Introductory material to the 1920 edition of the Book of Mormon.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

"Brief Analysis of the Book of Mormon," in The Book of Mormon (Salt Lake City: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 1920), [iii]

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
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Three classes of Record Plates are indicated on the title-page of The Book of Mormon, namely:

1. The Plates of Nephi, which, as the text of the Book makes clear, were of two kinds-( a ) the Larger Plates; (b) the Smaller Plates. The former were more particularly devoted to the secular history of the peoples concerned, while the latter were occupied mostly by sacred records.

2. The Plates of Mormon, containing an abridgment from the Plates of Nephi, made by Mormon, with many commentaries and a continuation of the history by himself, and with further additions by Moroni, son of Mormon.

3. The Plates of Ether, containing a history of the Jaredites, which account was abridged by Moroni, who inserted comments of his own, and incorporated the record with the general history under the title, Book of Ether.

To these may be added another set of plates, which are of frequent mention in the Book of Mormon, namely:

4. The Brass Plates of Laban, brought by the people of Lehi from Jerusalem, and containing Hebrew Scriptures and genealogies, many extracts from which appear in the Nephite records.

The Book of Mormon comprises fifteen main parts or divisions, known, with one exception, as books, each designated by the name of its principal author. Of these, the first six books, namely, First Nephi, Second Nephi, Jacob, Enos, Jarom, and Omni, are translations from the corresponding sections of the Smaller Plates of Nephi. Between the books of Omni and Mosiah, we find The Words of Mormon, connecting the record of Nephi, as engraved on the Smaller Plates, with Mormon's abridgment of the Larger Plates for the periods following. The Words of Mormon constitute a brief explanation of the preceding portions of the record, and a preface to the parts following.

The body of the Book, from Mosiah to Mormon, chapter 7, inclusive, is the translation of Mormon's abridgment of the Plates of Nephi. The latter part of the Book of Mormon, from the beginning of Mormon, chapter 8, to the end of the volume, was engraved by Mormon's son, Moroni, who first proceeded to finish the record of his father's life, and then made an abridgment of the Jaredite record, as the Book of Ether. Later he added the parts known to us as the Book of Moroni.

The period covered by Book of Mormon annals extends from B. C. 600 to A. D. 421. In or about the latter year, Moroni, the last of the Nephite historians, sealed the sacred record, and hid it up unto the Lord, to be brought forth in the latter days, as predicted by the voice of God through his ancient prophets. In A. D. 1827, this same Moroni, then a resurrected personage, delivered the engraved plates to Joseph Smith.

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