Journal of Book of Mormon Studies


Ancient Church, Dead Sea Scrolls, Ancient Near East, Civilization, Religion, Bible, New Testament, Jesus Christ, Book of Mormon, Culture, Warfare, Criticism, Authorship, Sources, Translation


In the Book of Mormon, despised outcasts, such as the Lamanites or the poor, often have a special aptitude for spirituality, and the richer, civilized, and more overtly religious Nephites are often declining in righteousness. This phenomenon, with some characteristic specific themes, such as being excluded from a religious edifice, is found in ancient and contemporary cultures and religions. This theme points up the complexity of the Book of Mormon, which is not simple cowboys-and-Indians melodrama.