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The Psalm of Nephi in an Age of Anxiety and Division

TitleThe Psalm of Nephi in an Age of Anxiety and Division
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2023
AuthorsMason, Patrick Q.
JournalBYU Studies
KeywordsPsalm of Nephi

This brief essay supplements the prior scholarship on the Psalm of Nephi by asking two questions: How have readers understood this passage over time? And how might the Psalm of Nephi be a particularly useful text today? To answer these questions, I provide a reception history of the text, documenting how these twenty verses have been received and interpreted by various readers since the Book of Mormon’s publication. I then interpret what the historical evidence suggests—that the Psalm of Nephi has become increasingly popular in recent decades after being virtually neglected for about a century. Finally, I will offer a distinctive reading that highlights the text’s current resonance and relevance in our contemporary age of anxiety and division.