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A Library Tour of Mormon 1-5
1 And now I, Mormon, make a record of the things which I have both seen and heard,
and call it the Book of Mormon.
2 And about the time that Ammaron hid up the records unto the Lord, he came unto
me, (I being about ten years of age, and I began to be learned somewhat after the
manner of the learning of my people) and Ammaron said unto me: I perceive that thou
art a sober 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 land Antum, unto a hill which shall be called Shim; and there have
I deposited unto the Lord all the sacred engravings concerning this people.
4 And behold, ye shall take the plates 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.
5 And I, Mormon, being a descendant of Nephi, (and my father's name was Mormon) I
remembered the things which Ammaron commanded me.
6 And it came to pass that I, being eleven years old, was carried by my father into
the land southward, even to the land of Zarahemla.
7 The whole face of the land had become covered with buildings, and the people were
as numerous almost, as it were the sand of the sea.
8 And it came to pass in this year there began to be a war between the Nephites,
who consisted of the Nephites and the Jacobites and the Josephites and the Zoramites;
and this war was between the Nephites, and the Lamanites and the Lemuelites and the
9 Now the Lamanites and the Lemuelites and the Ishmaelites were called Lamanites,
and the two parties were Nephites and Lamanites.
10 And it came to pass that the war began to be among them in the borders of Zarahemla,
by the waters of Sidon.
11 And it came to pass that the Nephites had gathered together a great number of
men, even to exceed the number of thirty thousand. And it came to pass that they
did have in this same year a number of battles, in which the Nephites did beat the
Lamanites and did slay many of them.
12 And it came to pass that the Lamanites withdrew their design, and there was peace
settled in the land; and peace did remain for the space of about four years, that
there was no bloodshed.
13 But wickedness did prevail upon the face of the whole land, insomuch that the
Lord did take away his beloved disciples, and the work of miracles and of healing
did cease because of the iniquity of the people.
14 And there were no gifts from the Lord, and the Holy Ghost did not come upon any,
because of their wickedness and unbelief.
15 And I, being fifteen years of age and being somewhat of a sober mind, therefore
I was visited of the Lord, and tasted and knew of the goodness of Jesus.
16 And I did endeavor to preach unto this people, but my mouth was shut, and I was
forbidden that I should preach unto them; for behold they had wilfully rebelled against
their God; and the beloved disciples were taken away out of the land, because of
17 But I did remain among them, but I was forbidden to preach unto them, because
of the hardness of their hearts; and because of the hardness of their hearts the
land was cursed for their sake.
18 And these Gadianton robbers, who were among the Lamanites, did infest the land,
insomuch that the inhabitants thereof began to hide up their treasures in the earth;
and they became slippery, because the Lord had cursed the land, that they could not
hold them, nor retain them again.
19 And it came to pass that there were sorceries, and witchcrafts, and magics; and
the power of the evil one was wrought upon all the face of the land, even unto the
fulfilling of all the words of Abinadi, and also Samuel the Lamanite.
1 And it came to pass in that same year there began to be a war again between the
Nephites and the Lamanites. And notwithstanding I being young, was large in stature;
therefore the people of Nephi appointed me that I should be their leader, or the
leader of their armies.
2 Therefore it came to pass that in my sixteenth year I did go forth at the head
of an army of the Nephites, against the Lamanites; therefore three hundred and twenty
and six years had passed away.
3 And it came to pass that in the three hundred and twenty and seventh year the Lamanites
did come upon us with exceedingly great power, insomuch that they did frighten my
armies; therefore they would not fight, and they began to retreat towards the north
4 And it came to pass that we did come to the city of Angola, and we did take possession
of the city, and make preparations to defend ourselves against the Lamanites. And
it came to pass that we did fortify the city with our might; but notwithstanding
all our fortifications the Lamanites did come upon us and did drive us out of the
5 And they did also drive us forth out of the land of David.
6 And we marched forth and came to the land of Joshua, which was in the borders west
by the seashore.
7 And it came to pass that we did gather in our people as fast as it were possible,
that we might get them together in one body.
8 But behold, the land was filled with robbers and with Lamanites; and notwithstanding
the great destruction which hung over my people, they did not repent of their evil
doings; therefore there was blood and carnage spread throughout all the face of the
land, both on the part of the Nephites and also on the part of the Lamanites; and
it was one complete revolution throughout all the face of the land.
9 And now, the Lamanites had a king, and his name was Aaron; and he came against
us with an army of forty and four thousand. And behold, I withstood him with forty
and two thousand. And it came to pass that I beat him with my army that he fled before
me. And behold, all this was done, and three hundred and thirty years had passed
10 And it came to pass that the Nephites began to repent of their iniquity, and began
to cry even as had been prophesied by Samuel the prophet; for behold no man could
keep that which was his own, for the thieves, and the robbers, and the murderers,
and the magic art, and the witchcraft which was in the land.
11 Thus there began to be a mourning and a lamentation in all the land because of
these things, and more especially among the people of Nephi.
12 And it came to pass that when I, Mormon, saw their lamentation and their mourning
and their sorrow before the Lord, my heart did begin to rejoice within me, knowing
the mercies and the long-suffering of the Lord, therefore supposing that he would
be merciful unto them that they would again become a righteous people.
13 But behold this my joy was vain, for their sorrowing was not unto repentance,
because of the goodness of God; but it was rather the sorrowing of the damned, because
the Lord would not always suffer them to take happiness in sin.
14 And they did not come unto Jesus with broken hearts and contrite spirits, but
they did curse God, and wish to die. Nevertheless they would struggle with the sword
for their lives.
15 And it came to pass that my sorrow did return unto me again, and I saw that the
day of grace was passed with them, both temporally and spiritually; for I saw thousands
of them hewn down in open rebellion against their God, and heaped up as dung upon
the face of the land. And thus three hundred and forty and four years had passed
16 And it came to pass that in the three hundred and forty and fifth year the Nephites
did begin to flee before the Lamanites; and they were pursued until they came even
to the land of Jashon, before it was possible to stop them in their retreat.
17 And now, the city of Jashon was near the land where Ammaron had deposited the
records unto the Lord, that they might not be destroyed. And behold I had gone according
to the word of Ammaron, and taken the plates of Nephi, and did make a record according
to the words of Ammaron.
18 And upon the plates of Nephi I did make a full account of all the wickedness and
abominations; but upon these plates I did forbear to make a full account of their
wickedness and abominations, for behold, a continual scene of wickedness and abominations
has been before mine eyes ever since I have been sufficient to behold the ways of
19 And wo is me because of their wickedness; for my heart has been filled with sorrow
because of their wickedness, all my days; nevertheless, I know that I shall be lifted
up at the last day.
20 And it came to pass that in this year the people of Nephi again were hunted and
driven. And it came to pass that we were driven forth until we had come northward
to the land which was called Shem.
21 And it came to pass that we did fortify the city of Shem, and we did gather in
our people as much as it were possible, that perhaps we might save them from destruction.
22 And it came to pass in the three hundred and forty and sixth year they began to
come upon us again.
23 And it came to pass that I did speak unto my people, and did urge them with great
energy, that they would stand boldly before the Lamanites and fight for their wives,
and their children, and their houses, and their homes.
24 And my words did arouse them somewhat to vigor, insomuch that they did not flee
from before the Lamanites, but did stand with boldness against them.
25 And it came to pass that we did contend with an army of thirty thousand against
an army of fifty thousand. And it came to pass that we did stand before them with
such firmness that they did flee from before us.
26 And it came to pass that when they had fled we did pursue them with our armies,
and did meet them again, and did beat them; nevertheless the strength of the Lord
was not with us; yea, we were left to ourselves, that the Spirit of the Lord did
not abide in us; therefore we had become weak like unto our brethren.
27 And my heart did sorrow because of this the great calamity of my people, because
of their wickedness and their abominations. But behold, we did go forth against the
Lamanites and the robbers of Gadianton, until we had again taken possession of the
lands of our inheritance.
28 And the three hundred and forty and ninth year had passed away. And in the three
hundred and fiftieth year we made a treaty with the Lamanites and the robbers of
Gadianton, in which we did get the lands of our inheritance divided.
29 And the Lamanites did give unto us the land northward, yea, even to the narrow
passage which led into the land southward. And we did give unto the Lamanites all
the land southward.
1 And it came to pass that the Lamanites did not come to battle again until ten years
more had passed away. And behold, I had employed my people, the Nephites, in preparing
their lands and their arms against the time of battle.
2 And it came to pass that the Lord did say unto me: Cry unto this people -- Repent
ye, and come unto me, and be ye baptized, and build up again my church, and ye shall
3 And I did cry unto this people, but it was in vain; and they did not realize that
it was the Lord that had spared them, and granted unto them a chance for repentance.
And behold they did harden their hearts against the Lord their God.
4 And it came to pass that after this tenth year had passed away, making, in the
whole, three hundred and sixty years from the coming of Christ, the king of the Lamanites
sent an epistle unto me, which gave unto me to know that they were preparing to come
again to battle against us.
5 And it came to pass that I did cause my people that they should gather themselves
together at the land Desolation, to a city which was in the borders, by the narrow
pass which led into the land southward.
6 And there we did place our armies, that we might stop the armies of the Lamanites,
that they might not get possession of any of our lands; therefore we did fortify
against them with all our force.
7 And it came to pass that in the three hundred and sixty and first year the Lamanites
did come down to the city of Desolation to battle against us; and it came to pass
that in that year we did beat them, insomuch that they did return to their own lands
8 And in the three hundred and sixty and second year they did come down again to
battle. And we did beat them again, and did slay a great number of them, and their
dead were cast into the sea.
9 And now, because of this great thing which my people, the Nephites, had done, they
began to boast in their own strength, and began to swear before the heavens that
they would avenge themselves of the blood of their brethren who had been slain by
10 And they did swear by the heavens, and also by the throne of God, that they would
go up to battle against their enemies, and would cut them off from the face of the
11 And it came to pass that I, Mormon, did utterly refuse from this time forth to
be a commander and a leader of this people, because of their wickedness and abomination.
12 Behold, I had led them, notwithstanding their wickedness I had led them many times
to battle, and had loved them, according to the love of God which was in me, with
all my heart; and my soul had been poured out in prayer unto my God all the day long
for them; nevertheless, it was without faith, because of the hardness of their hearts.
13 And thrice have I delivered them out of the hands of their enemies, and they have
repented not of their sins.
14 And when they had sworn by all that had been forbidden them by our Lord and Savior
Jesus Christ, that they would go up unto their enemies to battle, and avenge themselves
of the blood of their brethren, behold the voice of the Lord came unto me saying:
15 Vengeance is mine, and I will repay; and because this people repented not after
I had delivered them, behold, they shall be cut off from the face of the earth.
16 And it came to pass that I utterly refused to go up against mine enemies; and
I did even as the Lord had commanded me; and I did stand as an idle witness to manifest
unto the world the things which I saw and heard, according to the manifestations
of the Spirit which had testified of things to come.
17 Therefore I write unto you, Gentiles, and also unto you, house of Israel, when
the work shall commence, that ye shall be about to prepare to return to the land
of your inheritance;
18 Yea, behold, I write unto all the ends of the earth; yea, unto you, twelve tribes
of Israel, who shall be judged according to your works by the twelve whom Jesus chose
to be his disciples in the land of Jerusalem.
19 And I write also unto the remnant of this people, who shall also be judged by
the twelve whom Jesus chose in this land; and they shall be judged by the other twelve
whom Jesus chose in the land of Jerusalem.
20 And these things doth the Spirit manifest unto me; therefore I write unto you
all. And for this cause I write unto you, that ye may know that ye must all stand
before the judgment-seat of Christ, yea, every soul who belongs to the whole human
family of Adam; and ye must stand to be judged of your works, whether they be good
21 And also that ye may believe the gospel of Jesus Christ, which ye shall have among
you; and also that the Jews, the covenant people of the Lord, shall have other witness
besides him whom they saw and heard, that Jesus, whom they slew, was the very Christ
and the very God.
22 And I would that I could persuade all ye ends of the earth to repent and prepare
to stand before the judgment-seat of Christ.
1 And now it came to pass that in the three hundred and sixty and third year the
Nephites did go up with their armies to battle against the Lamanites, out of the
2 And it came to pass that the armies of the Nephites were driven back again to the
land of Desolation. And while they were yet weary, a fresh army of the Lamanites
did come upon them; and they had a sore battle, insomuch that the Lamanites did take
possession of the city Desolation, and did slay many of the Nephites, and did take
3 And the remainder did flee and join the inhabitants of the city Teancum. Now the
city Teancum lay in the borders by the seashore; and it was also near the city Desolation.
4 And it was because the armies of the Nephites went up unto the Lamanites that they
began to be smitten; for were it not for that, the Lamanites could have had no power
5 But, behold, the judgments of God will overtake the wicked; and it is by the wicked
that the wicked are punished; for it is the wicked that stir up the hearts of the
children of men unto bloodshed.
6 And it came to pass that the Lamanites did make preparations to come against the
7 And it came to pass in the three hundred and sixty and fourth year the Lamanites
did come against the city Teancum, that they might take possession of the city Teancum
8 And it came to pass that they were repulsed and driven back by the Nephites. And
when the Nephites saw that they had driven the Lamanites they did again boast of
their own strength; and they went forth in their own might, and took possession again
of the city Desolation.
9 And now all these things had been done, and there had been thousands slain on both
sides, both the Nephites and the Lamanites.
10 And it came to pass that the three hundred and sixty and sixth year had passed
away, and the Lamanites came again upon the Nephites to battle; and yet the Nephites
repented not of the evil they had done, but persisted in their wickedness continually.
11 And it is impossible for the tongue to describe, or for man to write a perfect
description of the horrible scene of the blood and carnage which was among the people,
both of the Nephites and of the Lamanites; and every heart was hardened, so that
they delighted in the shedding of blood continually.
12 And there never had been so great wickedness among all the children of Lehi, nor
even among all the house of Israel, according to the words of the Lord, as was among
13 And it came to pass that the Lamanites did take possession of the city Desolation,
and this because their number did exceed the number of the Nephites.
14 And they did also march forward against the city Teancum, and did drive the inhabitants
forth out of her, and did take many prisoners both women and children, and did offer
them up as sacrifices unto their idol gods.
15 And it came to pass that in the three hundred and sixty and seventh year, the
Nephites being angry because the Lamanites had sacrificed their women and their children,
that they did go against the Lamanites with exceedingly great anger, insomuch that
they did beat again the Lamanites, and drive them out of their lands.
16 And the Lamanites did not come again against the Nephites until the three hundred
and seventy and fifth year.
17 And in this year they did come down against the Nephites with all their powers;
and they were not numbered because of the greatness of their number.
18 And from this time forth did the Nephites gain no power over the Lamanites, but
began to be swept off by them even as a dew before the sun.
19 And it came to pass that the Lamanites did come down against the city Desolation;
and there was an exceedingly sore battle fought in the land Desolation, in the which
they did beat the Nephites.
20 And they fled again from before them, and they came to the city Boaz; and there
they did stand against the Lamanites with exceeding boldness, insomuch that the Lamanites
did not beat them until they had come again the second time.
21 And when they had come the second time, the Nephites were driven and slaughtered
with an exceedingly great slaughter; their women and their children were again sacrificed
22 And it came to pass that the Nephites did again flee from before them, taking
all the inhabitants with them, both in towns and villages.
23 And now I, Mormon, seeing that the Lamanites were about to overthrow the land,
therefore I did go to the hill Shim, and did take up all the records which Ammaron
had hid up unto the Lord.
1 And it came to pass that I did go forth among the Nephites, and did repent of the
oath which I had made that I would no more assist them; and they gave me command
again of their armies, for they looked upon me as though I could deliver them from
2 But behold, I was without hope, for I knew the judgments of the Lord which should
come upon them; for they repented not of their iniquities, but did struggle for their
lives without calling upon that Being who created them.
3 And it came to pass that the Lamanites did come against us as we had fled to the
city of Jordan; but behold, they were driven back that they did not take the city
at that time.
4 And it came to pass that they came against us again, and we did maintain the city.
And there were also other cities which were maintained by Nephites, which strongholds
did cut them off that they could not get into the country which lay before us, to
destroy the inhabitants of our land.
5 And it came to pass that whatsoever lands we had passed by, and the inhabitants
thereof were not gathered in, were destroyed by the Lamanites, and their towns, and
villages, and cities were burned with fire; and thus three hundred and seventy and
nine years passed away.
6 And it came to pass that in the three hundred and eightieth year the Lamanites
did come again against us to battle, and we did stand against them boldly; but it
was all in vain, for so great were their numbers that they did tread the people of
the Nephites under their feet.
7 And it came to pass that we did again take to flight, and those whose flight was
swifter than the Lamanites' did escape, and those whose flight did not exceed the
Lamanites' were swept down and destroyed.
8 And now behold, I, Mormon, do not desire to harrow up the souls of men in casting
before them such an awful scene of blood and carnage as was laid before mine eyes;
but I, knowing that these things must surely be made known, and that all things which
are hid must be revealed upon the house-tops --
9 And also that a knowledge of these things must come unto the remnant of these people,
and also unto the Gentiles, who the Lord hath said should scatter this people, and
this people should be counted as naught among them -- therefore I write a small abridgment,
daring not to give a full account of the things which I have seen, because of the
commandment which I have received, and also that ye might not have too great sorrow
because of the wickedness of this people.
10 And now behold, this I speak unto their seed, and also to the Gentiles who have
care for the house of Israel, that realize and know from whence their blessings come.
11 For I know that such will sorrow for the calamity of the house of Israel; yea,
they will sorrow for the destruction of this people; they will sorrow that this people
had not repented that they might have been clasped in the arms of Jesus.
Donald W. Parry. Neil A. Maxwell Institute for Religious Scholarship. 2007.
Mormon speaks poignantly to his latter-day readers, using an extended alternate:
a For I know that such will sorrow
b for the calamity of the house of Israel;
a yea, they will sorrow
b for the destruction of this people;
a they will sorrow
b that this people had not repented
that they might have been clasped in the arms of Jesus.
12 Now these things are written unto the remnant of the house of Jacob; and they
are written after this manner, because it is known of God that wickedness will not
bring them forth unto them; and they are to be hid up unto the Lord that they may
come forth in his own due time.
13 And this is the commandment which I have received; and behold, they shall come
forth according to the commandment of the Lord, when he shall see fit, in his wisdom.
14 And behold, they shall go unto the unbelieving of the Jews; and for this intent
shall they go -- that they may be persuaded that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of
the living God; that the Father may bring about, through his most Beloved, his great
and eternal purpose, in restoring the Jews, or all the house of Israel, to the land
of their inheritance, which the Lord their God hath given them, unto the fulfilling
of his covenant;
15 And also that the seed of this people may more fully believe his gospel, which
shall go forth unto them from the Gentiles; for this people shall be scattered, and
shall become a dark, a filthy, and a loathsome people, beyond the description of
that which ever hath been amongst us, yea, even that which hath been among the Lamanites,
and this because of their unbelief and idolatry.
16 For behold, the Spirit of the Lord hath already ceased to strive with their fathers;
and they are without Christ and God in the world; and they are driven about as chaff
before the wind.
17 They were once a delightsome people, and they had Christ for their shepherd; yea,
they were led even by God the Father.
18 But now, behold, they are led about by Satan, even as chaff is driven before the
wind, or as a vessel is tossed about upon the waves, without sail or anchor, or without
anything wherewith to steer her; and even as she is, so are they.
19 And behold, the Lord hath reserved their blessings, which they might have received
in the land, for the Gentiles who shall possess the land.
20 But behold, it shall come to pass that they shall be driven and scattered by the
Gentiles; and after they have been driven and scattered by the Gentiles, behold,
then will the Lord remember the covenant which he made unto Abraham and unto all
the house of Israel.
21 And also the Lord will remember the prayers of the righteous, which have been
put up unto him for them.
22 And then, O ye Gentiles, how can ye stand before the power of God, except ye shall
repent and turn from your evil ways?
23 Know ye not that ye are in the hands of God? Know ye not that he hath all power,
and at his great command the earth shall be rolled together as a scroll?
24 Therefore, repent ye, and humble yourselves before him, lest he shall come out
in justice against you -- lest a remnant of the seed of Jacob shall go forth among
you as a lion, and tear you in pieces, and there is none to deliver.