Introduction to the Book of Jarom

Book of Mormon Seminary Teacher Manual, 2012


Why study this book?

As students study the book of Jarom, they will see that God keeps His promise to bless those who obey His commandments. They will also learn about the efforts of Nephite kings, prophets, teachers, and priests of Jarom’s day to help the people repent and avoid destruction.

Who wrote this book?

Enos’s son Jarom wrote this book. Like his father—and like his grandfather Jacob and his great-grandfather Lehi—Jarom had the spirit of prophecy and revelation (see Jarom 1:2). When he finished his record, he passed the plates to his son Omni.

To whom was this book written and why?

Jarom said that he wrote “according to the commandment of [his] father, Enos, that [their] genealogy may be kept” (Jarom 1:1). He also indicated that his record was “written for … the benefit of [his] brethren the Lamanites” (Jarom 1:2; see also Enos 1:13–18). Jarom did not record his own prophecies and revelations, because he believed those recorded by his fathers sufficiently “revealed the plan of salvation” (Jarom 1:2). Instead, he described the labors of the Nephite leaders during the time of his ministry. These leaders “were mighty men in the faith of the Lord” (Jarom 1:7) who continually urged the people to repent and obey the commandments (see Jarom 1:3–5, 10–12). Jarom observed that when the people chose to follow the counsel of their righteous leaders, they prospered and were able to fortify themselves against the Lamanites. He testified, “The word of the Lord was verified, which he spake unto our fathers, saying that: Inasmuch as ye will keep my commandments ye shall prosper in the land” (Jarom 1:9; see also 1 Nephi 2:19–20).

When and where was it written?

The book of Jarom covers approximately 59 years, from about 420 B.C. to 361 B.C. (see Enos 1:25; Jarom 1:13). It was written in the land of Nephi.

What are some distinctive features of this book?

The book of Jarom is the shortest book in the Book of Mormon. It provides details about the growth of the Nephite civilization, stating that they had “multiplied exceedingly, and spread upon the face of the land” (Jarom 1:8). They had also become rich in resources and had become skilled in working with wood and metal, constructing buildings, crafting machinery, and making tools and weapons (see Jarom 1:8).

Outline

Jarom 1:1–2 Jarom receives the plates and explains his purpose for writing.

Jarom 1:3–12 Jarom records the fulfillment of the Lord’s promise to bless and prosper the Nephites as they kept His commandments. He testifies of the Savior’s power to save people from sin even before His mortal ministry, allowing people to “believe in him … as though he already was” (Jarom 1:11).

Jarom 1:13–15 Jarom states that an account of the wars between the Nephites and Lamanites was kept on the large plates of Nephi. He passes the small plates to his son Omni.