Journal of Book of Mormon Studies


Book of Mormon, Language, Book of Mormon as Literature, Mormon, Nephi


Utilizing techniques adapted from literary criticism, this paper investigates the narrative structure of the Book of Mormon, particularly the relationship between Nephi’s first-person account and Mormon’s third-person abridgment. A comparison of the order and relative prominence of material from 1 Nephi 12 with the content of Mormon’s historical record reveals that Mormon may have intentionally patterned the structure of his narrative after Nephi’s prophetic vision—a conclusion hinted at by Mormon himself in his editorial comments. With this understanding, readers of the Book of Mormon can see how Mormon’s sometimes unusual editorial decisions are actually guided by an overarching desire to show that Nephi’s prophecies have been dramatically and literally fulfilled in the history of his people.