Thursday, August 9, 2012

Selections from the Plates of Brass

In addition to a deeply ingrained influence, the Book of Mormon itself contains several direct quotations from the plates of brass, most of them quoted by Nephi.  Of the 6,604 verses in the Book of Mormon, 540 (8%) contain quotations from the plates of brass.  Some are from prophets lost to the Old Testament, such as Zenos, Zenock, and Neum.  Another prophet mentioned but not quoted is Ezias. Several are from the prophet Isaiah.  One series of verses is a prophecy from Joseph who was sold into Egypt.  These quotations are electrifying as we realize they are precious, few, and these words would not exist for us to read without the Book of Mormon.

Here is a compilation of writings that are from the brass plates, as quoted in the Book of Mormon, listed according to prophet:
* not in the Old Testament)


Alma 46:24-25*. Jacob saw that a remnant of Joseph's coat had not decayed and likened it unto a remnant of Joseph's seed that would be taken unto God.  Moroni quoted this as he rallied the people to the Title of Liberty. 

Second Nephi 3:6-21*.  Joseph who was sold into Egypt prophesies of Joseph Smith, the Restoration, and the blessing of his seed in the latter days.  Lehi quotes it to his son Joseph as part of a farewell blessing.

First Nephi 22:20.  Moses spake of a prophet (Jesus Christ) who would come.  Nephi expounds on this.  Similar to Deuteronomy 18:15-19, and Acts 3:22-23.

Second Nephi 2:18. The words of Satan to Eve in the Garden of Eden.  Presumably from the writings of Moses concerning the creation and fall.  Genesis 3:4-5.

Mosiah 12:34-36, 13:12-24.  The Ten Commandments.  Abinidi quotes them to the wicked priests of King Noah.  Exodus 20:1-17.

Alma 12:21. God placed cherubim to guard Eden.  Antionah referenced this in his question to Alma regarding immortality.  Genesis 3:24; Moses 4:21.

Third Nephi 20:3.  The Savior quotes Moses and proclaims that he is the prophet whom Moses spoke of.  First Nephi 22:20 (above), Deuteronomy 18:15-19, and Acts 3:22-23.

Third Nephi 20:25.  The Savior teaches the Nephites that they are the children of Abraham.  These words to Abraham are in the first book of Moses.  Genesis 12:3, and 22:18.

Numerous references are made to the Law of Moses, Moses raising the brazen serpent, and other events in Moses's life.


First Nephi 20-21. Nephi quotes Isaiah while teaching his brethren.  Isaiah 48-49.

Second Nephi 6:6-7, 16-18.  Jacob quotes Isaiah while teaching the Nephites.  Isaiah 49:22-26.

Second Nephi 7-8.  Jacob quotes Isaiah while teaching the Nephites.  Isaiah 50-51:2.

Second Nephi 12-24.  Nephi's writes the words of Isaiah.  Isaiah 2-14.

Second Nephi 27:2-6, 15, 19, 13-35.  Nephi quotes Isaiah during his discourse on the restoration and the last days.  Isaiah 29.  It is less explicit, and never says "according to the words of Isaiah" or something to that effect.  The middle verses, approximately 6-24, which discuss the coming forth of the Book of Mormon, the witnesses to it, and the learned man's rejection, don't duplicate Isaiah 29 as it stands in the Bible.  This could be lost portions of Isaiah that Nephi is quoting from the plates of brass, or Nephi's own inspired additions.  

Mosiah 12:21-24.  Noah's wicked priests quote Isaiah to accuse Abanidi of prophesying evil.  Isaiah 52:7-10.

Mosiah 14.  Abanidi teaches about the atonement of Jesus Christ while quoting Isaiah.  Isaiah 53.

Third Nephi 16:18-20.  The Savior quotes Isaiah while teaching the Nephites.  Isaiah 52:8-10.

Third Nephi 20:36-45.  The Savior quotes Isaiah while teaching the Nephites.  Isaiah 52:1-3, 6-7, 11-15.

Third Nephi 22. The Savior quotes Isaiah while teaching the Nephites.  Isaiah 54. 


First Nephi 19:10-17*.  Zenos prophesies the burial of Christ and three days of darkness, the fate of those at Jerusalem, and the gathering of the House of Israel.  The phrase "thus saith the prophet" or something similar is used by Nephi in verses 11-17, presumably attributing Zenos, who is mentioned by name in verse 10,12, and 16.

Jacob 5*.  Zenos compares the House of Israel to an olive tree.  

Alma 33:4-11*.  Zenos speaks of prayer, and mercy, because of the Son.  

He was slain for his bold testimony: Helaman 8:19.

He spoke of the restoration of the Lamanites to the knowledge of the truth in Helaman 15:11.  

Zenos and Zenock are ancestors of Lehi and his posterity, Third Nephi 10:15-16.


First Nephi 19:10*.  Zenock said that Christ would be lifted up. 

Alma 33:16*.  Zenock speaks of mercies bestowed because of the Son.

Lehi's posterity are descendants of Zenos and Zenock, Third Nephi 10:15-16.


First Nephi 19:10*.  Neum said that Christ would be crucified.  


First Nephi 22:15,17, 23*.  Presumably this could be Zenos as the phrase "thus saith the prophet" is used in similar fashion to First Nephi 19:11-17.  

Second Nephi 2:17. Lehi refrences "that which is written" about an angel who fell from heaven.  This could be a reference to Isaiah 14:12

Second Nephi 2:30*.  Lehi says he has "chosen the good part, according to the words of the prophet".  Since this phrase or its variations are not found in the Old Testament, it was probably Zenos or another prophet.

Second Nephi 6:14*.  Jacob mentions "according to the words of the prophet" the Messiah will come again.  Could be a reference to the writings of Zenos.

In summary, Mormon encapsulates the message of the plates of brass in 3 Nephi 10:15-17:

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