Book of Mormon Background

INTRODUCTION

The Book of Mormon is another testament of Jesus Christ.

The Book of Mormon was recorded by ancient prophets in the American continent who were from a branch of Israel. One of these prophets, named Mormon, compiled and edited a number of records into a single record on golden plates. This record became the “The Book of Mormon.”

The Lord revealed the Book of Mormon through an angel named Moroni to the prophet Joseph Smith, who first published this book in 1830.

Joseph Smith was the “Rod of the Stem of Jesse.”

OLD TESTAMENT BACKGROUND

A brief review of the Old Testament is very helpful in approaching the Book of Mormon.

The Lord made a covenant with Abraham as follows:

Abraham would have a great posterity. He would have many descendents (Genesis 15:5 and 17:2).

Abraham would be a father of many nations (Genesis 17:4).

Kings would come from Abraham’s seed or posterity (Genesis 17:6). King David and Jesus Christ himself were descendents of Abraham.

Abraham and his posterity received the land of Canaan (Genesis 17:8).

The Lord promised Abraham that through his seed all the families of the Earth would be blessed. (Genesis 22:17-18 & Acts 3:25). The primary fulfillment of this promise was the coming forth of Jesus Christ as the Messiah through Abraham’s lineage.

In addition, Abraham paid tithing to Melchizedek who was the King of Salem (Genesis 14:18-20). Melchizedek blessed Abraham and conferred the priesthood upon him (Hebrews 7:1-4).
Also refer to (Doctrine & Covenants 84:6-18).

Note that Jesus Christ, who lived two thousand years after Abraham, was called of God an high priest after the order of Melchizedek (Hebrews 5:10).

Abraham gave the blessings of the birthright and the priesthood to his son Isaac. The covenant that God made with Abraham continued through Isaac (Genesis 17:15-19 & 21).

Isaac had two sons, Esau and Jacob. These sons were twins, but Esau was born first. So Esau should have received the birthright. But Esau sold his birthright for a bowl of pottage (Genesis 25:29-24).

Isaac instead gave the blessings of the birthright, the priesthood, and the covenant of Abraham to Jacob (Genesis 27 & Genesis 28:3-4).

Jacob had twelve sons: (Genesis Chapters 29 through 35).

1. Reuben
2. Simeon
3. Levi
4. Judah

5. Dan
6. Napthali
7. Gad
8. Asher

9. Issachar
10. Zebulun
11. Joseph
12. Benjamin

God changed Jacob’s name to Israel (Genesis 32:28). Jacob’s sons thus became the heads of the Twelve tribes of Israel. Furthermore, Joseph had two sons, Manasseh and Ephraim. Jacob adopted these sons, so Ephraim and Manasseh also became heads of tribes. (Genesis 48:1-5).

The inclusion of Ephraim and Manasseh brought the total number of tribes to thirteen, but the Levites were dispersed among the other tribes to perform priestly duties.

Jacob, or Israel, gave each of these sons a special blessing.

As Christians and Jews, we need to study these blessings so that we can undertand God’s ongoing plan for the human family.

The birthright should have gone to Reuben because he was the oldest son. Reuben did not receive the birthright, however, because he had sinned (Genesis 35:22). Jacob instead gave the birthright to Joseph (1 Chronicles 5:1-2). Nevertheless, each son received the blessings of the covenant of Abraham.

Joseph’s wife was Asenath (Genesis 41:45).

Joseph received many wonderful blessings as recorded in Genesis 49:

[22] Joseph is a fruitful bough, even a fruitful bough by a well; whose branches run over the wall:
[23] The archers have sorely grieved him, and shot at him, and hated him:
[24] But his bow abode in strength, and the arms of his hands were made strong by the hands of the mighty God of Jacob; (from thence is the shepherd, the stone of Israel:)
[25] Even by the God of thy father, who shall help thee; and by the Almighty, who shall bless thee with blessings of heaven above, blessings of the deep that lieth under, blessings of the breasts, and of the womb:
[26] The blessings of thy father have prevailed above the blessings of my progenitors unto the utmost bound of the everlasting hills: they shall be on the head of Joseph, and on the crown of the head of him that was separate from his brethren.

Joseph was given further blessings as recorded in Deuteronomy 33:13-17. Jacob also gave blessings to Ephraim and Manasseh (Genesis 48:15-22). Ephraim received the birthright, but both received great blessings.

Ephraim’s name literally means “doubly fruitful.”

Judah was given the blessing of the law and kings (Genesis 49:10). Again, King David and Jesus Christ himself were both from the tribe of Judah.

Jesus Christ is the “Lion of Judah” and the “Root of David” (Revelations 5:5). He is the “Son of David” (Matthew 1:1). He is also the “Stem of Jesse” (Isaiah 11:1, Doctrine and Covenants 113:1-6). Jesse was David’s father.

Jacob and his sons moved from Canaan to Egypt because there was a famine (Genesis 46).

EXODUS FROM EGYPT

The descendents of Jacob, or children of Israel, became slaves in Egypt (Exodus 1).

Moses was from the tribe of Levi (Exodus 2:1-10).

Moses received the priesthood authority from his father-in-law Jethro (Doctrine & Covenants 84:6-18). Jethro was the priest of Midian (Exodus 3:1). Jethro is also referred to as Reuel.

Midian was also the name of one of Abraham’s sons. Jethro was a descendant of Abraham though Midian. Midian’s mother was Keturah, who became Abraham’s wife after Sarah died (Genesis 25:1-1).

God commanded Moses to lead the children of Israel out of Egypt.

Moses was not allowed to cross into the Promised Land, however, because he disobeyed the Lord. The Lord had commanded Moses to speak unto a rock at Meribah before the children of Israel so that the rock would bring forth water. Instead, Moses became angry at the people, and he smote the rock twice with his rod. The rock nevertheless sent forth water, but Moses had shown unbelief and had failed to sanctify the Lord before the people (Numbers 20:8-12).

Some authors claim that the rock symbolized Jesus Christ who is the “Rock of our Salvation” (Psalms 89:26 and 1 Corinthians 10:4).

Moses gave blessings to each of the tribes of Israel, Deuteronomy 33.

After many years, Joshua led the children of Israel into Canaan, which is the land of Israel. Each tribe received a portion of land. Joshua was from the tribe of Ephraim (Numbers 13:8 & 16).

Map of the lands given to the Twelve Tribes.

KINGDOM OF ISRAEL

A series of judges ruled over Israel for a period of about four hundred and fifty years, after they arrived in the land. (Acts 13:20).

Saul, who was from the tribe of Benjamin, became the first king.

David became the next King of Israel, followed by Solomon, and then by Rehoboam.

After the death of King Solomon, the nation of Israel divided in to the northen and southern kingdoms. Rehoboam raised the taxes, which caused the nothern tribes to rebel against him.

Ephraim was the head tribe of the northern kingdom, which consisted of ten tribes. The nothern kingdom’s capital city was Samaria.

Judah was the main tribe of the southern kingdom. The tribe of Benjamin also settled in the southern kingdom.

LOST TRIBES

Furthermore, the people of Israel were wicked. They worshipped the idols Baal and Ashtaroth (Judges 2:13, Hosea 2:8). They even sacrificed their children as burnt offerings to Baal (Jeremiah 19:4-5).

Both the northern tribes of Israel and the southern tribes of Judah and Benjamin had to face the consequences of sin. The sins included pride, idolatry, and whoredoms. The Lord withdrew himself from them (Hosea 5:5-7).

The nation of Assyria began carrying away the northern tribes of Israel in 722 to 721 B.C. (2 Kings 17).

The prophet Daniel in Chapter 1 begins the story of the captivity of Judah.

[1] In the third year of the reign of Jehoiakim king of Judah came Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon unto Jerusalem, and besieged it.

King Nebuchadnezzar invaded Judaea, captured Jerusalem, and destroyed its temple. He carried away the tribe of Judah to Babylon sometime between 588 to 586 B.C. (2 Kings 24 ).

Medo-Persia defeated Babylon in 536 B.C. The Jews later returned to Jerusalem after a 70 year captivity (Jeremiah 24:11 & 29:10).

Ezra 1

[1] Now in the first year of Cyrus king of Persia, that the word of the LORD by the mouth of Jeremiah might be fulfilled, the LORD stirred up the spirit of Cyrus king of Persia, that he made a proclamation throughout all his kingdom, and put it also in writing, saying,
[2] Thus saith Cyrus king of Persia, The LORD God of heaven hath given me all the kingdoms of the earth; and he hath charged me to build him an house at Jerusalem, which is in Judah.
[3] Who is there among you of all his people? his God be with him, and let him go up to Jerusalem, which is in Judah, and build the house of the LORD God of Israel, (he is the God,) which is in Jerusalem.

They remained in Jerusalem until they were driven from the city by the Roman legions in 68 to 73 A.D. Many of the Jews were killed. The surviors were sent to work as slaves throughout the Roman Empire.

What happened to the northern tribes? There are many scriptures that discuss this. One is in Hosea 9.

[17] My God will cast them away, because they did not hearken unto him: and they shall be wanderers among the nations.

Another example is Amos 9:

[9] For, lo, I will command, and I will sift the house of Israel among all nations, like as corn is sifted in a sieve, yet shall not the least grain fall upon the earth.

So the tribes of Israel, including Judah, were scattered throughout the nations of the Earth. This was a consequence of their sin. Yet it was also part of God’s plan. The children of Israel had to live in many nations so that they could fulfill the scripture in Acts 3:

[25] Ye are the children of the prophets, and of the covenant which God made with our fathers, saying unto Abraham, And in thy seed shall all the kindreds of the earth be blessed.

BOOK OF MORMON BACKGROUND

The Book Mormon is another testament of Jesus Christ. It gives the story of Christ’s visit to the American continent after his resurrection. It is also a partial fulfillment of the covenant that God made with Abraham.

The Book of Mormon begins with the account of the prophet Lehi and his family who lived in Jerusalem about 600 B.C.

The Lord warned Lehi that Jerusalem would soon be destroyed because the people were very wicked. Lehi and his family escaped from Jerusalem a few years before the Babylonians destroyed Jerusalem and carried away the surviving Jews to Babylon .

Nephi was one of Lehi’s sons. Before leaving Jerusalem for the final time, Nephi obtained possession of a record called the “Brass Plates” which contained the writings of Isaiah and other Old Testament prophets. The record also gave the genealogy of Lehi’s forefathers.

Lehi and his sons built a ship after traveling eight years in the wilderness of the Arabia . Lehi’s family then sailed to a promised land on the American continent.

Lehi, his son Nephi, and others kept a record of their visions, prophecies, and teachings.

TRIBAL LINEAGE & THE HOUSE OF ISRAEL

Lehi was from the tribe of Joseph, through Mannasseh (Book of Mormon, 1 Nephi 5:14 & Alma 10:3).

Ishmael and his family joined Lehi’s family on the journey. Ishmael was from the tribe of Ephraim. (See Footnote 1).

Lehi and his family also considered themselves to be Jews.

2 Nephi 30

[4] And then shall the remnant of our seed know concerning us, how that we came out from Jerusalem, and that they are descendants of the Jews.

(See also: 2 Nephi 33:8)

Lehi had six sons: Laman, Lemuel, Sam, Nephi, Jacob and Joseph. Lehi died soon after reaching the American continent. His family then split into two groups.

Laman became the head of one group, which included Lemuel and the sons of Ishmael. This group became known as the Lamanites.

Nephi became the head of the Nephite group, which included Sam, Jacob and Joseph.

The Nephites later joined together with another group of people called the Mulekites, who where descendants of Mulek. Mulek was one of the sons of the Jewish King Zedekiah, who was taken captive by King Nebuchadnezzar. The Bible reports that King Zedekiah’s sons were slain (Jeremiah 52:10-11). Yet Mulek survived and fled with a number of others to the American continent.

The combined group referred to themselves as Nephites.

Furthermore, the House of Israel is the olive-tree. The Book of Mormon people are a branch of the olive-tree. The remnants of the house of Israel must be grafted in to the olive-tree in the latter days. They must come to the knowledge that Jesus Christ is the Messiah. (1 Nephi 10:12-14 & 1 Nephi 15:12-19).

JAREDITES

The Book of Mormon also gives the account of the Jaredites who fled to America from Babylon at the time that God confounded the language of the people and scattered them over all the Earth (Genesis 11).

The Bible does not directly state that God destroyed the tower of Babel.

The Book of Jubilees claims, however, that the Lord sent a mighty wind against the tower and overthrew it upon the Earth. The Jubilees is an apocryphal or noncanonical book that is outside of the Bible.

STICK OF JUDAH AND THE STICK OF JOSEPH

Lehi was a descendent of Joseph, the son of Jacob. Recall the words of Ezekial in Chapter 37 of the Old Testament.

[15] The word of the LORD came again unto me, saying,

[16] Moreover, thou son of man, take thee one stick, and write upon it, For Judah, and for the children of Israel his companions: then take another stick, and write upon it, For Joseph, the stick of Ephraim, and for all the house of Israel his companions:

[17] And join them one to another into one stick; and they shall become one in thine hand.

[18] And when the children of thy people shall speak unto thee, saying, Wilt thou not shew us what thou meanest by these?

[19] Say unto them, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I will take the stick of Joseph, which is in the hand of Ephraim, and the tribes of Israel his fellows, and will put them with him, even with the stick of Judah, and make them one stick, and they shall be one in mine hand.

[20] And the sticks whereon thou writest shall be in thine hand before their eyes.

The stick of Judah is the Bible. The stick of Joseph is the Book of Mormon.

NEED FOR THE BOOK OF MORMON

There are many reasons why Lord has given us the Book of Mormon.

The Bible was originally written in a pure form by Jewish prophets and by Christ’s apostles. Over the years, the Bible has been repeatedly translated. In some cases, the translators have made mistakes or omissions. In other cases, verses have been deliberatly altered. Some precious truths have thus been lost from the Bible. (1 Nephi 13:19-29).

The Lord has given us the Book of Mormon to restore his pure gospel teachings.

THE FALL OF ADAM

2 Nephi 2

[19] And after Adam and Eve had partaken of the forbidden fruit they were driven out of the garden of Eden, to till the earth.

[20] And they have brought forth children; yea, even the family of all the earth.

[21] And the days of the children of men were prolonged, according to the will of God, that they might repent while in the flesh; wherefore, their state became a state of probation, and their time was lengthened, according to the commandments which the Lord God gave unto the children of men. For he gave commandment that all men must repent; for he showed unto all men that they were lost, because of the transgression of their parents.

[22] And now, behold, if Adam had not transgressed he would not have fallen, but he would have remained in the garden of Eden. And all things which were created must have remained in the same state in which they were after they were created; and they must have remained forever, and had no end.

[23] And they would have had no children; wherefore they would have remained in a state of innocence, having no joy, for they knew no misery; doing no good, for they knew no sin.

[24] But behold, all things have been done in the wisdom of him who knoweth all things.

[25] Adam fell that men might be; and men are, that they might have joy.

[26] And the Messiah cometh in the fulness of time, that he may redeem the children of men from the fall.

Mormon 9

[12] Behold he (God) created Adam, and by Adam came the fall of man. And because of the fall of man came Jesus Christ, even the Father and the Son; and because of Jesus Christ came the redemption of man.

THE LAW OF MOSES POINTS TO JESUS CHRIST

The Nephites kept the law of Moses.

2 Nephi 11

[4] Behold, my soul delighteth in proving unto my people the truth of the coming of Christ; for, for this end hath the law of Moses been given; and all things which have been given of God from the beginning of the world, unto man, are the typifying of him.

Jacob 4

[5] Behold, they believed in Christ and worshiped the Father in his name, and also we worship the Father in his name. And for this intent we keep the law of Moses, it pointing our souls to him; and for this cause it is sanctified unto us for righteousness, even as it was accounted unto Abraham in the wilderness to be obedient unto the commands of God in offering up his son Isaac, which is a similitude of God and his Only Begotten Son.

CONDESCENSION OF JESUS CHRIST

1 Nephi 11

[16] And he said unto me: Knowest thou the condescension of God?
[18] And he said unto me (Nephi): Behold, the virgin whom thou seest is the mother of the Son of God, after the manner of the flesh.

Mosiah 3 (King Benjamin’s Address)

[5] For behold, the time cometh, and is not far distant, that with power, the Lord Omnipotent who reigneth, who was, and is from all eternity to all eternity, shall come down from heaven among the children of men, and shall dwell in a tabernacle of clay, and shall go forth amongst men, working mighty miracles, such as healing the sick, raising the dead, causing the lame to walk, the blind to receive their sight, and the deaf to hear, and curing all manner of diseases.
[6] And he shall cast out devils, or the evil spirits which dwell in the hearts of the children of men.

[7] And lo, he shall suffer temptations, and pain of body, hunger, thirst, and fatigue, even more than man can suffer, except it be unto death; for behold, blood cometh from every pore, so great shall be his anguish for the wickedness and the abominations of his people.

[8] And he shall be called Jesus Christ, the Son of God, the Father of heaven and earth, the Creator of all things from the beginning; and his mother shall be called Mary.

Alma 7

[9] But behold, the Spirit hath said this much unto me, saying: Cry unto this people, saying—Repent ye, and prepare the way of the Lord, and walk in his paths, which are straight; for behold, the kingdom of heaven is at hand, and the Son of God cometh upon the face of the earth.

[10] And behold, he shall be born of Mary, at Jerusalem which is the land of our forefathers, she being a virgin, a precious and chosen vessel, who shall be overshadowed and conceive by the power of the Holy Ghost, and bring forth a son, yea, even the Son of God.

[11] And he shall go forth, suffering pains and afflictions and temptations of every kind; and this that the word might be fulfilled which saith he will take upon him the pains and the sicknesses of his people.

[12] And he will take upon him death, that he may loose the bands of death which bind his people; and he will take upon him their infirmities, that his bowels may be filled with mercy, according to the flesh, that he may know according to the flesh how to succor his people according to their infirmities.

BECOMING SONS AND DAUGHTERS OF JESUS CHRIST

Mosiah 5 (King Benjamin’s Address)

[7] And now, because of the covenant which ye have made ye shall be called the children of Christ, his sons, and his daughters; for behold, this day he hath spiritually begotten you; for ye say that your hearts are changed through faith on his name; therefore, ye are born of him and have become his sons and his daughters.

Mosiah 16

[15] Teach them that redemption cometh through Christ the Lord, who is the very Eternal Father. Amen.

4 Nephi

[15] And it came to pass that there was no contention in the land, because of the love of God which did dwell in the hearts of the people.

[16] And there were no envyings, nor strifes, nor tumults, nor whoredoms, nor lyings, nor murders, nor any manner of lasciviousness; and surely there could not be a happier people among all the people who had been created by the hand of God.

[17] There were no robbers, nor murderers, neither were there Lamanites, nor any manner of -ites; but they were in one, the children of Christ, and heirs to the kingdom of God.

[18] And how blessed were they! For the Lord did bless them in all their doings; yea, even they were blessed and prospered until an hundred and ten years had passed away; and the first generation from Christ had passed away, and there was no contention in all the land.

Ether 3

[14] Behold, I am he who was prepared from the foundation of the world to redeem my people. Behold, I am Jesus Christ. I am the Father and the Son. In me shall all mankind have life, and that eternally, even they who shall believe on my name; and they shall become my sons and my daughters.

Moroni 7

[19] Wherefore, I beseech of you, brethren, that ye should search diligently in the light of Christ that ye may know good from evil; and if ye will lay hold upon every good thing, and condemn it not, ye certainly will be a child of Christ.

JESUS CHRIST’S VISIT TO THE AMERICAN CONTINENT

Jesus taught his disciples in John 10.

[14] I am the good shepherd, and know my sheep, and am known of mine

[15] As the Father knoweth me, even so know I the Father: and I lay down my life for the sheep.

[16] And 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.

Jesus also said in Matthew 15:

[24] But he answered and said, I am not sent but unto the lost sheep of the house of Israel.

Jesus tried to teach his disciples that he would visit other lost tribes of Israel after his resurrection. The disciples did not understand, however.

Again, the resurrected Jesus Christ visited the Nephites, who were the descendents of Lehi in the American continent. This record is given in the Book of Mormon, in 3 Nephi chapters 11 to 26.

Jesus ministered unto the Nephites. He called twelve men to be his disciples. He gave them the power and authority to baptize (3 Nephi 12:1-2 & 3 Nephi 19:4).

Jesus blessed bread and wine and gave it to the people in remembrance of his blood and body (3 Nephi 18:1-11).

Jesus taught the the people in 2 Nephi 20:

[25] And behold, ye are the children of the prophets; and ye are of the house of Israel; and ye are of the covenant which the Father made with your fathers, saying unto Abraham: And in thy seed shall all the kindreds of the earth be blessed.

Jesus also gave the same gospel teachings to the Nephites that he had previously given to Jews in Galilee and Jerusalem.

WITNESSES

Furthermore, Jesus taught that in the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established. (Matthew 16:18). He has thus given us both the Bible and the Book of Mormon.

The Lord further explains in the Book of Mormon, 2 Nephi 29, that he has given scriptures to all of the lost tribes of Israel. The lost tribes will eventually be gathered together. Then each tribe will have the scriptures from each of the other tribes.

The closing verse in the Gospel of John, chapter 21, foreshadows the coming forth of additional books of scripture:

[25] And there are also many other things which Jesus did, the which, if they should be written every one, I suppose that even the world itself could not contain the books that should be written. Amen.

GATHERING OF THE JEWS AND THE HOUSE OF ISRAEL

Many scriptures in the Book of Mormon prophesy of the gathering of the lost tribes. The gathering is a literal gathering as well as a spiritual gathering.

A new Jerusalem will be established in the American continent. The new Jerusalem will be a holy santuary or the Lord. It will be built up unto the seed of Joseph. Again, Joseph is a tribe of Israel. (Ether 13:1-10)

The city of old Jerusalem in Israel would be built up again and become a holy city of the Lord (Ether 13:5 ).

The Jews will accept Jesus Christ as the true Messiah (2 Nephi 10:5-7, 2 Nephi 25:15-20, 2 Nephi 30:7).

The Jews shall be “restored to the true church and fold of God” and “gathered home to the lands of their inheritance.” (2 Nephi 9:2)

The lost tribes of Israel will be gathered from the four quarters of the Earth (1 Nephi 19:16 & Ether 13:11).

NEW JERUSALEM TO BE BUILT ON THE AMERICAN CONTINENT

Ether 13

[1] And now I, Moroni, proceed to finish my record concerning the destruction of the people of whom I have been writing.

[2] For behold, they rejected all the words of Ether; for he truly told them of all things, from the beginning of man; and that after the waters had receded from off the face of this land it became a choice land above all other lands, a chosen land of the Lord; wherefore the Lord would have that all men should serve him who dwell upon the face thereof;

[3] And that it was the place of the New Jerusalem, which should come down out of heaven, and the holy sanctuary of the Lord.

[4] Behold, Ether saw the days of Christ, and he spake concerning a New Jerusalem upon this land.

[5] And he spake also concerning the house of Israel, and the Jerusalem from whence Lehi should come — after it should be destroyed it should be built up again, a holy city unto the Lord; wherefore, it could not be a new Jerusalem for it had been in a time of old; but it should be built up again, and become a holy city of the Lord; and it should be built unto the house of Israel.

[6] And that a New Jerusalem should be built upon this land, unto the remnant of the seed of Joseph, for which things there has been a type.

[7] For as Joseph brought his father down into the land of Egypt, even so he died there; wherefore, the Lord brought a remnant of the seed of Joseph out of the land of Jerusalem, that he might be merciful unto the seed of Joseph that they should perish not, even as he was merciful unto the father of Joseph that he should perish not.

[8] Wherefore, the remnant of the house of Joseph shall be built upon this land; and it shall be a land of their inheritance; and they shall build up a holy city unto the Lord, like unto the Jerusalem of old; and they shall no more be confounded, until the end come when the earth shall pass away.

[9] And there shall be a new heaven and a new earth; and they shall be like unto the old save the old have passed away, and all things have become new.

[10] And then cometh the New Jerusalem; and blessed are they who dwell therein, for it is they whose garments are white through the blood of the Lamb; and they are they who are numbered among the remnant of the seed of Joseph, who were of the house of Israel.

[11] And then also cometh the Jerusalem of old; and the inhabitants thereof, blessed are they, for they have been washed in the blood of the Lamb; and they are they who were scattered and gathered in from the four quarters of the earth, and from the north countries, and are partakers of the fulfilling of the covenant which God made with their father, Abraham.

See also 3 Nephi 20:22 & 21:23-24.

BOOK OF MORMON & ISAIAH

Lehi’s family had the writings of Old Testament prophets as contained on “Brass Plates,” which they acquired as they left Jerusalem.

The Book of Mormon quotes twenty-one complete chapters of Isaiah and parts of others.

Nephi, Mormon and other prophets frequently exhorted the people to study the words of Isaiah
(1 Nephi 15:20, 1 Nephi 19:23, Mormon 8:23).

The resurrected Jesus Christ taught in 3 Nephi 23

[1] And now, behold, I say unto you, that ye ought to search these things. Yea, a commandment I give unto you that ye search these things diligently; for great are the words of Isaiah.

Isaiah himself foresaw the coming forth of the Book of Momon as part of a “Marvelous Work and Wonder.”

Isaiah 29

[14] Therefore, behold, I will proceed to do a marvellous work among this people, even a marvellous work and a wonder: for the wisdom of their wise men shall perish, and the understanding of their prudent men shall be hid.

SALVATION BY THE GRACE OF JESUS CHRIST

Nephi taught:

2 Nephi 10

[24] Wherefore, my beloved brethren, reconcile yourselves to the will of God, and not to the will of the devil and the flesh; and remember, after ye are reconciled unto God, that it is only in and through the grace of God that ye are saved.

2 Nephi 25

[23] For we labor diligently to write, to persuade our children, and also our brethren, to believe in Christ, and to be reconciled to God; for we know that it is by grace that we are saved, after all we can do.

[24] And, notwithstanding we believe in Christ, we keep the law of Moses, and look forward with steadfastness unto Christ, until the law shall be fulfilled.

[25] For, for this end was the law given; wherefore the law hath become dead unto us, and we are made alive in Christ because of our faith; yet we keep the law because of the commandments.

[26] And we talk of Christ, we rejoice in Christ, we preach of Christ, we prophesy of Christ, and we write according to our prophecies, that our children may know to what source they may look for a remission of their sins.

Furthermore, Moroni taught in Moroni 10:

[32] Yea, come unto Christ, and be perfected in him, and deny yourselves of all ungodliness; and if ye shall deny yourselves of all ungodliness and love God with all your might, mind and strength, then is his grace sufficient for you, that by his grace ye may be perfect in Christ; and if by the grace of God ye are perfect in Christ, ye can in nowise deny the power of God.

[33] And again, if ye by the grace of God are perfect in Christ, and deny not his power, then are ye sanctified in Christ by the grace of God, through the shedding of the blood of Christ, which is in the covenant of the Father unto the remission of your sins, that ye become holy, without spot.

PROSPERITY

The Book of Mormon has a repeated teaching that obedience to the commandments of the Lord brings blessing of prosperity.

An example is

2 Nephi 4

[4] For the Lord God hath said that: Inasmuch as ye shall keep my commandments ye shall prosper in the land; and inasmuch as ye will not keep my commandments ye shall be cut off from my presence.

These teachings are accompanied by warnings against the pride which can come about due to increased wealth.

ADDITIONAL BOOK OF MORMON TEACHINGS

The Book of Mormon contains many teachings on basic gospel principles.

Nephi’s vision of the Tree of Life (1 Nephi chapters 11-13).

Nephi’s teaching on the scattering and gathering of the House of Israel (1 Nephi 22).

Moses as the restorer was a type for the Messiah to come. (1 Nephi 22: 20-21, Acts 3: 22)

Nephi’s Psalm (2 Nephi 4).

Jacob’s teaching on riches and charity (Jacob 2:18-19).

Jacob’s teachings on marital fidelity and chastity (Jacob 2:22-35 & 3:1-8).

King Benjamin’s Address (Mosiah chapters 1-5).

Abinadi teaches the Ten Commandment (Mosiah 13:11-24).

Alma’s teachings on baptism (Mosiah 18).

Amulek’s discourse on the resurrection (Alma 11:26-46).

Alma’s sermon on faith (Alma 32).

Alma’s teaching on the resurrection (Alma 40).

The brother of Jared sees the finger of the Lord (Ether 3).

Moroni’s message on faith, hope and charity (Ether 12 & Moroni 7).

Mormon’s commentary demonstrating knowledge of the heliocentric theory (Helaman 12:15). The Earth orbits around the Sun according to the heliocentric model. This model was not accepted in Europe until Isaac Newton published his theory of gravitation.

WARNINGS

The Book of Mormon contains many warnings against:

Those who harden their hearts against the Holy One of Israel (1 Nephi 22:18)

Those who fight against Zion (1 Nephi 22:14 & 19)

Those who persecute the Jews (2 Nephi 29:4-5, 3 Nephi 29:8)

Those who reject continuing revelation and additional scripture (2 Nephi 28, 2 Nephi 29 & 3 Nephi 29, Mormon 9:7-11)

Churches who deny the power of God (2 Nephi 28:1-16)

Pride (1 Nephi 22:15, 2 Nephi 28:12-14, Jacob 2:16-22, Mormon 8:36-41)

Secret Combinations (Ether 8:19-22)

King-men who would destroy the liberty of the people (Alma Chapters 51, 60 & 62).

BOOK OF MORMON PROMISE

Moroni was a prophet who lived around 400 A.D. He was the son of Mormon.

Moroni gives the following promise in Moroni 10:

[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 merciful 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 ponder it in your hearts.

[4] And when ye shall receive these things, I would exhort you that ye would ask God, the Eternal Father, in the name of Christ, if these things are not true; and if ye shall ask with a sincere heart, with real intent, having faith in Christ, he will manifest the truth of it unto you, by the power of the Holy Ghost.

[5] And by the power of the Holy Ghost ye may know the truth of all things.

ANGEL MORONI

Moroni, as an angel, visited Joseph Smith in 1823 and revealed to him the location of the “Golden Plates” which contained the record of the ancient American prophets. Joseph Smith translated the plates by power given to him from God. The translated record became Book of Mormon.

The Apostle John forsaw that Angel Moroni would bring forth Book of Mormon in the last days.
John wrote in Revelations 14:

[6] And I saw another angel fly in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach unto them that dwell on the earth, and to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people,
[7] Saying with a loud voice, Fear God, and give glory to him; for the hour of his judgment is come: and worship him that made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and the fountains of waters.

(Reference: President Gordon B. Hinckley, “Stay the Course, —Keep the Faith,” Ensign, Nov. 1995).

DISPENSATION OF THE FULLNESS OF TIMES

The publication of the Book of Mormon in 1830 was a partial fulfillment of Paul’s prophesy in Ephesians 1:

[10] That in the dispensation of the fulness of times he might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth; even in him.

The coming forth of the Book of Mormon is a sign that the Lord has begun to gather Israel and to fulfill his covenants (3 Nephi 29).

JOSEPH SMITH’S TESTIMONY

Concerning this record the Prophet Joseph Smith said: “I told the brethren that the Book of Mormon was the most correct of any book on earth, and the keystone of our religion, and a man would get nearer to God by abiding by its precepts, than by any other book.”

(Book of Mormon – Introduction)

Note 1.

The tradition in the Church that Ishmael was an Ephraimite is based on a discourse delivered by Apostle Erastus Snow, in Logan, Utah, 6 May 1882. Elder Snow said:

The Prophet Joseph Smith informed us that the record of Lehi was contained on the 116 pages that were first translated and subsequently stolen, and of which an abridgment is given us in the First Book of Nephi, which is the record of Nephi individually, he himself being of the lineage of Manasseh; but that Ishmael was of the lineage of Ephraim, and that his sons married into Lehi’s family, and Lehi’s sons married Ishmael’s daughters. (Journal of Discourses 23:184)

See also:
Hebrew Book of Mormon Translation

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