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by Eldin Ricks
Joseph Smith once wrote, "I wish to mention here that 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; and that said title-page is not a modern composition, either of mine or of any other man who has lived or does live in this generation" (HC 1:71.).
The title page is therefore the translation of an ancient document, at least partially written by Moroni 2, son of Mormon, in the fifth century A.D. It describes the volume as an "abridgment of the record of the people of Nephi, and also of the Lamanites" and "an abridgment taken from the Book of Ether also, which is a record of the people of Jared" (see Book of Mormon Plates and Records).
According to the title page, the Book of Mormon is addressed to Lamanites, Jews, and gentiles and is designed to inform Lamanites of promises made to their forebears and to convince "Jew and Gentile that Jesus is the Christ, the Eternal God, manifesting himself unto all nations."
The title page was used as the description of the Book of Mormon on the federal copyright application filed June 11, 1829, with R. R. Lansing, Clerk of the District Court of the United States for the Northern District of New York, at Albany.
(See Basic Beliefs home page; Book of Mormon home page; Overview of the Book of Mormon home page)
Ludlow, Daniel H. "The title page." In The Book of Mormon: First Nephi, The Doctrinal Foundation, ed. Monte S. Nyman and Charles D. Tate, pp. 19-33. Provo, Utah, 1988.
Encyclopedia of Mormonism, Vol.1, Book of Mormon
Copyright © 1992 by Macmillan Publishing Company
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