This chronology outlines the major events in the history of the Book of Mormon, according to the text. Dates given correspond to dates in the footnotes of the LDS edition of the Book of Mormon, found online here .
Nephi's brothers and the sons of Ishmael "make themselves merry", "with much rudeness". Nephi fears they will offend God and speaks to them "with much soberness". Laman and Lemuel bind Nephi. Storms arise, their compass ceases to work and they are "driven back upon the waters for the space of three days." On the fourth day, Nephi's brethren see that "the judgements of God were upon them" and they release Nephi.
Nephi guides the ship "towards the promised land".
Abinadom, son of Chemish, records that he has seen "much war and contention" (Omni 1:10) between the Nephites and the Lamanites.
Mosiah is "warned of the Lord that he should flee out of the land of Nephi" (Omni 1:12). Mosiah and "as many as would hearken unto the voice of the Lord" (Omni 1:12) depart the land of Nephi and are led through the wilderness to Zarahemla.
An expedition seeks to return to the land of Nephi, "desirous to possess the land of their inheritance" (Omni 1:27). They depart, but contention arises and all but fifty are slain. They return to Zarahemla.
Zeniff leads a second expedition to the land of Nephi. They treat with the king of the Lamanites, who gives them the lands of Lehi-Nephi and Shilom, displacing their Lamanite inhabitants.
Note: From this point the land where the people of Zeniff dwell is referred to as the land of Lehi-Nephi, but sometimes as the land of Nephi.
Noah rules in wickedness, taking many wives and concubines. He replaces the priests of his father with his own priests. The people are heavily taxed to support the lavish lifestyle of Noah and his cohorts.
Noah builds many buildings, including "a spacious palace" (Mosiah 11:9) and a tall tower near the temple, where he could overlook the lands of Shilom and Shemlon.
Noah plants vineyards and builds wine presses and becomes a "wine-bibber" (Mosiah 11:15). He and his priests spend their lives "in riotous living" (Mosiah 11:14).
The Lamanites come upon small numbers of the people of Noah and slay them. Noah sends guards, but in insufficient numbers.
The Lamanites continue to harass Noah's people and Noah send his armies to drive them back. Victorious, the army returns "rejoicing in their spoil" (Mosiah 11:18), and boasting of their strength.
Abinadi begins to prophesy to the people of King Noah, telling them they must repent or they will be delivered into the hands of their enemies. King Noah rejects Abinadi's prophecies and desires to slay him, but is unable to capture Abinadi.
Abinadi again begins to prophesy, saying that because the people of Noah have not repented, they will be brought into bondage.
The people take Abinadi, bind him and bring him before the king. Noah casts Abinadi into prison.
Noah and his priest have Abinadi brought before them for questioning.
Abinadi rebukes the king and his priests. Noah orders his priests to take Abinadi away and slay him, but he is protected by divine power and continues to teach them the commandments and redemption through Christ.
Abinadi finishes his address and Noah again commands his priests to slay him. One of Noah's priests, Alma, believes Abinadi and asks that Abinadi "might depart in peace" (Mosiah 16:2). Noah casts Alma out and commands that he be slain. Alma flees. Abinadi is cast back into prison.
After three days, Abinadi is brought before the king and priests again. Noah sentences Abinadi to death (for blasphemy) unless he recalls his words. Abinadi refuses and suffers death by fire.
The people of Alma prosper in the land of Helam. Alma serves as high priest.
The fugitive priests of King Noah kidnap several Lamanite women.
The Lamanites, mistakenly blaming the people of Limhi, attack but withdraw when they see their error.
The people of Limhi, having failed three times to overcome the Lamanites by force, become resigned to their tributary status.
The priests of King Noah, with the Lamanite women, settle in a land they name after their leader, Amulon.
Limhi sends a group to search for the land of Zarahemla. They discover instead the land formerly occupied by the Jaredites. They bring back a record on twenty-four plates but they are unable to read it.
Ammon discovers the people of Limhi and assists them in escaping from the Lamanites. The people of Limhi join Mosiah's people in Zarahemla.
An army of Lamanites pursue the people of Limhi but become lost after two days. The Lamanite army discovers the land of Amulon. The people of Amulon join the Lamanites. Together the Lamanites and Amulonites discover the people of Alma and take possession of the land of Helam.
Laman, king of the Lamanites, appoints Amulon and his brethren to instruct his people. The Lamanites "increase in riches" and become "a cunning and wise people, as to the wisdom of the world" (Mosiah 24:7).
Amulon begins to exercise authority over the people of Alma. Alma's people are persecuted and afflicted.
Many Nephites, especially the younger generation, refuse to join the church.
Mosiah forbids persecution of the church by unbelievers.
Alma, son of Alma, and the four sons of Mosiah are numbered among the unbelievers. Alma the Younger becomes "a great hinderment to the prosperity of the church of God" (Mosiah 27:9), secretly seeking, with the sons of Mosiah, to destroy the church.
An angel appears to Alma the Younger and the sons of Mosiah, telling them to "seek to destroy the church no more" (Mosiah 27:16). They fall to the earth. Alma is insensible for two days but awakens to tell of his conversion. Alma the Younger and the sons of Mosiah thenceforward seek to build up the church.
The sons of Mosiah refuse to succeed their father as king. They leave Zarahemla to carry the message of the gospel to the Lamanites.
Mosiah translates the twenty-four plates discovered by the people of Limhi. They contain the record of the Jaredites.
Mosiah gives all the records, including the brass plates and the plates of Limhi, and "the interpreters" (Mosiah 28:20) to Alma.
Mosiah, having no heir and fearing the difficulties that would arise from a contested succession or the rule of an unjust king, proposes the establishment of the rule of law, with judges to govern the people. Judges are to be appointed by the people and higher judges may overrule lower judges. The chief judge may be overruled by a council of lesser judges. Mosiah will continue to serve as king until his death.
Alma the Younger is appointed as the first chief judge. He is also appointed high priest by his father.
The sons of Mosiah: Ammon, Aaron, Omner and Himni, preach among the Lamanites
Ammon goes to the land of Ishmael and is taken captive. He is brought before the king, Lamoni. Ammon becomes Lamoni's servant and miraculously preserves the kings flocks.
Ammon is called before the king. Lamoni is converted and Ammon establishes a church in Ishmael.
Aaron is rejected by the people of Jerusalem. He and his companions are imprisoned in the land of Middoni.
Ammon and Lamoni journey to Middoni to free the prisoners. They meet Lamoni's father, king of all the Lamanites. Believing Ammon has deceived his son, Lamoni's father tries to slay Ammon. Ammon withstands the old king and persuades him to allow Lamoni to rule unhindered. Ammon and Lamoni proceed to Middoni and free the prisoners.
Aaron visits Lamoni's father, who is troubled by the words of Ammon regarding repentance and salvation. Aaron teaches and converts the king and all his household.
Religious freedom is granted to all Lamanites. The Lamanites in the lands of Ishmael and Middoni, the city of Nephi, and several other cities are converted. The Amalekites and Amulonites, Nephite dissenters living among the Lamanites, are not converted.
The converted Lamanites call themselves the Anti-Nephi-Lehies. They vow never to take up arms again.
Lamoni's father confers the kingdom on his son, Anti-Nephi-Lehi. Lamoni's father dies.
The uncoverted Lamanites prepare to make war against the Anti-Nephi-Lehies. They reiterate their refusal to take up arms, even to defend themselves.
The Lamanites attack the Anti-Nephi-Lehies, but desist when the Anti-Nephi-Lehies refuse to defend themselves. Many of the attackers are converted.
76 BC: The Lamanites come against the Nephites. There is a "tremendous battle" (Alma 28:2) with great losses on both sides. The Lamanites are defeated and there is peace for two years.
74 BC: Korihor, an antichrist, preaches false doctrine and is brought before Alma. Korihor demands a sign from God and is struck dumb. Korihor recants, in writing, and is later trampled to death by the Zoramites, an apostate group.
Alma leads a mission to the Zoramites. They are rejected by the more wealthy people, but enjoy success among the poorer classes.
The Zoramites cast out the converts who join with the Ammonites in Jershon. The Zoramites begin to mingle with the Lamanites and prepare to go to war against the Nephites.
The Ammonites remove to the land of Melek so that the armies of the Nephites can occupy the land of Jershon.
Alma sorrows for the iniquity of his people and the bloodshed and wars. He counsels his sons, Helaman, Shiblon and Corianton.
The Zoramites become Lamanites. The army of the Lamanites, led by Zerahemnah, come to battle against the Nephites. Moroni, chief captain of the Nephites, asks Alma to inquire of the Lord how to direct his armies. Moroni and Lehi lead the Nephites to victory.
73 BC: Alma gives the records to his son, Helaman. Alma is "taken up by the Spirit,...even as Moses" (Alma 45:19).
Amalickiah, desiring to be king, persuades many Nephites to dissent. He and his followers seek to obtain power and destroy the church and the government.
Moroni, angered by Amalickiah's actions, rends his coat and writes upon it--"In memory of our God, our religion, our freedom, and our peace, our wives and our children" (Alma 46:12). He fastens the writing to a pole and calls it the "title of liberty" (Alma 46:13).
Moroni goes forth with the title of liberty and raises an army to defeat the Amalickiahites. Outnumbered, the Amalickiahites seek to flee and join with the Lamanites, but Moroni heads them off, although Amalickiah and a few followers escape. The dissenters are compelled to swear allegiance or be put to death.
72 BC: Amalickiah uses treachery, murder and intrigue to become king of the Lamanites. He incites the Lamanites to war with the Nephites.
Moroni prepares for war by fortifying the Nephite cities.
The Lamanites come to war but are unable to overcome Moroni's defenses. When their chief captains are slain, the Lamanites withdraw.
Helaman, Shiblon, Corianton and Ammon preach among the people. (Alma 49:30)
Moroni erects a fortified line of cities between the Nephites and the Lamanites.
72 to 69 BC: The Nephites prosper: "There never was a happier time among the people of Nephi" (Alma 50:23)
The people of Morianton contend with the people of Lehi over possession of land. The people of Morianton attempt to flee to the land northward. An army of Nephites, led by Teancum, overtakes them and defeats them in battle.
Nephihah dies. Pahoran, son of Nephihah is appointed chief judge.
The "king-men" try to alter the law to allow the establishment of a king over the Nephites. They fail to persuade a majority.
Amalickiah again leads the Lamanites to war against the Nephites. The king-men refuse to assist in defending the Nephites. Moroni sends an army to compel the dissenters to defend their country or be put to death. Four hundred king-men are killed and the rebellion is put down.
The Nephites armies, reduced by the rebellion, are unable to defend their cities. The Lamanites take possession of many cities.
Teancum steals into the Lamanite camp and slays Amalickiah.
Ammoron, brother of Amalickiah, is appointed king of the Lamanites. Ammoron returns to the land of the Lamanites, leaving Jacob in charge of the Lamanite armies in Zarahemla.
Moroni, Teancum and Lehi retake the city of Mulek. Jacob is slain. Many Lamanites are taken prisoner.
The Lamanites take possession of a number of cities near the west sea.
The people of Ammon, seeing the precarious situation of the Nephites, considering taking up arms again. Helaman persuades them to uphold their oath to renounce arms, but raises an army of two thousand of their sons who had not taken the oath.
Ammoron negotiates with Moroni for the exchange of prisoners, but they are unable to come to terms. The Nephite prisoners escape. The city of Gid is retaken.
Helaman and Antipus win a great victory over the Lamanite army, taking many prisoners of war. They send the prisoners under guard to Zarahemla. The Lamanite armies attack the Nephites guarding the prisoners and free the prisoners. Helaman, Gid and Teancum defeat the Lamanites, defending the city of Cumeni and retaking the city of Manti.
Moroni writes to Pahoran, complaining of lack of support for his armies from the Nephite government.
Pahoran replies that the king-men have rebelled and he has been compelled to flee to the land of Gideon. The king-men hold the city of Zarahemla and are in league with the Lamanites. Pahoran requests Moroni's aid in defeating the dissenters.
Moroni marches to Zarahemla, raising assistance en route. Moroni and Pahoran defeat the king-men in Zarahemla and slay Pachus, their leader. The dissenters are once again compelled to defend their country or be put to death.
Moroni and Pahoran retake the city of Nephihah. Many Lamanite prisoners join the people of Ammon. Moroni, Lehi and Teancum pursue the Lamanite armies. Teancum steals into the Lamanite camp and slays Ammoron, but is slain in turn. The Nephite armies, under Moroni and Teancum, defeat the Lamanites and drive them from the land of Zarahemla.
52 BC: Pahoran dies. Pahoran's sons, Pahoran, Paanchi and Pacumeni, contend for the judgement-seat. Pahoran is appointed chief judge by the voice of the people. Paanchi incites rebellion and is condemned to death. Kishkumen founds a secret combination and murders Pahoran on the judgement-seat. Pacumeni is appointed chief judge.
51 BC: A Lamanite army, led by Coriantumr, takes possession of the city of Zarahemla and slays Pacumeni. Moronihah retakes Zarahemla and Coriantumr is slain.
50 BC: Helaman, son of Helaman, is appointed chief judge.
Gadianton becomes the leader of Kishkumen's band. Kishkumen attempts to murder Helaman but is slain by Helaman's servant. Gadianton's band flees into the wilderness.
46 BC: There is "much contention and many dissensions" (Helaman 3:3). Many Nephites leave Zarahemla and settle in the land northward.
45 BC: Helaman rules "with justice and equity" (Helaman 3:20) and the contentions lessen. Helaman's sons, Nephi and Lehi, are mentioned.
43 BC: Peace is established except for the secret combinations of Gadianton.
41 BC: Pride begins to enter the church.
39 BC: Helaman dies. Nephi, son of Helaman, becomes chief judge.
38 BC: There are "many dissensions in the church, and...contention among the people" (Helaman 4:1). The Nephite dissenters go over to the Lamanites.
35-33 BC: The Lamanites come against the Nephites. They take possession of all "the land southward" (Helaman 4:8).
32-31 BC: Moronihah succeeds in regaining half the Nephite lands.
30 BC: The Nephites "abandon their desire to obtain the remainder of their lands" (Helaman 4:19).
Nephi gives up the judgement-seat to Cezoram.
Nephi and Lehi go forth to preach repentance to the Nephites, then to the Lamanites in the land of Zarahemla, and then to the land of Nephi.
Many Lamanites are converted. The Lamanites yield up the lands of the Nephites.
Between 29 and 24 BC, the lands of Mulek and Lehi
29 BC: The Lamanites become more righteous than the Nephites.
The Nephites and Lamanites enjoy peace and free trade among their peoples.
The land north is called Mulek and the land south is called Lehi.
26 BC: Cezoram is murdered on the judgement-seat by Gadianton's band.
25 BC: The people become more wicked. Gadianton's robbers prosper, especially among the Nephites.
24 BC: The Lamanites drive the Gadianton robbers from their lands. The Nephites build up and support the robbers and their secret combinations. The Gadianton robbers obtain control of the Nephite government.
Gadianton's band increases in numbers. They "make great havoc, yea, even great destruction among the people of Nephi, and also among the people of the Lamanites" (Helaman 11:27). The robbers defy the armies of the Nephites and the Lamanites. The people grow more wicked.
AD 15: Giddianhi, leader of the Gadianton robbers, sends an epistle to Lachoneus, the chief judge, demanding the surrender of the Nephites.
AD 17: The Nephites gather in the lands of Zarahemla and Bountiful. They bring sufficient supplies to withstand seven years of siege.
AD 18: The Gadianton robbers take possession of the abandoned Nephite lands, but cannot subsist without plundering the Nephites. They attack the Nephites and are driven back. Giddianhi is slain.
AD 21: Zemnarihah, the new leader of the robbers, lays siege to the Nephite fortifications, but the siege is more damaging to the robbers than to the Nephites. Zemnarihah determines to withdraw. Gidgiddoni, leader of the Nephite armies, knowing their weakness, attacks the robbers and defeats them. Zemnarihah is hanged.
The Nephites hunt out the remnants of the robber band. The robbers are destroyed.
AD 26: The Nephites return to their former lands, and the Nephites prosper for a time.
AD 29: Contentions over power and wealth arise. The people become wicked. Secret combinations arise once more, seeking to murder the prophets and to overthrow the government.
AD 30: Lachoneus, son of Lachoneus, becomes chief judge. Lachoneus II is murdered and the government is overthrown. The people divide into tribes, "every man according to his kindred and friends" (3 Nephi 7:2). The secret combinations gather to a tribe led by a man named Jacob, and flee into the land northward.
AD 31-33: Nephi ministers to the people and performs miracles, but few are converted.
At the commencement of AD 34, throughout the land
AD 34, the fourth day of the first month: Great and terrible destruction occurs -- "The face of the whole earth became deformed" (3 Nephi 8:17). Many cities are destroyed with their inhabitants. The destruction lasts "for about the space of three hours" (3 Nephi 8:19).
Unremitting darkness covers the land for three days. "There was not any light seen, neither fire, nor glimmer, neither the sun, nor the moon, for the stars" (3 Nephi 8:22).
As the people howl and mourn their great losses, a voice from heaven proclaims the destruction of numerous people and cities, because of their wickedness. The voice continues: "I am Jesus Christ, the Son of God" (3 Nephi 9:15). He declares the fulfillment of the law of Moses and invites all men to repent and come unto Him.
The darkness disperses and the earthquakes and groanings from the earth cease. The mourning of the survivors is "turned into joy, and their lamentations into the praise and thanksgiving unto the Lord Jesus Christ" (3 Nephi 10:10).
Those who were spared were "the more righteous part of the people" (3 Nephi 10:12). They recognize their survival as the fulfillment of prophecy.
"In the ending of the thirty and fourth year" (3 Nephi 10:18) a great multitude gathers near the temple in the land of Bountiful.
The voice of God invites the multitude: "Behold, my Beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased" (3 Nephi 11:7).
Jesus descends out of heaven. He invites the multitude to examine the wounds in His hands and feet and side. He instructs them in the correct manner of baptism. He chooses twelve men, including Nephi, to minister to the people.
Jesus preaches to the multitude and delivers a discourse similar to the Sermon on the Mount. He announces the fulfillment of the law of Moses.
He tells the Nephites that they are the "other sheep" that he spoke of to the Jews. He tells them there are yet other sheep that he will visit.
He directs the people to pray and speaks to them in words that cannot be written (3 Nephi 17:17). Angels minister to the people.
Christ institutes the sacrament and commands them to pray. He ascends into heaven.
The people disperse to their homes and word goes out that Christ will appear again tomorrow. Those further away "labor exceedingly all that night" to be at the place where Christ will appear.
The next day, the twelve disciples divide the multitude into twelve groups and rehearse to them the words of Christ. They invite them to pray for the Holy Ghost and all are baptized by the twelve disciples. They are encircled with fire and angels minister to them.
Christ appears in their midst and ministers unto them. He miraculously provides bread and wine and administers the sacrament.
Christ speaks of the last days and of the gathering of Israel. He recites the prophecies of Isaiah and Malachi.
In all, Christ teaches the people for three days. He ministers to the children and heals the sick.
The people are taught and baptized by the twelve disciples. They have "all things common among them" (3 Nephi 26:19).
Jesus appears again to the twelve in answer to their prayer concerning the name of the church. Christ tells them the church must be called in His name. Three disciples are given power to remain on the earth until Christ's second coming.
The twelve "go forth among all the people of Nephi" (3 Nephi 28:23) and preach. The people are converted and "united unto the church of Christ" (3 Nephi 28:23).
AD 36: "The people [are] all converted unto the Lord" (4 Nephi 1:2).
AD 36-60: There is continual peace. The disciples of Jesus perform many "great and marvelous works" (4 Nephi 5).
Many cities, including Zarahemla, are rebuilt.
AD 100: All the disciples, save "the three who should tarry" (4 Nephi 1:14), have died and others are chosen in their stead. Amos, son of Nephi, takes charge of the records.
"Surely there could not be a happier people among all the people who had been created by the hand of God" (4 Nephi 1:16). There are no robbers, or Lamanites, "nor any manner of -ites" (4 Nephi 1:17).
AD 110: All the first generation from Christ have died.
AD 194: Amos dies. Amos, son of Amos, keeps the records.
A small group of people revolt from the church and call themselves Lamanites.
AD 200: All but a few of the second generation have died.
AD 201: Some begin to be lifted up in pride in "costly apparel...and of the fine things of the world" (4 Nephi 1:24). The people no longer have their goods and substance in common, and they begin to be divided in classes.
AD 211: There are many churches in the land, some of which deny Christ and persecute believers.
AD 231: There is a great division. The believers are called Nephites and the unbelievers are called Lamanites.
AD 245: The wicked are "exceedingly more numerous" (4 Nephi 1:40) than the people of God.
AD 261: The secret combinations and oaths of Gadianton reappear.
AD 301: The Nephites have become as wicked as the Lamanites.
AD 306: Amos dies. His brother Ammaron takes charge of the records.
AD 331: Mormon and his army of 42,000 defeats the Lamanite king, Aaron, and his army of 44,000.
AD 335 (about): Mormon goes to the hill called Shim in the land Antum, takes the plates of Nephi, and begins his abridgment of the records.
AD 345: Nephites retreat to the land of Jashon, but are driven forth again northward to the land of Shem.
AD 346: A Nephite army of 30,000 beats a Lamanite army of 50,000.
AD 350: The Nephites make a treaty with the Lamanites and the Gadianton Robbers, giving the Nephites the land northward up "to the narrow passage which led into the land southward", and giving the Lamanites the land southward (Mormon 2:28-9).
AD 360: Lamanites again come to battle the Nephites.
AD 362: Nephites beat the Lamanites in battle and begin to boast in their own strength and "swear before the heavens that they would avenge themselves of the blood of their brethren who had been slain by their enemies" (Mormon 3:9). Mormon "utterly refuse[s]...to be a commander and a leader" to the Nephites (Mormon 3:11).
AD 363: Nephite armies attack the Lamanites and are beaten back. Lamanites take the city of Desolation.
AD 364-66: Lamanites attack the city of Teancum, but are driven back. Nephites retake the city of Desolation.
AD 367: Mormon describes "the horrible scene of the blood and carnage which was among the people, both of the Nephites and of the Lamanites" (Mormon 4:11). Lamanites take the city of Desolation back driving the Nephites before them, next attacking the city of Teancum and taking many women and children prisoners to offer up as sacrifices to their idol gods. Nephites drive the Lamanites out of their land in anger over Lamanite sacrifices (Mormon 4:15).
AD 375: After eight years of no conflict between the two sides, the Lamanites attack. Meanwhile, the Nephites, from this point forth, gain no power over their enemies (Mormon 4:16-18), resulting in a nationwide retreat (Mormon 4:22).
Sometime between AD 375 and 380: Mormon resumes command of the Nephite armies.
Between AD 380 and 385: Mormon, with the permission of the Lamanites' king, gathers his people to Cumorah to fight the Lamanites.
They then go to battle, resulting in the annihilation of the Nephite nation, with 230,000 Nephite casualties, or 10,000 each led by 23 captains. Only 24 survive, including Mormon and his son Moroni. Mormon bids farewell to the once great nation.
Between AD 385 and 400: Of the remaining survivors of the final battle, all are hunted down and slain, except for Moroni.
Between AD 401 and 421: Moroni finishes his father's work (Mormon 8); abridges the book of Ether, the record of the Jaredites; and finishes with his own book, including the church ordinances (Moroni 2-6) and some of his father's teachings and writings (Moroni 7, 8, 9).
About AD 421: Moroni finishes the work his father and ancestors started, leaving a promise to its readers, and buries it in the earth.