The Book of Mormon is a book of scripture used by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints and its splinter groups alongside the commandments/advice of their founder Joseph Smith and The Bible. The Book of Mormon is the main thing that distinguishes Mormonism from Catholicism and the various Protestant sects, and the Mormons' religion itself derives its name from the text.The book's origins are sketchy. Mormons believe that it was written by ancient Jewish prophets who lived in The Americas, having emigrated there in ancient times. They believe that the eponymous 'Mormon' and his son Moroni inscribed them in Egyptian Hieroglyphs (which despite the uncovery of the Rosetta Stone by General Bonaparte's troops during his Egyptian campaign, had yet to be 'cracked' during Mr Smith's lifetime) upon the 'golden plates' of legend and buried them. They believe that some centuries/millenia later Moroni appeared as an Angel to the US citizen and lay preacher/farmer Joseph Smith - a deeply religious young man who had dabbled in the Protestant 'Methodist' and 'Presbyterian' sects, among others - in the 1820s and told him where to find them. They believe that God then gave him the power to translate the hieroglyphs into English, got him to dictate the contents to someone who was literate (in English), and commanded him to form a new Christian Church ('Of Latter-day Saints') to disseminate this 'Third Testament'.Non-Mormons tend to take these claims with a pinch of salt given the daliance of Mr Smith and many of his contemporaries in what they believed to be 'magic', and they note the various other religious and magical orders and (secret) societies that emerged around the same time as Mr Smith's religionnote This time also gave us the idea of Elves and Fairies being child-friendly (rather than child-torturers/killers), druids, paganism, witchcraft, astrology, and ectoplasm. The more 'scientific' alternatives to this were Scientific Racialism (the 'science' of using confirmation-bias to 'prove' your own 'race' was the best in the world at xyz/everything) and the study of head-shape as an indicator of personality and intelligence ('Phrenology'). The 19th Century was not a good time for logic. . These new (splinter-)groups were a side-effect of the massive upswell in religious observance and participation throughout the English-speaking world at the time, a movement which resulted from the feelings of alienation and displacement that came with industrialisation and urbanisation. This uspswell crashed hard in the mid-latter 19th Century when the theory of Evolution was first proposed, disseminated, and determined to contradict the first chapter of the Bible ('Genesis').The authenticity of the plates (which have never been seen by non-believers) and Mr Smith's testimony is doubted outside the Church of Latter-Day Saints itself, particularly the literary community which notes that the book reads more like a conversational/improvised text than the compilation of literary texts it claims to be - the book uses an extraordinarily high number of meaningless/bridging phrases like 'and so it came to pass' that would be absent in an actual (carefully-worded, concise) compilation of literary texts. Moreover, the entire anthropological and archaeological communities reject the Book Of Mormon's claim that all (or even any) of the Amerindian peoples are descended from Jews who emigrated to the Americas in the last three thousand years, maintaining instead that all the Amerindian peoples are related to the Siberian/Steppe/Asiatic tribes who crossed the 'Land Bridge' from Siberia to North America ten-thousand-plus years ago. However, Mormon believers like the famous Science-Fiction author Orson Scott Cardhave made some very heart-felt claims as to the authenticity of the text - Mr Card's argument essentially being that Mr Smith's text doesn't read like an average 19th century cult-text (of which there were many, though their respective cults have long since died out).The book's actual contents don't really get discussed outside of Mormon circles, because non-Mormons doubt its authenticity and (outside of academic circles) have little interest in reading it.In structure, the Book of Mormon resembles the 'historical books' of The Bible, being divided into a number of books which largely form a narrative, which is punctuated by accounts of sermons and editorial commentary. It begins with a few families in Jerusalem, follows their journey across The Atlantic to a new "promised land" in The Americas, and then tells the history of the nations founded by their descendents, with emphasis on the preaching of the prophets, the spiritual condition of the cultures, and various events like several major wars. Also included is the visit of Jesus Christ, who appears to the people after his resurrection, teaches them, and founds his church and a Utopia. Unfortunately, after several centuries, this doesn't last, the people become wicked and divided again, and eventually a whole nation is destroyed. At this point, the last few prophets add their last comments and bury the book.There are several dominant and recurring themes in the book. Some are theological, like the divinity of Christ, or that those blessed by God can sin and lose those blessings, while those who sin can repent and be blessed. Other themes involve the idea of liberty and choice, secret societies, and perhaps most prominently individual and national pride, which leads to the destruction of multiple nations.Do please exercise the Rule of Cautious Editing Judgement if you edit this article, and treat Mormons like you would any other religious group - i.e. respectfully, but firmly. Where facts contradict their beliefs please restrict yourself to merely stating these facts, and don't rub it in or gloat. That's just rude.See also UsefulNotes.Mormonism. Should not be mistaken withThe Book of Mormon.
The Book of Mormon provides examples of...
An Aesop: There are many points where the author drops an anvil, and some of them fall hard!
Baptism of babies (Whoever says that babies need to be baptized before the age of accountability doesn't understand the nature of the atonement.)
Secret Combinations (Any nation that supports them is in danger of God's wrath.)
People saying that they don't need, or there isn't any more, scriptures ("O fools" don't think that God hasn't spoken to other nations, or that He won't speak again).
All There in the Manual: The Book of Mormon has a pronunciation guide, and the "Quad" (The Bible, The Book of Mormon, Doctrine and Covenants, Pearl of Great Price) has a Bible dictionary, maps, the Joseph Smith Translation, footnotes and references to similar verses and chapters.
The footnotes and index are quite marvelous. Some non-LDS scholars use the footnotes and index published by the LDS church because of its completeness and quality.
Of note is that the pronunciation guide was only developed in the 1970's, as beforehand different regions had different ways of reading the many different names. This isn't considered to be their "canon" name, only a way to unify the way the church pronounces it.
Anachronic Order: The first two books were written by Nephi in a history of his people long towards the end of his life, from there to Words Of Mormon were written by modern record keepers as mostly a contemporary history. The Book of Mosiah was largely split into three timeframes among different cultures, their stories merging together at the end. Then the Book of Ether was a recounting of a story that happened long before the beginning of the book.
Ancient Conspiracy: The Gadianton Robbers, whose organization was based on what the Book of Mormon calls "Secret Combinations" that have existed a lot longer than the name of the society. This lead to the downfall of two great civilizations, and the record-keepers preach against it.
Angst Coma: Alma the Younger's Heel-Face Turn. After getting up to a lot of anti-church mischief, he goes into a "deep sleep" and has visions of angels and hears the voice of God. When he wakes up, he has had a change of heart.
Antiquated Linguistics: The book's language mimics the Jacobean English found in the King James Bible, which was written almost 200 years prior.
Armor Is Useless: Averted. The Nephites tend to wear some sort of armor while the Lamanites usually don't, and this is usually mentioned right behind divine assistance as being instrumental in their victories.
Avenging the Villain: King Ammoron, brother and successor to Amalickiah, seeks to avenge his death. Likewise Shiz, although in that case whether any side can be termed good is hardto tell.
The Atoner: Alma the Younger most famously, but the Sons of Mosiah also.
Author Filibuster: While Mormon typically stays on-topic in his abridgment, there are a couple of spots where he puts in his own thoughts. The last book, written by Moroni, is essentially one long example of this trope. In his defense, the abridgement of the history was done, he had seen his entire country slaughtered around him and spent the last twenty years of his life on the run, so he had a lot to get off his chest.
Badass Normal: A number of people carry out righteous smiting aided by the power of God. Teancum, the Nephite special forces captain, doesn't seem to have any divine assistance, but still manages to infiltrate the enemy camp and assassinate the enemy leader. Twice. Sadly, he doesn't get out the second time.
Badass Pacifist: The entire people of Anti-Nephi-Lehi make an oath to never use weapons or fight their enemies (due largely to having a very bloody past before conversion), and every man, woman and child keeps it while an army bears down on them. Their lack of resistance is so complete that most of the army attacking them actually converts after this.
Badass Preacher: Prophets often had other professions. Sometimes these professions were in the army.
Moroni uses one to rescue Nephite prisoners of war from the city of Gid.
This was a favorite tactic of Nephite armies during the latter war chapters in Alma: March past an occupied city with a small army, draw the enemy out into what they think is an easy victory, have the larger army re-take the city while it's virtually unguarded.
Blood Knight: The Lamanites were this after Nephi left his brothers. Now nearly the entire population are this.
Breather Episode: After about a century of nearly nonstop warfare between the Nephites and Lamanites, culminating in natural disasters that wipe out multiple cities, Jesus visits briefly and everyone gets along fine for the next 200 years or so.
Bullet Dodges You: As Samuel the Lamanite preaches of Christ's birth, Nephites shoot arrows and throw rocks at him for at least 20 minutes without managing to hit him once because he is protected by the power of God.
Calling the Old Man Out: Laman has serious issues with his father. Then we have King Limhi who kinda did this to King Noah.
Canon Welding: There are some references made to events that happened in Jerusalem/Israel at the same time, made evident through the prophets. It also explicitly says that the line in John 10:16 "And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold: them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one fold, and one shepherd." is in reference to the Nephites and Lamanites.
Cain and Abel: In the first Book of Nephi, Laman (the eldest brother) and Lemuel (the second oldest) antagonize their younger brother Nephi, to the point that they try to kill him or leave him to die in the desert. When they do reach the Americas and their father Lehi dies, Laman gets fed up with Nephi thinking he has authority over him and tries to murder him. The Lord warns Nephi, so he takes his family and they separate themselves from the now-named Lamanites.
Comforting the Widow: Amalickiah arranges the murder of the king of the Lamanites then goes to console the Queen. Shortly thereafter they are married. Presumably she never finds out what really happened. A more cynical interpretation is that the Queen realized Amalickiah had control of the Army, and that therefor marrying him was the best option left to her.
In the Book of Alma, Amalakiah attempts one in Zarahemla but if rebuffed and goes over to the Lamanites. There he engineers a string of coups that puts him, first, in charge of all the Lamanite armies, and then over the Lamanite kingdom.
Later in that book, the chief judge Pahoran is briefly driven out of Zarahemla by King Men. He calls Captain Moroni to put down the usurpers.
In the Book of Helaman a coup is attempted against the newly elected Chief Judge by one of his opponents, but he is quickly caught and executed. Then his followers assassinate the new judge anyway.
Later Nephi, son of Helaman, prophetically identifies the murderer of another chief judge, who killed him in an attempt to claim the position for himself.
Another one occurs in 3 Nephi when a conspiracy overthrows the government but any attempt to take over quickly devolves into chaos.
Daddy's Little Villain: Jared's attempt to overthrow his father the king has just failed. Jared's daughter suggests a plan for a successful overthrow: Jared's friend Akish would kill the king in exchange for her hand in marriage. The plan gets Jared the throne and Akish married to Jared's daughter. Later, Akish murders Jared and takes the kingdom for himself. (The account doesn't reveal how Jared's daughter feels about the events that made her queen.)
Death Seeker: Moroni in the end. He's a bit more moderate than most examples as he doesn't really angst about it, but it's pretty clear that with his entire people annihilated he doesn't have anything to live for after he finishes his father's work.
Doomed Moral Victor: Abinadi gets burned to death by wicked King Noah, but not before his teaching convinces Alma (Senior) to repent, while Noah later suffers the same fate.
Drunk on the Dark Side: By the end of the Jaredites' final war, all the participants are caught in a Hopeless War that neither side can win, but they go on because they are "drunken with anger, as with wine." In other words, they've gotten so used to fighting and killing, that they can't do anything else by this point.
Endless Daytime: As a sign of Jesus Christ's birth, the Sun sets but it doesn't become dark.
At least, not deliberately. Giddianhi the robber threatens the Nephites with destruction unless they join his robber band, and swears to spare or destroy them according to the decision they make. Neither happens because the Nephites end up destroying the robber band instead.
Well, almost nobody. King Laman broke an oath when he made war on King Limhi's people, but he was justified, because he thought the daughters of his people were kidnapped.
The Evil Prince: Frequently in Jaredite history, the king is overthrown and locked up by one of his sons. This might be to prevent the king from passing the kingdom to the son of his old age, as Jaredite kings tend to do.
A Father to His Men: Helaman refers to his 'stripling' warriors as his sons, while they call him father.
Foregone Conclusion: The destruction of the Nephites and its timing is predicted in the first book, and that prediction is repeated throughout.
Foreshadowing: The Book of Ether begins with a genealogy of the kings from reverse order (A is the son of B, B is the son of C...) and then proceeded to tell the story of those people in chronological order. Granted most of them were talked about very briefly as the book condenses about 25 generations into about 12 chapters.
Healing Hands: Given that Christ himself shows up, one of the first things he does is invite the people forward so he could heal them of their injuries.
History Repeats: The book of Ether, in which the destruction of the Jaredites recapitulates the destruction of the Nephites. Though the Jaredites were actually destroyed first, their account appears in the narrative after the destruction of the Nephites.
Hopeless War: As mentioned above, the Nephite and Jaredite nations both end this way.
Hypocrite: The Zoramites were this: Have a synagouge, preach about God (over 100 times with the same prayer), and never talk about him an entire week. They don't bother helping their poor and gorge themselves in their wealth.
Insane Troll Logic: The anti-Christ Korihor preaches that there is no God. How does he know there is no God? Why, an angel of God visited him with a message from God, telling him to preach that there is no God!
The Messiah: The book of Third Nephi features a visit by the trope namer.
Missing Episode: Joseph Smith's scribe Martin Harris lost the only copy of the 116-Page Manuscript that would have been the actual start of The Book of Mormon.
No Pronunciation Guide: The pronunciation and sometimes even the spelling is largely up to the interpretation of the translators. Modern editions offer a guide, but this is mostly for church unity and doesn't claim to be the original pronunication. For instance, beforehand some called Amulek "A-Mew-lek" rather than "Amu-lek" (like amulet).
Rousing Speech: Captain Moroni rallying his people to defend themselves from the Lamanite army. 
Selective Obliviousness: Laman and Lemuel don't seem to understand that they should stop messing with Nephi even after an angel appears in front of them and tells them to knock it off.
The Needs of the Many: The reasoning given to justify the murder of Laban: "It is better that one man should perish than that a nation should dwindle and perish in unbelief." (1 Nephi 4:2)
The Starscream: Amalickiah did this to the King of the Lamanites by againing his trust. After receiving it, he kills him to gain the armies of the Lamanites and take the deceased king's wife.
Thou Shalt Not Kill: The Anti-Nephi-Lehites, repentant Lamanites, took up an oath to never go to war or kill again, burying their weapons in the ground. They held to this so strongly that when assaulted by other Lamanites they were willing cut down, that dedication impressed the Lamanite army so much that they stopped attacking and many even joined with them.
Villainous Breakdown: Amalickiah loses it after his initial attacks against the city of Ammonihah and Noah utterly fail thanks to Moroni's spending the past four years building up the cities' defenses.
Violence is the Only Option: After repeated attempts to obtain the Brass Plates by other means, Nephi kills Laban because he was specifically told by God to do it. As in, God had to go out of His way specifically to persuade Nephi that killing Laban is the only reasonable option left. Made even more notable by the fact that is the one time Nephi flat-out argued with God over a course of action. He REALLY didn't want to kill Laban.
May also be a rather sad bit of Foreshadowing. Only a few years later, Nephi was leading his people in wars against his brothers. He had to get used to killing people.
War Is Hell: And there's the results of them. After the major battle between the Nephites and Lamanites in the Book of Alma, some men grew bitter due to the result of it.
alternative title(s): The Record Of The Nephites; Record Of The Nephites; The Gospel Of The Nephites; Gospel Of The Nephites; The Gospel According To The Nephites; Gospel According To The Nephites; The Nephite Gospel; Nephite Gospel; The Nephite Record; Nephite Record