Book of Mormon Punctuation

Neither ancient Egyptian nor Hebrew had punctuation.

The following words and phrases effectively serve as punctuation in the Book of Mormon, with the number of occurrences noted.

Yea – 1663
Behold – 1651
And it came to pass – 1123
And now – 650
And thus – 321

And thus we see – 21

* * * * * *

Joseph translated the Book of Mormon and Oliver Cowdery wrote it down. The original translation was “closely written and legible, but not a punctuation mark from beginning to end.”

“The man responsible for punctuating the first edition of the Book of Mormon was John H. Gilbert, the non-Mormon typesetter who worked for E. B. Grandin.”  Gilbert added both punctuation and paragraphing.


  1. Larry C. Port, From a Book Coming Forth, Ensign, July 1988.
  2. George Horton, Understanding Textual Changes in the Book of Mormon, Ensign, December 1983.
  3. Robert J. Matthews, I Have a Question, Ensign, March 1987.

– Tom Irvine

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