Portal:Book of Mormon

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The Book of Mormon Portal

The Book of Mormon published by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

The Book of Mormon is one of the sacred texts of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, named after the prophet-historian Mormon who, according to the text, compiled most of the book. It was published by the founder of the Church, Joseph Smith, Jr., in March 1830 in Palmyra, New York, USA. Its purpose, as stated on its title page, "is to show the remnant of the House of Israel what great things the Lord has done for their fathers" and to convince "Jew and Gentile that Jesus is the Christ, the Eternal God, manifesting himself to all nations."

Joseph Smith, Jr. said the book was a translation of Golden Plates. He said that the angel Moroni told him the plates were buried in a hill near his home (which he later called the Hill Cumorah). He said the translation was made through the power of God with aid of the Urim and Thummim, which were with the plates. He also used seer stones for translation. During the production of the work Smith obtained the affidavits of Three Witnesses and Eight Witnesses who testified they saw and handled the plates. These affidavits are published as part of the Book. When the book was complete, he said he returned the plates to the angel Moroni.

Along with the Bible, which is also held by Latter Day Saints to be the Word of God as far as it is translated correctly, the Book of Mormon is esteemed as part of canon by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, the Community of Christ, The Church of Jesus Christ and other churches that claim Joseph Smith as their founder. In 1982, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints added the subtitle Another Testament of Jesus Christ to its editions of the book to help clarify and emphasize its purpose. Prior to 1982, some editions of the Book of Mormon had included the subtitle, A Second Testament of Jesus Christ.

Selected article

The Book of Ether (/ˈ.θər/) is one of the books that make up the Book of Mormon. The Book of Ether tells of an ancient people (the Jaredites), descendants of Jared and his companions who were led by God to the Americas shortly after the confusion of tongues and the destruction of the Tower of Babel. The title refers to Ether, a Jaredite prophet who lived at the end of the time period covered by the book. The time frame for the events in the book have been estimated as starting anywhere from 2600 BC to 2100 BC and extending to some time beyond 600 BC, giving a date range of at least 1500 years, but possibly as long as 2500 years. The book begins with the journey of Jared and his people from the tumultuous wickedness of the Tower of Babel to "the promised land." The brother of Jared is described as "a large and mighty man ... highly favored of the Lord", and seems to have been the spiritual leader of the group.

Selected history

Photograph of what is believed to be the 1830 document known as the "Anthon Transcript"

The Book of Mormon, a work of scripture of the Latter Day Saint movement, describes itself as having originally been written in reformed Egyptian characters on plates of metal or "ore" by prophets living in the Western Hemisphere from perhaps as early as 2600 BC until as late as AD 421. Joseph Smith, Jr., the movement's founder, published the Book of Mormon in 1830 as a translation of these golden plates. Scholarly reference works on languages do not, however, acknowledge the existence of either a "reformed Egyptian" language or "reformed Egyptian" script as it has been described in Mormon belief. No archaeological, linguistic, or other evidence of the use of Egyptian writing in ancient America has been discovered. On their website, Bad Archaeology, two British archaeologists, Keith Fitzpatrick-Matthews and Dames Doeser, say "The only writing systems to have been recognised in the Americas are those used by the Maya and the Aztecs, neither of which resembles Egyptian hieroglyphs, although Joseph Smith, the founder of the religion, produced a scrap of papyrus containing hieroglyphs he claimed to be a Reformed Egyptian text written by the Patriarch Abraham."

Selected Location

The illustration called "Alma Baptizing in the Waters of Mormon" was published in the book called Cities in the Sun, published by Elizabeth Rachel Cannon in 1910.

The Waters of Mormon, in the 18th chapter of the Book of Mosiah (in The Book of Mormon), is a body of water where about two hundred Nephites were baptized. Soon after the second Nephite evacuation of Lehi-Nephi, these Nephites were en route to Zarahemla when they came to “a place which was called Mormon, having received its name from the king, being in the borders of the land having been infested, by times or at seasons, by wild beasts.” This place of Mormon contained a beautiful fountain of pure water” near which the prophet Alma—a fugitive from King Noah’s court—“did hide himself in the daytime from the searches of the king” and preached the Gospel of Jesus Christ to “as many as believed him”.

Selected biography

Moroni, son of Mormon

Mormon is the prophet in The Book of Mormon after whom the book is named. According to the Introduction and the account of Joseph Smith, Jr., Mormon was the prophet-historian who engraved the book on Golden Plates. Latter Day Saints believe Mormon was a Nephite prophet who lived in the Americas during the 4th century AD.

The Book of Mormon reports that Mormon was instructed by the prophet Ammaron where to find the records that had been passed down from their ancestors. It also claims that Mormon later abridged the near-millennium-long history of his ancestors, a more ancient people, and additional revelations into the Book of Mormon. The divisions of Mormon attributed to the prophet are the Words of Mormon and the first seven chapters of the larger book. Mormon eventually passed all of the records on to his son Moroni.

Selected Quotes

The Book of Jacob Chapter 5

Jacob quotes Zenos relative to the allegory of the tame and wild olive trees—They are a likeness of Israel and the Gentiles—The scattering and gathering of Israel are prefigured—Allusions are made to the Nephites and Lamanites and all the house of Israel—The Gentiles will be grafted into Israel—Eventually the vineyard will be burned.

1 Behold, my brethren, do ye not remember to have read the words of the prophet Zenos, which he spake unto the house of Israel, saying:

2 Hearken, O ye house of Israel, and hear the words of me, a prophet of the Lord.

3 For behold, thus saith the Lord, I will liken thee, O house of Israel, like unto a tame olive tree, which a man took and nourished in his vineyard; and it grew, and waxed old, and began to decay.

4 And it came to pass that the master of the vineyard went forth, and he saw that his olive tree began to decay; and he said: I will prune it, and dig about it, and nourish it, that perhaps it may shoot forth young and tender branches, and it perish not.

5 And it came to pass that he pruned it, and digged about it, and nourished it according to his word.

6 And it came to pass that after many days it began to put forth somewhat a little, young and tender branches; but behold, the main top thereof began to perish.

7 And it came to pass that the master of the vineyard saw it, and he said unto his servant: It grieveth me that I should lose this tree; wherefore, go and pluck the branches from a wild olive tree, and bring them hither unto me; and we will pluck off those main branches which are beginning to wither away, and we will cast them into the fire that they may be burned.

8 And behold, saith the Lord of the vineyard, I take away many of these young and tender branches, and I will graft them whithersoever I will; and it mattereth not that if it so be that the root of this tree will perish, I may preserve the fruit thereof unto myself; wherefore, I will take these young and tender branches, and I will graft them whithersoever I will.


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