore, I beseech you to search diligently in the light of Christ to know good from evil, and if you will take hold of every good thing, and condemn it not, you will certainly be a child of Christ.
No one is acceptable before God except the meek and lowly in heart. Wherefore, pray unto the Father, with all the energy of your heart, to be filled with the pure love of Christ.
(to the reader a sacred promise)
When you receive these things, I would exhort you to ponder in your hearts and ask God, the Eternal Father, in the name of Christ, if these things are not true.
And if you 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.
(Condensed by David Van Alstyne
in hopes of arousing the reader's interest in the
Book of Mormon.)
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