Rel 122: Introduction to the Book of Mormon
(Alma 30—Moroni 10)
Asst. Professor of Ancient Scripture
Consultations: MW 11–11:50 a.m.; TTh 9–9:50 a.m.
Course Description: Rel 122 is a sequential study of the doctrines,
principles, and narrative of
the Book of Mormon, beginning with Alma 30 where Rel 121 ended. As "the most
correct book," the Book of Mormon demands our attention both as scripture and as
an ancient text, particularly regarding matters of faith and the gospel of Jesus
Accordingly, we will study the Book of Mormon both as another witness of the
Savior and as a source for the foundational doctrines regarding the Atonement
and the Plan of Salvation. As a text, we will work to appreciate the literary
artistry of its authors and abridgers, identifying its structures, imagery, and
themes. Above all, this paramount book of scripture will be studied as a
testament of the Lord Jesus Christ with the intent to understand his divine
mission more fully and to understand and appreciate the Atonement.
Course Objectives: This section of Rel 122 has three major objectives:
- First, to increase the student’s knowledge of the Book of Mormon—that
is, to familiarize him or her with the basic storylines, characters, and
concepts in this book of scripture.
- Second, to help the student read, discuss, and write about the Book of
Mormon as both a source of scriptural knowledge and as a sacred text
by asking basic historical, literary, and theological
questions (a process known as "exegesis").
- Third, to strengthen individual testimonies of sacred truths,
particularly of Jesus Christ and the doctrines of the Restoration.
Class discussions, quizzes, and exams will all be formatted with these three
overarching objectives in mind.
- FINAL: Saturday April 21st from 11:00am
to 2:00pm in 213 JSB
Links and Bookmarks
- Book of Mormon: printable format and
HTML (showing some possible
structures for the books and noting, where possible, the original source and
audience of a passage, the genre or source, and its editor)
- Paper Guidelines
- Lecture outlines and
Lecture outlines and
- 1. Course Introduction.
Course Objectives and Requirements. Reading Strategies. Overview of semester
Content (Alma 30–Moroni 10).
- 2. Studying and Interpreting the Book of Mormon. The
Exegetical Process: Asking historical, literary, and theological questions
of a text. Book of Mormon Peoples and Sources. Book of Mormon Genres. Title
Page of the Book of Mormon. Doctrine. Covenants and Christology. Title
Page. See also: Strathearn, "Book of Mormon: Another
Testament of Jesus Christ, "Genre Questions," and " Rust, "Book of Mormon as
Literature" (packet, 11–13, 19–22); Welch and Welch, charts 13, 16–18.
For Further Background: selection from the introductory chapter
of Rust, 1–16 (fair-use excerpt posted on the web page and/or Blackboard);
Huntsman, "Teaching through Exegesis: Helping Students Ask Questions of the
Text" (Religious Educator 6.1 , 107–126, online).
Unit 1: Alma 30-63
3. The Challenge of Korihor and the Zoramites. Introduction
to the Book of Alma. Book of Mormon Antichrists. "Doctrines" of Nehor.
Testimony of Alma2 . Mission to Antionum. The Zoramite Apostasy.
Alma 30–31. See also: Alma Overview; Arnold, "Alma, book
of," and Garrard, "Korihor the Anti-Christ" (packet, 27-28, 33–42); Welch and
Welch, charts 35–36, 78, 122.
Experimenting on the Word: Alma’s Discourses on Faith and Prayer.
Zoramite Manner of Worship. Alma’s Discourse to the Poor Zoramites. Why Faith?
Parable of the Seed: Experimenting on the Word. Faith and Hope. Developing
Saving Faith. Alma 32–33. See also: Welch and Welch,
Amulek on the Atonement and the Plan of Redemption. The Word Is in
Christ. The Great Plan of the Eternal God: Redemption from Sin and
Resurrection from Death. An Infinite and Eternal Sacrifice. Mercy and Justice.
Amulek on Prayer. Alma 34–35. See also: Turner, "The
Infinite Atonement of God (packet, 43–49); Welch and Welch, chart 103.
- 6. Alma’s Final Testimony and Counsel to Helaman. Words of Alma2
to Helaman2. Alma’s Conversion and Being Born of God. The Process
of Repentance. A Hymn of Praise. Alma Entrusts the Records to Helaman. The
Liahona as a Type of Christ and His Word. Alma 36–37. See
also: Welch and Welch, charts 106–107, 132, 144; Parker Packet, 13–18,
147–50. Take-home quiz #1 distributed.
Quiz 1 materials (Lectures 1-6)
- 7. Alma’s Teaching to Shiblon and Corianton. Final Counsel to
Shiblon. Bridling Passions. Corianton’s Misbehavior on the Zoramite Mission.
The Spirit World and States after Death. The Resurrection,
"Restoration," and Judgment. The Part of the Plan of Salvation as Taught
by Alma to Corianton. Life as a Probationary Estate. Alma on the Justice
of God. Alma 38–42. See also: Mouritsen, "The Spirit
World, Our Next Home" and Matthews, "The Spirit World" (packet, 97–105); Welch
and Welch, charts 74, 76. Take-home quiz #1 due.
- 8. The Zoramite
War, Amalickiah, and "Captain" Moroni. Why the War Chapters? The
Zoramite War. The End of the Prophetic Career of Alma2. Helaman’s
Unsuccessful Reformation. Amalickiah’s Monarchical Plot Foiled. The Title of
Liberty. Prophecy Concerning the Seed of Joseph. Amalickiah Becomes King of
the Lamanites. Alma 43–51. See also: Maps: The Wars of
Amalickiah and Ammoron (packet, 106–109); Welch and Welch, charts 37, 136.
The Wars of Amalickiah and Ammoron. Second Invasion of Amalickiah.
Ammoron’s Two-Front War. Helaman2’s Letter to Moroni: 2,000
Stripling Soldiers. The Kingmen: Moroni’s Reaction. Nephite Successes and
Recorvery. Alma 52–63. See also: Maps: The Wars of
Amalickiah and Ammoron (packet, 106–109)
Exam 1 Materials (lectures 1-9)
Unit 2: Helaman-4 Nephi
- 10. Tumultuous Reign of the
Judges: Pahoran2, Helaman3, and Nephi2.
Introduction to the Book of Helaman. Dissension Weakens the Nephites. Secret
Combinations. Nephite Affairs under Helaman3. Nephi2
Chief Judge. Mormon’s Analysis of Nephite Losses. Helaman 1–4.
See also: Helaman Overview, Tanner, "Helaman, book of," Skinner, "The
Book of Helaman: Overview and Setting" (packet, 113, 117–118, 132–134); Welch
and Welch, charts 20, 33, 38–39.
Mission of Nephi2 and Lehi4, the Rise of Gadianton
Influence, and the Prophecy of Nephi. Nephi Resigns the Judgment
Seat. The Words of Helaman3 to His Sons Recounted. Christ is the
Rock upon Which We Must Build. Mission of Nephi2 and Lehi4
and the Righteousness of the Lamanites. The Rise of Gadianton Influence.
Nephi’s Lament. Nephi Reveals the Assassination of Seezoram. Helaman 5–9.
See also: Welch and Welch, charts 20, 33, 55, 104, 133.
Nephi2, the Sealing Power, and the Great Famine. Nephi2
Receives the Sealing Power. Nephi2 and Elijah. Prosperity and
Decline. Mormon’s Commentary on Man and God. Helaman 10–12.
- 13. The Prophecy of
Samuel; Resurrection and Spiritual Death. The Mission of
Samuel the Lamanite. "Ye Have Sought for Happiness in Doing Iniquity . . ."
The Signs of Christ’s Birth and Death. Discursus on Resurrection and Spiritual
Death. The First and Second (Spiritual) Deaths. Plan of Salvation Summary.
Samuel’s Final Words. Helaman 13–16.
14. The Signs of Christ’s Birth are Given. The Gadianton Threat Reaches
Its Climax. Introduction to 3 Nephi: A Pattern for the Second Coming.
Signs of Christ’s Birth. Christ as the Father and the Son (cf. Mosiah 15:3).
The Gadianton Wars. Nephite Victory and Mormon’s Commentary. 3 Nephi 1–5.
See also: 3 Nephi Overview, Strathearn, Nephi, third book of"
(packet, 137, 142–44); Welch and Welch, chart 33. Take-home quiz #2
Quiz 2 Materials (lecture 10-14)
- 15. The Collapse of Nephite Civilization Prior to the Appearance of
Christ. Nephite Prosperity and Wickedness Repeated. Steps to the Nephite
Downfall. Breakdown of Nephite Government. Signs of Christ’s Death. 3 Nephi
6–8. See also: "3 Nephi–the Coming of Christ to the Nephites
as a Pattern of His Second Coming" (packet, 205); Welch and Welch, charts 49
and 51. Take-home quiz #2 due.
16. The Appearance of the Resurrected Christ. Christ Speaks in the
Darkness. Mormon Comments on the Fulfillment of Prophecy. Visitation of the
Resurrected Christ—First Day. Introduction by the Father. Jesus Christ
Presents Himself to the Multitude. 3 Nephi 9–11. See also:
Packer, "And They Knew It Not" (packet, 206–212).
- 17. Sermon at
the Temple. Disciples Called and Authorized. The Doctrine of Christ.
Instruction to the Multitude 1: Requirements of the Christian Life. The
Beatitudes. Christ Fulfills the Law and the Prophets. Instruction to the
Disciples 2: God Will Provide. Instruction to the Multitude 2: Judgment and
the Will of God. Instruction to the Disciples 3: Christ and Israel.
Instruction to the Multitude 3: Ponder and Pray. 3 Nephi 12:1–17:4.
See also: Farley, "The Appearance of Christ to the People of
Nephi," "Fulfillment of the Law of Moses in Christ," Oaks, "Judge Not and
Judging" (packet, 145–151, 213–219).
- 18. Acts of
Christ among the Multitude. Complete Sermon at the Temple.
Jesus Heals the Sick. The Prayer of Jesus. Jesus Blesses Children and
Institutes the Sacrament. Further First Day Teachings. Instruction to the
Disciples 4: Pastoral Directions Regarding the Sacrament. Instruction to the
Multitude 4: Prayer and Coming to Christ. Instruction to the Disciples 5:
Rules for the Sacrament and Fellowship. Christ’s Ascent to the Father. End of
the First Day. 3 Nephi 17:5–18:39. See also: Thomas, "Theophany"
and Holland, "This Do in Remembrance of Me" (packet, 152–57, 220–22).
- 19. Second Day Acts and
Teachings. The Nephite Disciples Minister to the Multitude. Christ
Appears Again and Ministers. Christ Teaches of His Role in the Gathering and
Scattering of Israel. 3 Nephi 19–21. See also: J.F.
McConkie, "The Final Gathering of Christ" and "The Book of Mormon, the
Gathering of Israel, and the Second Coming of Christ" (packet, 158–63, 223).
- 20. Christ Teaches of the
Second Coming; Subsequent Appearances and Teachings. Christ and Isaiah.
Christ Relates Malachi 3–4. From the Beginning until the End. Mormon’s
Exposition on the Ministry of Christ. End of the Second Day. The Disciples Set
Forth on the Third Day. Later Appearances. The Name of the Church. The Gospel
of Christ. Christ’s Joy and Sorrow in the Nephites. 3 Nephi 22–27.
See also: Jackson, "Teaching from the Words of the Prophets"
- 21. Results of
Christ’s Visitation. Ministry of the Three Disciples. Mormon’s Concluding
Teachings. Call to the Gentiles. 4 Nephi: Records of Nephi4, Amos1,
Amos 2, and Ammaron. Unity in Faith: All Converted to the Church of
Christ. Unity in a Zion Society. Decline and Downfall of a Zion Society. 3
Nephi 28–30, 4 Nephi. See also: Overview of 4 Nephi and
Allen, "Nephi, fourth book of" (packet, 227–230).
Exam 2 Materials (lectures 10-21)
Unit 3: Mormon-Moroni
- 22. The Ministry of
Mormon. Introduction to Mormon. Mormon’s Career from Age Ten to Fifteen.
Mormon the General. Mormon an "Idle Witness," Assuming in Earnest His Role as
Record-keeper and Prophet to the Future. Message to Israel and the Gentiles.
Nephite-Lamanite Wars Resume Without Mormon. Mormon Again General. Mormon’s
Prophecies. Mormon 1–5. See also: Overview of Mormon and
Seely, "Mormon, book of" (packet, 237–41).
- 23. The End of Nephite Civilization; Moroni Completes Mormon’s Record.
Final Battle at Cumorah. Mormon’s Lament. Mormon’s Admonition to the Remnant
of Lehi. Additions of Moroni. Aftermath of Cumorah. Prophecies about the Book
of Mormon. Moroni’s Message to Future Readers. Moroni’s First Farewell.
Mormon 6–9. See also: Welch and Welch, charts 21, 138.
- 24. The Founding of the
Jaredite Nation. Introduction to Ether. The Brother of
Jared and His Family. Traveling to the Promised Land. The Revelation of
Jesus Christ. Moroni’s Commentary on the Faith of the Brother of Jared.
Sealed Records. Ether 1–5. See also: Overview of Ether,
Peterson, "Ether, book of," and Jackson, "Christ and the Jaredites (packet,
- 25. Chronicle of the Jaredite
Kings. Jaredites Established in the Promised Land. Monarchy under Orihah,
Son of Jared. The First Kings, Rebellions, and Restorations. Further
Dynastic Rivalries Lead to Secret Combinations. Righteous Kings Prosper to
Heth. Wickedness of Heth Leads to Famine and Plagues of Serpents. The
Pattern Continues: Kings, Captivity, and Rebellion. Ether 6–11.
See also: "Three Periods of Secret Combinations" (packet, 291);
Welch and Welch, chart 31.
- 26. Prophecies of Ether and
the Destruction of the Jaredites. Ether Preaches Repentance and Faith.
Moroni’s Commentary on Faith. Ether on the New Jerusalem. Ether Rejected.
Wars of Coriantumr and His Rivals. The Final Battle. Ether’s Final Words.
Ether 12–15. See also: Welch and Welch, chart 138.
Take-home quiz #3 distributed.
- 27. Practices of the Ancient
Church and Mormon’s Sermon. Introduction to Moroni. Ordinances,
Meetings, Disciples, and Practice among the Nephites. Words and Writings of
Mormon 1. Worshiping with Real Intent. Discerning between Good and Evil.
Spirit of Christ and the Holy Ghost. Moroni 1:1–7:19. See also:
Overview of Moroni, Merrill, "Moroni, book of," and (packet, 295–297); Welch
and Welch, chart 75. Take-home quiz #3 due.
- 28. Final Words of Mormon and
Moroni. Words and Writings of Mormon 2. Mormon’s Epistle against
Infant Baptism. Mormon’s Epistle Recounting Nephite and Lamanite War Crimes.
Moroni’s Final Farewell and Teachings. Truthfulness of the Book of Mormon.
Gifts of the Spirit. Faith, Hope, and Charity. Moroni’s Words as a Witness.
Invitation to Come unto Christ. Moroni 7:20–10:34. See also:
Nyman, "Hope, Faith, and Charity," and McConkie, "The Salvation of Little
Children" (packet, 298–303, 322–26). Exegetical Paper due.
in the Book of Mormon (including this Rel 121's interpretative approach)***
Isaiah key handout: A
helpful chart illustrating the patterns of scatterings and gathering and how
they are dependent upon Israel's keeping or breaking of covenants and rejection
or acceptance of the Messiah
to Understanding Isaiah (1973)