How and Why the Book of Mormon Was Written

Book of Mormon Student Study Guide, (2000), 9


The title page of the Book of Mormon was written by Moroni, the son of Mormon. The Prophet Joseph Smith explained: “The title-page of the Book of Mormon is a literal translation, taken from the very last leaf, on the left hand side of the collection or book of plates, which contained the record which has been translated, the language of the whole running the same as all Hebrew writing in general; and that said title page is not by any means a modern composition, either of mine or of any other man who has lived or does live in this generation” (History of the Church, 1:71).The title page explains by what power the Book of Mormon was written and by what power it would come forth in the latter days. Moroni also gave several reasons why this sacred record was written and preserved to come forth in our day.

Understanding the Scriptures

Title page

Abridgement Shortened version
Remnant A remaining part
Confounded confused

Title Page—What Is Meant by “House of Israel,” “Jew,” and “Gentile”?

Jacob, the son of Isaac and the grandson of Abraham, was given the name Israel by the Lord (see Genesis 32:28). “The house of Israel” refers to his descendants (see Bible Dictionary, “Israel,” "Israel, kingdom of," p. 708). “Jew” referred originally to a person belonging to the tribe of Judah, but has also come to mean anyone from the kingdom of Judah, even if he or she is not actually of the tribe of Judah (see Bible Dictionary, "Jew," p. 713). “Gentile” means “nations,” and refers to those who are not of the house of Israel or those who do not believe in the God of Israel (see Bible Dictionary, "Gentile," p. 679). In the Book of Mormon the word Gentiles can also refer to those who lived in or came from nations outside the land of Israel, regardless of their lineage.

Studying the Scriptures

Do activity A as you study the title page of the Book of Mormon.

Activity A iconFind the Purposes

In the first paragraph of the title page, Moroni explained that the Book of Mormon was “written by way of commandment, and also by the spirit of prophecy and of revelation.” In the second paragraph he gave several purposes, or reasons why God commanded that these records be kept. Find as many of those purposes as you can and write them in your notebook. Circle one that is most meaningful to you.