You are here

Prophecy and History: Structuring the Abridgment of the Nephite Records

TitleProphecy and History: Structuring the Abridgment of the Nephite Records
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2006
AuthorsOlsen, Steven L.
JournalJournal of Book of Mormon Studies
Pagination18-29, 70-71
KeywordsAbridgment; History; Literary Criticism; Mormon (Prophet); Narrative; Nephite; Prophecy; Structure

Utilizing techniques adapted from literary criticism, this paper investigates the narrative structure of the Book of Mormon, particularly the relationship between Nephi’s first-person account and Mormon’s third-person abridgment. A comparison of the order and relative prominence of material from 1 Nephi 12 with the content of Mormon’s historical record reveals that Mormon may have intentionally patterned the structure of his narrative after Nephi’s prophetic vision—a conclusion hinted at by Mormon himself in his editorial comments. With this understanding, readers of the Book of Mormon can see how Mormon’s sometimes unusual editorial decisions are actually guided by an overarching desire to show that Nephi’s prophecies have been dramatically and literally fulfilled in the history of his people.


Scripture Reference

1 Nephi 12:1-23