Volume 6 I Mormon Make A Record

• August 25, 2013

I Mormon Make A Record

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The sixth and last volume of this Book of Mormon commentary
covers more of the time period of the Book of Mormon peoples
than any of the other five volumes. It begins during the thirty-fourth
year after the birth of Jesus Christ and ends in the four hundred and
twenty-first year of that same time period, for a total of three hundred
and eighty-seven years. These years are more than one-third of the
total years of the Nephite record (1021 years). This volume also
contains an abridgment of around two thousand years of the Jaredite
record, the book of Ether. The other five volumes of the commentary
cover only six hundred and thirty-four years, collectively, 600 B.C.
to part of the year A.D. 34.
The geographical area is likewise sparsely treated and is only
spoken of in general terms. What place Mormon refers to as the people
having “spread upon all the face of the land” is left in question (4
Nephi 1:23). The geographical area of “the north countries” (Mormon
2:3) is not clearly defined. How far northward the people of Nephi
were driven is questionable (see Mormon 2:20, 29). The location of
the land of Desolation, where the Jaredites were destroyed (see Alma
22:30–31) and where many of the last battles of the Nephites were
fought, is also not clearly defined (see Mormon chapters 3 & 4). Again
how much farther north the Nephites were driven is left unanswered
(see Mormon 5:3–7). The land of Cumorah is controversial (Mormon
chapter 6), but we will assume it is in New York until the time when
“a knowledge of these things must come unto the remnant of these
people, and also unto the Gentiles” (Mormon 5:8). In this work we
will concentrate on the guidelines for life given to us by the abridgers,
which will bring us “nearer to God by abiding by its precepts, than
by any other book” (Book of Mormon Introduction; quoting TPJS,
Fourth Nephi is Mormon’s abridgment of the last of the records
of the Nephites (4 Nephi). The time period is from sometime in A. D.
34 to 321. This abridgment covered a period of 286 plus years (the
ending of the thirty-fourth year and the thirty-fifth are named but no
comments are made). The records are condensed to just four pages
in our present Book of Mormon text. Mormon then made a record of
his own time on earth. He begins with the statement, “And now I,
Mormon, make a record” (Mormon 1:1). The title of this volume of
the Book of Mormon commentary series is taken from this statement.

The first seven chapters of the book of Mormon, the small book
within the Book of Mormon, are Mormon’s abridgment of his own
work (see Mormon 5:9). His son, Moroni, completed the record of his
father (Mormon chapters 8 and 9). Moroni then abridged “the twenty
and four gold plates which were found by the people of Limhi, which
is called the book of Ether” (Ether 1:2). This record is an account of
the Jaredites who occupied the promised land of the Americas before
the Nephites. He condensed this record of around two thousand years
of Jaredite occupancy into just thirty-one pages in our present text of
the Book of Mormon. In these thirty-one pages, he freely inserted
comments or precepts learned from the record of the Jaredites.
After finishing the abridgment of the Jaredites, Moroni added his
own book to those previously assembled. He added things taught by
the Savior during his “Divine Ministry” as a resurrected being among
the Nephites in the Americas (3 Nephi chapters 11–27). His father,
Mormon, had promised to add some of these things but was unable
to do so, and Moroni fulfilled the promise (see 3 Nephi 18:37). Moroni
also included the words of a sermon delivered by his father, Mormon,
and the contents of two epistles he had received from his father
(Moroni chapters 7–9). Thus Moroni finished his father’s record
(Mormon 7–9), and quoted his father in the ending of his own record
(Moroni 7–9). The last inclusion upon the record by Moroni was
written to the Lamanites of the latter days (Moroni 10).

These additions were a fitting conclusion to a marvelous work that was to come forth
among the children of men (see D&C 4:1; 6:1; 11:1; 12:1; 14:1).
May this work be helpful in your study of the Book of Mormon—a
book that was given to us that it be taken from the Gentiles to the
Lamanites “to try their faith. . . , then shall the greater things be made
manifest unto them” (3 Nephi 26:8–9).

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Category: Volume 6