The Annotated Book of Mormon : I Nephi : 12

12:1 And it came to pass that the angel said unto me: Look, and behold thy seed, and also the seed of thy brethren. And I looked and beheld the land of promise; and I beheld multitudes of people, yea, even as it were in number as many as the sand of the sea.  
12:2 And it came to pass that I beheld multitudes gathered together to battle, one against the other; and I beheld 1wars, and rumors of wars, and great slaughters with the sword among my people. [1] Matthew 24:6 ...wars and rumours of wars...
12:3 And it came to pass that I beheld many generations pass away, after the manner of wars and contentions in the land; and I beheld many 1cities, yea, even that I did not number them. [1] The location or identification of any Nephite city remains a problem for the Book of Mormon. While a number of LDS apologists have proposed geographic settings for the Book of Mormon, and pointed to pre-Columbian ruins as possible Nephite remains, conclusive proof is still lacking. This is despite a concerted archaeological effort in Mesoamerica; some expeditions have even been conducted by the LDS church itself. All to no avail.
12:4 And it came to pass that I saw a mist of darkness on the face of the land of promise; and I saw lightnings, and I heard thunderings, and earthquakes, and all manner of tumultuous noises; and I saw the 1earth and the rocks, that they rent; and I saw mountains tumbling into pieces; and I saw the plains of the earth, that they were broken up; and I saw many cities that they were sunk; and I saw many that they were burned with fire; and I saw many that did tumble to the earth, because of the quaking thereof. [1] Matthew 27:51: ...the earth did quake, and the rocks rent...
12:5 And it came to pass after I saw these things, I saw the vapor of darkness, that it passed from off the face of the earth; and behold, I saw multitudes who had not fallen because of the great and terrible judgments of the Lord.  
12:6 And I saw the 1heavens open, and the Lamb of God descending out of heaven; and he came down and showed himself unto them. [1] John 1:51: ...Hereafter ye shall see heaven open, and the angels of God ascending and descending upon the Son of man.
12:7 And I also saw and bear record that the Holy Ghost fell upon twelve others; and they were ordained of God, and chosen.  
12:8 And the angel spake unto me, saying: Behold the twelve disciples of the Lamb, who are chosen to minister unto thy seed.  
12:9 And he said unto me: Thou rememberest the 1twelve apostles of the Lamb? Behold they are they who shall judge the twelve tribes of Israel; wherefore, the twelve ministers of thy seed shall be judged of them; for ye are of the house of Israel. [1] Revelation 21:14 ...and in them the names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb.
12:10 And these twelve ministers whom thou beholdest shall judge thy seed. And, behold, they are righteous forever; for because of their faith in the Lamb of God their 1garments are made white in his blood. [1] Revelation 7:14: ...and have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.
12:11 And the angel said unto me: Look! And I looked, and beheld three generations pass away in righteousness; and their garments were white even like unto the Lamb of God. And the angel said unto me: These are made white in the blood of the Lamb, because of their faith in him.  
12:12 And I, Nephi, also saw many of the fourth generation who passed away in righteousness.  
12:13 And it came to pass that I saw the multitudes of the earth gathered together.  
12:14 And the angel said unto me: Behold thy seed, and also the seed of thy brethren.  
12:15 And it came to pass that I looked and beheld the people of my seed gathered together in multitudes against the seed of my brethren; and they were gathered together to battle.  
12:16 And the angel spake unto me, saying: Behold the fountain of filthy water which thy father saw; yea, even the river of which he spake; and the depths thereof are the depths of hell.  
12:17 And the mists of darkness are the temptations of the 1devil, which blindeth the eyes, and hardeneth the hearts of the children of men, and leadeth them away into broad roads, that they perish and are lost. Topic: Anachronistic Concepts
[1] Satan, as a proper name for the being who opposes God, does not appear in pre-exilic Judaism. The word itself is used in the Old Testament as a common noun, meaning one who opposes or obstructs; an adversary. For example, in Numbers 22:32, the Angel who was sent to oppose Balaam uses the word "Satan" to describe his function (translated "withstand" in the KJV). The word is applied to human adversaries, for example in I Samuel 29:4, and to a prosecutor in a court (Psalm 109:6, incorrectly translated as a proper name in the KJV).

Satan, as a powerful being who opposes God, first appears in post-exilic Biblical books, specifically II Chronicles 21:1, Job 1-2 and Zechariah 3. In all of these instances, however, Satan appears as definitely under God's control. The concept of a free-willed, powerful being who opposes God appears in very late Jewish popular religion and, of course, in the New Testament.

Most scholars accept that the Jews imported the concept of Satan from the Persian religion, during the time that they were under Persian rule. The concept is thus too late to have been known to the Lehites.

A survey of the terms that the Book of Mormon uses to describe Satan will show the true source of the concept. He is called the "Father of lies" in II Nephi 2:18, II Nephi 9:9 and Ether 8:25, echoing Christ's words in John 8:44. He is referred to as an "angel of light" in II Nephi 9:9, a reference to II Corinthians 11:14. He is called "that old serpent" in II Nephi 2:18, the exact phrase used in Revelation 12:9. It is thus very evident that the Book of Mormon derives it's concept of Satan straight from the New Testament.

12:18 And the large and spacious building, which thy father saw, is 1vain imaginations and the pride of the children of men. And a great and a terrible gulf divideth them; yea, even the word of the justice of the Eternal God, and the 2Messiah who is the Lamb of God, of whom the Holy Ghost beareth record, from the beginning of the world until this time, and from this time henceforth and forever. [1] Romans 1:21: ...but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened.

[2] 1830 version: ...and Jesus Christ, which is the Lamb of God...
This verse was changed in the 1837 version to avoid a contradiction with II Nephi 10:3, where an angel reveals the name of the Messiah, apparently for the first time.

12:19 And while the angel spake these words, I beheld and saw that the seed of my brethren did contend against my seed, according to the word of the angel; and because of the pride of my seed, and the temptations of the devil, I beheld that the seed of my brethren did overpower the people of my seed.  
12:20 And it came to pass that I beheld, and saw the people of the seed of my brethren that they had overcome my seed; and they went forth in multitudes upon the face of the land.  
12:21 And I saw them gathered together in multitudes; and I saw 1wars and rumors of wars among them; and in wars and rumors of wars I saw many generations pass away. [1] Matthew 24:6 ...wars and rumours of wars...
12:22 And the angel said unto me: Behold these shall dwindle in unbelief.  
12:23 And it came to pass that I beheld, after they had dwindled in unbelief they became a dark, and loathsome, and a filthy people, full of idleness and all manner of abominations.  

Top Previous Next

Book Reviews
More Reviews
Some More
history of science
popular science
science fiction
discussion list
what's new
link here