Which Plates Did the Book of Mormon Come From?
January 2020

“Which Plates Did the Book of Mormon Come From?” Ensign, January 2020

Come, Follow Me: Book of Mormon

Introductory Pages (December 30–January 5)

Which Plates Did the Book of Mormon Come From?

plates that Book of Mormon came from

The Book of Mormon was written by many ancient prophets who recorded their words on different sets of metal plates. These records were later abridged to create the plates of Mormon, or the gold plates that Joseph Smith translated.


Compared to all that could have been recorded on the gold plates, Mormon and others were inspired to choose only a small portion for the Book of Mormon (see Words of Mormon 1:5 and 3 Nephi 26:6). How can knowing this influence your perspective of the chapters we have today?

Some of the Sources for the Plates of Mormon

The Small Plates of Nephi (600 BC–130 BC*): 1 Nephi, 2 Nephi, Jacob, Enos, Jarom, Omni

The Large Plates of Nephi (600 BC–AD 385): Lehi, Mosiah, Alma, Helaman, 3 Nephi, 4 Nephi, Mormon 1–7

The Plates of Ether (around 2,300 BC–sometime before 130 BC)

The Plates of Brass (4,000 BC–600 BC): Many quotations from these plates appear in the Book of Mormon.

The Plates of Mormon Given to the Prophet Joseph Smith

The Book of Lehi (part of Mormon’s abridgment; the 116 pages lost by Martin Harris)

1 Nephi through Omni (unabridged; included from the small plates of Nephi)

The Words of Mormon (Mormon’s explanation for including the small plates of Nephi)

Mosiah through Mormon 7 (abridgment of the large plates of Nephi by Mormon)

Mormon 8–9 (Moroni’s completion of his father’s book)

Ether (the plates of Ether abridged by Moroni)

Moroni (the writings of Moroni, including the title page)

The sealed portion

  • Dates represent the approximate time period covered by each set of plates.