Books of the Book of Mormon

Christ in America

Jesus Christ Is the God of That Land, by Minerva K. Teichert (1949, oil on board, 36 x 48). Superimposed on the western hemisphere and flanked by Quetzal birds, native American symbols of liberty and freedom, this painting conveys the central message of the Book of Mormon That Jesus is the Christ, the Eternal God, manifesting himself unto all nations. Courtesy Leonard J. Arrington.

An Overview of the Book of MormonThe Prophet Joseph Smith called the Book of Mormon the most correct of any book on earth, and the keystone of our religion and said that a person would get nearer to God by abiding by its precepts, than by any other book (TPJS, p. 194), for it contains the fulness of the gospel of Jesus Christ (D&C 20:8-9). To members of THE CHURCH of JESUS CHRIST of Latter-day Saints, the Book of Mormon forms the doctrinal foundation of the Church and speaks the word of God to all the world.

Title Page of the Book of Mormon
Joseph Smith once wrote, I wish to mention here that the title-page of the Book of Mormon is a literal translation, taken from the very last leaf, on the left hand side of the collection or book of plates, which contained the record which has been translated; …and that said title-page is not…a modern composition, either of mine or of any other man who has lived or does live in this generation (HC 1:71.).

First Book of Nephi
Written by Nephi1, an ancient prophet who fled Jerusalem with his father, Lehi, and Lehi's family shortly after 600 B.C., this book tells of their travels under divine guidance to the Western Hemisphere.

Second Book of Nephi
The Second Book of Nephi (2 Nephi) is a work written about 550 B.C. by the same author who wrote 1 Nephi and included it on his small plates.

Book of Jacob
Written by Jacob, fifth son of Lehi, sometime after 545 B.C., the work follows the pattern outlined by Nephi1 for making entries on the small plates by including sacred sermons, significant revelations, prophecies, and some historical information. Jacob, a Nephite prophet, wrote to persuade all men to come unto Christ (Jacob 1:7).






Book of Enos
Following the pattern set by his father and predecessors (Jacob 1:2-4; cf. Enos 1:13-16), Enos, son of Jacob, personally recorded the testimony and prophetic promises granted to him.

Book of Jarom
Jarom, son of Enos, recorded a brief summary of the fortunes of the Nephites during his lifetime (c. 440-355 B.C.).

Book of Omni
This book concluded and filled the small plates of Nephi. It contains brief statements by a succession of record keepers who were descendants of Jacob but apparently not spiritual leaders: Omni, Amaron, Chemish, Abinadom, and Amaleki (fourth-second centuries B.C.).

Words of Mormon
Mormon assumed the prerogative of an editor and appended this historical postscript to the small plates to bring its conclusion into correlation with the opening of the book of Mosiah. This appendage, called the Words of Mormon, was composed about A.D. 385.

Book of Mosiah
The book of Mosiah is religiously rich, symbolically meaningful, chronologically complex, and politically significant. Although its disparate events range from 200 to 91 B.C., they are unified particularly by the theme of deliverance and by the reign of the Nephite king Mosiah 2.

Book of Alma
The book of Alma is the longest book in the Book of Mormon. It was abridged by Mormon, principally from the records of three men, Alma2 (chaps. 1-16, 27-44), Ammon (chaps. 17-26), and Alma's son Helaman1 (chaps. 45-62), and concludes with remarks by Mormon (chap. 63). Its broad theme is that the preaching of the word of God in pure testimony is mightier than politics or the sword in establishing peace, justice, equality, and goodness (Alma 4:19; 31:5).

Book of Helaman
The book of Helaman chronicles one of the most tumultuous periods in the history of the Nephites and Lamanites (52-1 B.C.).

Third Nephi
The book of 3 Nephi is the dramatic and spiritual climax of the Book of Mormon. It focuses on three advents of Jesus: first, as the child born in Bethlehem; second, as the resurrected Lord visiting the Nephites; and third, at his second coming as the final judge at the end of the world.

Fourth Nephi
The first section of 4 Nephi briefly summarizes four generations of peace, righteousness, and equality that resulted from the conversion of the people to the gospel of Jesus Christ after the visit of the resurrected Savior. In contrast, the last section foreshadows the later destruction of the Nephite nation that followed a gradual and conscious rejection of the gospel message.

Book of Mormon
The short Book of Mormon (A.D. 320-400/421), within the Book of Mormon, documents the extraordinary collapse of Nephite civilization, as had been foretold.

Book of Ether
The book of Ether is Moroni 2's abbreviated account of the history of the jaredites, who came to the Western Hemisphere at the time of the great tower of Babel and lived in the area later known as the Nephite land northward, much earlier than Lehi's colony.

Book of Moroni
Between A.D. 400 and 421, Moroni 2, the last custodian of the gold plates, compiled the final book in the Book of Mormon record.