Who Wrote the Book of Mormon?
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“Who Wrote the Book of Mormon?” Ensign, Oct. 2011, 22–23

Who Wrote the Book of Mormon?

Ancient prophets, historians, and leaders engraved their testimonies and history on golden plates. Later, the Prophet Joseph Smith, by the gift and power of God, translated an abridgment of those original plates.

Authors or Sources of the Original Ancient Records

Records That Made Up the Plates

Nephi1, Jacob, Enos, Jarom, Omni, and others

Small plates of Nephi (spiritual records; about 600 B.C. to 130 B.C.)


Words of Mormon (connects the small plates and the abridgment of the large plates of Nephi; see verses 1–18)

Brass plates of Laban (see 1 Nephi 5:10–14)

Large plates of Nephi (temporal records and religious history; about 130 B.C. to A.D. 321)


Lehi (see 2 Nephi 1:1–4, 11; D&C 3, section introduction); Benjamin (see Omni 1:12–23; Words of Mormon 1:16–18; Mosiah 1–6); Mosiah2 (see Omni 1:23–25; Mosiah 6:3); Alma the Younger, Sons of Mosiah, Helaman2, Pahoran, Captain Moroni, Nephi3, Nephi4


Records of Mormon (about A.D. 345 to A.D. 385)

Jaredite records on 24 plates, including the writings of Ether (see Ether 1:1–5)

Book of Ether, edited Jaredite records (about 2400 B.C. to 600 B.C.)


Records of Moroni (see Mormon 9:30–37; about A.D. 385 to A.D. 421)

Golden Plates Given to the Prophet Joseph Smith by the Angel Moroni on September 22, 1827

The Book of Mormon

Plates of Mormon (records compiled and abridged by Mormon and Moroni)

Title Page*

1 Nephi

2 Nephi





Words of Mormon




3 Nephi

4 Nephi




Sealed portion (not translated)

  • 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” (History of the Church, 1:71).