Evidence #425 | November 15, 2023

Title Page Intertextuality

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Scripture Central

Abstract

In numerous and often complex ways, the wording of the Book of Mormon’s Title Page interacts with a variety of prior Nephite texts.

While most of the Book of Mormon’s introductory material was written in modern times,1 its Title Page was composed anciently.2 Although Moroni was surely responsible for the final version of this text, Mormon may also have influenced its form and content.3 Whoever contributed and in whatever proportion, this brief document offers a striking example of the Book of Mormon’s remarkable intertextuality. Nearly every word and phrase of the Title Page borrows from, alludes to, or is consistent with past Book of Mormon content. This article explores the elaborate network of textual relationships embedded within this final Nephite text.

Title Page Elements

When broken down into its constituent parts, the Title Page has 37 distinct elements, a few of which are repeated as part of the document’s internal parallel structures and arrangements.4 The text is reproduced in its entirety below, with each of its 37 phrasal or conceptual elements bolded and followed by an assigned identification number (highlighted in red):5

The Book of Mormon [1]

An account [2] written by the hand of Mormon [3] upon plates [4] taken from the plates of Nephi [5]

Wherefore, it is an abridgment [6] of the record [7] of the people of [8] Nephi, and also of the Lamanites—Written to the Lamanites, who are a remnant of the house of Israel [9]; and also to Jew [10] and Gentile [11]—Written by way of commandment [12], and also by the spirit of prophecy [13] and of revelation [14]—Written and sealed up [15], and hid up unto the Lord [16], that they might not be destroyed [17]—To come forth by the gift and power of God [18] unto the interpretation thereof [19]—Sealed by the hand of Moroni [15], and hid up unto the Lord [16], to come forth in due time [20] by way of the Gentile [21]—The interpretation thereof by the gift of God [19].

An abridgment [6] taken from [5] the Book of Ether [22] also, which is a record [7] of the people of [8] Jared, who were scattered [23] at the time the Lord confounded the language of the people [24], when they were building a tower [25] to get to heaven—Which is to show unto the remnant of the house of Israel what great things [26] the Lord hath done for their fathers [27]; and that they may know the covenants of the Lord [28], that they are not cast off forever [29]—And also to the convincing of the Jew and Gentile [30] that Jesus is the Christ, the Eternal God [31], manifesting himself unto all nations [32]—And now, if there are faults [33] they are the mistakes of men [34]; wherefore, condemn not the things of God [35], that ye may be found spotless [36] at the judgment-seat of Christ [37].

The following chart tracks the presence of these 37 elements in more than 20 Nephite textual units:6

The comprehensive data from which this chart was created, including additional relevant textual units and the specific verses from which these elements derive, is presented in Appendix 1. As can be seen, many elements show up together in multiple Nephite texts, often in closely proximate clusters. A few other elements correspond better with more isolated passages, some of which are not part of the texts listed in the chart.

Impressively, a good number of texts feature 7 or more elements (1 Nephi 13; 1 Nephi 15; 1 Nephi 19; 1 Nephi 22; 2 Nephi 30; 2 Nephi 33; Jacob 1; Words of Mormon; 3 Nephi 5; Mormon 5; Mormon 7; Mormon 8; Ether 1; Ether 4; and Ether 12). As might be expected, most of these units elaborate upon the contents, purpose, and eventual fate of the Book of Mormon.

The repackaging of prior material seems to be neither random nor simplistic. Even though the basic concepts show up in a number of texts, the precise wording of the elements in the Title Page can often be traced back to articulations from specific prior passages. In several instances, it is apparent that blocks of text from the Title Page contain clusters of elements that draw upon multiple prior texts simultaneously. The following sections explore these various textual consistencies, dependencies, and developments.

Recordkeeping (Elements 18, 22)

Most of the words and phrases found in elements 18 can ultimately be traced back to Nephi. On several occasions, he gave information about his recordkeeping project and why he was writing. Reformulations of his words and phrases can then be found later on in statements made by Mormon and Moroni, before they finally end up in the Title Page.

A good example can be seen in Nephi’s use of the phrase “upon plates [4] which I have made with mine own hands [3]” (1 Nephi 1:17), which was later quoted nearly verbatim by Mormon (3 Nephi 5:11–12). These two elements then appear to have been adapted and repackaged in the Title Page, along with the specific designation of Mormon [1] as the author.7

1 Nephi 1

3 Nephi 5

Title Page

17 … Behold, I make an abridgment upon plates [4] which I have made with mine own hands [3]

11 And behold, I do make the record on plates [4] which I have made with mine own hands [3].

12 And behold, I am called Mormon [1]

An account written by the hand [3] of Mormon [1] upon plates [4] taken from the plates of Nephi

Nephi also stated that he made “an abridgment [6] of the record of [7] my father” (1 Nephi 1:17). On a separate occasion, he described his record as being contained on “the plates of Nephi [5]” (1 Nephi 9:2). Mormon similarly said that he was going to make “an abridgment [6]” which he was going to “take from the plates of Nephi” [5] (Words of Mormon 1:3, 5). Again, these elements turn up together in the Title Page, with some wording closer to Nephi’s and other wording closer to Mormon’s:

1 Nephi 1

1 Nephi 9

WofM

Title Page

17 … Behold, I make an abridgment [6] of the record of [7] my father, upon plates which I have made with mine own hands

2 … and these plates also are called the plates of Nephi [5].

3 … for after I had made an abridgment [6]

5 … which remainder of my record I shall take from the plates of Nephi [5]

An account written by the hand of Mormon upon plates taken from the plates of Nephi [5]

Wherefore, it is an abridgment [6] of the record of [7] the people of Nephi, and also of the Lamanites—

A third example can be seen in Moroni’s comments about the Jaredite record: “And I take mine account from the Book of Ether [22]” (Ether 1:2). Moroni’s identification of the source record is congruent with Mormon’s previous statements about his own abridgment: “which remainder of my record I shall take from the plates of Nephi [5]” (WofM 1:5). Moroni also mentioned, “And on this wise do I give the account [2]. He that wrote this record [7] was Ether [22]” (Ether 1:6).

While elements 2 and 7 were used previously in similar contexts by Nephi and Mormon, the mention of “Ether” or the “book of Ether” [22] in a recordkeeping context isn’t found elsewhere, suggesting that the similar wording in the Title Page reflects Moroni’s description in this textual unit. The following chart includes these and additional elements in various texts, demonstrating the multi-faceted nature of these combined relationships.

1 Nephi 1

Words of Mormon

3 Nephi 5

Ether 1

Title Page

17 But I shall make an account [2] of my proceedings in my days. Behold, I make an abridgment [6] of the record of [7] my father, upon plates [4] which I have made with mine own hands [3]; wherefore, after I have abridged [6] the record of [7] my father then will I make an account [2] of mine own life.

 

3 … for after I had made an abridgment [6] from the plates of Nephi [5] …

 4 And the things which are upon these plates [4] pleasing me …

5 … which remainder of my record [7] I shall take from the plates of Nephi [5]; and I cannot write the hundredth part of the things of my people [8].

 

10 Therefore I have made my record of [7] these things according to the record of [7] Nephi, which was engraven on the plates [4] which were called the plates of Nephi [5].

11 And behold, I do make the record [7] on plates [4] which I have made with mine own hands [3].

12 And behold, I am called Mormon [1]

1 And now I, Moroni, proceed to give an account [2]

2 And I take mine account fromthe Book of Ether [22]

6 And on this wise do I give the account [2]. He that wrote this record [7] was Ether [22]

The Book of Mormon [1]

An account [2] written by the hand of Mormon [3] upon plates [4] taken from the plates of Nephi [5]

Wherefore, it is an abridgment [6] of the record [7] of the people of [8] Nephi, and also of the Lamanites …

An abridgment [6] taken from the Book of Ether [22] also, which is a record of [7] the people of [8] Jared

In some instances, as in the presentation of element 22 in Ether 1:2, it is fairly clear what past content is informing the language of the Title Page. We can also be confident that its articulation of element 5 reflects Mormon’s prior statements in 3 Nephi 5:5 and Words of Mormon 1:10. In other instances, we can trace the development of ideas before they turn up in the Title Page, such as Nephi’s and then Mormon’s use of elements 3 and 4.

For more generic elements (2, 6, 7, 8), it is difficult to determine a specific relationship of derivation, seeing that multiple authors used similar words or phrases in similar contexts. Overall, however, it can be stated with confidence that the conceptual elements and particular language of recordkeeping—as articulated on different occasions by Nephi, Mormon, and Moroni—are  reflected in the Title Page.

Three Audiences (Elements 911)

The Title Page specifies that it was intended for three different audiences: “Written to the Lamanites, who are a remnant of the house of Israel [9]; and also to Jew [10] and Gentile [11].” There is some overlap in these designations, however. Technically, the Lamanites eventually became a mixture of Lamanites and Nephites,8 and both Lehi’s posterity and the Jews belong to the house of Israel.9 So, in some instances, multiple audiences may fit within a single designation. With this in mind, it can be seen that the audiences mentioned in the Title Page are essentially the same three audiences repeatedly addressed and specified by the Book of Mormon’s primary authors and abridgers.

Nephi foresaw that the Book of Mormon (among other records) would come forth unto “the Gentiles [11] and the remnant of the seed of my brethren [9], and also the Jews [10]” (1 Nephi 13:39). In his final message in 2 Nephi 33:6–8, Nephi likewise addressed “my people [9],” “Jew [10],” and “Gentiles [11].”10

On separate occasions, Mormon addressed the same three groups. In Mormon 3:17–19 he stated, “I write unto you, Gentiles [11], and also unto you, house of Israel [9–10]…. And I write also unto the remnant of this people [9].” Two chapters later, Mormon declared, “these things must come unto the remnant of these people [9], and also unto the Gentiles [11]” (Mormon 5:9). After several more verses, he mentioned that “these things are written unto the remnant of the house of Jacob [910]” (v. 12) and that they would “go unto the unbelieving of the Jews [10]” (v. 14).

Through Moroni, the Lord also addressed these groups: “Come unto me, O ye Gentiles [11] … Come unto me, O ye house of Israel [9–10]” (Ether 4:14). Finally, Moroni himself directly addressed two of these groups in one of his farewells: “I, Moroni, bid farewell unto the Gentiles [11], yea, and also unto my brethren [9] whom I love” (Ether 12:38).11

Commandment, Prophecy, and Revelation (Elements 1214)

The Title Page declares that it was “Written by way of commandment [12], and also by the spirit of prophecy [13] and of revelation [14].” Combinations of this triad first show up in the writings of Nephi: “the Lord commanded [12] me, wherefore I did make plates of ore that I might engraven upon them the record of my people … and also many of mine own prophecies [13] have I engraven upon them” (1 Nephi 19:1; cf. 2 Nephi 29:11). Note that this is given specifically in connection with Nephi’s creation of plates and his overall recordkeeping project, much like the Title Page is about the nature of metal records and their purpose.

Later on, we learn that Nephi’s directives from the Lord were passed on to Jacob and his posterity: “Nephi gave me, Jacob, a commandment [12] … that I should write upon these plates” and that “if there were … revelation [14] which was great, or prophesying [13], that I should engraven the heads of them upon these plates” (Jacob 1:1–2; 4).

Jacob creating plates. Image via churchofjesuschrist.org.

We can then trace various combinations of these elements (especially the divine command to keep these records) in the subsequent writings on the Small Plates,12 in Mormon’s explanation of why he included the Small Plates,13 in Jesus’ resurrected ministry among the Nephites,14 and in the instructions given to Moroni by his father and directly from the Lord himself.15 These three elements in the Title Page are thus consistent with a series of divine injunctions given to Nephite recordkeepers throughout their history.   

Preservation and Coming Forth of the Book of Mormon (Elements 1521)

The section of the Title Page containing elements 1521 concerns the preservation and coming forth of the Book of Mormon:16

Written and sealed up [15], and hid up unto the Lord [16], that they might not be destroyed [17]—To come forth by the gift and power of God [18] unto the interpretation thereof [19] —Sealed by the hand of Moroni [15], and hid up unto the Lord [16], to come forth in due time [20] by way of the Gentile [21]—The interpretation thereof by the gift of God [19].

As demonstrated below, these 7 elements regularly show up together in various combinations in past Nephite writings, often in similar or related contexts.17 The first relevant set of relationships involves elements 15 and 16, as manifested in 2 Nephi 27:

2 Nephi 27

Title Page

22 then shalt thou seal up [15] the book again, and hide it up unto me [16]

Written and sealed up [15], and hid up unto the Lord [16]

 In 2 Nephi 26, however, it is elements 15 and 17 that show up together:

2 Nephi 26

Title Page

17 and they shall be written and sealed up [15] in a book, and those who have dwindled in unbelief shall not have them, for they seek to destroy [17] the things of God.

Written and sealed up [15], and hid up unto the Lord, that they might not be destroyed [17]

In Ether 3, we encounter a combination of elements 15, 19, and 20:

Ether 3

Title Page

22 And behold, when ye shall come unto me, ye shall write them and shall seal them up [15], that no one can interpret [19] them …

27 Write these things and seal them up [15]; and I will show them in mine own due time [20] unto the children of men.

Written and sealed up [15], … to come forth in due time [20] by way of the Gentile—The interpretation [19] thereof by the gift of God.

In Mormon 2, a conceptual match with element 16 is combined with a verbatim match for element 17:

Mormon 2

Title Page

17 And now, the city of Jashon was near the land where Ammaron had deposited the records unto the Lord [16], that they might not be destroyed [17].

Written and sealed up, and hid up unto the Lord [16], that they might not be destroyed [17]

In 1 Nephi 13:35, elements 16, 18 and 21 are all situated next to one another:

1 Nephi 13

Title Page

35 these things shall be hid up [16], to come forth unto the Gentiles [21], by the gift and power of the Lamb [18].

To come forth by the gift and power of God [18] unto the interpretation thereof—Sealed by the hand of Moroni, and hid up unto the Lord [16], to come forth in due time by way of the Gentile [21]

In Mormon 5, a verbatim match with element 16 turns up in conjunction with a nearly verbatim match for element 20:

Mormon 5

Title Page

12 they are to be hid up unto the Lord [16] that they may come forth in his own due time [20]

Sealed by the hand of Moroni, and hid up unto the Lord [16], to come forth in due time [20] by way of the Gentile

In 1 Nephi 15, a conceptual match for element 18 is paired with a verbatim match with element 21:

1 Nephi 15

Title Page

17 and he meaneth that it shall come by way of the Gentiles [21], that the Lord may show his power [18] unto the Gentiles

To come forth by the gift and power of God [18] unto the interpretation thereof—Sealed by the hand of Moroni, and hid up unto the Lord, to come forth in due time by way of the Gentile [21]

Finally, even though element 19 was earlier included as part of a cluster in Ether 3, it is also featured in isolated passages with language closer to that found in the Title Page:

Omni 1

Mormon 9

Title Page

20 … and he did interpret the engravings by the gift and power of God [19].

34 … therefore he hath prepared means for the interpretation thereof [19].

To come forth by the gift and power of God unto the interpretation thereof [19]

In summary, it is clear that elements 1521 in the Title Page are interacting with a host of prior texts. What is so remarkable about these relationships is the way that the Title Page captures so many past combinations and integrates them into a single set of ideas. Although these elements are all clearly related, as a full set they couldn’t have been derived from any single prior location, especially when considering that the wording of certain elements matches up more closely with some prior texts than with others.

Moroni hiding and sealing up the Book of Mormon. Image via churchofjesuschrist.org. 

Jaredite Origin Story (Elements 2325)

The Title Page explains that the Book of Mormon includes “a record of the people of Jared, who were scattered [23] at the time the Lord confounded the language of the people [24], when they were building a tower [25] to get to heaven.” These three elements turn up together in two other locations in the Book of Mormon, once in Mormon’s summary contained in Mosiah 28 and later in Moroni’s introduction to the book of Ether in Ether 1:

Mosiah 28

Ether 1

Title Page

17 it gave an account of the people who were destroyed, from the time that they were destroyed back to the building of the great tower [25], at the time the Lord confounded the language of the people [24] and they were scattered [23] abroad upon the face of all the earth

33 Which Jared came forth with his brother and their families, with some others and their families, from the great tower [25], at the time the Lord confounded the language of the people [24], and swore in his wrath that they should be scattered [23] upon all the face of the earth;

a record of the people of Jared, who were scattered [23] at the time the Lord confounded the language of the people [24], when they were building a tower [25] to get to heaven

Several details about these relationships should give the reader full confidence that they are intentional. First, the fact that the Title Page reflects all three elements found together in two prior texts is noteworthy.18 Second, although these elements can also be found in Genesis 11:4–7, they are found in closer proximity and with closer phrasing in the Nephite texts, especially the verbatim, 11-word match for element 24. Third, the fact that the sequence of elements in the Title Page is reversed from their ordering in both prior Nephite renditions may be significant.19 With only three elements, it is hard to say for certain whether their being given in the opposite order was intentional. Nevertheless, according to John W. Welch,

Reversing the order of a previous statement in this fashion was an ancient scribal practice often used to signal to the reader that the writer was intentionally quoting from or alluding back to that earlier text. Thus, the similarities between the Title Page and Mosiah 28:17 do not appear to be accidental. Such intertextual connections … demonstrate that the wording of the Title Page itself deserves to be studied and admired.20

Great Things / Fathers / Covenants (Elements 2628)

The Title Page declares that the Book of Mormon is intended to “show unto the remnant of the house of Israel what great things [26] the Lord hath done for their fathers [27]; and that they may know the covenants of the Lord [28].” Although not as tightly related in prior passages as some other elements, this cluster of concepts can still be found in several textual units.

A close match for elements 26 and 27 arises in Ether 6:24 and Ether 7:27:

Ether 6:30

Ether 7:27

Title Page

30 and did remember how great things [26] the Lord had done for his father [27], and also taught his people how great things [26] the Lord had done for their fathers [27].

and he remembered the great things [26] that the Lord had done for his fathers [27]

Which is to show unto the remnant of the house of Israel what great things [26] the Lord hath done for their fathers [27]

All three elements turn up at the beginning and end of Mormon 7:

Mormon 7

Title Page

1 behold, I would speak somewhat unto the remnant of this people … that they may know of the things [26] of their fathers [27]; yea, I speak unto you, ye remnant of the house of Israel

10 And ye will also know that ye are a remnant of the seed of Jacob; therefore ye are numbered among the people of the first covenant [28]

Which is to show unto the remnant of the house of Israel what great things [26] the Lord hath done for their fathers [27]; and that they may know the covenants of the Lord [28]

Another instance is found in Ether 4:

Ether 4

Title Page

15 then shall the great and marvelous things [26] which have been hid up from the foundation of the world from you—yea, when ye shall call upon the Father in my name, with a broken heart and a contrite spirit, then shall ye know that the Father hath remembered the covenant [28] which he made unto your fathers [27], O house of Israel.

Which is to show unto the remnant of the house of Israel what great things [26] the Lord hath done for their fathers [27]; and that they may know the covenants of the Lord [28]

Intriguingly, Ether 4 situates these concepts as parallel elements in back-to-back alternate structures (see Appendix 2), thus providing additional justification for their being used together in the Title Page.21

Convincing / Jesus / Manifesting (Elements 3032)

With varying degrees of similarity to the Title Page, elements 3031 show up together in a good number of prior texts (see Appendix 1). However, the two instances that have wording closest to the Title Page—each of which were written by Nephi—also uniquely feature element 32 in close proximity:  

1 Nephi 13

2 Nephi 26

Title Page

39 unto the convincing of the Gentilesand also the Jews [30] … that the records of the prophets and of the twelve apostles of the Lamb are true.

40 … and shall make known to all kindreds, tongues, and people, that that the Lamb of God is the Son of the Eternal Father, and the Savior of the world [31] …

42 And the time cometh that he shall manifest himself unto all nations [32]

12 And as I spake concerning the convincing of the Jews [30], that Jesus is the very Christ [31], it must needs be that the Gentiles be convinced also [30] that Jesus is the Christ, the Eternal God [31]

13 And that he manifesteth himself unto all those who believe in him, by the power of the Holy Ghost; yea, unto every nation, kindred, tongue, and people [32]

And also to the convincing of the Jew and Gentile [30] that Jesus is the Christ, the Eternal God [31], manifesting himself unto all nations [32]

While each earlier passage from Nephi possesses all three elements in close proximity, 1 Nephi 13:42 has a better match for element 32 (“manifest himself unto all nations”) and 2 Nephi 26:12 has the better match for elements 3031. In particular, 2 Nephi 26 states that both the “Jews” and “Gentiles” need to be “convinced” that “Jesus is the Christ, the Eternal God.” This final 7-word phrase doesn’t turn up anywhere else in the Book of Mormon (or even in the Standard Works). Thus, its verbatim repetition in the Title Page, along with a cluster of other parallel concepts (“convinced” + “Jew” + “Gentile”) provides clear evidence for a specific textual interaction.

If Fault / Mistakes of Men / Condemn Not (Elements 3335)

The Title Page declares, “And now, if there are faults [33] they are the mistakes of men [34]; wherefore, condemn not the things of God [35].” These three elements, articulated in this manner and in this sequence, almost certainly derive from Moroni’s comments in Mormon 8–9:

Mormon 8

Mormon 9

Title Page

12 And whoso receiveth this record, and shall not condemn it [35] because of the imperfections [33] which are in it, the same shall know of greater things than these.

17 And if there be faults [33] they be the faults of a man [34]. But behold, we know no fault; nevertheless God knoweth all things; therefore, he that condemneth [35], let him be aware lest he shall be in danger of hell fire.

31 Condemn me not [35] because of mine imperfection [34]

And now, if there are faults [33] they are the mistakes of men [34]; wherefore, condemn not the things of God [35]

The closest match to elements 3334 comes from Mormon 8:17, where both elements turn up together in the same sequence, with parallel syntax, and with much of the same wording (with only slight synonymous variation). The fact that a conceptual match with element 35 soon follows in each case helps cement the relationship.

Found Spotless at the Judgment Seat (Elements 29, 3637)

The Title Page connects its warning about not condemning the Book of Mormon with the following blessing: “that ye may be found spotless [36] at the judgment-seat of Christ [37].” This pairing of elements shows up in Nephi’s final farewell in 2 Nephi 33 and then again in the farewell found in Ether 12 which was written by Moroni (who likely was alluding to Nephi’s earlier writings):22

2 Nephi 33

Ether 12

Title Page

7 I have charity for my people, and great faith in Christ that I shall meet many souls spotless [36] at his judgment-seat [37].

until we shall meet before the judgment-seat of Christ [37], where all men shall know that my garments are not spotted [36] with your blood.

that ye may be found spotless [36] at the judgment-seat of Christ [37]

The way these final two elements of the Title Page mirror a similar pairing of elements in final addresses given by Nephi and Moroni doesn’t seem accidental, especially since each of these chapters feature additional clusters of elements that also turn up together in the Title Page (see Appendix 1).

A related cluster can be found in Nephi’s statements in 1 Nephi 10:21. Yet in that case element 36 is only conceptual, while a verbatim match with element 29 is included:23

1 Nephi 10

Title Page

21 Wherefore, if ye have sought to do wickedly in the days of your probation, then ye are found unclean [36] before the judgment-seat [37] of God; and no unclean thing [36] can dwell with God; wherefore, ye must be cast off forever [29].

that they may know the covenants of the Lord, that they are not cast off forever [29] …

that ye may be found spotless [36] at the judgment-seat of Christ [37].

General and Specific Textual Relationships

Although nearly all of the elements of the Title Page can be found in multiple prior texts, it shouldn’t be viewed merely as a variation on a theme (or even as multiple variations on multiple themes). This is because a good number of quotations, paraphrases, or allusions to specific prior passages are interlaced among its more generic relationships with other Nephite records.

For instance, although more than ten textual units feature phrasal or conceptual parallels with elements 30 and 31, it is almost certain that the particular wording of this pair of elements in the Title Page is interacting specifically with 2 Nephi 26:12. Likewise, although several texts feature elements 16 and 20, their articulation in the Title Page was very likely drawn from Mormon 5:12, as it provides not only a tight sequential match but also the closest wording. The following chart presents these and a handful of similar relationships (involving both unique consistencies and persuasive dependencies):

Prior Passage

Text

Title Page

WofM 1:5

… I shall take from the plates of Nephi [5]

upon plates taken from the plates of Nephi [5]

Mormon 5:12

they are to be hid up unto the Lord  [16] that they may come forth in his own due time [20]

and hid up unto the Lord [16], to come forth in due time [20]

Omni 1:20

and he did interpret the engravings by the gift and power of God [19].

The interpretation thereof by the gift of God [19]

Ether 1:2

And I take mine account fromthe Book of Ether [22]

An abridgment taken from [5] the Book of Ether [22] also

Mosiah 28:17

to the building of the great tower [25], at the time the Lord confounded the language of the people [24] and they were scattered [23]

who were scattered [23] at the time the Lord confounded the language of the people [24], when they were building a tower [25] to get to heaven

2 Nephi 26:12

And as I spake concerning the convincing of the Jews [30], that Jesus is the very Christ [31], it must needs be that the Gentiles be convinced also [30] that Jesus is the Christ, the Eternal God [31]

And also to the convincing of the Jew and Gentile [30] that Jesus is the Christ, the Eternal God [31],

1 Nephi 13:42

And the time cometh that he shall manifest himself unto all nations [32]

manifesting himself unto all nations [32]

Mormon 8:17

And now, if there are faults [33] they are the mistakes of men [34]

17 And if there be faults [33] they be the faults of a man [34].

2 Nephi 33:7

I have charity for my people, and great faith in Christ that I shall meet many souls spotless [36] at his judgment-seat [37].

that ye may be found spotless [36] at the judgment-seat of Christ [37]

Whoever authored the Title Page must therefore have possessed a remarkably nuanced understanding of its 37 elements, not only regarding their patterns of clustering together in diverse texts but also their particular articulations in scattered prior passages.

Significance of the Mosiah-First Translation Sequence

Because of the lost 116 pages, Joseph Smith’s dictation of the contents of the Book of Mormon didn’t follow the order in which readers encounter them today. Concerning the extant text, Joseph most likely began translating with the book of Mosiah and continued on to the end of the book of Moroni. At that juncture, he then translated the contents of the Title Page before concluding with 1 Nephi through Words of Mormon.24

If this understanding is accurate, it means that the dictation of the Title Page was sandwiched between Mormon and Moroni’s abridgment project and the Small Plates. This, in turn, would mean that in a number of instances the Title Page appears to summarize, allude to, or quote from specific passages that, at that point in the translation timeline, hadn’t yet been dictated!25

If Joseph Smith were merely making up its contents, this would suggest that he had to remember both to integrate prior scattered statements and specific language into the Title Page, but also to disperse some specific contents from the Title Page into later textual units in diverse locations. The following chart contains a sampling of parallel passages from the Plates of Mormon and the Small Plates, showing how textual interactions with the Title Page branch out in both directions.

While some of these textual interactions merely involve specific consistencies in content or language, others are fairly obvious quotations or paraphrases (such as 1 Nephi 13:35, 42; 2 Nephi 26:12; 2 Nephi 33:7; Mosiah 28:17; Mormon 5:12; and Mormon 8:17). No matter how one chooses to view the directional influence of these relationships, unless Joseph Smith was aided by divine power he would have needed incredible memory recall to keep track of all these details.

Conclusion

In light of this comprehensive analysis, the Title Page can be viewed as a masterwork of textual synthesis and distillation, as it repeatedly and succinctly repackages clusters of elements found in an array of prior texts. Most of these were written by the Book of Mormon’s primary authors and abridgers (Nephi, Mormon, and Moroni) and typically feature their metacommentary about the book’s prophetic mission and ultimate destiny. Thus, the contents of the Title Page seem to have been carefully selected from specific textual units written by a limited set of authors.

It may be tempting to view this final Nephite document as merely a generic permutation of terms and phrases that were regularly used in prior texts. Its unique quotations and paraphrases of specific external passages, however, are too numerous for that type of reductive assessment. In the particulars of its wording, in the combinations of its elements, and in the broader selection of its main topics and themes, the Title Page manifests an extraordinary degree of intertextuality.

Moroni wandering in the wilderness. Image via churchofjesuschrist.org. 

How was this remarkable document created? One can imagine Moroni, sometime during his wanderings, poring over the words of his father and also the words of his progenitor Nephi, searching for themes and patterns in their statements concerning the contents and ultimate purposes of the Book of Mormon, and likely taking notes on some perishable writing material. He then may have spent a good deal of time crafting this final summary, structuring its contents into brief parallel statements that creatively and concisely combined numerous essential threads from his research.26

In contrast, Joseph Smith wouldn’t have had years to visually study and internalize existing relevant texts. Nor was he utilizing notes or outlines, according to the witnesses of the translation. Nor did he have the luxury of structuring and reformulating the language and contents of the Title Page through multiple drafts and revisions. Considering these and other constraints,27 the intertextual consistency and complexity of the Book of Mormon’s Title Page offers impressive evidence that it truly came forth “by the gift and power of God,” just as the document itself attests.

John W. Welch, “Introductory Pages of the Book of Mormon,” in John W. Welch Notes, 1–14 (Springville, UT: Book of Mormon Central, 2020).

Elder Jay E. Jensen, “The Precise Purposes of the Book of Mormon,” Religious Educator 4, no. 1 (2003): 1–11.

Clyde J. Williams, “More Light On Who Wrote the Title Page,” Journal of Book of Mormon Studies 10, no. 2 (2001): 28–29, 70.

Sidney B. Sperry, “Moroni the Lonely: The Story of the Writing of the Title Page to the Book of Mormon,” Journal of Book of Mormon Studies 4, no. 1 (1995): 255–259.

David B. Honey, “The Secular as Sacred: The Historiography of the Title Page,” Journal of Book of Mormon Studies 3, no. 1 (1994): 94–103.

Daniel H. Ludlow, “The Title Page,” in The Book of Mormon: First Nephi, The Doctrinal Foundation, ed. Monte S. Nyman and Charles D. Tate Jr. (Provo, UT: Religious Studies Center, Brigham Young University, 1988), 19–34.

Title Page

Title Page

Introduction

The following textual units contain combinations of 37 phrasal or conceptual elements found in the Book of Mormon’s Title Page. Each element has been bolded and is followed by an identification number highlighted in red. Although the process of obtaining this textual data was quite thorough, it is likely that some clusters of elements in additional textual units have been missed. Thus, this data set should not be viewed as the final word on potential interactions between the Title Page and other Nephite Texts.

Readers may also come to different conclusions about whether an element in the Title Page truly is reflected in any given passage in these textual units. For the most part, this textual data has erred on the side of inclusivity. The textual relationships range from close phrasal matches to looser conceptual parallels. Looser parallels have been given greater credence if they turn up in conjunction with clusters of tighter conceptual parallels or nearly verbatim wording.

The data is presented here so that readers can reach their own conclusions about these manifold relationships, both in regard to specific proposed parallels as well as the overall case for intentional intertextuality. For convenience of navigating this lengthy document, the Table of Contents given below provides links to specific textual units (backlinks are then provided in each case).

Table of Contents

Title Page

1 Nephi 1

1 Nephi 6

1 Nephi 9

1 Nephi 10

1 Nephi 13

1 Nephi 14

1 Nephi 15

1 Nephi 19

1 Nephi 22

2 Nephi 25

2 Nephi 26

2 Nephi 27

2 Nephi 30

2 Nephi 33

Jacob 1

Jacob 2

Omni 1

Words of Mormon 1

Mosiah 21

Mosiah 28

3 Nephi 5

3 Nephi 29

3 Nephi 30

Mormon 2

Mormon 3

Mormon 5

Mormon 7

Mormon 8

Mormon 9

Ether 1

Ether 3

Ether 4

Ether 5

Ether 6

Ether 7

Ether 12

Moroni 1

Moroni 10

Title Page

Total: 37 Elements

The Book of Mormon [1]

An account [2] written by the hand of Mormon [3] upon plates [4] taken from the plates of Nephi [5]

Wherefore, it is an abridgment [6] of the record [7] of the people of [8] Nephi, and also of the Lamanites—Written to the Lamanites, who are a remnant of the house of Israel [9]; and also to Jew [10] and Gentile [11]—Written by way of commandment [12], and also by the spirit of prophecy [13] and of revelation [14]—Written and sealed up [15], and hid up unto the Lord [16], that they might not be destroyed [17]—To come forth by the gift and power of God [18] unto the interpretation thereof [19]—Sealed by the hand of Moroni [15], and hid up unto the Lord [16], to come forth in due time [20] by way of the Gentile [21]—The interpretation thereof by the gift of God [19].

 

An abridgment [6] taken from [5] the Book of Ether [22] also, which is a record [7] of the people of [8] Jared, who were scattered [23] at the time the Lord confounded the language of the people [24], when they were building a tower [25] to get to heaven—Which is to show unto the remnant of the house of Israel what great things [26] the Lord hath done for their fathers [27]; and that they may know the covenants of the Lord [28], that they are not cast off forever [29]—And also to the convincing of the Jew and Gentile [30] that Jesus is the Christ, the Eternal God [31], manifesting himself unto all nations [32]—And now, if there are faults [33] they are the mistakes of men [34]; wherefore, condemn not the things of God [35], that ye may be found spotless [36] at the judgment-seat of Christ [37].

1 Nephi 1

Total: 35 Elements

17 But I shall make an account [2] of my proceedings in my days. Behold, I make an abridgment [6] of the record of [7] my father, upon plates [4] which I have made with mine own hands [3]; wherefore, after I have abridged [6] the record of [7] my father then will I make an account [2] of mine own life.

1 Nephi 6

Total: 5 Elements

3 And it mattereth not to me that I am particular to give a full account [2] of all the things of my father, for they cannot be written upon these plates [4], for I desire the room that I may write of the things of God [26].

4 For the fulness of mine intent is that I may persuade men [30] to come unto the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, and be saved.

6 Wherefore, I shall give commandment [12] unto my seed, that they shall not occupy these plates with things which are not of worth unto the children of men.

1 Nephi 9

Total: 5 Elements

2 And now, as I have spoken concerning these plates, behold they are not the plates upon which [4] I make a full account [2] of the history of my people [8]; for the plates upon which [4] I make a full account [2] of my people [8] I have given the name of Nephi; wherefore, they are called the plates of Nephi [5], after mine own name; and these plates also are called the plates of Nephi [5].

3 Nevertheless, I have received a commandment [12] of the Lord that I should make these plates, for the special purpose that there should be an account [2] engraven of the ministry of my people [8].

4 Upon the other plates [4] should be engraven an account [2] of the reign of the kings, and the wars and contentions of my people; wherefore these plates are for the more part of the ministry; and the other plates are for the more part of the reign of the kings and the wars and contentions of my people.

5 Wherefore, the Lord hath commanded [12] me to make these plates for a wise purpose in him, which purpose I know not.

1 Nephi 10

Total: 3 Elements

21 Wherefore, if ye have sought to do wickedly in the days of your probation, then ye are found unclean before the judgment-seat [37] of God; and no unclean thing [36] can dwell with God; wherefore, ye must be cast off forever [29].

1 Nephi 13

Total: 14 Elements

21 And the angel said unto me: Knowest [28] thou the meaning of the book?

22 And I said unto him: I know [28] not.

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 [28], which he hath made unto the house of Israel; and it also containeth many of the prophecies  of the holy prophets; …

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 [9] …

35 For, behold, saith the Lamb: I will manifest myself [32] unto thy seed, that they shall write many things which I shall minister unto them [12], 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 [16], to come forth unto the Gentiles [21], by the gift and power of the Lamb [18].

39 And after it had come forth unto them I beheld other books, which came forth by the power of the Lamb [18], from the Gentiles unto them [21], unto the convincing [30] of the Gentiles [30] and the remnant of the seed of my brethren [9], and also the Jews [10] 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.

40 … 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 [31]; and that all men must come unto him, or they cannot be saved.

42 And the time cometh that he shall manifest himself unto all nations [32], both unto the Jews and also unto the Gentiles; …

1 Nephi 14

Total: 4 Elements

26 And also others who have been, to them hath he shown all things, and they have written them; and they are sealed up [15] to come forth in their purity, according to the truth which is in the Lamb, in the own due time of the Lord [20], unto the house of Israel [910].

1 Nephi 15

Total: 8 Elements

3 For he truly spake many great things [26] unto them, which were hard to be understood, save a man should inquire of the Lord; and they being hard in their hearts, therefore they did not look unto the Lord as they ought.

11 Do ye not remember the things which the Lord hath said?—If ye will not harden your hearts, and ask me in faith, believing that ye shall receive, with diligence in keeping my commandments, surely these things shall be made known unto you [26].

13 And now, the thing which our father meaneth concerning the grafting in of the natural branches through the fulness of the Gentiles, is, that in the latter days, when our seed shall have dwindled in unbelief, yea, for the space of many years, and many generations after the Messiah shall be manifested in body unto the children of men [32], then shall the fulness of the gospel of the Messiah come unto the Gentiles, and from the Gentiles unto the remnant of our seed [21]—

14 And at that day shall the remnant of our seed [9] know that they are of the house of Israel, and that they are the covenant [28] people of the Lord; and then shall they know and come to the knowledge of their forefathers [27], and also to the knowledge of the gospel of their Redeemer, which was ministered unto their fathers by him; wherefore, they shall come to the knowledge of their Redeemer and the very points of his doctrine, that they may know how to come unto him and be saved.

17 And this is what our father meaneth; and he meaneth that it will not come to pass until after they are scattered by the Gentiles; and he meaneth that it shall come by way of the Gentiles [21], that the Lord may show his power [18] unto the Gentiles [11], for the very cause that he shall be rejected of the Jews, or of the house of Israel.

1 Nephi 19

Total: 11 Elements

3 And after I had made these plates by way of commandment [12], I, Nephi, received a commandment that the ministry and the prophecies [13], the more plain and precious parts of them, should be written upon these plates [4]; and that the things which were written should be kept for the instruction of my people, who should possess the land, and also for other wise purposes, which purposes are known unto the Lord.

4 Wherefore, I, Nephi, did make a record upon the other plates [4], which gives an account [2], or which gives a greater account of the wars and contentions and destructions of my people [8]. And this have I done, and commanded my people [12] what they should do after I was gone; and that these plates should be handed down from one generation to another, or from one prophet to another, until further commandments of the Lord.

5 And an account [2] of my making these plates shall be given hereafter; and then, behold, I proceed according to that which I have spoken; and this I do that the more sacred things may be kept for the knowledge of my people.

15 Nevertheless, when that day cometh, saith the prophet, that they no more turn aside their hearts against the Holy One of Israel, then will he remember the covenants which he made [28] to their fathers [27].

18 And I, Nephi, have written these things unto my people [9], that perhaps I might persuade them that they would remember the Lord their Redeemer.

19 Wherefore, I speak unto all the house of Israel [910], if it so be that they should obtain these things.

20 For behold, I have workings in the spirit [1314], which doth weary me even that all my joints are weak, for those who are at Jerusalem; for had not the Lord been merciful, to show unto me concerning them, even as he had prophets of old, I should have perished also.

23 And I did read many things unto them which were written in the books of Moses; but that I might more fully persuade them to believe in the Lord their Redeemer [30] I did read unto them that which was written by the prophet Isaiah; for I did liken all scriptures unto us, that it might be for our profit and learning.

1 Nephi 22

Total: 7 Elements

6 Nevertheless, after they shall be nursed by the Gentiles, and the Lord has lifted up his hand upon the Gentiles and set them up for a standard, and their children have been carried in their arms, and their daughters have been carried upon their shoulders, behold these things of which are spoken are temporal; for thus are the covenants of the Lord [28] with our fathers [27]; and it meaneth us in the days to come [9], and also all our brethren who are of the house of Israel [10].

9 And it shall also be of worth unto the Gentiles; and not only unto the Gentiles [11] but unto all the house of Israel [910], unto the making known of the covenants [28] of the Father of heaven unto Abraham, saying: In thy seed shall all the kindreds of the earth be blessed.

11 Wherefore, the Lord God will proceed to make bare his arm in the eyes of all the nations [32], in bringing about his covenants [28] and his gospel unto those who are of the house of Israel [910].

12 Wherefore, he will bring them again out of captivity, and they shall be gathered together to the lands of their inheritance; and they shall be brought out of obscurity and out of darkness; and they shall know that the Lord is their Savior and their Redeemer, the Mighty One of Israel [31].

2 Nephi 25

Total: 4 Elements

3 Wherefore, I write unto my people [9], unto all those that shall receive hereafter these things which I write, that they may know the judgments of God, that they come upon all nations, according to the word which he hath spoken.

4 Wherefore, hearken, O my people, which are of the house of Israel [9], and give ear unto my words; for because the words of Isaiah are not plain unto you, nevertheless they are plain unto all those that are filled with the spirit of prophecy [13]. But I give unto you a prophecy, according to the spirit [13] which is in me; wherefore I shall prophesy according to the plainness which hath been with me from the time that I came out from Jerusalem with my father; for behold, my soul delighteth in plainness unto my people, that they may learn.

18 Wherefore, he shall bring forth his words unto them, which words shall judge them at the last day, for they shall be given them for the purpose of convincing [30] them of the true Messiah [31], who was rejected by them; and unto the convincing [30] of them that they need not look forward any more for a Messiah to come, for there should not any come, save it should be a false Messiah which should deceive the people; for there is save one Messiah spoken of by the prophets, and that Messiah is he who should be rejected of the Jews.

23 For we labor diligently to write, to persuade [30] our children, and also our brethren, to believe in Christ [31], and to be reconciled to God; for we know that it is by grace that we are saved, after all we can do.

26 And we talk of Christ, we rejoice in Christ, we preach of Christ, we prophesy of Christ, and we write according to our prophecies [13], that our children may know to what source they may look for a remission of their sins.

2 Nephi 26

Total: 6 Elements

12 And as I spake concerning the convincing of the Jews, that Jesus is the very Christ, it must needs be that the Gentiles be convinced also [30] that Jesus is the Christ, the Eternal God [31];

13 And that he manifesteth himself unto all those who believe in him, by the power of the Holy Ghost; yea, unto every nation, kindred, tongue, and people [32], working mighty miracles, signs, and wonders, among the children of men according to their faith.

17 For thus saith the Lord God: They shall write the things which shall be done among them, and they shall be written and sealed up [15] in a book, and those who have dwindled in unbelief shall not have them, for they seek to destroy [17] the things of God [26].

2 Nephi 27

Total: 5 Elements

10 But the words which are sealed he shall not deliver, neither shall he deliver the book. For the book shall be sealed [15] by the power of God, and the revelation which was sealed shall be kept in the book until the own due time of the Lord [20], that they may come forth; for behold, they reveal all things from the foundation of the world unto the end thereof.

11 And the day cometh that the words of the book which were sealed [15] shall be read upon the house tops; and they shall be read by the power of Christ [19]; and all things shall be revealed unto the children of men which ever have been among the children of men, and which ever will be even unto the end of the earth.

12 Wherefore, at that day when the book shall be delivered unto the man of whom I have spoken, the book shall be hid [16] from the eyes of the world, that the eyes of none shall behold it save it be that three witnesses shall behold it, by the power of God [18], besides him to whom the book shall be delivered; and they shall testify to the truth of the book and the things therein.

21 Touch not the things which are sealed [15], for I will bring them forth in mine own due time [20]; for I will show unto the children of men that I am able to do mine own work.

22 Wherefore, when thou hast read the words which I have commanded thee, and obtained the witnesses which I have promised unto thee, then shalt thou seal up [15] the book again, and hide it up unto me [16], that I may preserve the words which thou hast not read, until I shall see fit in mine own wisdom to reveal all things unto the children of men.

2 Nephi 30

Total: 9 Elements

3 And now, I would prophesy [13] somewhat more concerning the Jews and the Gentiles. For after the book of which I have spoken shall come forth, and be written unto the Gentiles [11], and sealed up again unto the Lord [15], there shall be many which shall believe the words which are written [30]; and they shall carry them forth unto the remnant of our seed [21].

4 And then shall the remnant of our seed [9] know concerning us, how that we came out from Jerusalem, and that they are descendants of the Jews.

5 And the gospel of Jesus Christ shall be declared among them; wherefore, they shall be restored unto the knowledge of their fathers [27], and also to the knowledge of Jesus Christ [31], which was had among their fathers [27].

7 And it shall come to pass that the Jews [10] which are scattered also shall begin to believe in Christ [30]; and they shall begin to gather in upon the face of the land; and as many as shall believe in Christ [31] shall also become a delightsome people.

2 Nephi 33

Total: 10 Elements

4 And I know that the Lord God will consecrate my prayers for the gain of my people. And the words which I have written in weakness will be made strong unto them; for it persuadeth them to do good; it maketh known unto them of their fathers; and it speaketh of Jesus [31], and persuadeth them to believe in him [30], and to endure to the end, which is life eternal.

7 I have charity for my people [9], and great faith in Christ that I shall meet many souls spotless [36] at his judgment-seat [37].

8 I have charity for the Jew [10]—I say Jew, because I mean them from whence I came.

9 I also have charity for the Gentiles [11]. But behold, for none of these can I hope except they shall be reconciled unto Christ, and enter into the narrow gate, and walk in the strait path which leads to life, and continue in the path until the end of the day of probation.

10 And now, my beloved brethren [9], and also Jew [10], and all ye ends of the earth [11], hearken unto these words and believe [30] in Christ [31]; and if ye believe not in these words believe [30] in Christ [31]. And if ye shall believe [30] in Christ [31]ye will believe in these words, for they are the words of Christ, and he hath given them unto me; and they teach all men that they should do good.

11 And if they are not the words of Christ, judge ye—for Christ will show unto you, with power [18] and great glory, that they are his words, at the last day; and you and I shall stand face to face before his bar; and ye shall know that I have been commanded of him to write these things [12], notwithstanding my weakness.

13 And now, my beloved brethren [9], all those who are of the house of Israel [910], and all ye ends of the earth [11], I speak unto you as the voice of one crying from the dust: Farewell until that great day shall come.

15 For what I seal [15] on earth, shall be brought against you at the judgment bar [37]; for thus hath the Lord commanded me [12], and I must obey. Amen.

Jacob 1

Total: 8 Elements

2 And he gave me, Jacob, a commandment [12] that I should write upon these plates [4] a few of the things which I considered to be most precious; that I should not touch, save it were lightly, concerning the history of this people which are called the people of Nephi [8].

4 And if there were preaching which was sacred, or revelation [14] which was great, or prophesying [13], that I should engraven the heads of them upon these plates [4], and touch upon them as much as it were possible, for Christ’s sake, and for the sake of our people.

6 And we also had many revelations [14], and the spirit of much prophecy [13]; wherefore, we knew of Christ and his kingdom, which should come.

7 Wherefore we labored diligently among our people, that we might persuade [30] them to come unto Christ [31], and partake of the goodness of God, that they might enter into his rest, lest by any means he should swear in his wrath they should not enter in, as in the provocation in the days of temptation while the children of Israel were in the wilderness.

8 Wherefore, we would to God that we could persuade [30] all men not to rebel against God, to provoke him to anger, but that all men would believe in Christ [31], and view his death, and suffer his cross and bear the shame of the world; wherefore, I, Jacob, take it upon me to fulfil the commandment [12] of my brother Nephi.

19 And we did magnify our office unto the Lord, taking upon us the responsibility, answering the sins of the people upon our own heads if we did not teach them the word of God with all diligence; wherefore, by laboring with our might their blood might not come upon our garments; otherwise their blood would come upon our garments, and we would not be found spotless [36] at the last day.

Jacob 4

Total: 6 Elements

4 For, for this intent have we written these things, that they may know [30] that we knew of Christ [31], and we had a hope of his glory many hundred years before his coming; and not only we ourselves had a hope of his glory, but also all the holy prophets which were before us.

6 Wherefore, we search the prophets, and we have many revelations [14] and the spirit of prophecy [13]; and having all these witnesses we obtain a hope, and our faith becometh unshaken, insomuch that we truly can command in the name of Jesus and the very trees obey us, or the mountains, or the waves of the sea.

7 Nevertheless, the Lord God showeth us our weakness [34] that we may know that it is by his grace, and his great condescensions unto the children of men, that we have power to do these things.

8 Behold, great and marvelous are the works of the Lord. How unsearchable are the depths of the mysteries of him; and it is impossible that man should find out all his ways. And no man knoweth of his ways save it be revealed unto him; wherefore, brethren, despise not the revelations of God [35].

Omni 1

Total: 1 Elements

20 And it came to pass in the days of Mosiah, there was a large stone brought unto him with engravings on it; and he did interpret the engravings by the gift and power of God [19].

Words of Mormon 1

Total: 11 Elements

3 And now, I speak somewhat concerning that which I have written; for after I had made an abridgment [6] from the plates of Nephi [5], down to the reign of this king Benjamin, of whom Amaleki spake, I searched among the records which had been delivered into my hands, and I found these plates, which contained this small account [2] of the prophets, from Jacob down to the reign of this king Benjamin, and also many of the words of Nephi.

4 And the things which are upon these plates [4] pleasing me, because of the prophecies [13] of the coming of Christ; and my fathers knowing that many of them have been fulfilled; yea, and I also know that as many things as have been prophesied [13] concerning us down to this day have been fulfilled, and as many as go beyond this day must surely come to pass—

5 Wherefore, I chose these things, to finish my record upon them, which remainder of my record I shall take from the plates of Nephi [5]; and I cannot write the hundredth part of the things of my people [8].

6 But behold, I shall take these plates, which contain these prophesyings [13] and revelations [14], and put them with the remainder of my record, for they are choice unto me; and I know they will be choice unto my brethren.

8 And my prayer to God is concerning my brethren [9], that they may once again come to the knowledge [30] of God, yea, the redemption of Christ [31]; that they may once again be a delightsome people.

9 And now I, Mormon [1], proceed to finish out my record, which I take from the plates of Nephi [5]; and I make it according to the knowledge and the understanding which God has given me.

Mosiah 21

Total: 1 Elements

28 And now Limhi was again filled with joy on learning from the mouth of Ammon that king Mosiah had a gift from God, whereby he could interpret [19] such engravings; yea, and Ammon also did rejoice.

Mosiah 28

Total: 5 Elements

17 Now after Mosiah had finished translating these records, behold, it gave an account [2] of the people [8] who were destroyed, from the time that they were destroyed back to the building of the great tower [25], at the time the Lord confounded the language of the people [24] and they were scattered [23] abroad upon the face of all the earth, yea, and even from that time back until the creation of Adam.

3 Nephi 5

Total: 8 Elements

10 Therefore I have made my record of [7] these things according to the record of [7] Nephi, which was engraven on the plates [4] which were called the plates of Nephi [5].

11 And behold, I do make the record on plates [4] which I have made with mine own hands [3].

12 And behold, I am called Mormon [1], being called after the land of Mormon, the land in which Alma did establish the church among the people, yea, the first church which was established among them after their transgression.

25 And as he hath covenanted with all the house of Jacob, even so shall the covenant wherewith he hath covenanted with the house of Jacob be fulfilled in his own due time [20], unto the restoring all the house of Jacob unto the knowledge of the covenant that he hath covenanted with them [28].

26 And then shall they know [30] their Redeemer, who is Jesus Christ, the Son of God [30]; and then shall they be gathered in from the four quarters of the earth unto their own lands, from whence they have been dispersed; yea, as the Lord liveth so shall it be. Amen.

3 Nephi 29

Total: 37 Elements

1 And now behold, I say unto you that when the Lord shall see fit [20], in his wisdom, that these sayings shall come unto the Gentiles [21] according to his word, then ye may know that the covenant [28] which the Father hath made with the children of Israel, concerning their restoration to the lands of their inheritance, is already beginning to be fulfilled.

3 Nephi 30

Total: 2 Elements

1 Hearken, O ye Gentiles [11], and hear the words of Jesus Christ, the Son of the living God, which he hath commanded me [12] that I should speak concerning you, for, behold he commandeth me that I should write [12], saying:

Mormon 2

Total: 2 Elements

17 And now, the city of Jashon was near the land where Ammaron had deposited the records unto the Lord [16], that they might not be destroyed [17].

Mormon 3

Total: 6

17 Therefore I write unto you, Gentiles [11], and also unto you, house of Israel [9–10], when the work shall commence, that ye shall be about to prepare to return to the land of your inheritance;

18 Yea, behold, I write unto all the ends of the earth [9–11]; yea, unto you, twelve tribes of Israel, who shall be judged according to your works by the twelve whom Jesus chose to be his disciples in the land of Jerusalem.

19 And I write also unto the remnant of this people [9], who shall also be judged by the twelve whom Jesus chose in this land; and they shall be judged by the other twelve whom Jesus chose in the land of Jerusalem.

20 And these things doth the Spirit manifest unto me; therefore I write unto you all [9–11]. And for this cause I write unto you, that ye may know that ye must all stand before the judgment-seat of Christ [37], yea, every soul who belongs to the whole human family of Adam; and ye must stand to be judged of your works, whether they be good or evil;

21 And also that ye may believe [30] the gospel of Jesus Christ, which ye shall have among you; and also that the Jews, the covenant people of the Lord, shall have other witness besides him whom they saw and heard, that Jesus, whom they slew, was the very Christ and the very God [31].

22 And I would that I could persuade [30] all ye ends of the earth to repent and prepare to stand before the judgment-seat of Christ [37].

Mormon 5

Total: 14 Elements

8 And now behold, I, Mormon [1], do not desire to harrow up the souls of men in casting before them such an awful scene of blood and carnage as was laid before mine eyes; but I, knowing that these things must surely be made known, and that all things which are hid [16] must be revealed upon the house-tops—

9 And also that a knowledge of these things must come unto the remnant of these people [9], and also unto the Gentiles [11], who the Lord hath said should scatter this people [8], and this people [8] should be counted as naught among them—therefore I write a small abridgment [6], daring not to give a full account [2] of the things which I have seen, because of the commandment [12] which I have received, and also that ye might not have too great sorrow because of the wickedness of this people.

10 And now behold, this I speak unto their seed [9], and also to the Gentiles [11] who have care for the house of Israel, that realize and know from whence their blessings come.

12 Now these things are written unto the remnant of the house of Jacob [910]; and they are written after this manner, because it is known of God that wickedness will not bring them forth unto them; and they are to be hid up unto the Lord [16] that they may come forth in his own due time [20].

13 And this is the commandment [12] which I have received; and behold, they shall come forth according to the commandment of the Lord [12], when he shall see fit, in his wisdom.

14 And behold, they shall go unto the unbelieving of the Jews [10]; and for this intent shall they go—that they may be persuaded [30] that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the living God [31]; that the Father may bring about, through his most Beloved, his great and eternal purpose, in restoring the Jews, or all the house of Israel, to the land of their inheritance, which the Lord their God hath given them, unto the fulfilling of his covenant [28];

15 And also that the seed of this people may more fully believe his gospel, which shall go forth unto them from the Gentiles [21]; for this people shall be scattered, and shall become a dark, a filthy, and a loathsome people, beyond the description of that which ever hath been amongst us, yea, even that which hath been among the Lamanites, and this because of their unbelief and idolatry.

20 But behold, it shall come to pass that they shall be driven and scattered by the Gentiles; and after they have been driven and scattered by the Gentiles, behold, then will the Lord remember the covenant [28] which he made unto Abraham and unto all the house of Israel.

22 And then, O ye Gentiles [11], how can ye stand before the power of God, except ye shall repent and turn from your evil ways?

Mormon 7

Total: 7 Elements

1 And now, behold, I would speak somewhat unto the remnant of this people [9] who are spared, if it so be that God may give unto them my words, that they may know of the things [26] of their fathers [27]; yea, I speak unto you, ye remnant of the house of Israel [9]; and these are the words which I speak:

5 Know ye that ye must come to the knowledge of your fathers [27], and repent of all your sins and iniquities, and believe [30] in Jesus Christ, that he is the Son of God [31], and that he was slain by the Jews, and by the power of the Father he hath risen again, whereby he hath gained the victory over the grave; and also in him is the sting of death swallowed up.

6 And he bringeth to pass the resurrection of the dead, whereby man must be raised to stand before his judgment-seat [37].

9 For behold, this is written for the intent that ye may believe that; and if ye believe that ye will believe this also; and if ye believe this ye will know concerning your fathers [27], and also the marvelous works which were wrought by the power of God among them [26].

10 And ye will also know that ye are a remnant of the seed of Jacob; therefore ye are numbered among the people of the first covenant [28]; and if it so be that ye believe [30] in Christ [31], and are baptized, first with water, then with fire and with the Holy Ghost, following the example of our Savior, according to that which he hath commanded us, it shall be well with you in the day of judgment. Amen.

Mormon 8

Total: 11 Elements

4 Therefore I will write and hide up [16] the records in the earth; and whither I go it mattereth not.

5 Behold, my father hath made this record [1], and he hath written the intent thereof. And behold, I would write it also if I had room upon the plates, but I have not; and ore I have none, for I am alone. My father hath been slain in battle, and all my kinsfolk, and I have not friends nor whither to go; and how long the Lord will suffer that I may live I know not.

12 And whoso receiveth this record, and shall not condemn it [35] because of the imperfections which are in it, the same shall know of greater things [26] than these. Behold, I am Moroni; and were it possible, I would make all things known unto you.

13 Behold, I make an end of speaking concerning this people [8]. I am the son of Mormon [1], and my father was a descendant of Nephi.

14 And I am the same who hideth up [16] this record unto the Lord; the plates [4] thereof are of no worth, because of the commandment of the Lord. For he truly saith that no one shall have them to get gain; but the record thereof is of great worth; and whoso shall bring it to light, him will the Lord bless.

15 For none can have power to bring it to light [18] save it be given him of God; for God wills that it shall be done with an eye single to his glory, or the welfare of the ancient and long dispersed covenant people of the Lord.

17 And if there be faults [33] they be the faults of a man [34]. But behold, we know no fault; nevertheless God knoweth all things; therefore, he that condemneth [35], let him be aware lest he shall be in danger of hell fire.

21 And he that shall breathe out wrath and strifes against the work of the Lord, and against the covenant people of the Lord who are the house of Israel, and shall say: We will destroy the work of the Lord [17], and the Lord will not remember his covenant [28] which he hath made unto the house of Israel—the same is in danger to be hewn down and cast into the fire;

Mormon 9

Total: 3 Elements

31 Condemn me not [35] because of mine imperfection [34], neither my father, because of his imperfection, neither them who have written before him; but rather give thanks unto God that he hath made manifest unto you our imperfections, that ye may learn to be more wise than we have been.

34 But the Lord knoweth the things which we have written, and also that none other people knoweth our language; and because that none other people knoweth our language, therefore he hath prepared means for the interpretation thereof [19].

Ether 1

Total: 7 Elements

1 And now I, Moroni, proceed to give an account [2] of those ancient inhabitants who were destroyed by the hand of the Lord upon the face of this north country.

2 And I take mine account from the twenty and four plates which were found by the people of Limhi [5], which is called the Book of Ether [22].

3 And as I suppose that the first part of this record [7], which speaks concerning the creation of the world, and also of Adam, and an account [2] from that time even to the great tower [25], and whatsoever things transpired among the children of men until that time, is had among the Jews—

33 Which Jared came forth with his brother and their families, with some others and their families [8], from the great tower [25], at the time the Lord confounded the language of the people [24], and swore in his wrath that they should be scattered [23] upon all the face of the earth; and according to the word of the Lord the people were scattered.

Ether 3

Total: 3 Elements

22 And behold, when ye shall come unto me, ye shall write them and shall seal them up [15], that no one can interpret [19] them; for ye shall write them in a language that they cannot be read.

27 And the Lord said unto him: Write these things and seal them up [15]; and I will show them in mine own due time [20] unto the children of men.

Ether 4

Total: 12 Elements

3 And now, after that, they have all dwindled in unbelief; and there is none save it be the Lamanites, and they have rejected the gospel of Christ; therefore I am commanded that I should hide them up [16] again in the earth.

4 Behold, I have written upon these plates [4] the very things which the brother of Jared saw; and there never were greater things made manifest than those which were made manifest unto the brother of Jared.

5 Wherefore the Lord hath commanded me to write them [12]; and I have written them. And he commanded me [12] that I should seal them up [15]; and he also hath commanded [12] that I should seal up [15] the interpretation thereof [19]; wherefore I have sealed up the interpreters [19], according to the commandment of the Lord [12].

6 For the Lord said unto me: They shall not go forth unto the Gentiles until the day that they shall repent of their iniquity, and become clean before the Lord.

7 And in that day that they shall exercise faith in me, saith the Lord, even as the brother of Jared did, that they may become sanctified in me, then will I manifest unto them [32] the things which the brother of Jared saw, even to the unfolding unto them all my revelations, saith Jesus Christ, the Son of God, the Father of the heavens and of the earth, and all things that in them are.

8 And he that will contend against the word of the Lord, let him be accursed; and he that shall deny these things, let him be accursed; for unto them will I show no greater things [26], saith Jesus Christ; for I am he who speaketh.

11 But he that believeth these things which I have spoken, him will I visit with the manifestations [32] of my Spirit, and he shall know and bear record. For because of my Spirit he shall know that these things are true; for it persuadeth men to do good.

13 Come unto me, O ye Gentiles [11], and I will show unto you the greater things [26], the knowledge which is hid up [16] because of unbelief.

14 Come unto me, O ye house of Israel [910], and it shall be made manifest unto you [32] how great things [26] the Father hath laid up for you, from the foundation of the world; and it hath not come unto you, because of unbelief.

15 Behold, when ye shall rend that veil of unbelief which doth cause you to remain in your awful state of wickedness, and hardness of heart, and blindness of mind, then shall the great and marvelous things [26] which have been hid up [16] from the foundation of the world from you—yea, when ye shall call upon the Father in my name, with a broken heart and a contrite spirit, then shall ye know that the Father hath remembered the covenant [28] which he made unto your fathers [27], O house of Israel [910].

Ether 5

Total: 3 Elements

1 And now I, Moroni, have written the words which were commanded me [12], according to my memory; and I have told you the things which I have sealed up [15]; therefore touch them not in order that ye may translate; for that thing is forbidden you, except by and by it shall be wisdom in God.

3 And unto three shall they be shown by the power of God [18]; wherefore they shall know of a surety that these things are true.

4 And in the mouth of three witnesses shall these things be established; and the testimony of three, and this work, in the which shall be shown forth the power of God [18] and also his word, of which the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Ghost bear record—and all this shall stand as a testimony against the world at the last day.

Ether 6

Total: 2 Elements

30 And it came to pass that Orihah did walk humbly before the Lord, and did remember how great things [26] the Lord had done for his father [27], and also taught his people how great [26] things the Lord had done for their fathers [27].

Ether 7

Total: 2 Elements

27 And there were no more wars in the days of Shule; and he remembered the great things [26] that the Lord had done for his fathers [27]

Ether 12

Total: 8 Elements

22 And it is by faith that my fathers [27] have obtained the promise that these things should come unto their brethren through the Gentiles [21]; therefore the Lord hath commanded me [12], yea, even Jesus Christ.

31 For thus didst thou manifest thyself [32] unto thy disciples; for after they had faith, and did speak in thy name, thou didst show thyself unto them [32] in great power.

38 And now I, Moroni, bid farewell unto the Gentiles [11], yea, and also unto my brethren [9] whom I love, until we shall meet before the judgment-seat of Christ [37], where all men shall know that my garments are not spotted [36] with your blood.

Moroni 1

Total: 3 Elements

1 Now I, Moroni, after having made an end of abridging [6] the account [2] of the people of Jared [8], I had supposed not to have written more, but I have not as yet perished; and I make not myself known to the Lamanites lest they should destroy me.

Moroni 10

Total: 4 Elements

1 Now I, Moroni, write somewhat as seemeth me good; and I write unto my brethren, the Lamanites [9]; and I would that they should know that more than four hundred and twenty years have passed away since the sign was given of the coming of Christ.

2 And I seal up [15] these records, after I have spoken a few words by way of exhortation unto you.

24 And now I speak unto all the ends of the earth [11]—that if the day cometh that the power and gifts of God shall be done away among you, it shall be because of unbelief.

33 And again, if ye by the grace of God are perfect in Christ, and deny not his power, then are ye sanctified in Christ by the grace of God, through the shedding of the blood of Christ, which is in the covenant of the Father unto the remission of your sins, that ye become holy, without spot [36].

The first of the following parallel structures was adapted from Donald Parry’s proposal.28 The second structure is proposed by Evidence Central staff.

Ether 4:13–15

A

Come unto me,

 

B

O ye Gentiles,

 

 

C

and I will show unto you the greater things [26],

 

 

 

D

the knowledge which is hid up

 

 

 

 

E

because of unbelief.

A*

Come unto me,

 

B*

O ye house of Israel,

 

 

C*

and it shall be made manifest unto you how great things [26]

 

 

 

D*

the Father hath laid up for you, from the foundation of the world;

 

 

 

 

E*

and it hath not come unto you, because of unbelief.

 

A

Behold, when ye shall rend that veil of unbelief

 

B

which doth cause you to remain in your awful state of wickedness, and hardness of heart, and blindness of mind,

 

 

C

then shall the great and marvelous things [26] which have been hid up from the foundation of the world from you—

A*

yea, when ye shall call upon the Father in my name,

 

B*

with a broken heart and a contrite spirit,

 

 

C*

then shall ye know that the Father hath remembered the covenant [28] which he made unto your fathers [27], O house of Israel.

  • 1 See the contents under the heading “Introduction and Witnesses” in the official 2013 edition of the text. 
  • 2 For ancient precedents, see Evidence Central, “Book of Mormon Evidence: Colophons (Antiquity),” Evidence# 0245, September 27, 2021, online at evidencecentral.org; Evidence Central, “Book of Evidence: Subscriptio,” Evidence# 0075, September 19, 2020, online at evidencecentral.org. Readers may notice that the Title Page uses sentence fragments, rather than complete sentences, to convey content. In this regard, it is like the many other “formal” colophons found throughout the text. The Title Page also features several concepts that are typical of Nephite introductory material (including audience, authentication, authorship, content preview, purpose, recordkeeping, source plates, title, and a warning). See Evidence Central, “Book of Mormon Evidence: Colophons (Complexity),” Evidence# 0244, September 27, 2021, online at evidencecentral.org.
  • 3 For various discussions of the Title Page and its authorship, see John W. Welch, “Introductory Pages of the Book of Mormon,” in John W. Welch Notes, 1–14 (Springville, UT: Book of Mormon Central, 2020); Clyde J. Williams, “More Light on Who Wrote the Title Page,” Journal of Book of Mormon Studies 10, no. 2 (2001): 28–29, 70; Sidney B. Sperry, “Moroni the Lonely: The Story of the Writing of the Title Page to the Book of Mormon,” Journal of Book of Mormon Studies 4, no. 1 (1995): 255–259; David B. Honey, “The Secular as Sacred: The Historiography of the Title Page,” Journal of Book of Mormon Studies 3, no. 1 (1994): 94–103; Daniel H. Ludlow, “The Title Page,” in The Book of Mormon: First Nephi, The Doctrinal Foundation, ed. Monte S. Nyman and Charles D. Tate Jr. (Provo, UT: BYU Religious Studies Center, 1988), 19–34.
  • 4 See Evidence Central, “Book of Mormon Evidence: Title Page Structure,” Evidence# 424, October 11, 2023, online at evidencecentral.org.  
  • 5 The formatting of the heading content is slightly adjusted from its presentation of the Title Page in the 2013 edition.
  • 6 Chart created by Evidence Central staff.
  • 7 Note that the wording in the Title Page is somewhat adapted, so that the record is “written” by Mormon’s hand, instead of plates being made by it. Yet it is still conceptually similar, as both mention the record or account being contained on “plates” and also the importance of the “hand” of the recordkeeper. For information relevant to this topic, see Evidence Central, “Book of Mormon Evidence: Make a Record,” Evidence# 0382, November 29, 2022, online at evidencecentral.org.
  • 8 See 1 Nephi 13:30, 2 Nephi 3:3, 23; 2 Nephi 9:53.
  • 9 See also Nephi’s statement in 2 Nephi 33:8: “I say Jew, because I mean them from whence I came.”
  • 10 Nephi initially stated that he had “charity” for these three groups, but then immediately he more directly addressed these same groups as his intended audiences (with slightly different but synonymous designations): “And now, my beloved brethren, and also Jew, and all ye ends of the earth [i.e. Gentile] …” (2 Nephi 33:10). Other examples of Nephi addressing these audiences can be seen in 2 Nephi 28:2 (“the things which shall be written out of the book shall be of great worth … unto our seed, which is a remnant of the house of Israel”) and 2 Nephi 30:3 (“be written unto the Gentiles”).
  • 11 Moroni’s expression of love for “my brethren” and possibly for “the Gentiles” in this passage (depending on how one parses the sentence), parallels Nephi’s expression of charity for these same audiences in 2 Nephi 33:7–9.
  • 12 “Now behold, I, Jarom, write a few words according to the commandment [12] of my father, Enos, that our genealogy may be kept … but I shall not write the things of my prophesying [13], nor of my revelations [14] (Jarom 1:1–2); “Behold, it came to pass that I, Omni, being commanded [12] by my father, Jarom, that I should write somewhat upon these plates, to preserve our genealogy” (Omni 1:1); “Now I, Chemish, write what few things I write, in the same book with my brother; … And after this manner we keep the records, for it is according to the commandments [12] of our fathers” (Omni 1:9); “and I know of no revelation [14] save that which has been written, neither prophecy [13]; wherefore, that which is sufficient is written. And I make an end” (Omni 1:11); “knowing king Benjamin to be a just man before the Lord, wherefore, I shall deliver up these plates unto him, exhorting all men to come unto God, the Holy One of Israel, and believe in prophesying [13], and in revelations [14]” (Omni 1:25). See also Evidence Central, “Book of Mormon Evidence: A Pattern in the Small Plates,” Evidence# 0080, September 19, 2020, online at evidencecentral.org.
  • 13 “I shall take these plates, which contain these prophesyings [13] and revelations [14], and put them with the remainder of my record …. And I do this for a wise purpose; for thus it whispereth me, according to the workings of the Spirit of the Lord [12]” (Words of Mormon 1:6–7). The rationale about writing the record according to the direction of the Spirit, but for an unknown purpose, closely echoes Nephi’s own statements about his recordkeeping efforts: “for other wise purposes, which purposes are known unto the Lord [12]” (1 Nephi 19:3).
  • 14 “And I command [12] you that ye shall write these sayings after I am gone” (3 Nephi 16:4).
  • 15 “I, Moroni, do finish the record of my father, Mormon. Behold, I have but few things to write, which things I have been commanded [12] by my father” (Mormon 8:1); “Wherefore the Lord hath commanded [12] me to write them; and I have written them” (Ether 4:5); “And now I, Moroni, have written the words which were commanded me [12]” (Ether 5:1); “And it is by faith that my fathers have obtained the promise that these things should come unto their brethren through the Gentiles; therefore the Lord hath commanded me [12]” (Ether 12:22–23).
  • 16 Readers may notice that some of these elements are repeated. This is likely due, at least in part, to their parallel structure. See analysis of Substructure 2 in Evidence Central, “Book of Mormon Evidence: Title Page Structure,” Evidence# 0424, October 11, 2023, online at evidencecentral.org.
  • 17 For instance, in several cases these elements are used in relation to the writings of the Brother of Jared or the sealed portion of the Book of Mormon, which, although certainly relevant, is only analogous to the Book of Mormon itself.
  • 18 Whether Moroni in Ether 1:33 was quoting/paraphrasing Mormon’s earlier summary in Mosiah 28:17, or whether both passages derive from another text, such as the book of Ether itself, can’t be known. There can be no doubt, however, that these two passages are in some way intimately related.
  • 19 Note that the ordering in the Genesis account is different (its sequence is 25, 23, 24), and therefore the reversal only works for the Nephite texts.
  • 20 John W. Welch, “Introductory Pages of the Book of Mormon,” in John W. Welch Notes, 1–14 (Springville, UT: Book of Mormon Central, 2020). See also, David E. Bokovoy and John A. Tvedtnes, “Seidel’s Law,” in Testaments: Links between the Book of Mormon and the Hebrew Bible (Toelle, UT: Heritage Press, 2003), 56–60.
  • 21 For further explanation of the second parallel structure (in Ether 4:15), see the appendix in Evidence Central, “Book of Mormon Evidence: Title Page Structure,” Evidence# 0424, October 11, 2023, online at evidencecentral.org.
  • 22 While looser conceptual matches may be found elsewhere in the Book of Mormon, these are the only two textual units (aside from the Title Page itself) which turned up results when searching for “spotless” and “judgment-seat” in WordCruncher. For information about Moroni’s multiple farewells, see Book of Mormon Central, “Why Did Moroni Write So Many Farewells? (Mormon 8:1),” KnoWhy 233 (November 17, 2016).
  • 23 Otherwise, element 29 is somewhat of an outlier, as it doesn’t turn up with any of the other textual units with high concentrations of Title Page elements.
  • 24 See Evidence Central, “Book of Mormon Evidence: Mosiah-First Translation Sequence,” Evidence# 0086, September 19, 2020, online at evidencecentral.org. See also, John W. Welch, “Introductory Pages of the Book of Mormon,” in John W. Welch Notes, 1–14 (Springville, UT: Book of Mormon Central, 2020).
  • 25 Of course, one could argue that the textual dependence goes the other way, with the relevant contents of the Small Plates being derived from the Title Page and the plates of Mormon. Yet as one surveys these and other various texts, it seems more likely that the textual dependence goes the other way, with Nephi providing the template upon which Mormon and Moroni eventually modeled their own statements, including those found in the Title Page. For arguments along these lines, see Alan Goff, “Positivism and the Priority of Ideology in Mosiah-First Theories of Book of Mormon Production,” FARMS Review 16, no. 1 (2004): 11–36; Evidence Central, “Book of Mormon Evidence: Brass Plates Consistencies,” Evidence# 0392, February 14, 2023, online at evidencentral.org. Either way, being situated between two major abridgment projects, the Title Page can be seen as interacting with an array of textual units that both precede and follow its placement in the translation timeline.
  • 26 See Evidence Central, “Book of Mormon Evidence: Title Page Structure,” Evidence# 0424, October 11, 2023, online at evidencecentral.org.
  • 27 See Evidence Central, “Book of Mormon Evidence: Translation (Main Category),” online at evidencecentral.org.
  • 28 See Donald W. Parry, Poetic Parallelisms in the Book of Mormon: The Complete Text Reformatted (Provo, UT: Neal A. Maxwell Institute for Religious Scholarship, 2007), 527.
Complexity
Intertextuality (Internal)
Title Page Intertextuality

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