A little over six hundred years after Lehi landed on this continent, Jesus appeared unto some of the righteous. Before this, however, there had been a great storm all over the land, and many of the wicked had been destroyed. Jesus had been crucified at Jerusalem, had risen from the dead, and now he came to the Nephites with his resurrected body. He taught them the same gospel that he had taught in Palestine and chose twelve disciples to preach and build up his church. For nearly two hundred years the people all belonged to the Church of Christ, and peace was over all the land. Then they became wicked again. The Lamanites kept driving the Nephites further north, until they reached what is now the United States. Around a hill in the western part of the State of New York, then called Cumorah, what was left of the Nephites gathered for the last struggle. The Lamanites met them, and there was a great battle in which all but a very few of the Nephites were killed. Thus ended the Nephite nation, not quite four hundred years after Christ, and the Lamanites or Indians have lived here ever since.
During all this time the Lord had some good men keep a record of what happened among the people. In those days they did not write on paper, so these histories were recorded on plates of metal. These plates were handed from one man to another, until about the time of the last great battle, a prophet by the name of Mormon had all the records. He wrote a short account from them called an abridgment. What he took from each man’s record he called after the writer’s name, as the Book of Alma, Book of Helaman, etc., which we might call names of chapters in Mormon’s book. Mormon gave all his writings to his son Moroni, who wrote a little more on the plates. Moroni also made a short account of another people who had lived in America before the Nephites. They were called the Jaredites. Their history is told in the Book of Ether.
After Moroni had seen his people destroyed he hid all the records in the hill Cumorah.
Topics.—1. What history and geography prove regarding the Book of Mormon. 2. The Lamanites. 3. The Nephites. 4. Mormon. 5. Moroni.
Questions and Review.—1. Who was Lehi? 2. Name his sons. (Jacob and Joseph were born after he left Jerusalem.) 3. Tell about Laman and Lemuel. 4. What kind of boy was Nephi? 5. Why did they leave Jerusalem? 6. Why did Lehi want the records of his forefathers? 7. Who were the Lamanites? 8. Describe them. 9. Tell about the Nephites. 10. In what land did these people live? 11. Why were the Nephites destroyed? 12. What is the Book of Mormon? 13. Who wrote it? 14. Who had charge of the plates? 15. Where were they hidden? 16. Who translated them into the English language?
The three witnesses.
All who read this book ought to turn to one of the first pages of the Book of Moromon and read a paragraph signed by three men whose names are Oliver Cowdery, David Whitmer, and Martin Harris. You will notice in that paragraph that these men bear a most solemn witness that the book is true; that an angel of God came to them with the plates and laid them before their eyes; and that they were translated by the gift and power of God.