The Old Testament and the Book of Mormon

The Book of Mormon is not a commentary on the Bible, but it does build on a biblical foundation, both doctrinally and historically. Here are a few examples:

  • The book opens with the story of Lehi and his family, who lived in Jerusalem during the reign of King Zedekiah. (See 1 Nephi 1:4.) That period of Israelite history is described in 2 Kings 24 and 2 Chronicles 36. Lehi’s family immigrated to the American continent. Hundreds of years later, they discovered that one of Zedekiah’s sons, named Mulek, had also traveled with a group of people and settled on the American continent. (See Omni 1:15, Helaman 6:10, Helaman 8:21.)
  • Before traveling far from Jerusalem, Lehi’s sons return to obtain the brass plates, which contain “the five books of Moses,” “a record of the Jews…down to the commencement of the reign of Zedekiah,” and “the prophecies of the holy prophets” (1 Nephi 5:11-13). This description corresponds to the three categories of writing found in the Old Testament: the Torah (or the law of Moses), the Ketuvim (the writings), and the Nevi’im (the prophets). (See “Hebrew Bible: Torah, Prophets and Writings” on myjewishlearning.com.)
  • Lehi’s son Nephi repeatedly references events from the life of Moses to encourage his family to have faith. (See 1 Nephi 4:2, 1 Nephi 17:24-29, 2 Nephi 25:20.)
  • Lehi was a descendant of Joseph, who was sold into slavery in Egypt. He named one of his sons Joseph and spoke to that son about their ancestor. (See 2 Nephi 3.)
  • Nephi quotes extensively from the prophet Isaiah. (See 1 Nephi 20-21, 2 Nephi 12-24, 27.)
  • Book of Mormon prophets quote from or paraphrase other biblical passages regularly. One example is Psalm 95:7-11, which Jacob quotes part of (Jacob 6:6), and which Alma expounds upon extensively in his sermon at Ammonihah. (See Alma 12 and 13.)

During 2022, I’ve studied the Old Testament, looking for connections with the Book of Mormon. Here are some blog posts in which I discuss principles I’ve learned in this process:

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