Annotated Book of Mormon
Evaluated According To My Current Knowledge

1 Nephi Chapter 13

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Book of Mormon Annotations

Chapter 13

 

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.

 

4 And it came to pass that I saw among the nations of the Gentiles the formation of a great church.

 

5 And the angel said unto me: Behold the formation of a church which is most abominable above all other churches, which slayeth the saints of God, yea, and tortureth them and bindeth them down, and yoketh them with a yoke of iron, and bringeth them down into captivity.

 

6 And it came to pass that I beheld this great and abominable church; and I saw the devil that he was the founder of it.

1 Ne 13:6-8

For many decades LDS apostles and prophets taught that this abominable church was the Catholic Church. Seems at least some of these leaders have repented of this conclusion as Elder Oaks states:
“This great and abominable church must be something far more pervasive and widespread than a single “church,” as we understand that term today. It must be any philosophy or organization that opposes belief in God”
(Stand as Witnesses of God).
 
Of course, Elder Oaks goes even further to quote 1 John 4:3:
“And every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God: and this is that spirit of antichrist.”
 
Since there are about five billion non-Christians in the world, there are quite a few anti-Christs if that’s how an anti-Christ is defined.

7 And I also saw gold, and silver, and silks, and scarlets, and fine-twined linen, and all manner of precious clothing; and I saw many harlots.

Annotation for 1 Ne 13:6-8 above

8 And the angel spake unto me, saying: Behold the gold, and the silver, and the silks, and the scarlets, and the fine-twined linen, and the precious clothing, and the harlots, are the desires of this great and abominable church.

Annotation for 1 Ne 13:6-8 above

9 And also for the praise of the world do they destroy the saints of God, and bring them down into captivity.

 

10 And it came to pass that I looked and beheld many waters; and they divided the Gentiles from the seed of my brethren.

Many apologists claim that the prior teaching of the apostles and prophets and of the D&C that the Book of Mormon indicates Native Americans were for the most part literal descendants of Lehi is based on faulty assumptions. But this verse tells us the gentiles (those not of the house of Israel) were separated from the seed of Nephi’s brothers. That couldn’t be true if many gentiles were also in the Americas before Europeans arrived.
(See also 2 Ne 1:9)

11 And it came to pass that the angel said unto me: Behold the wrath of God is upon the seed of thy brethren.

Instead of the wrath of God, wasn’t it bigotry and colonial imperialism that scattered and slaughtered Native Americans?

12 And I looked and beheld a man among the Gentiles, who was separated from the seed of my brethren by the many waters; and I beheld the Spirit of God, that it came down and wrought upon the man; and he went forth upon the many waters, even unto the seed of my brethren, who were in the promised land.

The Church has declared unequivocally that this man among the Gentiles whom the Spirit wrought upon was Christopher Columbus (Book of Mormon Student Manual for Religion 121-122 copyrighted 2009, pp. 27-28). Considering the brutality that Columbus himself would inflict and that his explorations would unleash, what might we conclude about a God that inspires such things?

 

I have referred elsewhere to colonial imperialism and cultural colonialism in reference to other verses in the Book of Mormon, but something about this reference to Columbus seems more aptly described as manifest destiny. Please refer to “Response to Manifest Destiny – Taught at Brigham Young University Education Week” to see what I mean (Response to Manifest Destiny).

13 And it came to pass that I beheld the Spirit of God, that it wrought upon other Gentiles; and they went forth out of captivity, upon the many waters.

 

14 And it came to pass that I beheld many multitudes of the Gentiles upon the land of promise; and I beheld the wrath of God, that it was upon the seed of my brethren; and they were scattered before the Gentiles and were smitten.

So God exercises his wrath on the Lamanites more than 1,000 years after their wickedness in destroying the Nephites?
 
But, if verse 14 were true, then are we not to conclude that this genocide and abuse committed by those of European descent was condoned by God?
 
Instead of the wrath of God, wasn’t it bigotry and colonial imperialism that scattered and slaughtered Native Americans?

15 And I beheld the Spirit of the Lord, that it was upon the Gentiles, and they did prosper and obtain the land for their inheritance; and I beheld that they were white, and exceedingly fair and beautiful, like unto my people before they were slain.

 

16 And it came to pass that I, Nephi, beheld that the Gentiles who had gone forth out of captivity did humble themselves before the Lord; and the power of the Lord was with them.

 

17 And I beheld that their mother Gentiles were gathered together upon the waters, and upon the land also, to battle against them.

 

18 And I beheld that the power of God was with them, and also that the wrath of God was upon all those that were gathered together against them to battle.

 

19 And I, Nephi, beheld that the Gentiles that had gone out of captivity were delivered by the power of God out of the hands of all other nations.

 

20 And it came to pass that I, Nephi, beheld that they did prosper in the land; and I beheld a book, and it was carried forth among them.

1 Ne 13:20-29

Thoughts below are from piotrkaplanstwo at exMormon Reddit.

These verses go into great detail about the Bible being brought to the Gentiles from the hands of the Jews, claiming they were “plain and precious”, until the “Great and Abominable Church” took those parts away.

This is an extremely naive explanation of the errancy of the Bible. In the actual process of it coming forth parts were written decades or centuries after the events occurred, so they were inaccurate from the start. We now believe certain biblical figures did not even exist, and major events never happened. We can corroborate the stories with the records of other civilizations to learn this. For instance, the Exodus—no mention of it in Egyptian records. To boil this all down to “The Bible was pure, and then the ‘Great and Abominable Church’ changed it” is an oversimplification.

21 And the angel said unto me: Knowest thou the meaning of the book?

Annotation for 1 Ne 13:20-29 above

22 And I said unto him: I know not.

Annotation for 1 Ne 13:20-29 above

23 And he said: Behold it proceedeth out of the mouth of a Jew. And I, Nephi, beheld it; and he said unto me: The book that thou beholdest is a record of the Jews, which contains the covenants of the Lord, which he hath made unto the house of Israel; and it also containeth many of the prophecies of the holy prophets; and it is a record like unto the engravings which are upon the plates of brass, save there are not so many; nevertheless, they contain the covenants of the Lord, which he hath made unto the house of Israel; wherefore, they are of great worth unto the Gentiles.

Annotation for 1 Ne 13:20-29 above

24 And the angel of the Lord said unto me: Thou hast beheld that the book proceeded forth from the mouth of a Jew; and when it proceeded forth from the mouth of a Jew it contained the fulness of the gospel of the Lord, of whom the twelve apostles bear record; and they bear record according to the truth which is in the Lamb of God.

Annotation for 1 Ne 13:20-29 above

25 Wherefore, these things go forth from the Jews in purity unto the Gentiles, according to the truth which is in God.

Annotation for 1 Ne 13:20-29 above

26 And after they go forth by the hand of the twelve apostles of the Lamb, from the Jews unto the Gentiles, thou seest the formation of that great and abominable church, which is most abominable above all other churches; for behold, they have taken away from the gospel of the Lamb many parts which are plain and most precious; and also many covenants of the Lord have they taken away.

Annotation for 1 Ne 13:20-29 above

27 And all this have they done that they might pervert the right ways of the Lord, that they might blind the eyes and harden the hearts of the children of men.

Annotation for 1 Ne 13:20-29 above

28 Wherefore, thou seest that after the book hath gone forth through the hands of the great and abominable church, that there are many plain and precious things taken away from the book, which is the book of the Lamb of God.

Annotation for 1 Ne 13:20-29 above

29 And after these plain and precious things were taken away it goeth forth unto all the nations of the Gentiles; and after it goeth forth unto all the nations of the Gentiles, yea, even across the many waters which thou hast seen with the Gentiles which have gone forth out of captivity, thou seest—because of the many plain and precious things which have been taken out of the book, which were plain unto the understanding of the children of men, according to the plainness which is in the Lamb of God—because of these things which are taken away out of the gospel of the Lamb, an exceedingly great many do stumble, yea, insomuch that Satan hath great power over them.

Annotation for 1 Ne 13:20-29 above

30 Nevertheless, thou beholdest that the Gentiles who have gone forth out of captivity, and have been lifted up by the power of God above all other nations, upon the face of the land which is choice above all other lands, which is the land that the Lord God hath covenanted with thy father that his seed should have for the land of their inheritance; wherefore, thou seest that the Lord God will not suffer that the Gentiles will utterly destroy the mixture of thy seed, which are among thy brethren.

1 Ne 13:30-31

 

So the seed of Nephi and of Nephi’s brothers are not destroyed. Who are they then? Genetically, culturally, anthropologically, linguistically, etc. we see no evidence of Lamanites or Nephites.

31 Neither will he suffer that the Gentiles shall destroy the seed of thy brethren.

Annotation for 1 Ne 13:30-31 above

32 Neither will the Lord God suffer that the Gentiles shall forever remain in that awful state of blindness, which thou beholdest they are in, because of the plain and most precious parts of the gospel of the Lamb which have been kept back by that abominable church, whose formation thou hast seen.

 

33 Wherefore saith the Lamb of God: I will be merciful unto the Gentiles, unto the visiting of the remnant of the house of Israel in great judgment.

 

34 And it came to pass that the angel of the Lord spake unto me, saying: Behold, saith the Lamb of God, after I have visited the remnant of the house of Israel—and this remnant of whom I speak is the seed of thy father—wherefore, after I have visited them in judgment, and smitten them by the hand of the Gentiles, and after the Gentiles do stumble exceedingly, because of the most plain and precious parts of the gospel of the Lamb which have been kept back by that abominable church, which is the mother of harlots, saith the Lamb—I will be merciful unto the Gentiles in that day, insomuch that I will bring forth unto them, in mine own power, much of my gospel, which shall be plain and precious, saith the Lamb.

 

35 For, behold, saith the Lamb: I will manifest myself unto thy seed, that they shall write many things which I shall minister unto them, which shall be plain and precious; and after thy seed shall be destroyed, and dwindle in unbelief, and also the seed of thy brethren, behold, these things shall be hid up, to come forth unto the Gentiles, by the gift and power of the Lamb.

 

36 And in them shall be written my gospel, saith the Lamb, and my rock and my salvation.

 

37 And blessed are they who shall seek to bring forth my Zion at that day, for they shall have the gift and the power of the Holy Ghost; and if they endure unto the end they shall be lifted up at the last day, and shall be saved in the everlasting kingdom of the Lamb; and whoso shall publish peace, yea, tidings of great joy, how beautiful upon the mountains shall they be.

 

38 And it came to pass that I beheld the remnant of the seed of my brethren, and also the book of the Lamb of God, which had proceeded forth from the mouth of the Jew, that it came forth from the Gentiles unto the remnant of the seed of my brethren.

1 Ne 13:38-39

I don’t see this convincing gentiles, Jews, or Lehites that LDS scripture is true, at least not to any significant portion of the population—ever. Maybe it will happen, but I don’t see it.

As of 16 Mar 2018
Church members in USA:  6,592,195
Population in USA:  327,000,000
or, only 2.0%
(for most recent numbers:  Church Newsroom and U.S. Census Bureau).

According to the Pew Research Center, only 1.6% in the USA claim affiliation with the Church. Also keep in mind that the portion of members worldwide is much lower than this.

39 And after it had come forth unto them I beheld other books, which came forth by the power of the Lamb, from the Gentiles unto them, unto the convincing of the Gentiles and the remnant of the seed of my brethren, and also the Jews who were scattered upon all the face of the earth, that the records of the prophets and of the twelve apostles of the Lamb are true.

Annotation for 1 Ne 13:38-39 above

40 And the angel spake unto me, saying: These last records, which thou hast seen among the Gentiles, shall establish the truth of the first, which are of the twelve apostles of the Lamb, and shall make known the plain and precious things which have been taken away from them; and shall make known to all kindreds, tongues, and people, that the Lamb of God is the Son of the Eternal Father, and the Savior of the world; and that all men must come unto him, or they cannot be saved.

 

41 And they must come according to the words which shall be established by the mouth of the Lamb; and the words of the Lamb shall be made known in the records of thy seed, as well as in the records of the twelve apostles of the Lamb; wherefore they both shall be established in one; for there is one God and one Shepherd over all the earth.

 

42 And the time cometh that he shall manifest himself unto all nations, both unto the Jews and also unto the Gentiles; and after he has manifested himself unto the Jews and also unto the Gentiles, then he shall manifest himself unto the Gentiles and also unto the Jews, and the last shall be first, and the first shall be last.

 

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