W of M 1:1-18
This page would ideally always be under construction. You are invited to contribute.
This heading should be very brief. Click the link above and to the right to edit or add content to this heading. →
Relationship to Book of Mormon. The relationship of Words of Mormon to the Book of Mormon as a whole is discussed at Book of Mormon: Unities.
Story. Words of Mormon consists of ____ major sections:
Message. Themes, symbols, and doctrinal points emphasized in Words of Mormon include:
This heading should be brief and explain facts about the historical setting that will help a reader to understand the book. Click the link above and to the right to edit or add content to this heading. →
This section is for detailed discussion such as the meaning of a symbol, how a doctrinal point is developed throughout a passage, or insights that can be further developed in the future. Contributions may range from polished paragraphs down to a single bullet point. The focus, however, should always be on understanding the scriptural text consistent with LDS doctrine. Click the link above and to the right to edit or add content to this heading. →
- While we don't know what original word is being translated in verse 15 as "false Christ", in the New Testament (Matt 24:24; Mark 13:22), the term "false Christ" is a translation of the Greek noun Pseudochristos--defined as "one who falsely lays claim to the name and office of the Messiah".
- One possible source for the reference to "false Christs" in this passage is the ancient Mesoamerican practice of god impersonation, where a priest dresses up as a god to perform sacred rites. These costumes often included masks and feathers, and were prominent in the religious worship in most Mesoamerican cultures, begining with the Olmec traditions over 600 years before the time of Christ. For more information see the related links section below.
Complete outline and page map
This heading contains an outline for the entire book. Items in blue or purple text indicate hyperlinked pages that address specific portions of the book. Click the link above and to the right to edit or add content to this heading. →
This section is for questions along the lines of "I still don't understand ..." Please do not be shy. The point of these questions is to identify things that still need to be addressed on this page. Click the link above and to the right to edit or add content to this heading. →
Prompts for life application
This section is for prompts that suggest ways in which a passage can influence a person's life. Prompts may be appropriate either for private self reflection or for a class discussion. Click the link above and to the right to edit or add content to this heading. →
Prompts for further study
This section is for prompts that invite us to think about a passage more deeply or in a new way. These are not necessarily questions that beg for answers, but rather prompts along the lines of "Have you ever thought about ..." Prompts are most helpful when they are developed individually, thoughtfully, and with enough background information to clearly indicate a particular direction for further study or thought. Click the link above and to the right to edit or add content to this heading. →
- When did Mormon write The Words of Mormon? That is, at what point during his abridgment and compilation of the rest of his record did he write these words?
- Who are the "false Christs" mentioned in vs. 15?
- What is the difference between a "false Christ" and an "Anti-Christ"?
This section is for listing links and print resources, including those that are also cited elsewhere on this page. A short comment about the particular strengths of a resource can be helpful. Click the link above and to the right to edit or add content to this heading. →
- The original 1830 edition of Words of Mormon.
Related passages that interpret or shed light on Words of Mormon.
References cited on this page.
- LDS Institute Book of Mormon Student Manual (PDF version): Enos to Words of Mromon (17/56). Salt Lake City: Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 2009.
- In this Meridian magazine article, Brant Gardner briefly discusses the ancient Mesoamerican practice of god impersonation as providing one possible source of this reference to "false Christs". This ancient practice is described in Julia Kappelman's interesting 1997 doctoral dissertation at the University of Texas.
Footnotes are not required but are encouraged for factual assertions that average readers cannot easily evaluate for themselves (such as the date of King Solomon’s death or the nuanced definition of a Greek word). In contrast, insights rarely benefit from footnoting, and the focus of this page should always remain on the scriptures themselves rather than what someone has said about them. Links are actively encouraged on all sections of this page, and links to authoritative sources (such as Strong's Bible Concordance or the Joseph Smith Papers) are preferable to footnotes.