Annotated Book of Mormon
Evaluated According To My Current Knowledge

1 Nephi Chapter 12

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Book of Mormon Annotations

Chapter 12

 

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.

“Seed” would indicate to me that these were literal descendants of Nephi and his brothers. In no case to this point in the Book of Mormon is there reason to think it should be interpreted differently.

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.

The multitudes spoken of here that were eventually slaughtered would have left indelible evidence during the hundreds of years living in the Americas culminating in huge battles of extinction. No such evidence exists.

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.

 

6 And I saw the heavens open, and the Lamb of God descending out of heaven; and he came down and showed himself unto them.

 

7 And I also saw and bear record that the Holy Ghost fell upon twelve others; and they were ordained of God, and chosen.

 

8 And the angel spake unto me, saying: Behold the twelve disciples of the Lamb, who are chosen to minister unto thy seed.

 

9 And he said unto me: Thou rememberest the twelve apostles of the Lamb? Behold they are they who shall judge the twelve tribes of Israel; wherefore, the twelve ministers of thy seed shall be judged of them; for ye are of the house of Israel.

 

10 And these twelve ministers whom thou beholdest shall judge thy seed. And, behold, they are righteous forever; for because of their faith in the Lamb of God their garments are made white in his blood.

 

11 And the angel said unto me: Look! And I looked, and beheld three generations pass away in righteousness; and their garments were white even like unto the Lamb of God. And the angel said unto me: These are made white in the blood of the Lamb, because of their faith in him.

 

12 And I, Nephi, also saw many of the fourth generation who passed away in righteousness.

 

13 And it came to pass that I saw the multitudes of the earth gathered together.

 

14 And the angel said unto me: Behold thy seed, and also the seed of thy brethren.

 

15 And it came to pass that I looked and beheld the people of my seed gathered together in multitudes against the seed of my brethren; and they were gathered together to battle.

 

16 And the angel spake unto me, saying: Behold the fountain of filthy water which thy father saw; yea, even the river of which he spake; and the depths thereof are the depths of hell.

 

17 And the mists of darkness are the temptations of the devil, which blindeth the eyes, and hardeneth the hearts of the children of men, and leadeth them away into broad roads, that they perish and are lost.

 

18 And the large and spacious building, which thy father saw, is vain imaginations and the pride of the children of men. And a great and a terrible gulf divideth them; yea, even the word of the justice of the Eternal God, and the Messiah who is the Lamb of God, of whom the Holy Ghost beareth record, from the beginning of the world until this time, and from this time henceforth and forever.

The 1830 version of the Book of Mormon has the words “Jesus Christ, which” where it is now written “the Messiah who” (p. 28, Book of Mormon, 1830).

 

But later Nephi tells us in 2 Ne 10:3 (at least 33 years later according to the time frame indicated in the chapter summaries) that an angel had just revealed to him the Savior’s name is Jesus Christ. How does this happen when the translation process provides Joseph the Book of Mormon text word-for-word as described by Emma Smith:

“When my husband was translating the Book of Mormon, I wrote a part of it, as he dictated each sentence, word for word, and when he came to proper names he could not pronounce, or long words, he spelled them out, and while I was writing them, if I made any mistake in spelling, he would stop me and correct my spelling (A Treasured Testament).

 

The word “Christ” is used at this point in the original printer manuscript. It is possible that a scribe inserted this incorrectly, but is it likely that a scribe would have taken such liberty?

19 And while the angel spake these words, I beheld and saw that the seed of my brethren did contend against my seed, according to the word of the angel; and because of the pride of my seed, and the temptations of the devil, I beheld that the seed of my brethren did overpower the people of my seed.

 

20 And it came to pass that I beheld, and saw the people of the seed of my brethren that they had overcome my seed; and they went forth in multitudes upon the face of the land.

 

21 And I saw them gathered together in multitudes; and I saw wars and rumors of wars among them; and in wars and rumors of wars I saw many generations pass away.

 

22 And the angel said unto me: Behold these shall dwindle in unbelief.

 

23 And it came to pass that I beheld, after they had dwindled in unbelief they became a dark, and loathsome, and a filthy people, full of idleness and all manner of abominations.

This seems to be an accurate depiction of how Joseph Smith’s society viewed Native Americans. Doesn’t it seem like cultural colonialism or cultural imperialism now?

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