The Book of Mormon
composed ca. 345 ad for the plates of nephi
And now I, Mormon, make a record of the things which I have both seen and heard, and call it the Book of Mormon.
And about the time that Ammaron hid up the records unto the Lord, he came unto me. I being about ten years of age, and I began to be learned somewhat after the manner of the learning of my people. And Ammaron said unto me:
I perceive that thou art a sober child, and art quick to observe.
Therefore, when ye are about twenty and four years old I would
That ye should remember the things that ye have observed
Concerning this people.
And when ye are of that age, go to the land Antum,
Unto a hill which shall be called Shim.
And there have I deposited unto the Lord all
The sacred engravings concerning this people.
And behold, ye shall take the Plates of Nephi unto yourself.
And the remainder shall ye leave in the place where they are.
And ye shall engrave on the Plates of Nephi all the things
That ye have observed concerning this people.
And I, Mormon, being a descendant of Nephi, and my father’s name was Mormon; I remembered the things which Ammaron commanded me.
And it came to pass that I, being eleven years old, was carried by my father into the land southward, even to the land of Zarahemla. The whole face of the land had become covered with buildings, and the people were as numerous almost, as it were the sand of the sea. And it came to pass in this year there began to be a war between the Nephites — who consisted of the Nephites and the Jacobites and the Josephites and the Zoramites — and this war was between the Nephites, and the Lamanites and the Lemuelites and the Ishmaelites. Now the Lamanites and the Lemuelites and the Ishmaelites were called Lamanites, and the two parties were Nephites and Lamanites.
And it came to pass that the war began to be among them in the borders of Zarahemla, by the waters of Sidon. And it came to pass that the Nephites had gathered together a great number of men, even to exceed the number of thirty thousand. And it came to pass that they did have in this same year a number of battles, in which the Nephites did beat the Lamanites and did slay many of them. And it came to pass that the Lamanites withdrew their design, and there was peace settled in the land. And peace did remain for the space of about four years, that there was no bloodshed. But wickedness did prevail upon the face of the whole land, insomuch that the Lord did take away his beloved disciples, and the work of miracles and of healing did cease because of the iniquity of the people. And there were no gifts from the Lord, and the Holy Ghost did not come upon any, because of their wickedness and unbelief.
And I, being fifteen years of age and being somewhat of a sober mind, therefore I was visited of the Lord, and tasted and knew of the goodness of Jesus. And I did endeavor to preach unto this people, but my mouth was shut! And I was forbidden that I should preach unto them. For behold they had willfully rebelled against their god. And the beloved disciples were taken away out of the land, because of their iniquity. But I did remain among them, but I was forbidden to preach unto them, because of the hardness of their hearts. And because of the hardness of their hearts the land was cursed for their sake.
And these Gadianton robbers, which were among the Lamanites, did infest the land, insomuch that the inhabitants thereof began to hide up their treasures in the earth. And they became slippery, because the Lord had cursed the land, that they could not hold them, nor retain them again. And it came to pass that there were sorceries, and witchcrafts, and magics. And the power of the evil one was wrought upon all the face of the land, even unto the fulfilling of all the words of Abinadi, and also Samuel the Lamanite.
And it came to pass in that same year there began to be a war again between the Nephites and the Lamanites. And notwithstanding I being young, was large in stature. Therefore the people of Nephi appointed me that I should be their leader, or the leader of their armies. Therefore it came to pass that in my sixteenth year I did go forth at the head of an army of the Nephites, against the Lamanites. Therefore three hundred and twenty and six years had passed away.
And it came to pass that in the three hundred and twenty and seventh year the Lamanites did come upon us with exceedingly great power, insomuch that they did frighten my armies. Therefore they would not fight, and they began to retreat towards the north countries. And it came to pass that we did come to the city of Angolah, and we did take possession of the city, and make preparations to defend ourselves against the Lamanites. And it came to pass that we did fortify the city with our might. But notwithstanding all our fortifications the Lamanites did come upon us and did drive us out of the city. And they did also drive us forth out of the land of David. And we marched forth and came to the land of Joshua, which was in the borders west by the seashore. And it came to pass that we did gather in our people as fast as it were possible, that we might get them together in one body.
But behold, the land was filled with robbers and with Lamanites. And notwithstanding the great destruction which hung over my people, they did not repent of their evil doings. Therefore there was blood and carnage spread throughout all the face of the land, both on the part of the Nephites and also on the part of the Lamanites. And it was one complete revolution throughout all the face of the land.
And now, the Lamanites had a king, and his name was Aaron. And he came against us with an army of forty and four thousand. And behold, I withstood him with forty and two thousand. And it came to pass that I beat him with my army that he fled before me. And behold, all this was done, and three hundred and thirty years had passed away.
And it came to pass that the Nephites began to repent of their iniquity, and began to cry even as had been prophesied by Samuel the prophet. For behold no man could keep that which was his own, for the thieves, and the robbers, and the murderers, and the magic art, and the witchcraft which was in the land. Thus there began to be a mourning and a lamentation in all the land because of these things, and more especially among the people of Nephi. And it came to pass that when I, Mormon, saw their lamentation and their mourning and their sorrow before the Lord, my heart did begin to rejoice within me, knowing the mercies and the long-suffering of the Lord, therefore supposing that he would be merciful unto them that they would again become a righteous people. But behold this my joy was vain, for their sorrowing was not unto repentance, because of the goodness of God. But it was rather the sorrowing of the damned, because the Lord would not always suffer them to take happiness in sin. And they did not come unto Jesus with broken hearts and contrite spirits, but they did curse God, and wish to die. Nevertheless they would struggle with the sword for their lives. And it came to pass that my sorrow did return unto me again, and I saw that the day of grace was passed with them, both temporally and spiritually. For I saw thousands of them hewn down in open rebellion against their god, and heaped up as dung upon the face of the land. And thus three hundred and forty and four years had passed away.
And it came to pass that in the three hundred and forty and fifth year the Nephites did begin to flee before the Lamanites. And they were pursued until they came even to the land of Jashon, before it was possible to stop them in their retreat. And now, the city of Jashon was near the land where Ammaron had deposited the records unto the Lord, that they might not be destroyed. And behold I had gone according to the word of Ammaron, and taken the Plates of Nephi, and did make a record according to the words of Ammaron.