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Three-Nephite Lore and Observing the Sacred: Some Observations

TitleThree-Nephite Lore and Observing the Sacred: Some Observations
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2014
AuthorsKramer, Brad
JournalJournal of Book of Mormon Studies
Type of ArticleNotes
KeywordsFolklore; Three Nephites

Modern-day encounters with the Three Nephites (described in the Book of Mormon) are commonly referenced in LDS culture. While such accounts could stand as confirmations of Latter-day Saint scripture, they are regularly described as irrelevant to questions of salvation and exaltation and are relegated to the inessential realm of folklore. Closer anthropological analysis of LDS discourse surrounding the Three Nephites—from humor and its role in figuring Mormon sacredness to connections to Mormon narratives of Christ’s resurrection and millennial expectation—suggests that these accounts are richly significant, that things that seem to matter little can convey a great deal about the Mormon experience of the sacred.