Enos – Words of Mormon

Did Joseph Smith end up possessing the sword of Laban as some witnesses say he did? Ever wondered why the Lamanites never kept records to tell their side of the story? Were there specific animals mentioned that were not introduced to the Americas for another thousand years. Is there any archaeological evidence of weapons of war in the New World? Did people speak in tongues previous to the day of Pentecost?

Evidence of weapons of war in the New World?

As we get started – I want you to guess which words the Book of Enos starts with?  That’s right, “it came to pass” which is used 1476 times in the Book of Mormon.    

You will recall at the end of the Book of Jacob, as Jacob grew old, he gave the plates to his son Enos.  Enos will begin his account on the plates by sharing with us a very spiritual experience. 

The book of Enos is only one chapter long.  I have, to warn you – Enos repeatedly refers to himself by saying “I, Enos”– as if we didn’t already know that “I” and “Enos” were the same person.   This will also be a pattern with other writers in the Book of Mormon. 

Verse 1 “Behold, it came to pass that I, Enos, knowing my father that he was a just man – for he taught me in his language, and also in the nurture and admonition of the Lord – and blessed be the name of my God for it.” The phrase “in the nurture and admonistion of the Lord” is also in Ephesians 6:4.

Verse 2 “And I will tell you of the wrestle which I had before God, before I received a remission of my sins.” Performance-based religions will teach that receiving forgiveness for our sins requires enduring effort on our part.  

Verse 3 “Behold, I went to hunt beasts in the forests; and the words which I had often heard my father speak concerning eternal life, and the joy of the saints, sunk deep into my heart.”  Often, just being in nature brings us closer to God and gives us time to reflect on our lives.    

Verse 4 “And my soul hungered; and I kneeled down before my Maker, and I cried unto him in mighty prayer and supplication for mine own soul; and all they day long did I cry unto him; yea, and when the night came I did still raise my voice high that I reached the heavens.” 

Verse 5 “And there came a voice unto me, saying: Enos, thy sins are forgiven thee, and thou shalt be blessed.”  The words “thy sins are forgiven thee” are also in Luke 5:20 and, “and thou shalt be blessed” is also in Luke 14:14.  

Verse 6 “And, I, Enos, knew that God could not lie; wherefore, my guilt was swept away.” That is the wonderful effect of the power of the Atonement.  A person can feel the power of his or her sins being “swept away.”  The words “that God could not lie” is similar, to Hebrews 6:18.

Verse 7 “And I said: Lord, how is it done?” For this forgiveness to come so quickly and completely – lifting the burden of guilt and shame – was astonishing to Enos.   The words “Lord, how is it” is also in John 14:22.

Verse 8 “And he said unto me: Because of thy faith in Christ, whom thou hast never before heard nor seen.  And many years pass away before he shall manifest himself in the flesh; wherefore, go to, thy faith hath made thee whole.”  The phrase “Christ, whom thou hast” is in John 17:3, and “go to, thy faith hath made thee whole” is similar, to Mark 10:52. 

Verse 9 “Now, it came to pass that when I had heard these words I began to feel a desire for the welfare of my brethren, the Nephites; wherefore, I did pour out my whole soul unto God for them.” When we are at peace with God, we are then enabled to truly love others, including our family and even our enemies.  The words “my whole soul” is also in Jeremiah 32:41.

Verse 10 “And while I was thus struggling in the spirit, behold, the voice of the Lord came into my mind again, saying: I will visit thy brethren according to their diligence in keeping my commandments.  I have given unto them this land, and it is a holy land; and I curse it not save it be for the cause of iniquity; wherefore, I will visit thy brethren according as I have said; and their transgressions will I bring down with sorrow upon their own heads.”  Notice that God tells Enos – this New World that has been referred to as the promise land up to this point in the Book of Mormon – is now called “a holy land” as well.  The words “behold, the voice of the Lord came into” is similar, to Acts 7:31. 

 

Verse 11 “And after I, Enos, had heard these words, my faith began to be unshaken in the Lord; and I prayed unto him with many long strugglings for my brethren, the Lamanites.”  

Verse 12 “And it came to pass that after I had prayed and labored with all diligence, the Lord said unto me: I will grant unto thee according to thy desires, because of thy faith.” 

Verse 13 “And now, behold, this was the desire which I desired of him – that if it should so be, that my people, the Nephites, should fall into transgression, and be any means be destroyed, and the Lamanites should not be destroyed, that the Lord God would preserve a record of my people, the Nephites; even if it so be by the power of his holy arm, that it might be brought forth at some future day unto the Lamanites, that, perhaps, they might be brought unto salvation.”  Enos’ desire will be granted by the coming forth of the Book of Mormon to the Lamanites in these latter days.  I have often wondered, why the Lamanites didn’t keep their own records and tell their side of the story.  Now – I would read that! 

Verse 14 “For at the present our strugglings were vain in restoring them to the true faith.  And they swore in their wrath that, if it were possible, they would destroy our records and us, and also all the traditions of our fathers.” 

Verse 15 “Wherefore, I knowing that the Lord God was able to preserve our records, I cried unto him continually, for he had said unto me: Whatsoever thing ye shall ask in faith, believing that ye shall receive in the name of Christ, ye shall receive it.”  The phrase “Whatsoever thing ye shall ask in faith, believing that ye shall receive in the name of Christ, ye shall receive it” is similar, to Matthew 21:22. 

Verse 16 “And I had faith, and I did cry unto God that he would preserve the records; and he covenanted with me that he would bring them forth unto the Lamanites in his own due time.” 

Verse 17 “And I, Enos, knew it would be according to the covenant which he had made; wherefore my soul did rest.”  Enos had peace that God would preserve their records.  The words “according to the covenant which” is similar, to Hebrews 8:9.

Verse 18 “And the Lord said unto me: Thy fathers have also required of me this thing; and it shall be done unto them according to their faith; for their faith was like unto thine.”  The words “and it shall be done unto” is also in John 15:7. 

Verse 19 “And now it came to pass that I, Enos, went about among the people of Nephi, prophesying of things to come, and testifying of the things which I had heard and seen.” The words “the things which I had heard and seen” is similar, to Luke 2:20. 

Verse 20 “And I bear record that the people of Nephi did seek diligently to restore the Lamanites unto the true faith in God.  But our labors were vain; their hatred was fixed, and they were led by their evil nature that they became wild, and ferocious, and a blood-thirsty people, full of idolatry and filthiness; feeding upon beasts of prey; dwelling in tents, and wandering about in the wilderness with a short skin girdle about their loins and their heads shaven; and their skill was in the bow, and in the cimeter, and the ax.  And many of them did eat nothing save it was raw meat; and they were continually seeking to destroy us.” Those barbaric early Native American Indians!  The word “feeding” in this verse was changed from the Original 1830 edition misspelled word “feading”.  The “cimeter” is a 15th century AD word for the curved, single-edged sword of Oriental origins.  It is out of place anachronistically for 5th century BC American Indians. The words “dwelling in tents” is also in Genesis 25:27.

Verse 21 “And it came to pass that the people of Nephi did till the land, and raise all manner of grain, and of fruit, and flocks of herds, and flocks of all manner of cattle of every kind, and goats, and wild goats, and also many horses.”  What on earth are “flocks of herds”?  Cattle, horses, and European grains were absent in pre-Columbian North America.  Cattle, and goats and horses were first introduced to the American continent by Europeans in the 15th century.   Why are these things mentioned in the Book of Mormon as being present in the Americas between 2200 BC and 421 BC?  The words “and flocks of all manner of” is similar, to Numbers 31:30, and “wild goats and” is in Psalm 104:18.

Verse 22 “And there were exceedingly many prophets among us.  And the people were a stiffnecked people, hard to understand.” What number does it take to make an “exceedingly many prophets”?  And, Enos was just one of them. 

Verse 23 “And there was nothing save it was exceeding harshness, preaching and prophesying of wars, and contentions, and destructions, and continually reminding them of death, and the duration of eternity, and the judgments and the power of God, and all these things – stirring them up continually to keep them in the fear of the Lord.  I say there was nothing short of these things, and exceedingly great plainness of speech, would deep them from going down speedily to destruction.  And after this manner do I write concerning them.”  The words “of God, and all these things” is the same in Luke 12:31, and “great plainness of speech” is in 2 Corinthians 3:12.

Verse 24 “And I saw wars between the Nephites and Lamanites in the course of my days.”  The words “the course of my days” is similar, to Psalm 39:4. 

Verse 25 “And it came to pass that I began to be old, and an hundred and seventy and nine years had passed away from the time that our father Lehi left Jerusalem.” 

Verse 26 “And I saw that I must soon go down to my grave, having been wrought upon by the power of God that I must preach and prophesy unto this people, and declare the word according to the truth which is in Christ.  And I have declared it in all my days, and have rejoiced in it above that of the world.”  The words “by the power of God” is in 1 Peter 1:5, and “I must preach” is also in Luke 4:43, and “which is in Christ” is the same in Romans 8:39, and “And I have declared” is also in John 17:26. 

Verse 27 “And I soon go to the place of my rest, which is with my Redeemer; for I know that in him I shall rest.  And I rejoice in the day when my mortal shall put on immortality, and shall stand before him; then shall I see his face with pleasure, and he will say unto me: Come unto me, ye blessed, there is a place prepared for you in the mansions of my Father. Amen.”  The words “the place of my rest” is also in Acts 7:49, and “mortal shall put on immortality” is also in 1 Corinthians 15:54, and “Come unto me, ye blessed, there is a place prepared for you” is similar, to Matthew 25:34, and “in the mansions of my Father” is similar, to John 14:2.

Now on to the book of Jarom which is only one chapter long containing 15 verses. 

Verse 1 “Now behold, I, Jarom, write a few words according to the commandments of my father, Enos, that our genealogy may be kept.”   Jarom refers to himself as “I, Jarom” – as if we didn’t already know that “I” and “Jarom” are the same person.   But, like father – like son.   Jarom was going to give us his genealogy as he was commanded – but then decides not to. 

Verse 2 “And these plates are small, and as these things are written for the intent of the benefit of our brethren the Lamanites, wherefore, it must needs be that I write a little; but I shall not write the things of my prophesying, nor of my revelations.  For what could I write more than my fathers have written?  For have not they revealed the plan of salvation?  I say unto you, Yea; and this sufficieth me.”  Jarom decided not to repeat again what his fathers – Lehi, Nephi, Jacob and Enos have taught about Jesus being born centuries in the future and everyone needing to believe in Christ – even before He exists – or they will go to hell.  Verse 2 uses the word “revelations.”  The word “revelation” comes from the Latin word “revelatio” and it is not found in the Hebrew Old Testament.  But it is found 31 times in the Book of Mormon, as early as 588 BC.   

Notice in these next verses – the concern Jarom has about the tide of apostasy among his people. 

Verse 3 “Behold, it is expedient that much should be done among this people, because of the hardness of their hearts, and the deafness of their ears, and the blindness of their minds, and the stiffness of their necks; nevertheless, God is exceedingly merciful unto them, and has not as yet swept them off from the face of the land.”  The words “the blindness of their minds” is similar, to Ephesians 4:18.

Verse 4 “And there are many among us who have many revelations, for they are not all stiffnecked.  And as many as are not stiffnecked and have faith, have communion with the Holy Spirit, which maketh manifest unto the children of men, according to their faith.”  The Holy Spirit was promised by Jesus, and then bestowed upon the believers for the first time on the day of Pentecost (see Luke 24:49 and Acts 2:1-4).  The Book of Mormon, however, describes people receiving the gift of the Holy Spirit here in Verse 4 – and as early as 545 BC in 2 Nephi 31:12-1

Not all Nephites were hard, deaf, blind and stiff – because in the next verse he says the Nephites were being pretty righteous and being good citizens. 

Verse 5 “And now, behold, two hundred years had passed away, and the people of Nephi had waxed strong in the land.  They observed to keep the law of Moses and the sabbath day holy unto the Lord.  And they profaned not; neither did they blaspheme.  And the laws of the land were exceedingly strict.”  It’s been 200 years since Lehi left Jerusalem. 

Verse 6 “And they were scattered upon much of the face of the land, and the Lamanites also.  And they were exceedingly more numerous than were they of the Nephites; and they loved murder and would drink the blood of beasts.”  That’s truly being “bloodthirsty”.  

Verse 7 “And it came to pass that they came many times against us, the Nephites, to battle.  But our kings and our leaders were mighty men in the faith of the Lord; and they taught the people the ways of the Lord; wherefore, we withstood the Lamanites and swept them away out of our lands, and began to fortify our cities, or whatsoever place of our inheritance.”  They fortified their cities for which – there is no evidence today of their existence. 

Verse 8 “And we multiplied exceedingly, and spread upon the face of the land, and became exceedingly rich in gold, and in silver, and in precious things, and in fine workmanship of wood, in buildings, and in machinery, and also in iron and copper, and brass and steel, making all manner of tools of every kind to till the ground, and weapons of war – yea, the sharp pointed arrow, and the quiver, and the dart, and the javelin, and all preparations of war.”  Nephites – like today’s Mormons – must have had large families to multiply like they did.  It would be cool if there were any archaeological evidence of these “weapons of war”, but the fact is – there is not a single archaeological discovery confirming any detail from the Book of Mormon.  Whereas the Bible has overwhelming archaeological support.  The words “and weapons of war” is the same in Jeremiah 51:20.

Verse 9 “And thus being prepared to meet the Lamanites, they did not prosper against us.  But the word of the Lord was verified, which he spake unto our fathers, saying that: In as much as ye will keep my commandments ye shall prosper in the land.”  Sounds like prosperity gospel.

Verse 10 “And it came to pass that the prophets of the Lord did threaten the people of Nephi, according to the word of God, that if they did not keep the commandments, but should fall into transgression, they should be destroyed from off the face of the land.”  The words “according to the word of the Lord God” is also in 2 Kings 14:25.

Verse 11 “Wherefore, the prophets, and the priests, and the teachers, did labor diligently, exhorting with all long-suffering the people to diligence; teaching the law of Moses, and the intent for which it was given; persuading them to look forward unto the Messiah, and believe in him to come as though he already was.  And after this manner did they teach them.”  As if He had already performed His earthly ministry, was crucified, and resurrected.  The words “with all long-suffering” is also in 2 Timothy 4:2. 

Verse 12 “And it came to pass that by so doing they kept them from being destroyed upon the face of the land; for they did prick their hearts with the word, continually stirring them up unto repentance.”

Verse 13 “And it came to pass that two hundred and thirty and eight years had passed away – after the manner of wars, and contentions, and dissensions, for the space of much of the time.”  The words “thirty and eight years” is also in John 5:5.

Verse 14 “And I, Jarom, do not write more, for the plates are small.  But behold, my brethren, ye can go to the other plates of Nephi; for behold, upon them the records of our wars are engraven, according to the writings of the kings, or those which they caused to be written.”

Verse 15 “And I deliver these plates into the hands of my son Omni, that they may be kept according to the commandments of my fathers.”   

Okay, so now we move on to the next book – the book of Omni.  And, I bet you can’t guess what the first words Omni is excited to write.  You guessed it! “Behold, it came to pass”.

Verse 1 “Behold, it came to pass that I, Omni, being commanded by my father, Jarom, that I should write somewhat upon these plates, to preserve our genealogy.”  But like his father, Jarom, Omni never gets around to writing about his genealogy.   As it turns out – very little of this book was written by Omni. 

Verse 2 “Wherefore, in my days, I would that ye should know that I fought much with the sword to preserve my people, the Nephites, from falling into the hands of their enemies, the Lamanites.  But behold, I of myself am a wicked man, and I have not kept the statutes and the commandments of the Lord as I ought to have done.”  At least he confesses his weaknesses.  Too busy fighting his enemies to live any commandments.  The words “into the hands of their enemies” is also in Judges 2:14. 

Verse 3 “And it came to pass that two hundred and seventy and six years had passed away, and we had many seasons of peace; and we had many seasons of serious war and bloodshed.  Yea, and in fine, two hundred and eighty and two years had passed away, and I had kept these plates according to the commandments of my fathers; and I conferred them upon my son Amaron.  And I make an end.”  So, Omni gave the small plates to Amaron, his son – who was a bit more prolific than his father – writing five whole verses.

Verse 4 “And now I, Amaron, write the things whatsoever I write, which are few, in the book of my father” In the book of Omni. 

Verse 5 “Behold, it came to pass that three hundred and twenty years had passed away, and the more wicked part of the Nephites were destroyed.” 

Verses 6-7 The Lord spared the more righteous Nephites. 

Verse 7 The phrase “should not perish but” is also in John 3:16 and “delivered them out of the hand of their enemies” is similar, to Judges 2:18.

Verse 8 “And it came to pass that I did deliver the plates unto my brother Chemish.”

Verse 9 And Chemish basically wrote nothing of importance – all in one verse.   The words “he delivered them unto me” is also in Deuteronomy 5:22.

Verse 10 The small plates were handed off to Chemish’s son, Abinadom – who killed many Lamanites with his own sword.

Verse 11 Abinadom knows of no new or continuing revelation during his days.  The words “according to the generations” is also in 1 Chronicles 26:31.

After Abinadom’s end, his son Amaleki took charge.  He wrote about Mosiah and, also about King Benjamin.

Verse 12 “Behold, I am Amaleki, the son of Abinadom.  Behold, I will speak unto you somewhat concerning Mosiah, who was made king over the land of Zarahemla; for behold, he being warned of the Lord that he should flee out of the land of Nephi, and as many as would hearken unto the voice of the Lord should also depart out of the land with him, into the wilderness.”

Verse 13 “And it came to pass that he did according as the Lord had commanded him.  And they departed out of the land into the wilderness, and as many as would hearken unto the voice of the Lord; and they were led by many preachings and prophesyings.  And they were admonished continually by the word of God; and they were led by the power of his arm, through the wilderness until they came down into the land which is called the land of Zarahemla.”  Now, this is the first of 12 recorded journeys in the Book of Mormon – between the cities of Nephi and Zarahemla.  The words “that he did according as the Lord had commanded him” is similar, to Job 42:9.

When Mosiah and his people arrived in Zarahemla, they found the land already inhabited. 

Verse 14 “And they discovered a people, who were called the people of Zarahemla.  Now, there was great rejoicing among the people of Zarahemla; and also Zarahemla did rejoice exceedingly, because the Lord had sent the people of Mosiah with the plates of brass which contained the record of the Jews.” 

The reader might be wondering where this mysterious people of Zarahemla came from.  It turns out they are Jews who had left Jerusalem about 586 B.C. and sailed to the New World shortly after Lehi’s family did.

Verse 15 “Behold, it came to pass that Mosiah discovered that the people of Zarahemla came out from Jerusalem at the time that Zedekiah, king of Judah, was carried away captive into Babylon.”  For centuries, the Nephites believed that Father Lehi was inspired – when he prophesied that Jerusalem was going to be destroyed.  In this verse, Mosiah’s people realized that Lehi was correct.  The words “out from Jerusalem” is also in Zechariah 14:8 and, “Judah, was carried away captive into Babylon” is similar, to Jeremiah 40:1. 

Verse 16 “And they journeyed in the wilderness, and were brought by the hand of the Lord across the great waters, into the land where Mosiah discovered the; and they had dwelt there from that time forth.”

We know from the Biblical account in Jeremiah 52:9-11 that all, of the sons of king Zedekiah were killed when he was taken captive and blinded by the king of Babylon.  However, from this Book of Mormon account – one son miraculously escaped and along with others, made their way across the vast oceans to the promised land.  This son’s name was Mulek (see Helaman 6:10).  Mulek’s people who were residing in Zarahemla at the time Mosiah discovered them were not referred to as “Mulekites” – but that is what they are commonly called by Latter-day Saints, today.  

Verse 17 “And at the time that Mosiah discovered them, they had become exceedingly numerous.  Nevertheless, they had had many wars and serious contentions, and had fallen by the sword from time to time; and their language had become corrupted; and they had brought no records with them; and they denied the being of their Creator; and Mosiah, nor the people of Mosiah, could understand them.”  I wonder if the language of these atheists that became corrupt – was either Hebrew or Reformed Egyptian? 

Verse 18 “But it came to pass that Mosiah caused that they should be taught in his language.  And it came to pass that after they were taught in the language of Mosiah, Zarahemla gave a genealogy of his fathers, according to his memory; and they are written, but not in these plates.”   So, like all indigenous Native American Indians – Mosiah taught the people of Zarahemla Reformed Egyptian, or Hebrew, or something else.  Who knows!

Verse 19 “And it came to pass that the people of Zarahemla, and of Mosiah, did unite together; and Mosiah was appointed to be their king.”

Then someone found this big rock with engravings on it. 

Verse 20 “And it came to pass in the days of Mosiah, there was a large stone brought unto him with engravings on it; and he did interpret the engravings by the gift and power of God.”  We are about to learn that these engravings contained some history of the Jaredites – written by a guy named Coriantumr.  The words “he did interpret” is also in Genesis 41:12.

Verse 21 “And they gave an account of one Corianumr, and the slain of his people.  And Coriantumr was discovered by the people of Zarahemla; and he dwelt with them for the space of nine moons.”  “nine moons” is native American Indian talk for nine months. 

So, where did this Coriantumr fellow come from? 

Verse 22 “It also spake a few words concerning his fathers.  And his first parents came out from the tower, at the time the Lord confounded the language of the people; and the severity of the Lord fell upon them according to his judgments, which are just; and their bones lay scattered in the land northword.”  This is describing Coriantumr’s ancestors – the Jaradites – who came from the Middle East during the Tower of Babel (see Genesis 11).  Which was estimated to be about 2,200 years Before Christ.  We will read about these Jaradites in the Book of Ether.  

Coriantumr was the last military leader of the Jaradite nation (see Ether 12:1 and Ether 13:20-22).

Verse 23 “Behold, I, Amaleki, was born in the days of Mosiah; and I have lived to see his death; and Benjamin, his son, reigneth in his stead.”

Next, Amaleki will give us some background on King Benjamin.

Verse 24 “And behold, I have seen in the days of king Benjamin, a serious war and much blood-shed between the Nephites and the Lamanites.  But behold, the Nephites did obtain much advantage over them; yea, insomuch that king Benjamin did drive them out of the land of Zarahemla.”

Verse 25 “And it came to pass that I began to be old; and having no seed, and knowing king Benjamin to be a just man before the Lord, wherefore, I shall deliver these plates unto him, exhorting all men to come unto God, the Holy One of Israel, and believe in prophesying, and in revelations, and in the ministering of angels, and in the gift of speaking with tongues, and in the gift of interpreting languages, and in all things which are good; for there is nothing which is good save it comes from the Lord: and that which is evil cometh from the devil.”  According to the Bible, no one spoke in tongues until the day of Pentecost recorded in Acts 2.  But Benjamin was doing it around 200 B.C.  The words “speaking with tongues” is also in 1 Corinthians 14:6.

Amaleki begins drawing to, an end – his brief writings.

Verse 26 “And now, my beloved brethren, I would that ye should come unto Christ, who is the Holy One of Israel, and partake of his salvation, and the power of his redemption.  Yea, come unto him, and offer your whole souls as an offering unto him, and continue in fasting and praying, and endure to the end; and as the Lord liveth ye shall be saved.”  This was written in about 200 BC and, Christ is once again spoken of in an impossible timeframe.  Note that in Verse 25, “God” is the “Holy One of Israel”, and Verse 26 it is “Christ” who is the “Holy One of Israel”.   Writing or translating this in 1828, Joseph Smith was still monotheistic.  The words “of his redemption” is in Leviticus 25:51 and “as an offering” is in Numbers 8:21. 

What Amaleki now writes is very helpful when we get to Mosiah 7:1-9

Verse 27 “And now I would speak somewhat concerning a certain number who went up into the wilderness to return to the land of Nephi; for there was a large number who were desirous to possess the land of their inheritance.”   

Verse 28 “Wherefore, they went up into the wilderness.  And their leader being a strong and mighty man, and a stiffnecked man, wherefore he caused a contention among them; and they were all slain, save fifty, in the wilderness, and they returned again to the land of Zarahemla.” 

After that, there was another attempted migration to the land of Nephi, with Amaleki’s brother among them.

Verse 29 “And it came to pass that they also took others to a considerable number, and took their journey again into the wilderness.”

Verse 30 “And I, Amaleki, had a brother, who also went with them; and I have not since known concerning them.  And I am about to lie down in my grave; and these plates are full.  And I make an end of my speaking.” The words “in my grave” is also in Genesis 50:5.

In about 79 years from this point – when we get to Mosiah 7:1-9 – we will pick up the history of Amaleki’s brother and those he went with – to the land of Nephi. 

Okay, now as we come to the book – The Words of Mormon – we are going to flash-forward in time to about 385 A.D.  Mormon, himself, will explain that after he had abridged (or condensed) the Large plates of Nephi, leading down through history until the reign of King Benjamin (in the first part of Mosiah) – he found the Small Plates of Nephi (consisting of 1 and 2 Nephi, Jacob, Enos, Jarom, and Omni). 

Verse 1 “And now I, Mormon, being about to deliver up the record which I have been making into the hands of my son Moroni, behold I have witnessed almost all the destruction of my people, the Nephites.”  We will read about this in Mormon 6 and 8.

Verse 2 “And it is many hundred years after the coming of Christ that I deliver these records into the hands of my son; and it supposeth me that he will witness the entire destruction of my people.  But may God grant that he may survive them, that he may write somewhat concerning them, and somewhat concerning Christ, that perhaps some day it may profit them.” The date at the bottom of the page indicates this is about 385 A.D. when Mormon is writing this.  The words “concerning Christ” is also in Ephesians 5:32.

Why did God have these men go through the effort of writing on plates and preserving them for centuries – if they were not going to be used by Joseph Smith in the translation of the Book of Mormon?  After the first 116 pages were lost, God supposedly took back the plates from Joseph Smith and he was left to translate the entirety of the Book of Mormon using a small round chocolate colored “seer stone” previously used by Smith in treasure seeking.  (see Gospel Topics Essay – Book of Mormon Translation).

Verse 3 “And now, I speak somewhat concerning that which I have written; for after I had made an abridgement from the plates of Nephi, down to the reign of this king Benjamin, of whom Amaleki spake, I searched among the records which had been delivered into my hands, and I found these plates, which contained this small account of the prophets, from Jacob down to the reign of this king Benjamin, and also many of the words of Nephi.”  Mormon is talking about the Small Plates of Nephi and including don’t forget – the book of Lehi.

Verse 4 “And the things which are upon these plates pleasing me, because of the prophecies of the coming of Christ; and my fathers knowing that many of them have been fulfilled; yea, and I also know that as many things as have been prophesied concerning us down to this day have been fulfilled, and as many as go beyond this day must surely come to pass.”  The words “have been fulfilled” is also in Acts 1:16.

Verse 5 “Wherefore, I chose these things, to finish my record upon them, which remainder of my record I shall take from the plates of Nephi; and I cannot write the hundredth part of the things of my people.” Mormon is choosing the Small Plates to finish his record on.  The words “the hundredth part of the” is the same in Nehemiah 5:11.

Verse 6 “But behold, I shall take these plates, which contain these prophesyings and revelations, and put them with the remainder of my record, for they are choice unto me; and I know they will be choice unto my brethren.”

Mormon will say that he was impressed by the Spirit to do this even though he doesn’t understand the purpose at the time. 

Verse 7 “And I do this for a wise purpose; for thus it whispereth me, according to the workings of the Spirit of the Lord which is in me.  And now, I do not know all things; but the Lord knoweth all things which are to come; wherefore, he worketh in me to do according to his will.”  The “wise purpose” was that because the Lord knew Martin Harris would lose the first 116 manuscript pages – a replacement would be necessary.  The words “knoweth all things” is also in 1 John 3:20.

Verse 8 “And my prayer to God is concerning my brethren, that they may once again come to the knowledge of God, yea, the redemption of Christ; and that they may once again be a delightsome people.”  Mormon prays that the Lamanites will have their filthy dark skin turned white through knowing God.  The phrase “come to the knowledge of” is in 2 Timothy 3:7. 

Verse 9 “And now I, Mormon, proceed to finish out my record, which I take from the plates of Nephi; and I make it according to the knowledge and the understanding which God has given me.”  

Now, Mormon finishes telling us about the transition in the record from Amaleki to King Benjamin.

Verse 10 “Wherefore, it came to pass that after Amaleki had delivered up these plates into the hands of king Benjamin, he took them and put them with the other plates, which contained records which had been handed down by the kings, from generation to generation until the days of king Benjamin.”  So now both the Small Plates and the Large Plates are in the hands of Benjamin.

Verse 11 “And they were handed down from king Benjamin, from generation to generation until they have fallen into my hands.  And I, Mormon, pray to God that they may be preserved from this time henceforth.  And I know that they will be preserved; for there are great things written upon them , out of which my people and their brethren shall be judged at the great and last day, according to the word of God which is written.”

By the time Mormon became the custodian of all the written records throughout the centuries, he had a heap of plates.  In fact, Brigham Young recounted in Journal of Discourses vol. 19 p. 38 “Oliver Cowdery went with the Prophet Joseph when he deposited the plates… When Joseph got the plates, the angel instructed him to carry them back to the hill Cumorah, which he did.  Oliver says that when Joseph and Oliver went there, the hill opened, and they walked into a cave, in which there was a large and spacious room.  He says he did not think, at the time, whether they had the light of the sun or artificial light; but that it was just as light as day.  They laid the plates on the table; it was a large table that stood in the room.  Under the table there was a pile of plates as much as two feet high, and there were all together in this room more plates than probably many wagon loads; they were piled up in the corners and along the walls.”  

Journal of Discourses page 38

Amazing story! But is it true?

Verse 12 “And now, concerning this king Benjamin – he had somewhat of contentions among his own people.”

Verse 13 “And it came to pass also that the armies of the Lamanites came down out of the land of Nephi, to battle against his people.  But behold, king Benjamin gathered together his armies, and he did stand against them; and he did fight with the strength of his own arm, with the sword of Laban.”  The “sword of Laban” seemed to be a symbol of legitimate authority for the Nephite leaders.  It seemed to have special powers in defeating the enemy Lamanites.  It was passed down along with the plates from generation to generation.  There is no direct evidence as to whether Joseph Smith ever possessed the sword of Laban.  But it was part of the sacred relics along with the plates revealed by Moroni.  

Verse 14 “And in the strength of the Lord they did contend against their enemies, until they had slain many thousands of the Lamanites.  And it came to pass that they did contend against the Lamanites until they had driven them out of all the lands of their inheritance.”

Verse 15 “And it came to pass that after there had been false Christs, and their mouths had been shut, and they punished according to their crimes;” The words “false Christs” is also in Mark 13:22.

Verse 16 “And after there had been false prophets, and false preachers and teachers among the people, and all these having been punished according to their crimes; and after there having been much contention and many dissensions away unto the Lamanites, behold, it came to pass that king Benjamin, with the assistance of the holy prophets who were among his people.” The words “of the holy prophets” is also in Revelation 22:6.

Verse 17 “For behold, king Benjamin was a holy man, and he did reign over his people in righteousness; and there were many holy men in the land, and they did speak the word of God with power and with authority; and they did use much sharpness because of the stiffneckedness of the people.”  The words “speak the word of God” is similar, to Acts 4:31, and “with power and with authority” is similar, to Luke 4:36.

Verse 18 “Wherefore, with the help of these, king Benjamin, by laboring with all the might of his body and the faculty of his whole soul, and also the prophets, did once more establish peace in the land.”

I want to close our lesson by stating that a, number of LDS Scholars have concluded that the first part of the Book of Mormon – the portion which was supposed to have come from the Small Plates of Nephi – was actually translated, last.  LDS scholar and church historian, Richard Bushman made these comments in his book Joseph Smith: Rough Stone Rolling 2005, p. 74 “By May 1829, Joseph and Oliver had not yet translated what are now the opening books of the Book of Mormon.  After the loss of the 116 pages, Joseph did not begin again at the beginning.  Joseph and Emma took up the translation where Joseph and Harris had broken off the previous June, that is, around the first part of the Book of Mosiah in the reign of King Benjamin.  Joseph and Oliver kept on in sequence.  Sooner or later Joseph had to decide what to do about the loss of the previous manuscript, containing the first four hundred years of the Book of Mormon narrative… In late May or June, probably after the rest of the book was done, he and Oliver began work on 1 Nephi.”

And, this concludes our study for today.  For More you can find this podcast on demand were ever you listen to podcasts and on YouTube. You can also find us on Facebook. And share this with your friends.  Or, you can go to our website at Talking to Mormons.com where you can download this script and learn much more. Links are in the description.

Until next time, God Bless!

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