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And so it came to pass...

... That we have a trope entry on The Book of Mormon, a book of scripture used by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and its splinter groups alongside The Bible and the Doctrine and Covenants. The Book of Mormon is the main piece of holy/'god-given' writ that distinguishes Mormonism from Catholicism and the various Protestant sects, and the unofficial name of the religion, Mormonism, derives its name from the book. The Mormons regard the book as divine scripture equal to the Bible in importance. In the 1980s the church added the subtitle "Another Testament of Jesus Christ" to help clarify that the primary subject of the book is the gospel of Jesus Christ.

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Context

The book claims to be an accumulation of the writings of a people descended from Israelites who immigrated to the Americas around 600 BC. The eponymous Mormon and his son Moroni, the last prophet/scholars of their people, edited and compiled the majority of the book from numerous existing texts, inscribing the final record on sheets of gold-colored metal or 'Golden Plates' in a script based on Egyptian Hieroglyphs.note  Moroni, one of the last survivors of his civilization, buried the plates around AD 420 with the promise from God that they would one day be brought forth again.

Joseph Smith, a young farmer in upstate New York, claimed that in 1820 Moroni appeared to him as an Angel and led him to where the plates were buried. Joseph Smith, with the aid of an artifact also delivered with the plates called the "Urim and Thummim," was blessed with the power to translate the text into English and dictated the contents to a scribe. The Book of Mormon was published in 1830 and the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints was formed shortly thereafter under Joseph Smith's leadership. The claim of divine aid in bringing forth the book has made it a controversial subject ever since.

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The book's actual contents don't get discussed much outside of Mormon circles—most non-Mormons find its origin story so outlandish that they dismiss the book as an obvious fabrication without the need to read its text.

There have been some changes to the text since the first edition. The earliest and most extensive changes were made by Smith himself in later editions.note  Modern editions after Joseph Smith's death have made minor changes in the text itself but have been mostly restricted to chapter headings, footnotes, and other study helps. Critics of the book have claimed that major revisions have been made to make the text more appealing to modern audiences.

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Content

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 ocean to a new "promised land" in the Americas, and then tells the history of the nations founded by their descendants, 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, this doesn't last; after several centuries, the people become wicked and divided again, and eventually a whole nation is destroyed. At this point, the last few prophets (Mormon and Moroni, as already discussed) add their last comments and bury the book.

The narrative switches between firsthand transcribed accounts of the events and summations as done by Mormon to get to the heart of the story. Books are mostly named after their primary historical author, but due to the vast number of individuals involved and the need to simplify, this doesn't always hold true. As such the Book of Omni, only a few pages long, is actually minor contributions from a half dozen writers, and Alma, the namesake of the longest book, is absent through the last third (it continues until all of Alma's sons have died, a pattern continued in the book of Helaman).

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.


This page is about the tropes used in the The Book of Mormon itself, not about determining its authenticity or spiritual value. This is simply tropes that were recognized and whether or not these existed at the time of translation/writing or not is not any Troper's problem.

For more information on the church itself and other historical details see Useful Notes: Mormonism.

Should not be mistaken with the musical The Book of Mormon.


The Book of Mormon provides examples of...

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     A - M 
  • Adaptation Distillation:
    • After Nephi makes a record of his life on metal plates, he then makes a second set of plates and writes a shorter account, leaving out a lot of history and just focusing on God's involvement. He passes both sets down to his descendants and has them follow the same pattern, to the point where some of them just announce their names but have nothing further to add to the small plates, because there wasn't any new preaching or prophesying that wasn't already covered.
    • Several times, Mormon states that he can't include even "a hundredth part" of the historical records he has access to.
  • Aerith and Bob: The Jaredites are said to have domesticated horses, donkeys, elephants, cureloms, and cumoms. The only thing said about either cureloms or cumoms is that they were as useful as the elephants.
  • 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 "hath neither faith, hope, nor charity; wherefore, should he be cut off while in the thought, he must go down to hell.")
    • Secret Combinations, aka secret societies (any nation that supports them is in danger of God's wrath).
    • People saying that they don't need more scriptures, or that there aren't any ("O fools", don't think that God hasn't spoken to other nations, or that He won't speak again).
    • People who don't believe in Christ ("when the Lord shall come, yea, even that great day when the earth shall be rolled together as a scroll, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, yea, in that great day when ye shall be brought to stand before the Lamb of God—then will ye say that there is no God?").
  • 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. Some non-LDS scholars use the footnotes and index published by the LDS church because of their completeness and quality. Of note is that the pronunciation guide was only developed in the 1970s, as beforehand different regions had different ways of reading the many different names. This isn't considered to be their definitive original Nephite pronunciation, only a way to unify the way the church pronounces it.
  • Ambulance Chaser: The city of Ammonihah is stated to contain many lawyers who deliberately stir up social unrest and disturbance in order to drum up business.
  • 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 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 started long before the beginning of the book and finished partway through.
  • Anachronism Stew: There are animals and plants mentioned in the book for which there is little, if any, archaeological evidence that they were present in the Americas before contact with Europeans. Critics of the book see these as obvious errors on Joseph Smith's part. Believers have various theories to account for them, including possible name-loaning (calling a tapir or deer a horse),note  or just believe the evidence hasn't been found yet.note 
  • 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 led to the downfall of two great civilizations, and the record-keepers preach against it.
  • Angst: Some authors take some time to vent about their existence.
    • Nephi admits to feeling "wretched" because he isn't perfect, that his "heart groaneth because of [his] sins". The chapter ends more optimistically, though, with his conclusion being that he'll be ok by relying on God.
    • Alma wishes he had the power of an angel so that he could preach repentance to the whole world, feeling dissatisfied with the limited impact he's having as a mere mortal. Like Nephi, though, he admits that he needs to trust that God will work things out.
  • Angst Coma: Alma the Younger's Heel–Face Turn. After getting up to a lot of anti-church mischief, he is rebuked by an angel, goes into a "deep sleep" and has visions of God. When he wakes up days later, he has had a change of heart. He later explains to his son that he spent that time being tormented by the realisation that his actions had led people away from God and put their souls at risk.
  • Antiquated Linguistics: The book's language resembles the Jacobean English found in the King James Bible, which was written almost 200 years prior.
  • Armor Is Useless: Averted. Several times during the wars of Captain Moroni's time it's mentioned that 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.
  • Arranged Marriage: Lehi sends his sons back to Jerusalem to bring Ishmael's family along (including at least five daughters). Technically the boys and girls might still have had a choice of exactly how they paired off, but it doesn't seem to have taken them long; after returning to Lehi, all four sons plus Zoram were married before breaking camp.
  • Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking: The Liahona and the Urim and Thummim are holy relics that God gave to his prophets to aid in their tasks. The Golden Plates were made by man but contain all of God's revelations to His people. The Sword of Laban, on the other hand, was once used to kill a man who was blackout drunk. Doing so was necessary to obtain the Brass Plates, the precursor to the Golden Plates, but the preservation of the Sword of Laban as a holy relic along with the Liahona, Urim and Thummim, and Golden Plates is never explained. The only other mentioned usage of the sword is that Nephi used it as a template for making more swords to arm his people after parting ways with his brothers.
  • Ascend to a Higher Plane of Existence: Several prophets are taken up by God in some fashion.
    • Alma the Younger, long after repenting of his earlier actions against the church.
    • Same with Nephi the son of Helaman. He disappears right before the sign of Jesus's birth.
    • The Three Nephites definitely count too. In their case, it's explicit that their bodies were altered to never age or weaken, and that they would have power like angels.
  • Asshole Victim: Many men, Korihor, King Noah, and the entire city of Ammonihah are this. Also borders Too Dumb to Live.
  • The Atoner:
    • Alma the Younger most famously, but the sons of Mosiah (his companions) also.
    • Converted Lamanites often felt this way; the people of Ammon swear that they will never shed blood again, and later groups actually move en masse out of lands they'd conquered so the Nephites can return.
  • 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 abridgment 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.
  • 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 hard to tell.
  • Badass Creed: Captain Moroni's oath that he emblazoned on his flag; "In memory of our God, our religion, and freedom, and our peace, our wives, and our children."
  • 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 a Lamanite army attacking them actually converts after seeing they won't fight back.
  • Badass Preacher: Prophets often had other professions. Sometimes these professions were in the army.
    • Alma the Younger fights Amlici in personal combat during his rebellion and defeats him.
    • Ammon the son of Mosiah goes as a missionary into Lamanite lands and serves their king as a shepherd. He kills six robbers with a sling and then uses his sword to cut the arms off any of the robbers that try to kill him "and they were not few."
    • Mormon, the primary editor of the book and a prophet, is also chosen as the supreme leader of the Nephite armies at the age of sixteen.
  • Bad Boss: Morianton is about to rebel and secede from the Nephites over a land dispute (where apparently he was in the wrong), but he beats up one of his servants in a fit of temper, and she runs away and exposes his plans.
  • Balance Between Good and Evil: Lehi tells his son Jacob that there has to be opposition in all things, because righteousness can't exist without the possibility of wickedness, neither can there be a good choice without a bad one existing. Not that good can't win in the end, but the possibility of choosing evil has to be on the table.
  • Batman Gambit:
    • Moroni uses one to rescue Nephite prisoners of war from the city of Gid: he sends a small group of converted Lamanites, who tell the guards that they've escaped from the Nephites, bringing plenty of alcohol with them. The guards wake up with hangovers to find that they're surrounded by Nephite armies and all their prisoners are armed.
    • 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. In fairness, the Lamanites did eventually catch on to this tactic, but sometimes they couldn't afford to just ignore it lest the Nephites lay siege to the city and cut off their supplies.
    • Jacob tells his people that the reason Jesus will come to Earth among the Jews is because they're the only nation stubborn and prideful enough to kill him and his death is a necessary sacrifice.
  • Blood Knight: The Lamanites were this after Nephi left his brothers. At the end of the book nearly the entire Nephite population seem to be this. The same with the Jaredites at the end of the book of Ether.
  • Bold Explorer:
    • Hagoth, who is described as "exceedingly curious" and who launches a number of large ships into the Pacific Ocean. Their original aim was to carry people and supplies to the land northward, and in some cases they succeed, but several of them disappear.note 
    • Nephi also sees Christopher Columbus in a vision, and asserts that God had a hand in his discovery of the Americas.
  • Book Burning: Downplayed. The people of Ammonihah burn all the scriptures they can find, yes, but they also burn the owners of those scriptures, which the text is much more concerned about.
  • Breaking the Bonds: Several times with divine help.
    • After Nephi is tied up by his brothers, he prays for the strength to break free, and promptly receives it.
    • Alma and Amulek, in prison, are challenged to free themselves from their bonds, and then the chief judge of the city will believe their prediction of the city being destroyed. They do. And then an earthquake brings down the building, starting the destruction with him and all his associates.
    • The Three Nephites to whom Jesus granted agelessness. Apparently they were immune not just to death, but to every earthly power; prisons were torn apart and even in deep pits they could "smite the earth with the word of God" and be freed.
  • 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 without managing to hit him once because he is protected by the power of God.
  • 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 families of Lemuel and the sons of Ishmael who accept Laman's leadership. The two groups and their descendants are named the Nephites and Lamanites through the rest of the narrative.
  • Callback: To the Bible.
    • There are some references made to events that happened in Jerusalem/Israel at the same time, made evident through the prophets.
    • Lehi prophesies to his family about John baptising Jesus.
    • Lehi's son Joseph was named after Joseph of Egypt, and Lehi is a descendant of Joseph.
    • Nephi sees John the Revelator in vision, and is told that he and John will see the same things but it will be John's job to write the rest of them.
    • The third book of Nephi 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 at least partly in reference to the Nephites and Lamanites.
    • The biblical prophet Isaiah is quoted extensively. Nephi treats his words as being recent, in contrast to "prophets of old".
  • Calling the Old Man Out: Laman has serious issues with his father. Then we have King Limhi who kinda did this to King Noah.
  • Capital Offensive: Near the start of the book of Helaman, the Lamanites start attacking again, but instead of hitting the outlying regions where the army is stationed, they head straight to Zarahemla, which, due to upheaval in the government, is left unguarded and vulnerable and falls rather easily. It backfires, though, since the Lamanite armies are then completely surrounded by the much better defended border cities.
  • Catch Phrase: "It came to pass" is used 1,404 times, roughly 1 out of every 5 verses start with this phrase.
  • The Chosen Many: Several books will have more than one prophet, a few even collaborating with each other, even if said book is named after that particular prophet. Nephi and his father Lehi for example.
  • Clap Your Hands If You Believe: Potentially applicable in a variety of cases, but most notably with the Liahona, which works so long as Lehi's family believes that God can make it work, and stops working if they forget or rebel.
  • Les Collaborateurs: The Kingmen, who stage a coup and cooperate with the invading Lamanites.
  • Colony Ship: At least three cases:
    • The first is the barges built by the Jaredites centuries before Lehi's time.
    • The ship that Nephi builds to bring his family across the sea to the Promised Land.
    • Not seen, but there was one to bring the Mulekites over to Zarahemla from Jerusalem.
  • 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 therefore marrying him was the best option left to her.
  • Corrupt Church:
    • Nephi sees a vision of a "great and abominable church" formed after the deaths of Jesus and the Apostles, persecuting the saints of God and being driven by lust and greed. He's later told that there are only two churches, Jesus' and the devil's, so it was likely an umbrella term rather than one specific organisation.
    • King Noah, after he ascends to the throne, deliberately corrupts the church, replacing all the priests with cronies whose job is to persuade the people that all is well, so that the king can go around building fancy monuments and having drunken parties.
  • Corrupt Politician: Several.
    • King Noah. He levies 20% taxes on everything, using the proceeds to build fancy buildings and spend his time on sex, alcohol, and parties. Note that by corrupting the church into preaching that all is well, he is still quite popular - at least until he starts martyring his few critics.
    • The Gadianton robbers, in the book of Helaman, are able to place many of their members as judges, where they condemn the righteous, take bribes from the guilty, and generally lead the people around by the nose.
    • The Jaredite king Riplakish basically enslaves his own people for forty years, with crippling taxes backed by prison sentences with hard labour (typically refining gold and otherwise making the king richer), until finally they rise up, kill him off, and exile his family.
  • The Coup: Several.
    • In the Book of Alma, Amalickiah attempts one in Zarahemla but is 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 the king-men (who want to restore the monarchy). 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 rivals, but the ringleader 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. The nation fragments into tribes that don't agree on much except that they all want the conspirators dead.
  • Cycle of Revenge: The final wars of both the Jaredites and the Nephites reached this stage.
  • 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.)
  • Dead Man Writing: Several authors show awareness that they are writing for a time long after their own death, a "cry from the dust".
  • 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.
  • Didn't Think This Through: The Gadianton robbers.
    • Giddianhi leads them in taking over the abandoned lands of the Nephites and Lamanites - but they can't actually settle down and farm those lands without risking raids from the huge fortress that the people have retreated to. Eventually they have no choice but to attack the fortress head on, or starve.
    • Giddianhi's successor takes this Up to Eleven by attempting to besiege the fortress. Which has seven years of supplies stockpiled, whereas the robbers are living on whatever meat they can scrounge by hunting in the wilderness. Not only is the siege completely ineffective at harming the Nephites, it also makes the robbers a stationary target at close range.
  • Dishonored Dead: When the city of Ammonihah is slaughtered, no one tries to bury the victims. Eventually they pile up the bodies and toss some dirt on them just to stop the smell. Perhaps that's because the city had banished all the men who believed in God and burned their families.
  • Downer Ending: Everybody dies. Twice.
  • Dream Sequence: Prophetic dreams, in this case.
    • Lehi has a dream about an iron rod marking the way through a dark mist to a special tree. It's a good deal more coherent than regular dreams, as is to be expected from an apparent message from God, but things still have a tendency to appear out of nowhere.
    • There's a much shorter dream vision recorded in the very first chapter, where Lehi sees what appears to be Jesus and the twelve apostles, and is given a book of prophecies about Jerusalem's destruction.
  • 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 (having already killed all the women and children), 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.
    • Mormon writes to his son that the people around him have "lost their love, one for another," and that they "thirst after blood and revenge continually."
  • The End Is Nigh: Prophets always came and warned people before they were entirely wiped out.
    • Lehi is stated to be a contemporary of Jeremiah and had a similar "Jerusalem will be destroyed unless you repent" message. The people plot his death in response.
    • Abinadi warns the people of King Noah that they will be captured and driven and persecuted, and if they still don't repent, they will be entirely exterminated. The king tries to dismiss him as a madman, but when Abinadi starts glowing while preaching, that won't stick. So he executes Abinadi instead.
    • Ether warns the last Jaredite king about the coming total mutual annihilation, but is rejected and has to run away and hide to avoid being killed.
  • Endless Daytime: As a sign of Jesus Christ's birth, the Sun sets but it doesn't become dark.
  • Even Evil Has Standards:
    • No matter how big of a jerk they are, nobody in the Book of Mormon breaks an oath. Nobody. Sometimes to the point of Honor Before Reason.
      • 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 Limhi's people had kidnapped the daughters of his people.
      • The Lamanites promise Alma Sr's people their freedom in exchange for directions to home, but then don't keep their promise.
    • The Lamanites in Jacob's day were (at least from the Nephites point of view) uncivilized Blood Knights who often lived on raw meat and wanted to enslave the Nephites in order to grow fat and lazy off the Nephites' backs. But Jacob reminds the people that the Lamanites still love their families, and if the Nephites are unfaithful to their wives and children, God would sooner protect and preserve the Lamanites.
  • Everybody Calls Him "Barkeep":
    • The Brother of Jared's real name is never revealed in the text. Joseph Smith later said his name was "Mahonri Moriancumer" which is quite a mouthful, and may explain why he is just called "the Brother of Jared" in the text.
    • The name of King Lamoni's father is also not revealed.
  • 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.
  • Evil vs. Evil: The usual endgame for cities and nations.
    • Lamanites massacring the city of Ammonihah. The attackers were lashing out in frustration after their assault on the peaceful people of Anti-Nephi-Lehi didn't go according to plan. The defenders had exiled everyone who believed in God and then burned their families.
    • The final battles of the Nephites. The Lamanites feed their prisoners on the flesh of their own families. The Nephites rape their prisoners, torture them to death, and then eat them "like unto wild beasts".
    • The total mutual annihilation of the Jaredite factions. Both sides are so "drunk with anger" that even the king can't stop his supporters from fighting.
  • False Flag Operation: Some Lamanites who have deserted to the Nephites conceal their change of allegiance, pretending to be escapees, in order to get close to the guards over the city of Gid.
  • The Famine: Happens several times with prophetic involvement.
    • The Jaredites have a major famine that wipes out several generations of the royal line, after rejecting the prophets who warned them it was coming.
    • Nephi the son of Helaman deliberately prays for a famine in order to interrupt a civil war. It works, briefly.
  • A Father to His Men: Helaman refers to his 'stripling' warriors as his sons, while they call him father.
  • Fetch Quest: Lehi's sons have to return to Jerusalem and retrieve the brass plates from Laban before they can continue fleeing Jerusalem. The plates were pretty important, though, since they contained the scriptures of the time; centuries later, Lehi's descendants meet the Mulekites, who made a similar journey without bringing any written scriptures, and not only have they forgotten God, they don't even have mutually understandable language any more.
  • Film of the Book:
    • The Book of Mormon Movie (Volume 1) was a film of the first part, at least, though many would rather pretend it doesn't exist. There hasn't been a Volume 2.
    • There were animated adaptations of much of the book produced in the '90s as well, called Living Scriptures, of varying quality.
    • The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is now (as of 2019) releasing what can be regarded as official video adaptations.
  • Final Speech: Lehi gathers his family around to give them some final counsel when he's old and knows he's about to die. Quite justified, since he had plenty of time to plan it.
  • Flashback: Large parts of the book of Mosiah are a flashback, making the chronology quite confusing. About ten chapters of the book of Alma do the same. Also Ether.
  • Fling a Light into the Future: Happens a few times, and is referenced a few more times.
    • The reason the records of the Nephites were compiled and hidden until Moroni led Joseph Smith to them.
    • The records of the Jaredites, which the Nephites found, were a similar attempt.
    • Nearly happens to the people of Limhi; the prophet Abinadi warns them that they are already subject to serious punishment, but if they still don't repent, they'll be completely wiped out and just leave a record for others to find.
  • Forced to Watch: After preaching and having a handful of conversions in the city of Ammonihah, Alma the Younger and Amulek are bound by the unconverted wicked leaders of the city, who kick out all the men who had converted and burn their wives and children (and scriptures) in a bonfire, forcing Alma and Amulek to watch. Amulek wants to stop the scene of carnage, but Alma stops him, saying that the Lord will judge the wicked and the righteous people being burned are now martyrs and in heaven. (The city is slaughtered, to a man, a short time later.)
  • Foregone Conclusion: The destruction of the Nephites and its timing is predicted in the first book, and that prediction is repeated throughout. There's even a brief insertion from Mormon partway through, where he states that he is writing centuries later and the destruction is almost complete.
  • 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 proceeds 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.
  • Frame-Up: Amalickiah's servants stab the king of the Lamanites dead in front of all the king's servants - but they then scare the king's servants into running. And then they raise a hue and cry, claiming that the king's servants stabbed him, and using their flight as evidence.
  • Frontline General: Most of the time, kings and "chief captains" were expected to be in the field. There were exceptions, but they were apparently significant enough for the narrative to call them out.
    • Alma sends an army without him to respond to invasion - because he's still injured from the last time, where he killed one enemy leader in single combat, and fought the king's personal guard while the king ran away from him.
    • Amalickiah doesn't lead the Lamanite armies in person the first time they invade, and they get curb stomped. The second time, he does, and they make large inroads, capturing several heavily fortified cities and putting the Nephites thoroughly on the back foot.
  • Good Is Not Soft: Several characters, especially military leaders.
    • Teancum definitely qualifies. Once he decides that Amalickiah is responsible for the war and has to go, he takes matters into his own hands and assassinates Amalickiah in his tent. He later does the same, albeit less cleanly, with Amalickiah's brother, who took over the war effort.
    • Captain Moroni talks big, but often proves to be a softie at heart, preferring guile to battle and taking surrenders when possible. Still, when the situation calls for it, he's quite capable of ordering, "Kill them until they give up."
  • Greed: A frequent symptom of the Nephites turning back to wickedness is division between the rich and poor, with those who have wealth refusing to share it.
  • 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.
  • Heel–Face Revolving Door: The Nephites and Lamanites repeatedly. However, they eventually run through all their chances, become utterly depraved, and the Lamanites wipe the Nephites out.
  • Heel–Face Turn: The possibility of this for anyone is an important theme.
    • Alma the Younger and the sons of Mosiah go about trying to destroy the church of God. Then an angel appears and rebukes them all, putting Alma in an Angst Coma until he repents.
    • Zeezrom, formerly an evil lawyer trying to catch Alma and Amulek in their words, has his conscience pricked by the word of God. He repents and eventually joins Alma and Amulek in preaching the gospel.
    • Lamoni, his father, and all the Lamanites who were converted and became the people of Anti-Nephi-Lehi.
    • Alma has a heart-to-heart talk with his son Corianton, after Corianton hindered their missionary efforts through his boasting and promiscuity. Corianton's response isn't directly shown, but he appears to have turned around, because not only does he join in their preaching again without apparent problems, he was later considered a viable heir for the sacred records (only passed over because he was abroad).
  • Heroic BSoD:
    • Nephi has a brief one when he learns that his descendants will form a great nation that will end up being destroyed due to their wickedness.
    • Mormon also has one as he mourns the utter destruction of the Nephites when it need not have happened.
  • Heterosexual Life-Partners:
    • Alma and Amulek. It helps that all Amulek's family and friends were killed, while Amulek himself escapes because he believed and followed Alma.
    • Alma the Younger and the Sons of Mosiah. Partners in crime, rebuked by an angel together, then partners in preaching.
  • 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.
  • Honor Among Thieves: The "secret combinations" are theoretically supposed to be this, with members protecting each other from outside influences such as law and order, and it works well enough to create serious obstacles to law enforcement, even multiple civil wars. However, any member who achieves high political office can still expect to be targeted by a hopeful successor.
  • Hopeless War: As mentioned above, the Nephite and Jaredite nations both end this way.
  • Hostile Weather: Sent by God.
    • When Laman and Lemuel tie up Nephi on their ship, a large storm gathers, blows them off course, and threatens to sink them, escalating over four days, until they relent and let Nephi go.
    • At Jesus' death, the whole land of the Nephites and Lamanites is covered in a storm like they'd never seen before - lightning, earthquakes, fires, whirlwinds, floods - destroying or heavily damaging pretty much every city in the land. And then there are three days of palpable, choking darkness. A voice from heaven during the three days confirms that the destruction was a judgement from God on those who had killed the prophets, and pleads with the survivors to do better.
  • Hypocrite:
    • The Zoramites were this: Have a synagogue, 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. Bonus points because their weekly prayer is all about thanking God for saving them and condemning everyone else.
    • When Laman approaches Laban, asking him to just hand over the brass plates, Laban calls him a robber and tries to kill him. When all four brothers return with a substantial treasure to buy the plates, Laban robs them, sending his servants to once again try to kill them so he can keep all their wealth without handing the plates over.
  • Insane Troll Logic: Anti-Christ preachers have some of this.
    • 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!
    • Sherem declares that prophesying about the future is blasphemous, that he knows there will never be a Christ, and that he believes the scriptures - each of which statements contradicts the other two.
  • Impaled with Extreme Prejudice: Teancum sneaks into Amalickiah's army at night while everyone is asleep and kills him this way. He tries to do this again to Amalickiah's brother and successor Ammoron, but doesn't make as clean of a kill, causing Ammoron to scream before he died. Ammoron's screams woke up his guards, who hunted down and killed Teancum.
  • Improvised Weapon:
    • Nephi makes himself a bow from nearby wood, and a single arrow "out of a straight stick," after breaking his previous bow. It's not entirely clear how much effort went into the crafting, but since he and his family were all going hungry until he was able to hunt something, he couldn't have spent very long on it.
    • Zeniff's people, when surprised by the Lamanites and scrambling to defend themselves, take up not just swords and clubs, but "all manner of weapons which we could invent."
  • Inspirational Martyr: 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.
  • Kill 'Em All: Happens for each major protagonist civilisation.
    • The Nephites eventually lose their hopeless war and are wiped out by the Lamanites; even the prophet who recorded the final battle is eventually hunted down and killed afterward.
    • The Jaredites kill each other until there is just one man left (plus the prophet in hiding whose ultimate fate is unknown).
  • Kissing Cousins: Inevitable considering Lehi and Ishmael's children marry one another and their children are born in the wilderness. The only possible aversion is Zoram, who marries Ishmael's eldest daughter. But even then, Zoram's children have a possibility of marrying into Nephi's family after the split between brothers, and his own descendants become Zoramites.
  • Know When to Fold 'Em:
    • Alma Sr's people, upon being found by a Lamanite army, make no attempt to fight or run, but merely surrender, even when they're treated cruelly and unjustly. Within a year or two, God delivers them out of captivity and back to safety with the main body of Nephites.
    • The Lamanites at the city of Gid wake from a night of drinking to find the city surrounded and their prisoners armed. They surrender without a fight.
  • Laser-Guided Karma:
    • After a round of internal strife, the Nephites choose to split up, with many of them heading northward to colonise new lands. The next time the Lamanites invade, the remaining defences in the south are inadequate and most of the Nephite territory is lost.
    • Alma expounds on the subject to his son Corianton, assuring him that "that which ye do send out shall return unto you again, and be restored".
    • King Noah has the prophet Abinadi burned to death after Abinadi calls him to repent. A short time later, when the Lamanites invade and the people run away, Noah's cowardice provokes his followers into, you guessed it, burning him to death.
  • Last Chance to Quit: The Nephites get this from God during a ten-year ceasefire with the Lamanites, with Mormon calling them to repent and be spared. When the war starts again, though, they win their first, defensive, battle - and then turn to boasting, swearing revenge by everything they can think of, and planning to go on the offensive. God then tells Mormon that that's it, he's cutting them off.
  • Last of His Kind: Moroni from the Nephites, Coriantumr from the Jaredites.
  • Literal Genie: Two people demand signs that Jesus exists. One is struck down on the spot and dies shortly thereafter, the other is cursed to be mute "that thou shalt never deceive this people any more" and has to go from house to house, begging, until he dies.
  • Magic Compass: The Liahona.
  • Man on Fire:
    • Abinadi is executed this way for prophesying the death of the king.
    • King Noah is burned by his own people, after he tries to make them abandon their families to follow him.
    • Noah's priests, who joined the Lamanites, later burn any Lamanites who accept the gospel.
    • Women and children in Ammonihah who had been taught the gospel are burned in retaliation against Alma and Amulek's preaching.
  • Maybe Magic, Maybe Mundane: Righteous Jaredite king Shez is threatened by the rebellion of his eldest son - and then the son is killed by a robber, restoring peace. The text makes no attempt to speculate on whether this was Divine Intervention.
  • Meaningful Rename: The Lamanites converted by the sons of Mosiah are displeased with their ancestor's behaviour, and decide to call themselves "Anti-Nephi-Lehies" ie "descendants of Lehi who aren't descendants of Nephi", dropping Laman's name.
  • Mook–Face Turn: Zoram, the servant of Laban, is tricked into helping Nephi retrieve the brass plates, but discovers the deception when Nephi meets up with his brothers. Nephi persuades him to come join the family as a free man rather than report them to anyone, and apparently they become good friends.
  • Moral Myopia: Ammoron is very angry at the Nephites for "murdering" his brother Amalickiah. Never mind that at the time, Amalickiah was leading an invading army to conquer the Nephites and drink the blood of their leader. Or that Amalickiah was in that position because he murdered his way to the throne and then used a propaganda campaign to start a war that even the Lamanites initially didn't want. Or that he was killed in the field, with a standard weapon, by an enemy soldier during wartime. No, Ammoron calls it murder and wants revenge.

     N - Z 
  • Named After Somebody Famous: Usually Lehi's immediate family.
    • Several Lamanite kings are named "Laman". The Nephites apparently have a similar thing going, where their kings' birth names aren't "Nephi" but the people call them "Second Nephi", "Third Nephi" etc as a mark of respect for the original.
    • Lamoni's father, whose name is not given, calls his heir "Anti-Nephi-Lehi" ie "a member of Lehi's family who isn't Nephi," which is basically a euphemism for Laman, because they'd been convinced that Laman was a bad example and didn't want to carry his name any more.
    • Helaman calls his sons "Nephi" and "Lehi" and encourages them to live up to their namesakes' reputation. Nephi at one point loudly laments the fact that he is preaching to a much more stubborn group of people than the original Nephi faced, but he does the job anyway.
  • 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) note 
  • 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 pronunciation. For instance, beforehand some called Amulek "A-Mew-lek" rather than "Amu-lek" (like amulet).
  • Not Afraid to Die: The people of Anti-Nephi-Lehi aka the people of Ammon.
    • The first generation, feeling that they can't waste their second chance after redemption from their violent past, swears an Actual Pacifist oath. The text indicates that they could not be swayed by threats or even torture, and thousands of them are killed by their former brethren, without putting up a fight, until the Nephites give them asylum.
    • The next generation learns that same absolute commitment, without having sworn an oath of pacifism - instead, they swear to protect liberty. The first time they fight, they hit a much larger army from behind so hard that they turn the tide of the battle and scare the Lamanites into surrendering. A few chapters later, in a narrative that normally measures armies in thousands, it was apparently worth mentioning that reinforcements included sixty more of these soldiers - and they were instrumental in turning the tide of the following battle, too.
    • A darker example is described in Moroni chapter 9, where Mormon states that the people have lost their fear of death by becoming consumed with anger and bloodthirst and revenge.
  • An Offer You Can't Refuse: Ammon cripples the king of the Lamanites in single combat, then demands the release of his missionary companions from prison, or he'll finish the job. To be fair, the king started it.
  • Passing the Torch:
    • Captain Moroni, after winning a long war and restoring peace, hands over his position to his son and retires.
    • The plates of Nephi and associated holy relics are passed down from father to son, or sometimes brother, for the Nephites' whole thousand-year history.
  • Poetry: Several passages, most notably Alma chapter 36, use the poetic form known as chiasmus, where a series of ideas is presented first in order and then in reverse. Alma was stated to be a skilled orator, and chapter 36 records some of his final words to the son who would inherit the sacred records handed down from Nephi, so it does make sense that this little speech would be carefully planned.
  • Polyamory:
    • Jaredite men are described as having multiple wives, though not much is made of it except that they had rather a lot of children.
    • The Nephites attempted it, but the prophet at the time slapped them down, saying that it was only acceptable with a direct command from God, and it wasn't ever brought up again in the narrative.
  • P.O.W. Camp: The Nephite version doesn't seem to have been too bad, although admittedly the narrator was a Nephite. Captured Lamanites were frequently put to work "because it was easy to guard them while at their labor", on tasks like building fortifications around Nephite cities.
  • The Power of Language: When speaking on God's behalf, that is.
    • Nephi the son of Helaman is commended by God and told that for his faithfulness, "all things shall be done unto thee according to thy word, for thou shalt not ask that which is contrary to my will." That is to say, Nephi can now command anything to happen - famines, plagues, casting down mountains, you name it - and the Earth will obey him as it would obey God. He uses it to stop a war, and to preach repentance without being killed.
    • Moroni mentions that the Brother of Jared once commanded a mountain to move.
  • Pride: One of the most troubling conflicts in the entire book is because of this. In the first book of Nephi, Laman and Lemuel were full of this in near Cain and Abel levels. Just because Laman is the oldest brother and doesn't want to follow Nephi. In later books, this is what caused the downfall of several major cities to come. Before and after Christ returns to Earth after his continued ministry on Earth after his resurrection. Eventually, the Nephites are destroyed, save those who sided with the Lamanites, which brings another Apostasy for centuries to come.
  • Prisoner Exchange: Subverted; it's discussed extensively, but we never actually see one happen.
    • Moroni and Ammoron negotiate to exchange prisoners, but things break down because they can't stand each other. Moroni liberates the Nephite prisoners himself instead.
    • After Moroni's war, most of the Lamanite prisoners join the Actual Pacifist people of Ammon.
  • The Promised Land: A recurring theme. Nephi asserts that it's God's modus operandi.
    • Lehi's family is led to the Americas, which are everything they were hoping for. Their waypoint, the land of Bountiful, was pretty sweet too.
    • Nephi is warned to take whoever will listen and leave the family's initial settlement to avoid escalating tensions with his brothers. The "land of Nephi" that they come to must have been pretty good, because it later becomes the Lamanite capital, and a group of Nephites is willing to risk war and/or enslavement to go back to it.
    • Mosiah is warned, again, to leave the land of Nephi with whoever will go, and they find the land of Zarahemla, where a substantial nation welcomes them with open arms and promptly makes Mosiah their king.
    • The Jaredites are similarly promised the Americas, but they wipe themselves out a few centuries after Lehi's family arrives, without previously coming in contact.
  • Properly Paranoid: Gadianton escapes arrest and execution by evacuating promptly after his hitman doesn't return fast enough - and he apparently didn't wait very long.
  • Religious Russian Roulette: This is treated as both a positive and negative thing, depending on the asker's attitude.
    • Korihor says he'll believe in God if He shows him a sign. Alma tries to convince him that God has given them enough signs with the scriptures and the creation, but Korihor still insists he needs a sign, which he gets by being struck dumb.
    • Sherem makes a similar challenge, collapses on the ground, and dies within days.
    • King Lamoni and his father both fall on their knees in prayer and promise to serve God wholeheartedly if He reveals Himself to them. Both of them collapse, but unlike Sherem, they're being overcome with joy, and wake up later totally converted to the gospel.
    • Moroni invites the reader to ask God whether the book is true and expect an answer, so long as they ask "with a sincere heart, with real intent, having faith in Christ," and preferably after contemplating God's blessings.
  • Rousing Speech: Captain Moroni rallying his people to defend themselves from the Lamanite army [1]
  • 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.
  • Self-Fulfilling Prophecy:
    • Ether prophesies that if the king Coriantumr doesn't repent, then he will be the last survivor of the Jaredites. Part of the reason that Coriantumr (after beginning to come to his senses) is unable to stop the Jaredites' final battle is that his opponent has heard of the prophecy and wants to disprove it.
    • Laman and Lemuel don't understand their father's visions and prophecies, so Nephi asks them whether they've asked God for help. They reply that they haven't, because "the Lord maketh no such thing known unto us." (Given that Nephi has literally just returned from asking God for an explanation of his father's visions, and being answered with an even more expansive vision of his own along with extensive commentary, his evident frustration with his brothers is understandable.)
  • Sequel Hook:
    • Lehi prophesies that the brass plates will go to all of his descendants and never be "dimmed by time". However, by the end of the book, they are presumably buried by Mormon along with the other records he had, leaving the fulfillment of this prophecy to the future.
    • More generally, many parts of the Book of Mormon are written in anticipation of the last days, when the book would be found and published.
  • Show Some Leg: The people of Limhi, when they decide to stop running from the pursuing Lamanite army and surrender, send their daughters forward to plead their case. The Lamanites are charmed enough to stop attacking and listen.
  • Sibling Rivalry: After the chief judge Pahoran dies, three of his sons compete to inherit the position. The eldest wins the popular vote, but then the youngest rebels, and is arrested and executed for treason. The youngest brother's supporters then assassinate the eldest brother in revenge, leaving the middle brother in the judgement seat. But with all the internal struggle, they haven't maintained their defences properly, and the Lamanites come along, capture the city, and kill the judge.
  • Silver Tongue: Amulon, leader of King Noah's corrupt priests. Not only does he make a successful career out of flattering both the king and nation, but when it all goes south, with the king executed and the priests banished, the Lamanites catch them living with a bunch of Lamanite girls they'd abducted and married - and Amulon not only talks his way out of trouble, but impresses the Lamanite king so much that he is appointed a ruler over the captured Nephites. Bear in mind that at this point, the Lamanites had already fought a war with the Nephites over the kidnapping, since they assumed that the Nephites were responsible. And yet, when they find the actual perpetrators, Amulon's skill with words somehow keeps him on top.
  • Soiled City on a Hill:
    • The city of Ammonihah, after killing all the members of the church there.
    • More broadly, the Jaredite and Nephite nations.
  • Spirit Advisor: When Nephi prays for understanding of his father's vision, the Spirit of God visits him and shows him the tree that his father saw. As the vision continues, an angel takes over the guiding/exposition duties.
  • The Starscream: Amalickiah does this to the King of the Lamanites by gaining his trust. After receiving it, he kills him to gain the armies of the Lamanites and take the deceased king's wife.
  • Stun Gun: At God's direction, Nephi delivers some kind of incapacitating shock to his rebellious brothers by touching them. Apparently, if they had attacked him, they would have received a much stronger jolt and died on the spot.
  • Succession Crisis:
    • Averted by King Mosiah, after his oldest son refuses to take the crown. Rather than risk a later conflict, he persuades the people to end the monarchy and institute a form of democracy.
    • Played straight after the death of chief judge Pahoran. Three of his sons compete for the job, which eventually gets them all killed, and the position reverts to the line of Alma. This despite officially being a democratically elected position.
  • The Summation: Inverted by Nephi after the murder of the chief judge. Instead of summing up the results of an investigation, he prophetically tells everyone exactly what they'll find when they investigate. The judges want to charge him as a conspirator, but since the culprit completely admits guilt and absolves Nephi, they can't make it stick, and they walk away confused.
  • Sympathy for the Hero: When Abinadi first turns up, preaching that the people are wicked and must repent or be punished, no one wants to hear it. But when king Noah burns Abinadi to death, one of the king's priests protests, and goes away to continue teaching Abinadi's words in secret. When the king then finds out, and attempts to massacre hundreds of people who were peacefully following Abinadi's teachings (causing them to flee from the kingdom), that triggers a widespread revolt.
  • That Was the Last Entry: Moroni, in summarising the book of Ether, reports that the last thing he wrote was that it didn't matter whether he died or was translated.
  • Thou Shalt Not Kill: The Anti-Nephi-Lehites, repentant Lamanites, take up an oath to never go to war or kill again, burying their weapons in the ground. They hold to this so strongly that when assaulted by other Lamanites they are willingly cut down; that dedication impresses the Lamanite army so much that they stop attacking and many even join with them. Eventually the Lamanites come back for round 2, and it's implied that they went so far as to torture some of the Anti-Nephi-Lehies to death, without being able to provoke them into striking back.
  • Turn the Other Cheek / Honor Before Reason: The Anti-Nephi-Lehites prefer to be killed rather than defend themselves. Also counts as an entire people of Badass Pacifist.
  • Unaccustomed as I Am to Public Speaking...: Inverted. Several prophets, notably Moroni, felt quite confident in their ability to speak well, but then they were given the task of writing, which didn't come to them so easily.
  • Understatement: In just a few sentences, Nephi states that his family travelled for eight years and "did wade through much affliction in the wilderness". He's not kidding. Plotting out their course from Jerusalem reveals that they were cutting across Arabia, through one of the worst deserts in the world, the "Empty Quarter". Eight years in that terrain is no joke.
  • The Unnamed:
    • Mormon states that God told him not to write the names of the Three Nephites. That said, he did record the names of all twelve disciples; he just didn't say which three of them it was.
    • Nephi never names his sisters or any of the daughters of Ishmael, including his wife. In fact the only wife of a prophet named in the book is Sarah, the wife of Lehi and mother of Nephi. This despite the fact that most of the prophets have sons.
    • The prophet Helaman, while serving as the chief judge, has a servant who goes undercover to infiltrate the first secret society, coming to a head when he foils an assassination attempt by escorting the assassin toward the judgement seat and stabbing him on the way. We never learn the servant's name.
  • Unwanted False Faith: After he kills or maims an entire robber warband singlehandedly to protect a flock of sheep, Ammon has to explain to the Lamanite king that he isn't the "Great Spirit". Since he is a missionary being protected by Divine Intervention, this may overlap with Stop Worshipping Me.
  • 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.
  • Villainous BSoD: Five men are sent to check whether Nephi's prediction of the chief judge's murder is true, though they don't expect it to be. When they find the judge dead, they are so shocked, and so scared that Nephi's words about the wickedness of the people and coming judgements might also be true, that they all collapse to the ground.
  • Villainous Vow:
    • There are stories of "secret combinations" (ie conspiracies) and the book warns against them. Often overlapping with Deal with the Devil. Cain is said to have started them. It warns that they are found among every civilization, even in the modern era. Probably a reference that includes government and business corruption, and organized crime.
    • Also, after an embarrassing defeat, Amalickiah vows to drink Captain Moroni's blood.
  • 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 is leading his people in wars against his brothers. He had to get used to killing people.
  • War for Fun and Profit:
    • When Zeniff goes back to the land of Nephi, the king of the Lamanites agrees to let his people stay in hopes of exploiting them. When their numbers increase, he starts to become worried and goes out to start conquering and enslaving them.
    • Amalickiah tries to become the king of the Nephites, but when that plan is shot down, he goes to plan B: becoming the king of the Lamanites and conquering the Nephites by force.
  • 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.
    • It gets worse in the final wars of the Nephites and Jaredites. From battlefields full of corpses that no-one takes the time to bury because they're too busy fighting the next one, to the rape, torture, murder and cannibalism of young female captives. Mormon, in lamenting the situation to his son, declares that he can't pray for his own people anymore, and is instead praying for God to wipe them out.
  • We Can Rule Together: Giddianhi invites the combined Nephites and Lamanites to join his oath-bound robbers as full partners. It wouldn't have been a good deal, though; there would have been no one left to plunder, and the robbers had already shown a willingness to turn on each other if it seemed profitable.
  • Where Is Your X Now?: After arranging for all believers in the city to be exiled or burned, the ruler of Ammonihah challenges Alma and Amulek in this fashion, declaring that they didn't have the power to save anyone, and God didn't save them either. After he brings in a bunch of friends and associates to join in the mockery, an earthquake brings down the building on their heads, leaving only Alma and Amulek alive.
  • Who Wants to Live Forever?: Nine of the twelve Nephite disciples decide their highest wish is to die once their service is over and go to heaven. The remaining three receive the promise that they will live until Christ's second coming, in order for them to be perpetual missionaries. Their story includes a Shout-Out to John the Revelator.
  • Whole Episode Flashback: The book of Ether, occurring thousands of years prior to 'current' events.
  • Work Info Title
  • The World Is Not Ready: The brother of Jared apparently saw the whole history of the world in vision, and left a record of it. However, Moroni later records that God forbade him to write it on the gold plates, because the world wouldn't be ready for the knowledge at first.
  • Would Hurt a Child: Several villainous individuals or civilisations qualify. Note that most of them are killed shortly afterward.
    • The people of Ammonihah, after rejecting Alma and Amulek's preaching, burn the families of anyone who believes in God. The whole city is put to the sword by the Lamanites a short time later.
    • The Jaredites arm everyone, including women and children, for their final battle. After a few days of fighting, only a few adult men are left, marking the end of their nation even before those few finish killing each other.
    • In Mormon's day, the Lamanites feed captured children meat from their own fathers. It's telling that they still won the war; by that point, the Nephites were even worse.
  • You Can't Fight Fate: Several people attempt to avoid their demise once their death is told to them by a prophet. Of interest is the fact that all those who tried to fight fate were clearly told what to do to avoid their destruction, but were unable to follow those instructions, mostly because of their own pride and desire to live their lives their own way. A few, once they saw the wrongness of their ways, tried to turn back, but by then, it was too late. So, in a real sense, they brought their own destruction upon them. The lesson here is Listen to God's advice before it's too late.
    • King Noah attempts to escape with his life along with a few other men, and tells them to abandon their families. They become angry and burn him as foretold by Abinadi.
    • Coriantumr, last king of the Jaredites, is warned by the prophet to repent or else Coriantumr will be the last survivor of his people, but he initially doesn't listen. Eventually, as the war progresses, he starts to come to his senses and tries to stop the conflict - but his opponent has heard about the prophecy and wants to prove it wrong by killing him, so the fight continues, with Coriantumr's supporters and enemies killing each other until only Coriantumr is left.
  • You Can't Go Home Again: Once Lehi's family has spent eight years crossing the Arabian desert, even Laman and Lemuel have stopped asking to go back to Jerusalem. They keep complaining about ever having left, mind you, but there's no suggestion of turning back now. Then they cross the ocean to a new continent.
  • Youngest Child Wins:
    • Nephi is the youngest of four brothers when Lehi leaves Jerusalem, but is chosen by the Lord to be a ruler and teacher to his rebellious older brothers. Note that the third brother, Sam, listened to Nephi and was righteous, but Nephi was still the star.
    • The Jaredites developed an unusual system of passing down the kingdom to the youngest son of the king, after their first attempt to crown a king resulted in all the older brothers refusing it. Unfortunately, this led to many conflicts, when an adult son had a strong interest in preventing his father from having any more children.

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