Characters who appear in the musical The Book of Mormon
. Unmarked spoilers ahead.
Elder Kevin Price
Andrew Rannells as Elder Price
Elder Kevin Price is the poster boy for Mormonism - he's idealistic, he's devoted to Heavenly Father, and now that he's nineteen, he's ready to go out on his mission and do something incredible
. Unfortunately, rather than his dream location of Orlando, he's sent to Uganda with a fellow missionary who's never actually read the holy book they're expected to preach. While devout and earnest, Price has an incredibly inflated sense of self-importance and a huge ego, which puts him in a rough spot when his faith is challenged.
- The Ace: Initially described as "the smartest, best, most deserving Elder the Center has ever seen" by his fellow Elders. This quickly begins to fall apart upon arrival in Uganda, as while Price is earnest about his faith, he's also never faced anything like the ravaged Ugandan countryside.
- Ambiguously Gay: The extent of this varies depending on the production, but this is one interpretation of the character. Price has no canon love interest, and while he denies having gay thoughts to Elder McKinley, the relationship between the two gets increasingly suggestive in most productions as the cast members become aware of the popularity of the pairing. This is particularly evident in "Spooky Mormon Hell Dream", which has always featured McKinley as one of the demons tormenting Price; some productions have them make out. It's also worth noting that "Turn It Off" was originally Price's song, but this was changed due to fear that this would be too cliche.
- Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking: In "Spooky Mormon Hell Dream", he claims to be worse than Genghis Khan, Jeffrey Dahmer, and Adolf Hitler because he left his mission companion. Hitler is scandalized.
- Ass Shove: On the receiving end of one from General Butt-Fucking Naked part way through Act II. With his own copy of the Book of Mormon, no less.
- Black Comedy Rape: The Ass Shove Price gets from General Butt-Fucking-Naked shoving the Book of Mormon up Price's ass is played for laughs. The doctor who removes the book says it's "something incredible" that he's never seen before.
- Break the Haughty: His entire character arc consists of this. Price starts off thinking that he'll be the savior of not just his mission, but the entire Mormon faith and the whole human race. The harshness of life in Uganda and the ineffectiveness of his efforts quickly show Price that he's hopelessly out of his league.
- Broken Ace: Starts showing signs of this upon arrival in Uganda when he sees how bad things are, which gets worse when he finds out that the Ugandan mission hasn't converted anyone yet. By Act II, this has firmly set in as Price has a Crisis of Faith.
- Butt-Monkey: Turns into one pretty quickly, spending most of the show undergoing increasingly horrible suffering, culminating in getting his own copy of the Book of Mormon shoved up his ass. This is all Played for Laughs, of course.
- Cool and Unusual Punishment: During "Spooky Mormon Hell Dream", his idea of torture is being force-fed coffee (which Mormons aren't meant to drink) by a group of demons, evil historical figures, and Elder McKinley.
- Crisis of Faith: He's suffering one by the end of Act II. Price has had to watch his faith get constantly tested since arriving in Uganda, and watch Cunningham succeed where he failed. Price is thus forced to realize that he's not the savior he thinks he is, and his last ditch efforts to go into General Butt-Fucking-Naked's camp with wholehearted faith get Price's Book of Mormon shoved up his ass for his troubles. After all that, Price simply can't understand what he's doing wrong, since he did everything he was taught to do back home and none of it is working. Price even admits that he'd questioned the Book of Mormon and several other Mormon doctrines before, since they didn't seem to make sense, but "a Mormon just believes" and he pushed those doubts aside because he was told he'd be rewarded for it. When all these earnest attempts blow up in his face, Price becomes rather bitter as a result. This eventually leads to a "Eureka!" Moment where Price realizes that blindly following dogma won't work, and that Cunningham's efforts, while odd, were earnest and effective.
- Dark Reprise: Has one for a section of "Two By Two" right after "I Am Africa". After his Crisis of Faith, Price worries that he's never going to see Orlando again, singing somberly about how everything he wants is out of reach.
- Decoy Protagonist: Initially set up as the hero of the story with Cunningham as the comic relief. Price switches to more of a Deuteragonist role by Act II, and the musical ends with Cunningham as the hero and Price as his closest supporter.
- Disney Acid Sequence: Experiences one in the form of "Spooky Mormon Hell Dream", where he has an Opinion-Changing Dream thanks to everyone in said dream telling Price what a jerk he is for abandoning Cunningham. Appropriate, considering his love of the Disney company.
- Drunk on Milk: After his Heroic BSoD, Price is found by Cunningham in a coffee shop, downing twelve cups worth of the stuff. It ties into Price's Crisis of Faith since Mormons aren't supposed to drink caffeine, and Price is chugging down a very caffeinated drink like it's the end of the world.
- Earn Your Happy Ending: It takes some character development, a Crisis of Faith, and a Heroic BSoD to get there (not to mention an Ass Shove). But Price does ultimately come out okay by the play's conclusion. He decides that, even if he and Cunningham aren't following the teachings or the rules exactly, it's still helping the people of Uganda and bringing them into the church. This resolves Price's personal demons, and he ends the play in a good place.
- "Eureka!" Moment: He has one after the Ugandans put on a play for the Mormon President, which gets the area decommissioned. Price realizes that Cunningham's efforts, while not true to the text, accomplished their goal of bringing faith to Uganda.
- Fish out of Water: Quickly finds himself to be one in Uganda. Since he's never left home before, suddenly going to a third-world country where things are terrible from day-to-day really gets to Price. He tries to back out on just the second day, quickly loses his nerve, and undergoes a Crisis of Faith when his attempts at converting people backfire on him.
- The Fundamentalist: Deconstructed. Very much one at the start of the show, believing wholeheartedly in the Book of Mormon and Heavenly Father. This gradually wears off as things start going pear-shaped in Uganda. Then when he hits rock bottom during his Heroic BSoD, Price admits that there were plenty of times when he questioned the Book of Mormon while studying it, but he pushed through anyway because he was told it was the only way he could achieve the happiness he had on his family vacation to Orlando.
- Gosh Dang It to Heck!: In all but one instance. Played for Laughs.
To HECK with rules! The Other Elders
- Heroic BSoD: After he fails to do even a single good thing for his church while watching Cunningham get converts by the dozens, Price is left with a Crisis of Faith. Price snaps out of it after realizing that, for all of the "creative liberties" Cunningham has taken with the Book of Mormon, he's brought hope to the people of Uganda, which is what the two of them were sent there to do in the first place.
- Heroic Wannabe: In "You and Me (But Mostly Me)", Elder Price sings about how he wants to be seen as a savior and "do something incredible that blows God's freakin' mind". It quickly goes awry once he has to put his faith to the test, as Price almost instantly loses his nerve when put outside of his comfort zone in Uganda.
- Heterosexual Life-Partners: With Cunningham by the end. He even declares Cunningham to be his best friend, which Price was hesitant to do before.
- Ignored Epiphany: Discussed. After downing twelve cups of coffee during his Crisis of Faith, Price admits to the barista that there had been moments where he thought that things in the Book of Mormon didn't really make sense, but Price ignored them and pushed them aside because he thought he couldn't have any doubts about his faith. Price comes back around to that epiphany in the climax, so it's ultimately a subversion.
- Innocently Insensitive: Price's behavior isn't actively malicious; he's optimistic and means well, but generally comes across as narcissistic and naive. This lasts until the end of the play, where he has a "Eureka!" Moment about how to help the Ugandans.
- It's All About Me: The entirety of "You and Me (But Mostly Me)" is spent establishing this trait. Price believes himself to be a great Mormon savior who will change the world, and that he wants to "do something incredible that blows God's freakin' mind". After things start going wrong in Uganda, Price requests a transfer, only thinking about how this would affect himself and not caring about what happens to Cunningham.
- Manchild: Granted, he's barely a legal adult at the age of nineteen, but he shows shades of this in his obsession with Orlando (because of things in the city like Disney, Sea World, and Putt-Putt mini golf that he really liked when he was there at the age of nine).
- Maybe Ever After: Depending on how the production plays it, and how one interprets their relationship, Price's "even if we break the rules" line delivered while looking straight at McKinley could be taken as this.
- My Greatest Failure: "Spooky Mormon Hell Dream" reveals that he stole a maple glaze doughnut at the age of five and blamed it on his brother Jack, who got grounded for it. During the same song, he's also undergoing a crisis of conscience because he broke Rule 72 by abandoning Cunningham.
- Not Worth Killing: Implied to be how he makes it out of his confrontation with General Butt Fucking Naked alive. Price instead gets the Book of Mormon shoved up his ass because the General doesn't want to bother with him.
- Opinion-Changing Dream: "Spooky Mormon Hell Dream." Price was content to just leave Cunningham alone in Uganda, but realizes that he's done something terrible in the result. That, and he pissed off Jesus at the same time.
- Precision F-Strike: Gets one of these at the end. After their whole area is decommissioned, Price says that the Mormon elders shouldn't stick just to dogma, and do things their own way.
Price: You know what, guys? Fuck him.
- Pretty Boy: Doesn't have to be, but is usually cast as one.
- Running Gag: His obsession with Orlando. Price wants to go to Orlando on his mission, and wants to be transferred to Orlando when he decides "Screw This, I'm Out of Here!" in regards to Uganda. He even wants his own "Planet Orlando" as his eternal reward.
- Screw This, I'm Out of Here!: At the end of Act I, he decides he's not going to go through with his mission and makes plans to get out of there with a transfer. A nightmare — specifically, a "Spooky Mormon Hell Dream" — changes his mind.
- Small Name, Big Ego: This is pretty clear by "You and Me (But Mostly Me)", where Price declares his intentions to "be the Mormon that changed all of mankind." Cunningham even manages to lift Price's spirits by saying that, if no one has been converted in Uganda yet, then Price will only seem more incredible when he pulls it off; Price accepts this whole-heartedly. By "All-American Prophet", Price advertises himself as much as the actual Mormon teachings. He gets over it, albeit not without a few slices of Humble Pie.
- Teeth-Clenched Teamwork: He undergoes this with Elder Cunningham towards the climax of the play. Price and Cunningham are having an argument, with neither being particularly fond of the other at the time. But with the mission president coming to preside over their mission and check their progress, Cunningham says that it would be in both his and Price's best interests to at least act like everything is fine. Price agrees, but the animosity remains until after the Ugandans put on their show.
- ¡Three Amigos!: With Cunningham and Nabulungi by the end.
- To Be Lawful or Good: The crux of his character development. Price chooses to be "lawful" at first, which puts him at odds with the more "good" Cunningham. Whereas Price tries to do everything by the book only to have it all blow up in his face, Cunningham bends the rules and gets things accomplished. This causes Price to have a Crisis of Faith until he decides that his faith is strong enough to accept bending the rules if it means helping people.
- Unsympathetic Comedy Protagonist: Downplayed. While portrayed with some sympathy due to how earnest he is about the Mormon faith, Price's massive ego and desire to hog the spotlight allow the audience to laugh at his increasing failures. Plus, Price undergoes some character development to get through the worst parts of his character.
- What the Hell, Hero?: On the receiving end of one from Jesus in "Spooky Mormon Hell Dream."
Jesus: You blamed your brother for eating the doughnut, and now you walk out on your mission companion? You're a dick!
- Wide-Eyed Idealist: Starts the show as one, believing that he's going to change the world. It doesn't last.
Elder Arnold Cunningham
Josh Gad as Elder Cunningham
Elder Arnold Cunningham is an enthusiastic but childish young Mormon who's excited to go out and proselytize with his new "best friend"... even though he hasn't actually read the Book of Mormon. He also has a very active imagination - that is to say, he lies a lot. This causes problems in the remote Ugandan village they've been assigned to.
- Acquired Situational Narcissism: He gets a bit of a swelled head after converting all of the Ugandans. Once they all put on a play showing the Elders and church leaders exactly what he taught them, Cunningham comes crashing back to earth.
- Ambiguous Disorder: It's not uncommon for people to interpret the character as being on the autism spectrum, and/or as having a disorder such as ADHD.
- Applicability: In-universe. After realizing that the text of the Book of Mormon on its own isn't doing enough to convert the Ugandans to Mormonism, he starts throwing in things to make it more applicable to them. While it may be a complete Ass Pull on Cunningham's part, his "teachings" still work.
- Ass Pull: In-Universe, he spends most of Act II doing this with his... shall we say, "alternative" teachings of the Book of Mormon, though not without good reason. Cunningham decides that if the text itself isn't going to convince the Ugandans not to do things like genital mutilation and baby rape, then he'll make it work by pulling from pop culture and pretending that it's in the Book of Mormon.
- Best Friend: Double subverted with Elder Price. Cunningham starts calling Price his best friend the moment they're paired up together for their mission, though Price clearly doesn't reciprocate. The end of Act I has Price drop a Wham Line that he feels stuck with Cunningham, which hurts Cunningham's feelings. However, Cunningham's awkward but earnest desire to help eventually wins Price over by the end of the play.
- Big Damn Heroes: In his and Price's confrontation the General at the end, he uses his "interpretation" of the Book of Mormon to convince the General to back off.
- Big Fun: He is usually either played by an overweight actor, or an actor who is costumed to appear fat. He's also rather lovable and funny with his awkward charm and earnest but misguided desire to be helpful.
- Break the Cutie: More than once. First after being abandoned by Price, and then again after "Joseph Smith, American Moses" when Nabulungi reproaches him for giving them false hope.
- Compulsive Liar: By his own admission, Cunningham lies quite often. He lies about things in the Book of Mormon to the Ugandans, lies about the text to Nabulungi, and lies about how bad he feels when Price accidentally hurts his feelings. However, Elder Cunningham is presented sympathetically because he has good reasons to lie about those things.
- Crossover Cosmology: Essentially what his version of Mormonism becomes, although with references to franchises like Star Wars and The Lord of the Rings rather than other religions.
- Dare to Be Badass: "Man Up" is Cunningham convincing himself that that he can't run away from Uganda after seeing how bad things are, so he has to man up and work through it.
- Does This Remind You of Anything?: His song with Nabulungi about her baptism, "Baptize Me", is one long Double Entendre.
- Establishing Character Moment: During the opening song, "Hello." He runs in after everyone else, and his "doorbell" sounds like a loud buzzer. Then comes his No Indoor Voice introduction which shows he doesn't follow the script. This sets up Cunningham as the comic relief while also showing that he's not that good with the strict dogma.
Elder Cunningham: HELLO, WOULD YOU LIKE TO CHANGE RELIGIONS? I HAVE A FREE BOOK WRITTEN BY JESUS!
- Feigning Intelligence: He hasn't read a single word of the Book of Mormon. This allows him to take "creative liberties" with the text as a result.
- Geek Physiques: Usually portrayed by a short overweight actor, or an actor that is made to appear overweight.
- Give Geeks a Chance: Nabulungi finds his nerdiness rather cute.
- Gosh Dang It to Heck!: As with all the Mormon characters, he refrains from swearing. When he finds out what "Hasa Diga Eebowai" means, he has a Freak Out, especially since he said it "like thirteen times" before being told what it meant.
- Heroic BSoD: After his "creative liberties" get the entire area decommissioned, Cunningham is pretty upset. He even says "I really did it this time" after thinking that he's ruined the mission for everyone, on the verge of tears.
- Heterosexual Life-Partners: With Price by the end.
- I Just Want to Have Friends: All he wants from the start of Act I. He does get what he wants with Elder Price, but not without some trouble.
- I've Heard of That What Is It?: During "Two By Two", after hearing where he and Elder Price will be going on their mission.
Elder Cunningham: Uganda? Cool! Where is that?
- Lawful Stupid: His conscience — appearing in the forms of the authority figures in his life, real and fictional — shows up during "Making Things Up Again" to chastise him for lying to prevent someone from raping a baby. Cunningham essentially tells his conscience to shut up.
- Lawyer-Friendly Cameo: Characters like Darth Vader make appearances in his imagined scenes, but only in extremely crude costumes. Which actually makes it funnier.
- Manchild: He's very immature, with child-like reactions and difficulty behaving himself.
- Maybe Ever After: Heavily implied with Nabulungi, particularly during "Baptize Me", but they never get an official Relationship Upgrade.
- No Indoor Voice: Usually played this way. He often gets bouts of very loud, obnoxious laughter, though he quickly recognizes when he goes too far.
- No Social Skills: Very apparent from the beginning. He does improve as the show goes on though, and most of the characters come to find it endearing anyway.
- Running Gag: Finding new ways to mispronounce Nabulungi's name.
- Stepford Smiler: He doesn't have any friends, and he frequently gets in trouble for lying. He confides in Price that he feels like a Black Sheep in his family who disappoints his dad. He keeps putting on a strong face anyway, and "Man Up" is Cunningham deciding to keep going in spite of how bad he feels.
- Teeth-Clenched Teamwork: He undergoes this with Elder Price towards the climax of the play. Price and Cunningham are having an argument, with neither being particularly fond of the other at the time. But with the Mormon president coming to preside over their mission and check their progress, Cunningham says that it would be in both his and Price's best interests to at least act like everything is fine. Price agrees, but the animosity remains until after the Ugandans put on their show.
- ¡Three Amigos!: With Price and Nabulungi by the end.
- To Be Lawful or Good: The crux of his character development. Cunningham chooses to be "good" more often than not by making things up or not following Mormon dogma, which puts him at odds with the more "lawful" Price. Whereas Price tries to do everything by the book only to have everything blow up in his face, Cunningham bends the rules and gets things accomplished.
- "Well Done, Son!" Guy: As he relays to Elder Price, Cunningham feels like his dad is constantly disappointed in him. One of the reasons that Cunningham tries as hard as he does is the belief that if he succeeds, he won't be such a disappointment anymore.
Elder Cunningham: Together, we're gonna bring lots of Africans to the church! And then my dad will finally feel proud of me instead of just feeling stuck with me.
- Yarling: During "Man Up". However, it's intentionally exaggerated for the sake of comedy.
Nikki M. James as Nabulungi
Nabulungi is the daughter of the head of the village of Kitguli. She's friendly, idealistic, and unlike the rest of her village, is actually interested in what these strange white boys have to say. In particular, she takes a liking to Elder Cunningham, and is ready to believe anything he tells her.
- Accidental Misnaming: One of the most prominent Running Gags is Elder Cunningham's inability to say her name correctly. She's addressed by different names each time he speaks to her, usually as a Shout-Out (such as 'Nala', 'Nicki Minaj', or 'NA-NA-NA-NA-NA-NA-NA-NA-BATMAN') or using a funny word like 'Necrophilia'. The names get updated over time to reflect current memes ('Netflix-and-Chill') or to include regional jokes (for example, West End productions will have him call her Nigel Farage, a British politician).
- When Josh Gad did his final performance as Elder Cunningham, his last name for her was Nikki M. James.
- The Chief's Daughter: The daughter of the village head, and the first to befriend any of the Elders.
- Daddy's Girl: She's very close with her father.
- Dark Reprise: Has one for "Hasa Diga Eebowai" at the end of Act II when she realizes that the Book of Mormon is just a book of stories.
- Daydream Believer: She initially believes that the Book of Mormon is literally true, as Elder Cunningham tells it, and that "Sal Tlay Ka Siti" is a paradise. She has a Heroic BSoD when she finds out that it's all just stories, prompting a Dark Reprise of "Hasa Diga Eebowai" where Nabulungi curses God for giving her hope. However, she snaps out of it when the other Ugandans reveal that they never believed Cunningham was telling them the literal truth, and that it was just metaphor all along.
- Does This Remind You of Anything?: Her song with Elder Cunningham about her baptism, "Baptize Me", is one long Double Entendre about sex.
- "I Want" Song: "Sal Tlay Ka Siti". It's about how "life won't be so shitty" if she accepts the Mormon teachings.
- Maybe Ever After: Heavily implied with Elder Cunningham, particularly during "Baptize Me", but they never get an official Relationship Upgrade.
- Missing Mom: Implied to have died before the events of the musical.
- Nice Girl: Has a 'wonderful disposition', as Mafala puts it. She's easily the biggest supporter of Price and Cunningham in the village, and grows especially close with the latter. However, as shown by her Dark Reprise of "Hasa Diga Eebowai," even she has her limits.
- Show Within a Show: Her play, "Joseph Smith American Moses", which presents the things that Elder Cunningham has been teaching the Ugandans.
- ¡Three Amigos!: With Price and Cunningham by the end.
- Wide-Eyed Idealist: Far more optimistic than the other Ugandans. This is broken at the end when she realizes Cunningham lied to her, though it doesn't last.
Rory O'Malley as Elder McKinley
Notably portrayed by: Rory O'Malley (OBC), Stephen Ashfield (Original West End), Grey Henson (Tour), Pierce Cassidy (Tour)
Elder McKinley is the District Leader of District 9. He's just as friendly and enthusiastic as the other Mormon boys, but is more than a little disheartened by his District's lack of baptisms in the three months they've been in Uganda. He is most certainly not gay.
Michael Potts as Mafala
Notably portrayed by: Michael Potts (OBC), Giles Terera (Original West End)
The head of the village of Kitguli, he welcomes Elders Price and Cunningham to Uganda - and makes it immediately clear to them that religion is far from his village's top priority. He is also Nabulungi's father.
- Cluster F-Bomb: During "Hasa Diga Eebowai". After establishing exactly what the phrase means, he becomes noticably more foul-mouthed.
- If You Ever Do Anything to Hurt Her...: He warns Elders Price and Cunningham that "if either of you lays a hand on her," he'll give them both AIDS.
- Last-Second Word Swap: During "Hasa Diga Eebowai":
Mafala: Here's the butcher, he has AIDS; here's the teacher, she has AIDS; here's the doctor, he has AIDS; here's my daughter, she has AAAAAAA... wonderful disposition!
- Minor Character, Major Song: Leads "Hasa Diga Eebowai", the big establishing number for the setting of Uganda, and then fades into the background to allow Nabulungi to take prominence.
- Overprotective Dad: Of Nabulungi, which he makes clear during "Hasa Diga Eebowai". He probably has better reason to be this way than most examples of this trope, considering the AIDS epidemic and genital-mutilating warlord running around, but threatening to give Price and Cunningham AIDS themselves is still more than a little extreme.
- Rage Against the Heavens: "Hasa Diga Eebowai" is all about this. It translates to "Fuck you, God," and he says it "whenever something bad happens".
The Elders of District 9
The rest of the District 9 missionaries - Elders Thomas, Zelder, Michaels, Neeley, Schrader, Church, and Davis. As a group, they're all friendly, enthusiastic, and almost as repressed as Elder McKinley.
- Abusive Parents: Elder Church has an abusive drunkard father and a battered mother.
- All There in the Script:
- Elders Schrader and Zelder are never actually named in the show, but have names in the script accompanying the two lines they each have. As for the others, their names are each only mentioned once, and in quick succession, making them very easy to miss.
- More like All There In The Props, but the board in the mission hut also shows what the other mission companion pairings are, which never comes up in the dialogue (they are McKinley/Thomas, Zelder/Michaels, Neeley/Schrader, and Church/Davis).
- Camp Straight: Usually all played as such, though it varies cast to cast somewhat. Of course, there's no reason to believe none of them are gay either.
- Dark and Troubled Past: Elders Church and Thomas definitely have these, growing up with an abusive father and losing a sibling to cancer respectively. It's implied that the others may also have similar backgrounds.
- Never Got to Say Goodbye: Elder Thomas' sister died of cancer while he was on line to buy an iPhone, her last words being "Where is my brother?" Elder Thomas says that this is what he tries to bury in "Turn It Off".
- Only One Name: None of them have first names, though like McKinley, some of them have been given unofficial names by the fans.
- Stepford Smiler: All of them in "Turn It Off". The whole song is about the Elders saying the best way to deal with bad thoughts and dark feelings is to just pretend you don't feel that way.
- Trademark Favorite Food: Apparently Pop-Tarts are this for Elder Thomas, enough to be the basis for a nickname.
A ruthless and widely-feared warlord who received his nickname from his habit of stripping naked before murdering somebody.
- HeelFaith Turn: Double Subverted. Elder Price tries to get him to change his ways by preaching Mormonism to him, and he seems to be seriously considering it... but then he stuffs Price's copy of the book up his ass. Later on, however, he's shown to have become a member of the Church of Arnold.
- No Celebrities Were Harmed: He's based on a real-life Liberian warlord known as General Butt Naked, who also gave up violence after becoming religious.
This is a list of characters in the book of scripture known as the Book of Mormon.
Family of Lehi
The patriarch of the family and ancestor to all Nephites and Lamanites. He took his family from Jerusalem in 600 B.C. thanks to a warning from God.
- Cassandra Truth: In First Nephi 1:18-20, he warns the people of Jerusalem that they will be destroyed by Babylon. No one believes him. Anyone who knows their Bible will know what happened a few years later.
- The Exile: From Jerusalem
- Famous Ancestor: In Chapter 5, he learns from the Brass Plates that he is a descendant of Joseph through Manasseh's line.
- Good Parents: He genuinely cares about his children and does everything he can to keep them on the right path.
- Happily Married: To Sariah.
- Hero of Another Story: The lost Book of Lehi.
- Last Words: Four chapters worth in Second Nephi.
- Mad Dreamer: What the people of Jerusalem perceived him to be following his prophecy about the city's destruction.
- Out-of-Character Moment: In chapter 16 of First Nephi, when he starts to murmur against God due to lack of food. Luckily, Nephi shakes him out of it.
- Tragic Dream: Part of his famous dream from Chapter 8. After seeing the tree of life that represented God's love and the iron rod that led to it, he invited his family to come and partake of the fruit of the tree. Sariah, Nephi, and Sam all do so, while Laman and Lemuel refuse. This turns out to be a Prophetic Dream, in the end.
The son of Lehi. Unlike his brothers Laman and Lemuel, he was unwaveringly faithful to God and became a prophet like his father. He is the narrator of First and Second Nephi.
- Beware the Nice Ones: Do not mess with him or his family if you value your life.
- Cain and Abel: Is the Abel to Laman and Lemuel's Cain.
- Determinator: Beaten and tied up by his brothers, nearly killed by a greedy nobleman, mocked mercilessly, beaten and tied up once again and left out alone in a storm, and finally an attempt on his life by said brothers. Through it all, this guy never gives up. "I will go and do the things which the Lord hath commanded," indeed.
- Dreaming of Things to Come: When he asks to see his father's vision of the Tree of Life, and ends up seeing the entire history of the human race.
- Famous Ancestor: The whole family is descended from Joseph of Egypt.
- Foolish Sibling, Responsible Sibling: The responsible one. Lehi later points out to the older brothers that without Nephi, they would all have died in the wilderness.
- Founder of the Kingdom: The Nephites, hence the name.
- Heroic Build: He is "large in stature" after all. There are no photos, of course, but it's mentioned that he was able to single-handedly hold down and detain Laban's servant.
- Humble Hero: A passage in the last half of 2nd Nephi 4 shows just how true this is, wherein he proclaims himself a "wretched man," "easily beset" by sin.
- Jumped at the Call: "I will go and do the things which the Lord hath commanded..."
- Narrator: Of both first and second Nephi.
- The Navigator: During the family's voyage across the sea to the promised land, he was the one to use the Liahona.
- Offered the Crown: Even though he warns the people against it, they try to make him their king. Technically he refused, but he basically did the job anyway without the title.
- Pals with Jesus: They have many conversations over the course of the story.
- Reluctant Monster: When he has to take Laban's life in order to get the Brass Plates, even though he knows he has to do it.
- Shock and Awe: When he uses the power of God to smite Laman, Lemuel, and the sons of Ishmael in 1st Nephi 17.
- True Companions: With Zoram, as attested by Lehi at the end of his life.
- Undying Loyalty: To God, to his family, to his father. He even refuses to give up on his brothers even after all they've put him through, and only abandons them when God tells him it's no longer safe for him and his family.
- The Worf Effect: Despite being "large in stature," he gets beaten up by Laman and Lemuel on a regular basis. Possibly justified by a) they attack him two on one, b) he really isn't a combat specialist, despite perhaps being big, and c) he often made a stronger impression after being tied up.
Laman and Lemuel
The eldest sons of Lehi. They lacked faith in the Lord and continually murmured against their father and brother. It eventually escalated to attempted murder of Nephi following Lehi's death. They are the founders of the Lamanites.
- Annoying Younger Sibling: How they viewed Nephi — especially after learning that the Lord had chosen him to rule over them.
- Antagonistic Offspring: To Lehi, whom they resent for leading them away from Jerusalem. They are even mentioned to want him dead on occasion.
- The Bully: And how!
- Cain and Abel: The Cain to Nephi and Sam's Abel.
- Domestic Abuse: To some pretty major extremes at times: starting with physically beating Sam and Nephi, tying up Nephi and leaving him to die in the wilderness, tying Nephi to the mast of their ship and leaving him there during a storm, and on at least two occasions, attempting to outright murder him and Lehi.
- Foolish Sibling, Responsible Sibling: They're the foolish ones.
- Founder of the Kingdom: The Lamanites.
- Holy Burns Evil: In chapter 17, when Nephi shocks them with the power of the Lord.
- Ignored Epiphany: Way too many to list. They saw an angel, for crying out loud.
- Predecessor Villain: To every single other villain in the entire Book of Mormon.
- Sibling Rivalry: Started out as this, anyway. They never get over the fact that most of the family looks to Nephi for leadership, instead of them.
- Start of Darkness: First Nephi is pretty much this for them.
A son of Lehi born during the journey alongside his brother Joseph. Jacob later became a prophet.
A king of the Nephites most famous for his speech to the people.
- Royals Who Actually Do Something: He fought as a soldier on numerous occasions, and, as shown by Chapter 2 of Mosiah, he "labored with" his "own hands to serve" the people.
King Mosiah II
The son of King Benjamin. He is the namesake of The Book of Mosiah.
- Last of His Kind: The last of the Nephite Kings, on his own suggestion to switch to democracy.
- Passing the Torch: The records to Alma the Elder, the kingdom to Alma the Younger as the first Chief Judge.
A man charged by Mosiah II to seek out the people of Zeniff. He finds them in captivity to the Lamanites and helps them to escape.
- Clear My Name: When he first arrives in the Land of Nephi, he is immediately imprisoned by King Limhi, who believed him to be one of the priests of King Noah.
- Heroic Build: He's described as a "strong and mighty man."
An overzealous adventurer who led a group of people to reclaim the abandoned Land of Nephi.
- Founder of the Kingdom: The short lived kingdom of the people of Lehi-Nephi.
- Genre Blindness: He believes that he can make a deal with the king of the Lamanites to live in the Land of Nephi in peace, when it was quite obvious that the king had other plans.
- Idiot Ball: See above. Arguably, him handing the kingdom to his son Noah.
- Narrator: Of chapters 9 and 10 of Mosiah.
- Well-Intentioned Extremist: Not an extremist per se, but while his immense zeal to reclaim the Land of Nephi was good at heart, his actions in doing so led to the sufferings of three generations and two peoples.
The son of Zeniff who led the people into wickedness. He burnt the prophet Abinadi at the stake for preaching against him, and he was later burnt at the stake by his own people according to Abinadi's prophecy.
- Archnemesis Dad: To Limhi, at least to an extent.
- Bad Boss: Orders his men to kill Alma simply for speaking up in Abinadi's defense.
- Big Bad: Arguably of the central arc in the Book of Mosiah.
- Dirty Coward: In chapter 19, when he orders the men to leave behind the women and children when fleeing from the Lamanite army.
- Disproportionate Retribution: Attempting to kill Alma simply for speaking in a prisoner's defense, and putting Abinadi to death for preaching the scriptures (which just so happened to be condemning Noah and his priests' actions).
- Karmic Death: Twofold: he is put to death by his own people for forcing them to abandon their wives and children, and he is burned at the stake in the same way he executed Abinadi, something Abinadi prophesied seconds before his death in Mosiah 17:18.
- Puppet King: To his priests, best shown when he briefly considers setting Abinadi free before the priests flatter him and strengthen his resolve to execute Abinadi.
Noah's son. He attempted to return his people to righteousness after his father's death. He, alongside Ammon and Gideon (and the Lord, of course) led the people out of captivity and back to the land of Zarahemla.
- Drinking on Duty: In chapter 22, he, Ammon, and his men get the Lamanite guards to do this in order to escape and flee to Zarahemla.
- Kangaroo Court: When he and his men discover Ammon's group, they throw them in prison without a second thought. They do hold a trial for them later, but still . . .
A prophet who preached against the wickedness of Noah. He was tried before Noah and his priests, refused to deny what he had taught, and was burned at the stake for it.
- Final Speech: Just before his death in Mosiah 17, prophesying that the same fate will befall Noah and his priests.
- Glamour Failure: After being kicked out of the city once, he comes back in disguise. It doesn't take long for him to get caught again.
- Holy Burns Evil: In Mosiah 12, when the guards are ordered to take him away, they are thrown back by the power of God so that Abinadi can finish delivering his message.
- It Is Not My Time: The reason the guards are not able to take him away.
Alma the Elder
A priest of Noah who was converted by Abinadi's preaching. He tried to stand up for Abinadi and was cast out. He eventually formed his own people in the wilderness. The people came into bondage under the Lamanites for a time, but eventually escaped thanks to the Lord's power and joined the people of Zarahemla. Alma became head of the Church, eventually passing it on to his son.
- Antagonistic Offspring: His son Alma the Younger, at first.
- Famous Ancestor: He is described as a descendant of Nephi.
- Father to His Men: to the church that he founded.
- Founder of the Kingdom: After being banished, he teaches Abinadi's words to others in secret, building up a church. Eventually they had to flee from King Noah's forces, founding their own city out in the jungle.
- Happiness in Slavery: When the Lamanites (and the former priests of Noah) enslaved the people and forced them into heavy labor, the people kept their spirits up by continually praying to God, being strengthen and cheered by His power.
- HeelFace Turn: He was originally one of Noah's corrupt priests, but his heart was changed by Abinadi's words and he ended up following in the prophet's footsteps.
- Hero of Another Story: During the account by Limhi and Ammon. His story is finally told in later chapters.
- Heroic Lineage: He is a direct descendant of Nephi, and the prophets after him are an almost perfect direct sequence of father to son.
- High Priest: He was a priest in Noah's court, and, following his HeelFace Turn, became the high priest over his people and later over the whole church once his people rejoined the people of Zarahemla.
- Made a Slave: Under the Lamanites and the former priest of Noah.
- Narrator: Of his portion of the Book of Mosiah.
- Only Sane Man: He was the only one among Noah's priests to believe Abinadi's words and stand up for him.
- One Steve Limit: Averted with his son Alma the Younger.
- The Pollyanna: Because of the prayers in their hearts, the Lord's spirit made Alma and his people continually happy and strong despite the terrible slave conditions they were facing.
- Slave Liberation: God accomplished this for Alma and his people by causing a deep sleep to come onto all of the Lamanites.
- The Exile: After being banished from Noah's court. Later his people as well.
The wicked and corrupt priests who advise and manipulate King Noah.
- Abduction Is Love: After being exiled into the wilderness, the priests got a little lonely, so they effectively raided a girls' camp for Lamanites and kidnapped the entire group, eventually marrying them and later using them as bait to escape punishment from the Lamanite armies.
- Conspicuous Consumption: Their judgment seats were "ornamented with pure gold."
- Corrupt Church: What the Church had become under their leadership.
- Dirty Coward: They alongside Noah abandoned their wives and children to be slaughtered by the Lamanites so that they could get away, and later abandoned King Noah to suffer the same fate at the hands of their own enraged people. After hiding out in the woods for years, they abducted new wives from the Lamanites and then used them as leverage to avoid any punishment.
- Dropped a Bridge on Them: They and their descendants were eventually completely wiped out in a random battle, effectively fulfilling the curse Abinadi placed on them.
- Hero Killer: To Abinadi and attempted to Alma the Elder.
- Kangaroo Court: They had no intention of letting Abinadi go free.
- Karmic Death: It took a couple generations, but still.
- Man Behind the Man: Using flattery, they effectively controlled everything King Noah did.
- Manipulative Bastard: See Man Behind the Man as well as Abduction Is Love. Following this, their leader Amulon managed to weasel his way high enough into public office to make life miserable for the people of Alma.
- Turn Coat: Abandoned their people, their king, and eventually became accepted as fully-fledged Lamanites.
- Villain Team-Up: When they joined the Lamanites.
Alma the Younger
The son of Alma. As a youth, he rebelled against the church and tried to tear it down until and angel appeared to him, leaving him in a coma for three days. When he came out of it, he was fully converted to the gospel. He soon became the first Chief Judge and the leader of the church, but he gave up his judgeship in order to spend more time preaching. Most of his preaching efforts are detailed in the book of Alma, named after him. He was eventually translated, much like Moses.
The Sons of Mosiah
Alma's friends who were converted by the angel as well and then devoted their lives to missionary service, turning down the crown in the process.
The most well known of the four. It was through his efforts that King Lamoni's people were converted to the Lord.
Aaron, Omner, and Himni
The other three of the brothers. Aaron is the only one we really see anything of.
A man living in Ammonihah who is instructed by an angel to take Alma the Younger in and help him preach to the wicked people of the town. He is a constant companion to Alma following that.
A lawyer in Ammonihah who attempts to shame Alma and Amulek and disprove their words. He ends up converted by their preaching and cast out of the city. He later joins Alma and Amulek on a mission to the apostate Zoramites.
An antichrist who attempts to destroy the church. He is revealed as a fraud deceived by the devil and is cursed to be a mute. He dies being trampled by the Zoramites.
Alma's oldest son and the most valiant in the faith. He becomes the prophet following Alma.
- A Father to His Men Should be obvious in his case, given they're literally called the "Sons of Helaman."
Chief Judge and son to Alma's successor Nephihah. He helped Captain Moroni during the war with the Lamanites and even fought alongside him during the battle with the Kingmen.
The Book of Mormon equivalent to Chuck Norris
. The leader of the Nephite army who led them in battle during the war with the Nephites. He was a master strategist and valiant believer in the power of God.
Another of Captain Moroni's men. He is notable for killing not only Amalickiah but also Amalickiah's brother Ammoron, giving his life in the process.
The Sons of Helaman
An army formed by Helaman from the children of the Lamanite converts, the Anti-Nephi-Lehies. Not one was slain in battle due to their immense faith in God.
Nephi and Lehi
The sons of Helaman II named after their ancestors. They were great missionaries for the Lord, and Nephi acted as prophet.
A group of dissenters from among the Nephites and Lamanites who would murder and kill secretly to get gain. Although they were cast out by the Lamanites, they were eventually accepted almost mutually by the Nephites.
- Ancient Conspiracy: After their formation, they proceeded to basically run the Nephite government from behind on various occasions.
- Biblical Bad Guy: Though not literally Biblical, they essentially occupy the same position in Mormon folklore and belief.
- Big Bad: After their formation, the group remains the most persistent force for evil in the Book of Mormon, and their teachings are to blame for the Nephites losing their virtue and being destroyed.
- From Nobody to Nightmare: As their name implies, they began as a group of robbers and thieves. They ended up basically running the whole Nephite civilization.
- The Mafia: What they started out as.
The son of Nephi the son of Helaman. He lived to see Jesus Christ's appearance to the people and was made one of his disciples.
The Twelve Nephite Disciples
Nephi, Timothy, Jonas, Mathoni, Mathonihah, Kumen, Kumenonhi, Shemnon, Jonas, Jeremiah, Isaiah, Zedekiah who were chosen to act as Christ's disciples. Three chose to live until Christ's second coming.
A young man who had been given the Nephite records due to his sober mind. He grew to be the commanding general in the Nephite army who witnessed the destruction of the Nephites due to their wickedness. He was eventually killed in battle.
The son of Mormon and the last Nephite. After the death of his father and destruction of his people, he spent years in hiding. He completed his father's compilation of the records onto the golden plates and then buried them in the Hill Cumorah. He later appeared as an angel to Joseph Smith and led him to them.
One of the first converts of the Lamanites thanks to the efforts of Ammon and his brothers.
Converted Lamanites who were cast out and joined the Nephites. They are particularly notable for their oath to never pick up and use a weapon ever again following their conversion.
A former Nephite who joined the Lamanites after the defeat of the kingmen. Through stratagem and deceit, he became king of the land and declared war on the Nephites.
The brother of Amalickiah who took the throne after Amalickiah's death.
Samuel the Lamanite
A prophet who was sent to preach against the wickedness of the Nephites and prophesy of the coming of Jesus Christ five years later.
A group that had come to the new world at the time of the Tower of Babel and had wiped themselves out by the time of the Nephite, leaving only records behind.
The leader of the original group that came to the new world.
- Supporting Leader: He was the leader of his group and his tribe was named after him, but the main focus of the story is on his brother.
The Brother of Jared (Mahonri Moriancumer)
A prophet who received instruction from the Lord regarding he and his brother's people.
A king of the Jaredites.
Another king of the Jaredites.
The last king of the Jaredites and only survivor of the war that wiped them out. He eventually died among the Mulekites.
The last prophet of the Jaredites and namesake of the Book of Ether. He had tried to warn Coriantumr to repent before it was too late. Coriantumr did eventually repent, but it was too late for his people.
See Jesus Christ