The Book of Mormon is a beautiful saga of one family who founded a nation. Everyone in South America is descended from this family. But the story is not as simple as that. So let me explain.
By Two Or Three Witnesses
In the Bible, God spoke to prophets and instructed them to write His words. As they did so, they preserved sacred instructions that lead us to become more godly people. Because God loves all His children, He did the same thing in the new world.
Just as the Lord says in 2 Corinthians 13: 1- In the mouth of two or three witnesses shall every word be established. The Book of Mormon is that second witness of the Savior and of God’s teachings. Seriously, if you compare the two books the Gospel is the same. It’s beautiful!
At the beginning of the Book of Mormon, we join the ancient prophet Lehi in Jerusalem in about 600 BC. He is trying to bring the people to repentance. But the people don’t want to repent and are plotting to kill Lehi instead.
So the Lord warns Lehi about the plot and also lets him know that Jerusalem will be destroyed. And Lehi gathers his family and they take off into the wilderness. But before they can go very far the Lord instructs Lehi to send his sons back for the scriptures.
They are written on plates of brass and not only have the Gospel but also their ancestry recorded in them. The Brass Plates will preserve their language and history for generations to come.
Lehi has 4 sons who travel back to Jerusalem. They are, in order of age, Laman, Lemuel, Sam, and Nephi. Laman and Lemuel would rather complain than work. And Sam and Nephi were righteous and focused on the goal.
These men have to ask Laban for the brass plates because he is the keeper of the records, which is a high position in town. He is also a wicked and greedy man.
Getting the Brass Plates
In their first attempt, Laman draws the short straw and gets to be the first to approach Laban and ask for the plates. But Laban sends his guards after Laman calling him a robber. So then the guys get smart and remember their father is very wealthy. And they had to leave behind all their heavy gold for their trip. So they decide to appeal to Laban’s greed. They gather everything up and present it to Laban asking for the brass plates in exchange.
But Laban is much more wicked than they anticipated because he sees that the gold has already been brought to him, and has his guards chase Lehi’s sons away and try to kill them so he can keep the treasure.
The guys once again barely escape with their lives. Now Laman and Lemuel are angry. They are done with this errand, and they are freaked out for almost losing their lives. So they start beating their younger brothers. I mean, it’s the logical step, right? (sarcasm)
The Lord intervenes on behalf of Sam and Nephi and sends an angel to stop Laman and Lemuel. It’s a beautiful scene that I wish I had been there to witness in person. After the angel’s intervention, the guys are willing to listen to Nephi. He has them wait outside the walls of the city while he prayerfully goes in by himself to try one more time for the plates.
Nephi Kills Laban
As he approaches Laban’s house he sees Laban laying in the street. He is so drunk that he passed out. As Nephi approaches the Lord tells him to kill Laban and put on his clothes and get the plates that way. It’s a major issue because it’s directly against the commandments. But 1 Nephi 4:9-13 says:
9 And I beheld his asword, and I drew it forth from the sheath thereof; and the hilt thereof was of pure gold, and the workmanship thereof was exceedingly fine, and I saw that the blade thereof was of the most precious steel.
10 And it came to pass that I was aconstrained by the Spirit that I should kill Laban; but I said in my heart: Never at any time have I shed the blood of man. And I shrunk and would that I might not slay him.
11 And the Spirit said unto me again: Behold the aLord hath bdelivered him into thy hands. Yea, and I also knew that he had sought to take away mine own life; yea, and he would not hearken unto the commandments of the Lord; and he also had ctaken away our property.
12 And it came to pass that the Spirit said unto me again: Slay him, for the Lord hath delivered him into thy hands;
The Lord had given Laban several chances. It makes me realize how important the Brass Plates will be to the people in the Book of Mormon. So Nephi kills Laban and puts his clothing on and goes into Laban’s house and meets Laban’s servant Zoram.
Zoram joins Nephi
As he pretended to be Laban, the Lord was with Nephi and he sounded just like Laban and Zoram took him to the Brass Plates, chatting with him about his meeting with the elders of the Jews. Nephi asks Zoram to come with him to the gates of the city. When Nephi’s brothers see Nephi they think he’s Laban and start to run. As Nephi calls out to them he takes off Laban’s hat and Zoram realizes his mistake.
To keep their wilderness journey a secret they need Zoram to be quiet about this. So they promise Zoram that if he comes with them he will be a free man. And that is how Zoram becomes another member of Lehi’s family.
The Journey continues
Nephi and his brothers return triumphantly to their camp and their father Lehi. And everyone celebrates and Lehi reads the plates to everyone. Later they return one more time to Jerusalem to get Ishmael and his family because he has many daughters and Lehi’s sons need wives. The sons don’t complain about this trip at all I noticed.
After they were all together at Lehi’s camp, the daughters of Ishmael are married to the sons of Lehi. And they continue their journey to the ocean. They build ships with the help of the Lord and travel to the Promised Land.
It is a long journey, but I am shortening it a lot. After they arrived in the new world, the Lord warns Nephi that Laman and Lemuel, and their allies are preparing to kill Nephi and those who follow the Lord.
So in the night, Nephi gathers his wife, Sam, Zoram, and their families, and all who will follow Christ, and they take off. This is the beginning of two nations that will forever be called Nephites and Lamanites in the Book of Mormon. The Nephites follow God and have prophets to lead them. The Lamanites don’t believe in God and don’t follow the commandments.
As the Book of Mormon continues we see that the prophets keep records of the people. Specifically, they are instructed to document their dealings with God. The records are handed down from father to son and change hands many times.
So many beautiful testimonies fill the Book of Mormon. I highly recommend reading it if you haven’t. There are a lot of great stories of miracles, and many humble men worked hard to record this.
The Fate Of The American continent
The Book of Mormon even documents when Jesus visits the American continent after his crucifixion. It’s an amazing and beautiful experience. Read 3 Nephi chapters nine and ten and you’ll be amazed.
Then, several hundred years after the Savior comes we meet a young man named Mormon. He is both the military leader of the Nephites and the prophet. His people have been at war with the Lamanites for many years, and the Nephites are getting more wicked. This scripture shares the ominous fate of the wicked here on the American continent.
5 But, said (Lehi), notwithstanding our afflictions, we have obtained a aland of promise, a land which is bchoice above all other lands; a land which the Lord God hath ccovenanted with me should be a land for the inheritance of my seed. Yea, the Lord hath dcovenanted this land unto me, and to my children forever, and also all those who should be eled out of other countries by the hand of the Lord.
6 Wherefore, I, Lehi, prophesy according to the workings of the Spirit which is in me, that there shall anone come into this land save they shall be brought by the hand of the Lord.
7 Wherefore, this aland is consecrated unto him whom he shall bring. And if it so be that they shall serve him according to the commandments which he hath given, it shall be a land of bliberty unto them; wherefore, they shall never be brought down into captivity; if so, it shall be because of iniquity; for if iniquity shall abound ccursed shall be the land for their sakes, but unto the righteous it shall be blessed forever.
Who Wrote the Book of Mormon?
And sadly, the people of Mormon are wicked and begin falling by the sword in great numbers. He and his son Moroni have access to all the records kept by all the prophets back to Nephi. There are even a few extra that are not from the family line. There is a record of Ether and his life. And the brother of Jared and the history of the Jaredites.
So the Book of Mormon is a compilation of many other books of scripture. Mormon started the compilation and his son Moroni finished it and hid it away in a stone box on the hill Cumorah.
In my mind’s eye, I see these great men in a large cavern full of records. And they prayerfully reviewed the records and selected what would have been of most value to us in our time. Actually, I don’t have to imagine very hard. The scripture Mormon 1: 2-4 is very clear, as Mormon shares his experiences.
2 And about the time that aAmmaron hid up the records unto the Lord, he came unto me, (I being about ten years of age, and I began to be blearned somewhat after the manner of the learning of my people) and Ammaron said unto me: I perceive that thou art a csober child, and art quick to observe;
3 Therefore, when ye are about twenty and four years old I would that ye should remember the things that ye have observed concerning this people; and when ye are of that age go to the aland Antum, unto a hill which shall be called bShim; and there have I deposited unto the Lord all the sacred engravings concerning this people.
4 And behold, ye shall take the aplates of Nephi unto yourself, and the remainder shall ye leave in the place where they are; and ye shall engrave on the plates of Nephi all the things that ye have observed concerning this people.
The Book of Mormon is God’s Word
I have skimmed the surface of all that is in the Book of Mormon. It is scripture. I know it is because I have prayed about it and God warmed my heart. I will close this article with the very end of the Book Of Mormon. Some call it Moroni’s promise; I call it one of the most beautiful testimonies I have ever read.
3 Behold, I would exhort you that when ye shall read these things, if it be wisdom in God that ye should read them, that ye would remember how amerciful the Lord hath been unto the children of men, from the creation of Adam even down until the time that ye shall receive these things, and bponder it in your chearts.
4 And when ye shall receive these things, I would exhort you that ye would aask God, the Eternal Father, in the name of Christ, if these things are not btrue; and if ye shall ask with a csincere heart, with dreal intent, having efaith in Christ, he will fmanifest the gtruth of it unto you, by the power of the Holy Ghost.
I’ve included many links in this article to make it easy to read the Book of Mormon for yourself. Check it out. You won’t regret it.