1 Nephi 13:1–3
1 And it came to pass that the angel spake unto me, saying: Look! And I looked and beheld many nations and kingdoms.
2 And the angel said unto me: What beholdest thou? And I said: I behold many nations and kingdoms.
3 And he said unto me: These are the nations and kingdoms of the Gentiles.
While seeing things in a vision makes an impression, it may not always be the best way to receive information. In this case, the vision showed something, but to make sense of it required and explanation. It is very likely that Nephi’s description of the dialogue with the angel is an accurate description of what occurred during the vision. Nephi would be shown something, and then it had to be explained to him. Continue reading
1 Nephi 12:1–5
1 And it came to pass that the angel said unto me: Look, and behold thy seed, and also the seed of thy brethren. And I looked and beheld the land of promise; and I beheld multitudes of people, yea, even as it were in number as many as the sand of the sea.
2 And it came to pass that I beheld multitudes gathered together to battle, one against the other; and I beheld wars, and rumors of wars, and great slaughters with the sword among my people.
3 And it came to pass that I beheld many generations pass away, after the manner of wars and contentions in the land; and I beheld many cities, yea, even that I did not number them.
4 And it came to pass that I saw a mist of darkness on the face of the land of promise; and I saw lightnings, and I heard thunderings, and earthquakes, and all manner of tumultuous noises; and I saw the earth and the rocks, that they rent; and I saw mountains tumbling into pieces; and I saw the plains of the earth, that they were broken up; and I saw many cities that they were sunk; and I saw many that they were burned with fire; and I saw many that did tumble to the earth, because of the quaking thereof.
5 And it came to pass after I saw these things, I saw the vapor of darkness, that it passed from off the face of the earth; and behold, I saw multitudes who had not fallen because of the great and terrible judgments of the Lord.
The chapter break created in 1879 camouflages the context for these battles. Separated from the previous verses, these simply discuss military actions. However, the context following immediately upon the heels of 1 Nephi 11:34–36 is the war for humankind’s souls. 1 Nephi 11:34 is explicit: “and after [Christ] was slain I saw the multitudes of the earth, that they were gathered together to fight against the apostles of the Lamb.” This places even the apparently secular battles of 1 Nephi 12:1–5 in the greater context of the spiritual battle. Continue reading
1 Nephi 11:1
1 For it came to pass after I had desired to know the things that my father had seen, and believing that the Lord was able to make them known unto me, as I sat pondering in mine heart I was caught away in the Spirit of the Lord, yea, into an exceedingly high mountain, which I never had before seen, and upon which I never had before set my foot.
The current chapter break serves to separate Lehi’s dream from Nephi’s experience with the same dream. That division obscures the fact that Nephi intended the two to be parallel. Nevertheless, Nephi did create a break between the actual vision in chapter 9 and his own version of the vision.
Nephi begins this chapter with is his father’s explication of that vision which is a discourse on the earthly mission of the Messiah. At the end of that message he indicates that he is moving to his own record. That record begins (as his father’s had ended) with a vision of the tree. Continue reading
The 1830 chapter III included our chapters 10-14
1 Nephi 10:1
1 And now I, Nephi, proceed to give an account upon these plates of my proceedings, and my reign and ministry; wherefore, to proceed with mine account, I must speak somewhat of the things of my father, and also of my brethren.
Nephi’s division between his chapters II and III marks the end of his use of his father’s record and the beginning of a text totally reliant upon Nephi’s memory of the events. Nephi had introduced his father’s record in 1 Nephi 1:16–17: Continue reading
I am expressing my own opinions, and not those of the Interpreter Foundation.
As Royal Skousen worked through the Book of Mormon manuscripts he discovered that there had been editing that made a smoother English reading where the original dictation had been somewhat grating to the ear. In at least one of those occasions, Skousen suggests that the original translation may have preserved an underlying Hebrew form that generated the revision to a more acceptable English phrase. He found that: “In the original text of the Book of Mormon we find a number of occurrences of a Hebrew-like conditional clause. In English, we have conditional clauses like ‘if you come, then I will come,’ with then being optional. In Hebrew this same clause is expressed as ‘if you come and I will come.’ In the original text of the Book of Mormon, there were at least fourteen occurrences of this non-English expression.”) Continue reading