Tag Archives: Words of Mormon

Words of Mormon 1:4-6

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—

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.

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.

Quick note: I think Mormon is saying that just as the small plates have already been filled with prophecies of Christ, he is choosing the same kinds of things, which he’ll get off the large plates, to include in his “Words of Mormon” addition. That is, he’s adding his own book after Omni, and in that book he will summarize the entire history of the Nephite people, focusing just on the prophecies of Christ and their fulfillment. That is, he’ll do what Nephi did: have one record for a general story and government record, punctuated with important speeches or important conversions, and one record for an archive of visions, prophecies, and so forth. (That record of course will need to include some history, just like Nephi and the prophets did.) But to me, I think this idea is clear: Mormon is preparing an addition to the small plates that is in sync with what Nephi established for the small plates. (Jacob 1:2: “And he gave me, Jacob, a commandment that I should write upon these plates a few of the things which I considered to be most precious; that I should not touch, save it were lightly, concerning the history of this people which are called the people of Nephi.”)

I think in verses 5-6, Mormon is sort of apologizing for the fact that he’s about to leave out a whole lot of history. So he says, “Don’t worry, it’s okay, I’ll put this spiritual record with my abridgment so you’ll have some more of the history.”

It’s interesting that originally (if my reading is right), we were going to have a small-plates style record for the whole of the Nephite history, and also a large-plates-abridgment for the the whole of the Nephite history. But now we have a small-plates start and a large-plate-abridgment end. Half of one, half of the other.

“Wisdom” in D&C 10

My plan is to unearth my Words of Mormon research and write up a paper, maybe as a short note in the Journal of Book of Mormon Studies or maybe for MSH next year. As Joe and I were talking about this, I realized that D&C 10 talks a great deal about wisdom, which is the theme for MSH next year! (D&C 10 is where Joseph is told to use the small plates to make up for the missing 116 pages, and God says “my wisdom is greater than the cunning of the devil.”)

There are 6 instances of the word “wisdom” in D&C 10, and they’re all together in one part. I wonder why the word is used so repetitively, and what we are to learn about wisdom from this? I wonder why God chose to call his plan wise?

28 Verily, verily, I say unto you, wo be unto him that lieth to deceive because he supposeth that another lieth to deceive, for such are not exempt from the justice of God.

29 Now, behold, they have altered these words, because Satan saith unto them: He hath deceived you—and thus he flattereth them away to do iniquity, to get thee to tempt the Lord thy God.

30 Behold, I say unto you, that you shall not translate again those words which have gone forth out of your hands;

31 For, behold, they shall not accomplish their evil designs in lying against those words. For, behold, if you should bring forth the same words they will say that you have lied and that you have pretended to translate, but that you have contradicted yourself.

32 And, behold, they will publish this, and Satan will harden the hearts of the people to stir them up to anger against you, that they will not believe my words.

33 Thus Satan thinketh to overpower your testimony in this generation, that the work may not come forth in this generation.

34 But behold, here is wisdom, and because I show unto you wisdom, and give you commandments concerning these things, what you shall do, show it not unto the world until you have accomplished the work of translation.

35 Marvel not that I said unto you: Here is wisdom, show it not unto the world—for I said, show it not unto the world, that you may be preserved.

36 Behold, I do not say that you shall not show it unto the righteous;

37 But as you cannot always judge the righteous, or as you cannot always tell the wicked from the righteous, therefore I say unto you, hold your peace until I shall see fit to make all things known unto the world concerning the matter.

38 And now, verily I say unto you, that an account of those things that you have written, which have gone out of your hands, is engraven upon the plates of Nephi;

39 Yea, and you remember it was said in those writings that a more particular account was given of these things upon the plates of Nephi.

40 And now, because the account which is engraven upon the plates of Nephi is more particular concerning the things which, in my wisdom, I would bring to the knowledge of the people in this account—

41 Therefore, you shall translate the engravings which are on the plates of Nephi, down even till you come to the reign of king Benjamin, or until you come to that which you have translated, which you have retained;

42 And behold, you shall publish it as the record of Nephi; and thus I will confound those who have altered my words.

43 I will not suffer that they shall destroy my work; yea, I will show unto them that my wisdom is greater than the cunning of the devil.

44 Behold, they have only got a part, or an abridgment of the account of Nephi.

45 Behold, there are many things engraven upon the plates of Nephi which do throw greater views upon my gospel; therefore, it is wisdom in me that you should translate this first part of the engravings of Nephi, and send forth in this work.

46 And, behold, all the remainder of this work does contain all those parts of my gospel which my holy prophets, yea, and also my disciples, desired in their prayers should come forth unto this people.

47 And I said unto them, that it should be granted unto them according to their faith in their prayers;

48 Yea, and this was their faith—that my gospel, which I gave unto them that they might preach in their days, might come unto their brethren the Lamanites, and also all that had become Lamanites because of their dissensions.

A final post on Words of Mormon

A summary of my work on Words of Mormon: Why it was the Lord who made Words of Mormon into a transitional book, and not Mormon.

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Words of Mormon, verse by verse, with “responses” added from various commentaries

I want to address some commentaries, but before I do I thought I’d work through Words of Mormon verse by verse.

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The Words of Mormon

It recently came to my attention that most people assume Words of Mormon were either on the large plates or written as a link between the two books. I don’t know why I didn’t assume that, but I have always assumed that they were on the small plates. It was this assumption that led to all my questions about D&C 10 and Words of Mormon. Below is a beginning sketch of an argument for the Words of Mormon being on the small plates, and that Mormon actually wrote more of the Words of Mormon that we don’t have.

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Words of Mormon – questions

Definite candidate for the Saturday Study Group. I have always been puzzled by a few things in this small book.

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D&C 10: What is the gospel in the Book of Mormon? part one, verses 38-41: What was in the Small Plates, the 116 pages, and the Words of Mormon?

Explanation of larger project:

D&C 42 says the Book of Mormon contains a “fulness of the gospel.” As I’ve searched elsewhere in the scriptures, it seems this phrase is unquestionably linked to the Book of Mormon. What is the gospel, in this sense, and what does it mean to have a fulness? D&C 10, where Joseph is instructed to translate the small plates of Nephi, deals with this theme of the gospel and its fulness. Verses 45-63 talk of “parts” of the gospel or “points” of doctrine.  I want to start in verse 38, where there is discussion of what was on the 116 pages and the small plates.

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