Journal of Book of Mormon Studies


Ancient Church, Apostasy, Bible, New Testament, Revelation, John the Revelator, Book of Mormon, 1 Nephi, Nephi's Vision, Scripture Study


In 1 Nephi 13–14, Nephi describes major characteristics of the great and abominable church: it persecutes and slays the Saints of God; it seeks wealth and luxury; it is characterized by sexual immortality; it has excised plain and precious things from the scriptures; it has dominion over all the earth; and its fate is destruction by a world war. Nephi’s vision, known as an apocalyptic vision in biblical literature, corresponds well to features of Babylon as described in the apocalyptic Revelation of John (Revelation 17). Clearly, the earliest apostate church and the great and abominable church are the same. A suggested description for this phenomenon, avoiding a denominational name, is hellenized Christianity.