Religion A 122: Introduction to The Book of Mormon
(Alma 30 - Moroni 10)
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 Christ.
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.
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
Links and Bookmarks
- Book of Mormon Outlines: (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 Guidelins
- Other Book of Mormon Resources
- Huntsman's Rel 121 page (first half of the Book of Mormon)
- Huntsman's Rel 211 and 212 pages (New Testament)
- Frequently Asked Questions about Religious Education at BYU (credits, requirements, etc.): http://religion.byu.edu/students.htm
- Ancient America Foundation (AAF): http://www.ancientamerica.org/
- Book of Mormon Archaeological Forum: http://www.bmaf.org/
- Maxwell Institute for Religious Scholarship
- Jeanette W. Miller, "The Tree of Life, a Personification of Christ"
- John L. Sorenson, "When Lehi's Party Arrived in the Land, Did They Find Others There?"
- D. Jeffrey Meldrum, Trent D. Stephens, "Who Are the Children of Lehi?"
Lecture Outlines and Presentations
- 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.
- 4. 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, chart 54
- 5. 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.
- 9. 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.
- 11. 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.
- 12. 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 distributed.
- 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" (packet, 164–69).
- 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, 257–68).
- 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.
- Isaiah in the Book of Mormon (including this class' interpretative approach)***
- Interpreting Isaiah: Helpful charts 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 new
- 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
- Isaiah outline
- McConkie, Ten Keys to Understanding Isaiah (1973)
Announcements and Upcoming Events
September 12: “Sitting at the Feet of Jesus,” Time Out for Women, Denver
August 18-21 “Worship: Encountering and Being Transformed by God,” BYU Education Week
August 17 “LDS Christology and the Gospel of John,” BYU Education Week
August 5-11 Aspen Grove Family Camp
April 22: “Grateful for Grace: Appreciating the Saving and Transforming Power of Jesus Christ,” YSA 18th Stake Fireside
April 30: Womens Conference 2015 "Wells of Trust Fanning Flames of Faith"
May 8–9: “The Search for the ‘Real’ Jesus of Nazareth: The Jesus of Faith, History, and Revelation,” Miller-Eccles Study Group, Fullerton and La Cañada, California
September 24 Second John A. Widtsoe Symposium, “Religion in the Public Square,” 7:00-9:00, tutor Center Ballroom, USC, Los Angeles (with the following link:
October 9 “The Footsteps of Jesus: Remembering His Miracles,” Cruise Lady Learn Our Religion Series, 7:00, 9118 S Redwood, West Jordan
November 8: “Sitting at the Feet of Jesus,” Time Out for Women, St. George
November 14: “Sitting at the Feet of Jesus,” Time Out for Women, Portland