Book of Mormon
Student Study Guide

cover

Prepared by the Church Educational System

Published by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
Salt Lake City, Utah

Pages 8485, 87, 99, 102, 104, 106, 110, 113, 13233, 135, 137, 142, 14546, 149, 151, 158, 202: Drawings from The Book of Mormon Story
© 1966 Ronald K. Crosby.

© 2000 by Intellectual Reserve, Inc.
All rights reserved
Updated 2004
Printed in the United States of America

English approval: 6/04

Table of Contents

How to Use This Manual

1

Studying the Scriptures

2

Book of Mormon Reading Chart

7

Welcome to the Book of Mormon

8

Introductory Pages to the Book of Mormon

9

   Title Page   How and Why the Book of Mormon Was Written

9

   Introduction, Testimonies, a Brief Explanation, and the Names and Order of the Books

9

The First Book of Nephi

13

   1 Nephi 1   The Prophet Lehi Is Called to Warn the Jews

13

   1 Nephi 2   “I Did Cry unto the Lord; and Behold He Did Visit Me”

15

   1 Nephi 3–4   Having Faith the Lord Will Help

16

   1 Nephi 5–6   The Importance of Sacred Records

17

   1 Nephi 7   Ishmael Joins Lehi in the Wilderness

18

   1 Nephi 8   Lehi’s Dream

19

   1 Nephi 9   Two Sets of Plates

20

   1 Nephi 10   The Prophecies of Lehi

21

   1 Nephi 11–12   Nephi Learns of Christ and His Mission

22

   1 Nephi 13   A Vision of the Latter Days

23

   1 Nephi 14   Nephi’s Vision of the Gentiles in the Latter Days

25

   1 Nephi 15   Nephi Teaches His Brothers

26

   1 Nephi 16   A Miraculous Ball and a Broken Bow

27

   1 Nephi 17   “Thou Shalt Construct a Ship”

28

   1 Nephi 18   The Journey to the Promised Land

29

   1 Nephi 19   “That I Might More Fully Persuade Them to Believe in the Lord”

30

   1 Nephi 20–21   Messages from the Prophet Isaiah

31

   1 Nephi 22   Events of the Last Days

33

The Second Book of Nephi

35

   2 Nephi 1   “Awake, My Sons”

35

   2 Nephi 2   Free to Choose Because of the Atonement

36

   2 Nephi 3   Joseph Prophesies about Another Joseph

38

   2 Nephi 4   Nephi’s Psalm

39

   2 Nephi 5   A Divided Family

39

   2 Nephi 6   Jacob Teaches the People from the Writings of Isaiah

40

   2 Nephi 7   The Lord Helps Those Who Trust in Him

41

   2 Nephi 8   “Awake, Awake!”

42

   2 Nephi 9   “O How Great the Plan of Our God!”

42

   2 Nephi 10   The Fulfillment of the Lord’s Covenants

43

   2 Nephi 11   Three Witnesses of Jesus Christ

44

   2 Nephi 12   Come to the Mountain of the Lord

45

   2 Nephi 13–14   “The Daughters of Zion”

46

   2 Nephi 15   Sins and Consequences

47

   2 Nephi 16   Isaiah Sees the Lord

47

   2 Nephi 17–19   Prophecies of the Messiah

48

   2 Nephi 20   The Enemies of God’s People Are Destroyed

50

   2 Nephi 21–22   The Great Day of the Lord

50

   2 Nephi 23–24   The Fall of Babylon

51

   2 Nephi 25   “Believe in Christ”

52

   2 Nephi 26   Nephi Prophesies about His Descendants

53

   2 Nephi 27   The Coming Forth of the Book of Mormon

54

   2 Nephi 28   Sins and Traps of the Latter Days

55

   2 Nephi 29   “A Bible! A Bible! We Have Got a Bible”

56

   2 Nephi 30   The Power of the Book of Mormon

57

   2 Nephi 31   The Doctrine of Christ

57

   2 Nephi 32   Nephi Continues Teaching the Doctrine of Christ

58

   2 Nephi 33   Nephi’s Final Testimony

59

The Book of Jacob

60

   Jacob 1   A Prophet’s Duty

61

   Jacob 2–3   Jacob Teaches the People in the Temple

61

   Jacob 4   Be Reconciled to God through the Atonement of Christ

62

   Jacob 5–6   The Allegory of the Olive Tree

63

   Jacob 7   The Learning of Men versus the Power of God

66

The Book of Enos

67

   Enos 1   The Power of Forgiveness

67

The Book of Jarom

68

   Jarom 1   Keep the Commandments and Prosper

68

The Book of Omni

69

   Omni 1   A Summary of the Kings from Omni to Benjamin

69

The Words of Mormon

71

   Words of Mormon 1   A Word of Explanation

71

The Book of Mosiah

72

   Mosiah 1   The Importance of Sacred Records

73

   Mosiah 2   Service to God

73

   Mosiah 3   Prophecy of Christ

74

   Mosiah 4   Receiving and Retaining a Remission of Our Sins

75

   Mosiah 5   Becoming the Children of Christ

76

   Mosiah 6–7   Limhi’s People in Bondage

78

   Mosiah 8   What Is a Seer?

79

   Mosiah 9–10   The Beginning of Zeniff’s Record

79

   Mosiah 11–12   Wicked King Noah and the Prophet Abinadi

81

   Mosiah 13–14   Abinadi Challenges the Wicked Priests

82

   Mosiah 15–16   Abinadi Teaches of Jesus Christ and Explains Who Will Be Saved

83

   Mosiah 17–18   Alma Believes Abinadi

85

   Mosiah 19   The End of Wicked King Noah

87

   Mosiah 20   Limhi’s People Fight to Defend Their Families

88

   Mosiah 21–22   Bondage and Deliverance

88

   Mosiah 23–24   Bondage and Deliverance for Alma’s People

90

   Mosiah 25   Alma Organizes the Church of God

91

   Mosiah 26   Apostasy in the Rising Generation

92

   Mosiah 27   The Conversion of Alma the Younger

93

   Mosiah 28   King Mosiah, the Seer

95

   Mosiah 29   The End of the Kings and the Beginning of the Judges

96

The Book of Alma

97

   Alma 1   Alma and Nehor

97

   Alma 2–3   The Rebellion of the Amlicites

98

   Alma 4   Alma Gives Up the Judgment Seat

99

   Alma 5   A Mighty Change of Heart

100

   Alma 6–7   Alma Preaches in Gideon

102

   Alma 8   Alma Meets Amulek

103

   Alma 9   Alma Preaches Repentance to the People of Ammonihah

103

   Alma 10   Amulek’s Testimony

104

   Alma 11   The Resurrection “Shall Come to All”

105

   Alma 12   Alma Teaches the Plan of Salvation

106

   Alma 13   The Priesthood of God

107

   Alma 14   The Gospel Message Angers the Wicked

107

   Alma 15   Mission to the Land of Sidom

109

   Alma 16   The End of the City of Ammonihah

109

   Alma 17   A Mission to the Lamanites

110

   Alma 18   The Conversion of King Lamoni

110

   Alma 19   King Lamoni’s Wife and Others Are Converted

111

   Alma 20   Ammon Meets Lamoni’s Father

112

   Alma 21   Aaron and His Brethren Teach the Lamanites

113

   Alma 22   Aaron Teaches the Lamanite King

113

   Alma 23   The Anti-Nephi-Lehies

114

   Alma 24   A Covenant Kept

115

   Alma 25   Prophecy Fulfilled

116

   Alma 26   “In His Strength I Can Do All Things”

116

   Alma 27   A New Home for the Anti-Nephi-Lehies

117

   Alma 28   The Nephites Defend the People of Ammon

118

   Alma 29   “O That I Were an Angel”

119

   Alma 30   Korihor, the Anti-Christ

119

   Alma 31   A Mission to the Zoramites

120

   Alma 32   An Experiment with the Word

121

   Alma 33   The Words They Should Plant

122

   Alma 34   The Eternal Plan of Redemption

123

   Alma 35   Zoramite Converts Flee to Jershon

124

   Alma 36   Alma Teaches Helaman about His Conversion

124

   Alma 37   “Learn Wisdom in Thy Youth”

125

   Alma 38   Alma Counsels His Son Shiblon

126

   Alma 39   The Serious Nature of Sexual Sin

127

   Alma 40   The Spirit World and the Resurrection

128

   Alma 41   “Wickedness Never Was Happiness”

128

   Alma 42   Mercy and Justice

129

   Alma 43   The Nephites Defend Their Families, Freedom, and Religion

130

   Alma 44   Nephite Victory

131

   Alma 45   Alma’s Farewell

132

   Alma 46   The Title of Liberty

132

   Alma 47   The Man Who Wanted to Be King

133

   Alma 48   Captain Moroni, a Man of God

134

   Alma 49   Nephite Victory

135

   Alma 50   The Lord Prospers His Obedient Children

135

   Alma 51   The King-Men’s Rebellion

136

   Alma 52   Nephite Victory

136

   Alma 53   The 2,000 Stripling Soldiers

137

   Alma 54   An Exchange of Letters

138

   Alma 55   Nephite Prisoners Are Freed

138

   Alma 56   The 2,000 Stripling Soldiers in Battle

139

   Alma 57   The 2,000 Stripling Soldiers Escape Death

139

   Alma 58   Nephites Capture the City of Manti

140

   Alma 59   Moroni Sends for Help

140

   Alma 60   Moroni’s Letter to Pahoran

141

   Alma 61   Pahoran’s Reply to Moroni

142

   Alma 62   Moroni Marches to Help Pahoran

142

   Alma 63   Nephite Migrations into the Land Northward

143

The Book of Helaman

144

   Helaman 1   War in Zarahemla

144

   Helaman 2   The Gadianton Bands

145

   Helaman 3   A Time of Prosperity and Growth

146

   Helaman 4   Wickedness and Its Consequences

146

   Helaman 5   Nephi and Lehi in Prison

147

   Helaman 6   Prosperity Leads to Wickedness . . . Again!

148

   Helaman 7   Nephi Declares Repentance to His People

149

   Helaman 8   A Prophecy of Murder

149

   Helaman 9   A Murderer Is Discovered

150

   Helaman 10   Nephi Is Granted Great Power

151

   Helaman 11   Nephi Exercises His Power in Behalf of the People

151

   Helaman 12   “And Thus We See”

152

   Helaman 13   Samuel the Lamanite Prophesies to the Nephites

153

   Helaman 14   Signs of Christ’s Birth and Death

154

   Helaman 15   “Except Ye Repent . . .”

155

   Helaman 16   Reactions to Samuel’s Preaching

156

Third Nephi: The Book of Nephi

157

   3 Nephi 1   “On the Morrow Come I into the World”

157

   3 Nephi 2   Wonders amidst Wickedness and War

158

   3 Nephi 3–4   Gadianton Robbers Threaten the People

158

   3 Nephi 5   An Explanation and Testimony from Mormon

159

   3 Nephi 6   From Righteousness to “Awful Wickedness”

160

   3 Nephi 7   A Great Division

161

   3 Nephi 8   Destruction and Darkness

161

   3 Nephi 9–10   The Voice of Jesus Christ Pierces the Darkness

162

   3 Nephi 11   The Savior Appears!

163

   3 Nephi 12   The Sermon at the Temple, Part 1

165

   3 Nephi 13   The Sermon at the Temple, Part 2

166

   3 Nephi 14   The Sermon at the Temple, Part 3

167

   3 Nephi 15–16   The Law of Moses and “Other Sheep”

167

   3 Nephi 17   “My Joy Is Full”

168

   3 Nephi 18   The Savior Introduces the Sacrament

169

   3 Nephi 19   Jesus Prays with and for the People

170

   3 Nephi 20–22   Prophecies about the Children of the Covenant

171

   3 Nephi 23   The Importance of the Written Word

172

   3 Nephi 24–25   The Prophecies of Malachi

173

   3 Nephi 26   A Test for People in the Latter Days

174

   3 Nephi 27   “This Is My Gospel”

174

   3 Nephi 28   Special Desires of the Twelve Disciples

175

   3 Nephi 29–30   Mormon’s Warnings

176

Fourth Nephi: The Book of Nephi

177

   4 Nephi 1   Four Generations of Peace

177

The Book of Mormon

178

   Mormon 1   The Young Man Mormon

179

   Mormon 2   A Mighty Leader amid Great Wickedness

180

   Mormon 3   Another Chance, Another Rejection

181

   Mormon 4   “It Is by the Wicked That the Wicked Are Punished”

181

   Mormon 5   The Purpose of Mormon’s Record

182

   Mormon 6   “The Destruction of My People”

182

   Mormon 7   Mormon’s Testimony to His People

183

   Mormon 8   Moroni Sees Our Day

184

   Mormon 9   “I Know That Ye Shall Have My Words”

185

The Book of Ether

186

   Ether 1   The Jaredites at the Tower of Babel

187

   Ether 2   The Jaredites Build Barges

187

   Ether 3   A Sacred Vision

188

   Ether 4   Repent, and Come unto Christ

189

   Ether 5   A Promise of Three Witnesses

190

   Ether 6   The Jaredites Cross the Ocean

190

   Ether 7   The Sons of Orihah

191

   Ether 8   Secret Combinations Begin

192

   Ether 9   The Effect of Those Seeking Power and Gain

192

   Ether 10   The Jaredite Kings

193

   Ether 11   The Prophets Warn of Destruction

193

   Ether 12   The Importance of Faith, Hope, and Charity

194

   Ether 13   The New Jerusalem

195

   Ether 14   A Time of Great War and Destruction

195

   Ether 15   The End of the Jaredite Society

196

The Book of Moroni

197

   Moroni 1–3   The Authority of the Priesthood

197

   Moroni 4–5   The Sacrament Prayers

198

   Moroni 6   The Church Should Meet Together Often

199

   Moroni 7   The Spirit of Christ Is Given to Everyone

199

   Moroni 8   Baptism and Little Children

200

   Moroni 9   Little Hope for the Nephites

201

   Moroni 10   A Testimony of the Book of Mormon

202

Possible Book of Mormon Sites (in Relation to Each Other)

203

Book of Mormon Chronology Chart

204

How to Use This Manual

As the title of this manual suggests, this is a guide to your study of the scriptures. It contains several sections to help increase your understanding of what you read.

sample page

AIntroduction

Beneath the chapter headings, which are printed on pictures of metal plates, are introductions to the chapters of scripture you are assigned to read. This section contains the following kinds of information:

BUnderstanding the Scriptures

The “Understanding the Scriptures” section provides help for difficult words and phrases and commentary to help you understand ideas and concepts contained in the scriptures. The commentary often includes statements by General Authorities of the Church.

CStudying the Scriptures

The “Studying the Scriptures” section contains questions and activities to help you discover, think about, and apply the principles of the gospel found in the scriptures. There is not room to write in the manual, so you will need to do these activities in a notebook or on your own paper.

The following steps will help you as you study the scriptures:

Home-Study Seminary Program

If you are in a home-study seminary program, the reading chart on page 7 shows you what you should read each week of seminary. Remember that seminary is a daily religious education program, that prayerfully reading your scriptures should be a daily practice, and that you will need to work on your seminary assignments each school day even though you will not attend seminary each day. If you have more or less than 36 weeks in your seminary year, your teacher will tell you which chapters you should read in a week and which assignments to complete. Reading the scriptures and using this study guide should take 30 to 40 minutes each school day you do not attend seminary class.

Each week you should give your teacher the pages from your notebook that contain your thoughts about the scriptures and the study guide activities you completed for that week. Your teacher will read and respond to them and return your notebook to you. You might choose to have two notebooks and use them every other week. You could also write in a loose-leaf binder and turn in the pages you did that week. When your teacher returns the pages, put them back into the notebook.

Daily Seminary Program

If you are in a daily seminary program, you will use this study guide as instructed by your teacher.

Studying the Scriptures

This study guide has been prepared to help you read, study, and understand the scriptures. Since most of your study time will be spent reading and thinking about the scriptures, this section has been included to help you make it more effective.

Elder Howard W. Hunter, then a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, gave Church members valuable counsel on scripture study, which is summarized below. You may want to write his ideas on a card and put the card in a place where you can see it while you study.

Using the study helps found in the Latter-day Saint editions of the scriptures, along with good study skills, will benefit your scripture study.

Study Helps in the Latter-day Saint Editions of the Scriptures

Cross-References

A cross-reference is a scripture reference that will lead you to additional information and insight on the topic you are studying.

For example, read Ether 13:10 and notice footnote 10a. By finding and reading the scripture referred to in the footnote, what additional insights do you gain about those who will be made clean through the Savior’s Atonement?

Ether 13:10a

Topical Guide and Bible Dictionary References

The Topical Guide (TG) contains an alphabetical list of hundreds of topics with scripture references in all four standard works of the Church. The Bible Dictionary (BD) gives definitions and explanations for many biblical names and subjects. Although not referenced in the footnotes, you may want to check the index for the Book of Mormon, Doctrine and Covenants, and the Pearl of Great Price for additional references.

For example, read 2 Nephi 15:10. As you do, you may wonder about the words bath, homer, and ephah. Notice footnote 10a, which refers you to “weights and measures” in the Bible Dictionary (pp. 788–89).

2 Nephi 15:10a

In the allegory of the tame and wild olive trees, Zenos spoke of fruit that became corrupt. Read Jacob 5:42 and notice footnote 42a. Use the Topical Guide and find several scripture references that help explain what the corrupt fruit represents.

Help with Words and Phrases

Some words and phrases are labeled with the following notations:

Romans 9 footnotes

What insight do you gain from knowing the meaning of the Hebrew word for “snatched” in Mosiah 27:29?

The Joseph Smith Translation of the Bible

The Lord commanded the Prophet Joseph Smith to study the Bible and seek revelation to obtain a more complete and true biblical translation (see D&C 37:1; 45:60; 73:3–4). Consequently, the Prophet Joseph Smith restored many important truths and made many significant changes in Bible passages that were possibly mistranslated, unclear, or incomplete (see Articles of Faith 1:8). This version with the inspired changes is called the “Joseph Smith Translation.” The translation is abbreviated in the footnotes as “JST.” Some Joseph Smith Translation changes are in the footnotes, while others are found in an appendix entitled “Joseph Smith Translation,” which begins on page 797 of the Latter-day Saint edition of the King James Version of the Bible.

Read Alma 13:14 and notice footnote 14a. What additional understanding do we gain about Melchizedek from the Joseph Smith Translation?

Alma 13:14a

Bible Maps and Photographs

The Bible maps and photographs found in the appendix of the Latter-day Saint edition of the Bible are helpful in finding places referred to in the scriptures.

Church History Chronology, Maps, and Photographs

In 1999 the Church added new maps and photographs to the triple combination. These features are similar to the corresponding ones in the Latter-day Saint edition of the King James Bible. This section also includes a chronology of Church history events.

Chapter Headings, Section Headings, and Verse Summaries

Chapter and section headings and verse summaries explain or give important background information to help you understand what you read. For example, what helpful information do you get about the role of Jesus Christ by reading the chapter heading for Mosiah 15?

Having the study helps found in Latter-day Saint editions of the scriptures is like having a small collection of reference books available to you—all in one place!

Study Skills

Nephi said we ought to “feast upon the words of Christ” (2 Nephi 32:3), and Jesus commanded the Nephites to “search [the scriptures] diligently” (3 Nephi 23:1). This kind of study involves more than just quickly reading through the scriptures. The following ideas and skills will help you learn more when you study. They are divided into three different categories: before reading, during reading, and after reading.

Before Reading

Prayer

The scriptures were written by inspiration. Consequently, they are best understood when we have the companionship of the Spirit. In the Old Testament we learn about the priest Ezra, who “prepared his heart to seek the law of the Lord” (Ezra 7:10). Prepare your heart to read the scriptures by praying each time you read.

girl praying

Get Background Information

Understanding the historical background of the scriptures will help you gain greater insights as you read. The Bible Dictionary provides historical background and a brief overview of each book’s content and main themes. The section headings in the Doctrine and Covenants provide a brief explanation of the historical background of the revelations. The index at the back of the triple combination also contains useful information. If you have time, you may also refer to other Church-produced books and manuals that have background on the scripture you are reading.

Ask Questions

Before you read it is helpful to ask yourself questions like “Who wrote these verses?” “To whom?” “Why is this teaching included in the scriptures?” “What do I want to know or learn as I read today?” and “What would the Lord want me to learn from these scriptures?” As you read the scriptures, look for answers to your questions. Remember that you can also use the study helps in the Latter-day Saint editions of the scriptures or look for answers in Church manuals and publications.

girl studying scriptures

Read the Chapter Headings and Verse Summaries

Chapter headings and verse summaries are simple summaries of the main ideas in a chapter or section. Reading the chapter heading before you begin a chapter is not only a good study habit but will also help you prepare yourself to ask questions and look for answers as you read.

scriptures

During Reading

Don’t Be Afraid to Stop

Most nuggets of gold are not found on the surface of the ground—you must dig for them. Your scripture study will be much more valuable if you will slow down or stop and do some of the activities that follow.

Look up the Meanings of Words You Do Not Understand

Use a dictionary. Sometimes looking up a word you think you already know can give you additional insight. The “Understanding the Scriptures” sections of this manual will help you understand many difficult words and phrases.

Be aware that sometimes the Lord has inspired His prophets to include explanations in their writings that help us know the meaning of words and phrases. For example, read Mosiah 3:19 and find out what King Benjamin said it meant to become like a child.

boy studying scriptures

Use the Study Helps in the Latter-day Saint Editions of the Scriptures

See the section “Study Helps in the Latter-day Saint Editions of the Scriptures” on pages 2–3.

Liken the Scripture

Using your own name in a verse helps make scriptural teachings more personal. For example, what difference does it make to use your own name in place of “ye” in 2 Nephi 31:20?

Visualize

Picture in your mind what is taking place. For example, when you read 1 Nephi 18:10–16, imagine how you might feel if your older brothers hated or were jealous of you and bound you and left you to suffer during a storm.

At times, the scriptures tell us to visualize. Read Alma 5:15–18 and stop to do as Alma suggests. Take some time to write about how you felt as you visualized those verses.

girl with scriptures

Look for Connecting Words

Connecting words include and, but, because, therefore, and nevertheless. As you read these words, notice what they help you understand about two or more ideas. Sometimes they show how two or more things are similar or different.

For example, if you think about what the word because indicates in Mosiah 26:2–3, you can learn an important truth about scripture study.

Mosiah 26:2–3

Because indicates a cause-and-effect relationship between the people’s disbelief and their inability to understand the scriptures and words of the prophets.

Mosiah 29:12

Read Mosiah 29:12 and note how the word but shows a contrast between the judgments of God and the judgments of man.

Look for Patterns

In 2 Nephi 31:2, Nephi said that he wanted to write a few words about the doctrine of Christ. Then in verse 21 he bore his testimony that he had just explained the doctrine of Christ. Knowing that Nephi taught the doctrine of Christ between verses 2 and 21, we should go back and study Nephi’s words further to find out what the doctrine of Christ is.

two girls looking at scriptures

Another example of finding patterns is to look for a prophet’s explanation of cause and effect by watching for his use of the words if and then. In 3 Nephi 26:9–10, the promise is made that if the words Mormon wrote are believed by the readers, then greater things will be made known to them. Look for the consequences for those who do not believe the words.

The repetition of a word or idea is another pattern to look for. For example, notice how many times the word baptize is found in 3 Nephi 11.

Look for Lists in the Scriptures

Lists help you understand more clearly what the Lord and His prophets teach. The Ten Commandments are a list (see Exodus 20). The Beatitudes in 3 Nephi 12:3–11 are easily seen as a list. Finding other lists may require a little more effort. For example, according to Mosiah 18:8–10, what promises do we make at baptism? What blessings has the Lord promised?

Ask Questions

Continue to ask questions as you were instructed to do in the “Before Reading” section. As you read, you may rephrase questions you asked before reading or you may come up with completely different questions. Seeking answers to questions is one of the most important ways we gain greater understanding from our scripture study. One of the most important questions to ask is “Why might the Lord have inspired the writer to include this in the scriptures?” Look for the obvious clues writers sometimes leave when they say something like “and thus we see.”

Answer Questions Given in the Scriptures

Many times the Lord asks and then answers a question. He asked the Nephite disciples, “What manner of men ought ye to be?” He then answered, “Even as I am” (3 Nephi 27:27).

On other occasions questions are asked but no answers are given—generally because the author thinks the answer may be obvious. Sometimes the writers do not give an answer, however, because the question asked may require some thinking and the answer may not be immediate. For example, read Alma 5:14–33 and answer the questions in those verses as if you were there.

Look for Types and Symbolic Meanings

Prophets often use symbols and imagery (types) to more powerfully communicate their messages. For example, parables are a way of telling a message simply and in a way that has a much deeper meaning. The story in a parable makes the lesson taught more memorable and meaningful.

The following suggestions may help you understand symbols in the scriptures:

  1. Look for an interpretation in the scriptures. For example, Lehi had a vision in 1 Nephi 8. Nephi later had a vision in which he saw what his father saw, along with the interpretations of the symbols in his father’s vision (see 1 Nephi 11–14). Sometimes an interpretation can be found by using a cross-reference in the footnotes.

  2. Think about the characteristics of the symbol and what the symbol might teach you. Alma used this skill in explaining the Liahona to his son Helaman (see Alma 37:38–47).

  3. See if the symbol teaches you something about the Savior. The Lord told Adam that “all things bear record of [Him]” (Moses 6:63). For example, how do the different elements in the story of Abraham’s sacrifice of his son Isaac testify of the sacrifice of Jesus Christ? (see Genesis 22:1–19; Jacob 4:5).

Write

Keep some paper or a notebook close by to write down ideas you want to remember, such as lists, special insights you get, or your feelings about something you read. To help you remember thoughts or insights the next time you read, you may want to write these ideas in the margins of your scriptures as well.

Many people like to mark important words and phrases in their scriptures. There is no right or wrong way to do this. (You may not want to do it at all.) Some people circle the verse number or shade or underline important words and phrases that give special meaning to a verse. Another way to mark scriptures is to write a cross-reference to another scripture in the margin. Doing this to several verses that treat the same topic gives you a chain of scriptures on a specific topic that you can find by going to any one of the scriptures in the chain. Marking scriptures can often help you find important verses more quickly.

boy studying scriptures

After Reading

Ponder

To ponder is to think deeply about something, asking questions and evaluating what you know and what you have learned. Sometimes the scriptures call this “meditating” (see Joshua 1:8). There are several good examples in the scriptures where important revelations came as a result of pondering, especially pondering the scriptures (see D&C 76:15–20; 138:1–11).

Liken the Scriptures to Yourself

To liken the scriptures to yourself is to compare them to your own life. In order to liken the scriptures to yourself, you need to ask questions like “What principles of the gospel are taught in the scriptures I just read?” and “How do those principles relate to my life?” An important part of likening the scriptures to yourself is listening to promptings of the Spirit, who the Lord promised “will guide you into all truth” (John 16:13).

boy studying scriptures

For example, Nephi likened the scriptures to himself and his family by applying some of the principles Isaiah taught to their situation. He taught his brothers that they, like the children of Israel, had strayed from God—God had not strayed from them. He also taught them that if they would repent, the Lord would be merciful and forgive them (see 1 Nephi 19:24; 21:14–16). Nephi said that by likening the words of Isaiah to himself and his brothers, their belief in Jesus Christ as the Redeemer would increase (see 1 Nephi 19:23).

Reread

We do not understand everything in a passage of scripture the first time we read it. In fact, it takes a lifetime of study to truly understand the scriptures. Often, we begin to see patterns, visualize better, and more deeply understand the scriptures after two or three readings. You may want to look for new teachings or ask different questions as you reread. Trying to rewrite a story or just a verse or two in your own words may help you discover whether or not you understood what you read and help you understand the scriptures better.

students in classroom

Write

Some people keep a journal in which they write the main idea of what they read, how they feel about what they read, or how they think what they read applies to their life. If you are using this manual for home-study seminary, you are required to keep a notebook to receive credit. This notebook will be like a scripture journal.

It is also good to talk with others about what you read. Writing down some notes so that you remember what you want to talk about and discussing what you learned will help you understand and remember more of what you read.

reading the scriptures

Apply

The real value of knowledge you gain from the scriptures comes when you live what you learn. Greater closeness to the Lord and feeling the peace He gives are just some of the blessings that come to those who live the gospel. In addition, the Lord said that those who live what they learn will be given more, while those who will not live what they learn will lose the knowledge they have (see Alma 12:9–11).

“Feast upon the words of Christ; for behold, the words of Christ will tell you all things what ye should do” (2 Nephi 32:3).

Book of Mormon Reading Chart

Days I Read Ten Minutes or More

 

Assigned Chapters I Read This Week

S M T W TH F S

Week 1

“Studying the Scriptures”   “Title Page of the Book of Mormon”
Introduction, Testimonies, ”   1 Nephi 1 2

S M T W TH F S

Week 2

1 Nephi 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

S M T W TH F S

Week 3

1 Nephi 11 12 13 14 15 16

S M T W TH F S

Week 4

1 Nephi 17 18 19 20 21 22

S M T W TH F S

Week 5

2 Nephi 1 2 3 4 5

S M T W TH F S

Week 6

2 Nephi 6 7 8 9 10

S M T W TH F S

Week 7

2 Nephi 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24

S M T W TH F S

Week 8

2 Nephi 25 26 27 28 29 30

S M T W TH F S

Week 9

2 Nephi 31 32 33   Jacob 1 2 3 4

S M T W TH F S

Week 10

Jacob 5 6 7   Enos 1   Jarom 1

S M T W TH F S

Week 11

Omni 1   Words of Mormon 1   Mosiah 1 2 3

S M T W TH F S

Week 12

Mosiah 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

S M T W TH F S

Week 13

Mosiah 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18

S M T W TH F S

Week 14

Mosiah 19 20 21 22 23 24 25

S M T W TH F S

Week 15

Mosiah 26 27 28 29   Alma 1

S M T W TH F S

Week 16

Alma 2 3 4 5 6 7

S M T W TH F S

Week 17

Alma 8 9 10 11 12 13

S M T W TH F S

Week 18

Alma 14 15 16 17 18 19 20

S M T W TH F S

Week 19

Alma 21 22 23 24 25 26

S M T W TH F S

Week 20

Alma 27 28 29 30 31 32 33

S M T W TH F S

Week 21

Alma 34 35 36 37 38

S M T W TH F S

Week 22

Alma 39 40 41 42 43 44

S M T W TH F S

Week 23

Alma 45 46 47 48 49 50

S M T W TH F S

Week 24

Alma 51 52 53 54 55 56

S M T W TH F S

Week 25

Alma 57 58 59 60 61 62 63

S M T W TH F S

Week 26

Helaman 1 2 3 4 5 6

S M T W TH F S

Week 27

Helaman 7 8 9 10 11 12

S M T W TH F S

Week 28

Helaman 13 14 15 16   3 Nephi 1 2

S M T W TH F S

Week 29

3 Nephi 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

S M T W TH F S

Week 30

3 Nephi 11 12 13 14 15 16 17

S M T W TH F S

Week 31

3 Nephi 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26

S M T W TH F S

Week 32

3 Nephi 27 28 29 30   4 Nephi 1  Mormon 1 2

S M T W TH F S

Week 33

Mormon 3 4 5 6 7 8 9

S M T W TH F S

Week 34

Ether 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8

S M T W TH F S

Week 35

Ether 9 10 11 12 13 14 15

S M T W TH F S

Week 36

Moroni 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

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Welcome to the Book of Mormon

The Book of Mormon, Another Testament of Jesus Christ

You may have been asked, or perhaps even wondered yourself, “What is the Book of Mormon?” The Lord declared that the Book of Mormon “contains a record of a fallen people, and the fulness of the gospel of Jesus Christ” (D&C 20:9). He also said that the Book of Mormon proves that the Bible is true and that God calls and inspires prophets today just as He did anciently (see D&C 20:10–12).

In 1982, to make it clear to the world what the Book of Mormon is, Elder Boyd K. Packer, a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, announced: “By recent decision of the Brethren the Book of Mormon will henceforth bear the title ‘the Book of Mormon,’ with the subtitle ‘Another Testament of Jesus Christ’” (in Conference Report, Oct. 1982, 75; or Ensign, Nov. 1982, 53).

The fundamental role of the Book of Mormon is, first, “the convincing of the Jew and Gentile [everyone] that Jesus is the Christ, the Eternal God, manifesting himself unto all nations” (title page of the Book of Mormon). A second purpose of the Book of Mormon is to prove to the world that Joseph Smith is a true prophet of God and, therefore, the Church is true and succeeding prophets speak in the name of God (see D&C 20:8–12). A third purpose is to “persuade men to come unto the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, and be saved” (1 Nephi 6:4).

What Can a Study of the Book of Mormon Mean to Me?

Some people wonder why we need the Book of Mormon in addition to the Bible. President Ezra Taft Benson, then President of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, taught:

“The Book of Mormon, the record of Joseph, verifies and clarifies the Bible. It removes stumbling blocks, it restores many plain and precious things. We testify that when used together, the Bible and the Book of Mormon confound false doctrines, lay down contentions, and establish peace. (See 2 Nephi 3:12.)

“We do not have to prove the Book of Mormon is true. The book is its own proof. All we need to do is read it and declare it! The Book of Mormon is not on trial—the people of the world, including the members of the Church, are on trial as to what they will do with this second witness for Christ.

“I testify that the Book of Mormon is the word of God; and therefore Jesus is the Christ, Joseph Smith is a prophet, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is true, with its authorized servants to perform the ordinances of salvation today” (in Conference Report, Oct. 1984, 7; or Ensign, Nov. 1984, 8).

The Book of Mormon truly contains the “words of Christ” (see 2 Nephi 33:10–11; Moroni 10:26–27). As you begin your journey into this book, look for the Savior and feast on His words. You will find Him and be well fed. Pray and ponder. You will receive answers to your questions and concerns, either through inspired words that the Spirit will bring to your attention or through the unsurpassed spirit of the book itself, which will put you in harmony with the process of revelation.

Give frequent heed to Moroni’s promise that if you will “ask with a sincere heart, with real intent, having faith in Christ, he will manifest the truth of it unto you, by the power of the Holy Ghost.

“And by the power of the Holy Ghost ye may know the truth of all things” (Moroni 10:4–5).

Christ in America

Introductory Pages to the Book of Mormon

Title Page
How and Why the Book of Mormon Was Written

The title page of the Book of Mormon was written by Moroni, the son of Mormon. The Prophet Joseph Smith explained: “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, the language of the whole running the same as all Hebrew writing in general; and that said title page is not by any means a modern composition, either of mine or of any other man who has lived or does live in this generation” (History of the Church, 1:71).

The title page explains by what power the Book of Mormon was written and by what power it would come forth in the latter days. Moroni also gave several reasons why this sacred record was written and preserved to come forth in our day.

Understanding the Scriptures

Title page

Abridgement—Shortened version

Remnant—A remaining part

Confounded—confused

Title Page—What Is Meant by “House of Israel,” “Jew,” and “Gentile”?

Jacob, the son of Isaac and the grandson of Abraham, was given the name Israel by the Lord (see Genesis 32:28). “The house of Israel” refers to his descendants (see Bible Dictionary, “Israel,” “Israel, kingdom of,” p. 708). “Jew” referred originally to a person belonging to the tribe of Judah, but has also come to mean anyone from the kingdom of Judah, even if he or she is not actually of the tribe of Judah (see Bible Dictionary, “Jew,” p. 713). “Gentile” means “nations,” and refers to those who are not of the house of Israel or those who do not believe in the God of Israel (see Bible Dictionary, “Gentile,” p. 679). In the Book of Mormon the word Gentiles can also refer to those who lived in or came from nations outside the land of Israel, regardless of their lineage.

Studying the Scriptures

Do activity A as you study the title page of the Book of Mormon.

Activity A iconFind the Purposes

In the first paragraph of the title page, Moroni explained that the Book of Mormon was “written by way of commandment, and also by the spirit of prophecy and of revelation.” In the second paragraph he gave several purposes, or reasons why God commanded that these records be kept. Find as many of those purposes as you can and write them in your notebook. Circle one that is most meaningful to you.

Introduction, Testimonies, a Brief Explanation, and the Names and Order of the Books

These introductory pages contain valuable information to help you understand and appreciate the Book of Mormon. Do not skip over them. The insights contained in these pages will give you the foundation you will need for an understanding of the sacred record.

Understanding the Scriptures

Introduction

Confounded the tongues (paragraph 2)—Confused the languages

Precepts (paragraph 6)—Commandments, principles

Divinity (paragraphs 7–8)—Being from God

Introduction, paragraph 6—What Is a Keystone?
arches with keystones
The Book of Mormon is the keystone of our religion.

The Prophet Joseph Smith said that “the Book of Mormon was the most correct of any book on earth, and the keystone of our religion” (History of the Church, 4:461). He also said: “Take away the Book of Mormon and the revelations, and where is our religion? We have none” (History of the Church, 2:52).

President Ezra Taft Benson explained:

“A keystone is the central stone in an arch. It holds all the other stones in place, and if removed, the arch crumbles.

“There are three ways in which the Book of Mormon is the keystone of our religion. It is the keystone in our witness of Christ. It is the keystone of our doctrine. It is the keystone of testimony.

“The Book of Mormon is the keystone in our witness of Jesus Christ, who is Himself the cornerstone of everything we do. It bears witness of His reality with power and clarity. . . .

Jesus Christ

“The Book of Mormon is also the keystone of the doctrine of the Resurrection. As mentioned before, the Lord Himself has stated that the Book of Mormon contains the ‘fulness of the gospel of Jesus Christ’ (D&C 20:9). That does not mean it contains every teaching, every doctrine ever revealed. Rather, it means that in the Book of Mormon we will find the fulness of those doctrines required for our salvation. And they are taught plainly and simply so that even children can learn the ways of salvation and exaltation. The Book of Mormon offers so much that broadens our understandings of the doctrines of salvation. Without it, much of what is taught in other scriptures would not be nearly so plain and precious.

“Finally, the Book of Mormon is the keystone of testimony. Just as the arch crumbles if the keystone is removed, so does all the Church stand or fall with the truthfulness of the Book of Mormon. The enemies of the Church understand this clearly. This is why they go to such great lengths to try to disprove the Book of Mormon, for if it can be discredited, the Prophet Joseph Smith goes with it. So does our claim to priesthood keys, and revelation, and the restored Church. But in like manner, if the Book of Mormon be true—and millions have now testified that they have the witness of the Spirit that it is indeed true—then one must accept the claims of the Restoration and all that accompanies it” (in Conference Report, Oct. 1986, 4–5; or Ensign, Nov. 1986, 5–6).

Introduction—Prophets Testify of the Book of Mormon

President Marion G. Romney, who was a member of the First Presidency, said: “If we would avoid adopting the evils of the world, we must pursue a course which will daily feed our minds with and call them back to the things of the spirit. I know of no better way to do this than by daily reading the Book of Mormon” (in Conference Report, Apr. 1980, 88; or Ensign, May 1980, 66).

All of the latter-day prophets have testified of the importance of studying the Book of Mormon. President Ezra Taft Benson said: “There is a power in the book which will begin to flow into your lives the moment you begin a serious study of the book. You will find greater power to resist temptation. You will find the power to avoid deception. You will find the power to stay on the strait and narrow path. The scriptures are called ‘the words of life’ (D&C 84:85), and nowhere is that more true than it is of the Book of Mormon. When you begin to hunger and thirst after those words, you will find life in greater and greater abundance” (in Conference Report, Oct. 1986, 6; or Ensign, Nov. 1986, 7).

President Gordon B. Hinckley said: “I would like to urge every man and woman . . . and every boy and girl who is old enough to read to again read the Book of Mormon during this coming year. This was written for the convincing of the Jew and the Gentile that Jesus is the Christ. There is nothing we could do of greater importance than to have fortified in our individual lives an unshakable conviction that Jesus is the Christ, the living Son of the living God. That is the purpose of the coming forth of this remarkable and wonderful book. May I suggest that you read it again and take a pencil, a red one if you have one, and put a little check mark every time there is a reference to Jesus Christ in that book. And there will come to you a very real conviction as you do so that this is in very deed another witness for the Lord Jesus Christ” (Teachings of Gordon B. Hinckley [1997], 44).

The Testimony of Three Witnesses

Grace of God the Father—God’s gifts and power

Oliver Cowdery David Whitmer Martin Harris

Oliver Cowdery

David Whitmer

Martin Harris

Testimony of Three Witnesses—What Does It Mean to “Rid Our Garments of the Blood of All Men”?

Blood, as used in this phrase, is a symbol for sin. Those who receive a calling from the Lord to testify to the world are said to be clean from the blood of the world if they teach and testify faithfully. If they are not faithful in their calling, they will bear some of the responsibility for the sins of those they might have helped to learn the truth (see Jacob 1:18–19).

The Testimony of Eight Witnesses

Hefted—Lifted

Testimony of Eight Witnesses—Why Did God Call So Many Witnesses?

The Lord has declared that “in the mouth of two or three witnesses shall every word be established” (see 2 Corinthians 13:1). Elder Joseph Fielding Smith, then a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, explained: “[God’s] word has always been proclaimed by the mouth of duly appointed witnesses who were appointed to testify of his work. The Book of Mormon could not come forth in any way other than the way it did, and fulfill the law. Their prophets declared that the Lord would raise up ‘as many witnesses as seemeth him good,’ [see 2 Nephi 27:12–14] to establish his work” (The Restoration of All Things [1945], 107).

Testimony of the Prophet Joseph Smith

Supplication (page 1, paragraph 2)—Asking, pleading

Countenance (page 1, paragraph 5)—Appearance

The source from whence they sprang (page 1, paragraph 7)—The place they originally came from

Musing on the singularity (page 2, paragraph 2)—Thinking about the unusual nature

Indigent circumstances (page 2, paragraph 4)—Poverty

Attested by Divine affirmation (page 3, paragraph 8)—As God said it would be

A Brief Explanation about the Book of Mormon

Secular history (paragraph 2)—The history of kings, wars, and so on

Abridgment (paragraph 3)—Shortened version

Subsequently (paragraph 8)—Later

Brief Explanation—How Are the Different Sets of Plates Represented in the Book of Mormon?

The illustration on page 12 of this manual helps explain how the different sets of plates fit together to make up the Book of Mormon record. Notice that there was much more written than Mormon and Moroni were able to include on the plates of Mormon (see Helaman 3:14–15; Ether 15:33).

Studying the Scriptures

Do two of the following activities (A–F) as you study the introduction, testimonies, and brief explanation.

Activity A iconWhat Do They Mean to You?

In the quotation from the Prophet Joseph Smith in paragraph 6 of the introduction are the following three principles about the Book of Mormon. In your notebook, explain how each principle is true and what it means to you. Use the information in the introduction and in the “Understanding the Scriptures” section to help you.

  1. The Book of Mormon is “the most correct of any book on earth.”

  2. The Book of Mormon is “the keystone of our religion.”

  3. A person will “get nearer to God by abiding by its precepts, than by any other book.”

Activity B iconMake a Keystone Arch

Using wooden blocks or other suitable material, construct an arch (see the picture of an arch on p. 9). Label the keystone “The Book of Mormon.” Take your arch to class and show how the keystone holds the arch together.

Activity C iconHow Can I Know That the Book of Mormon Is True?

Read the last two paragraphs of the introduction and, in your notebook, explain what you must do to receive a witness from the Spirit that the Book of Mormon is true.

Activity D iconWhat Did They Witness?

  1. List what the Three Witnesses saw and heard and what the Eight Witnesses saw and touched.

  2. What does it mean to you that 11 other men testified that the Prophet Joseph Smith did indeed have the gold plates and that three of them saw an angel and heard the voice of the Lord?

Activity E iconWhat Impressed You?

Joseph Smith

After reading the testimony of the Prophet Joseph Smith, write at least one thing that impressed you about his testimony.

Activity F iconProphets Speak Out on the Book of Mormon

Make a chart with four columns. Label the first column “Promised Blessings,” the second “Counsel about Reading the Book of Mormon,” the third “What the Book Contains,” and the fourth “Testimonies of the Prophets.” Read “What is a Keystone?” and “Prophets Testify of the Book of Mormon” in the “Understanding the Scriptures” section. Look for statements that belong in one of the four categories and write them in the appropriate column.

The Main Sources for the Book of Mormon

Main Sources for Book of Mormon
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