Who Named the Book of Mormon?


clbent04

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2 hours ago, clbent04 said:

Does anyone know who decided to name the Book of Mormon as such? Was it revealed to Joseph Smith from God for it to be named the Book of Mormon? If not, I would like to suggest we simply call it the American Testament of Jesus Christ

I think Mormon himself named it such, as he wrote the Title Page. 

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3 hours ago, CV75 said:

I think Mormon himself named it such, as he wrote the Title Page. 

Would you be opposed to the idea of the Church dropping the Book of Mormon title and replacing it with American Testament of Jesus Christ? It would seem so much more fitting, don’t you think? I mean, I just don’t get why it was ever named the Book of Mormon to begin with. Very misleading to what it’s about

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7 hours ago, clbent04 said:

Would you be opposed to the idea of the Church dropping the Book of Mormon title and replacing it with American Testament of Jesus Christ? It would seem so much more fitting, don’t you think? I mean, I just don’t get why it was ever named the Book of Mormon to begin with. Very misleading to what it’s about

What else would Mormon have named it, or Joseph Smith have translated? Mormon identified the larger work as his record (Words of Mormon 1:1; 9; 3; Nephi 5:12-20), as he did his own personal account in Mormon 1:1. Several times throughout the work he reminds us that he wrote what was commanded him of the Lord. He very clearly explained what it is about on the Title Page.

 

Edited by CV75
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I thought the title page made it clear.  But since you asked a follow-up question, I chose to sit and consider the name for a time.  Below are my ponderings on the question.

7 hours ago, clbent04 said:

Would you be opposed to the idea of the Church dropping the Book of Mormon title and replacing it with American Testament of Jesus Christ?

If the Lord said to His prophet that He wanted the book's name changed, and then the rest of the First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve Apostles received confirmation, I'd support any new name they said we were going to use, and work toward adopting it immediately.  Short of that, I'm opposed to any name change.  Changing the name would lose all the historic significance and momentum of the name, essentially setting us back to square one.  It would also create confusion among those who know the names "Mormon" and "Book of Mormon" but don't have frequent or intimate interaction with the Church.  It would also create significant expense which ought not to be incurred without divine initiation.

The name of the book fits with the culture and tradition of the man who compiled it, and those who wrote his source material (and those who wrote the books found in the Bible - which adds a subtle link between the two).  Its uniqueness helps serve to identify a unique people.

It's not misleading.  A man named "Mormon" wrote a book.  He called it "Mormon's Book" (but in the more formal form of "Book of Mormon" - in English anyway;  Russian, for example, doesn't have two ways of saying that, so they use the one; I have no idea how many ways "reformed Egyptian" had for writing that idea, but I'd bet just one).  If someone doesn't understand that, the name invites inquiry followed by learning.

The existing sub-title, "Another Testament of Jesus Christ" invites consideration of why it says "another".  What's the first testament or what are the others?  Why is this "another"?  Are there more?  It provides a subtle reminder of the principle of 2+ witnesses.

The absence of "American" avoids confusion that would link the book to the modern United States of America, and makes it clear (should one wish to ponder for a moment) that this work pre-dates not only the naming of these continents as "American", but even the "glimmer in his father's eye" that became Amerigo Vespucci.

Yes, I think the name serves us well as-is. :)

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44 minutes ago, zil said:

It's not misleading.  

The absence of "American" avoids confusion that would link the book to the modern United States of America, and makes it clear (should one wish to ponder for a moment) that this work pre-dates not only the naming of these continents as "American", but even the "glimmer in his father's eye" that became Amerigo Vespucci.

Yes, I think the name serves us well as-is. :)

Good points. I meant to say the title is misrepresentative, not misleading. If I’m abriging a book that has 30 chapters all written by different authors myself included, I would try naming it something that captures the central theme/message/idea. The public at large already struggles with grasping what Mormonism is, why compound the confusion with vague titles that could be more transparent?

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41 minutes ago, clbent04 said:

If I’m abriging a book that has 30 chapters all written by different authors myself included, I would try naming it something that captures the central theme/message/idea.

Apparently Mormon felt differently.  Rather than finding fault with his choice / culture / tradition, why not look for value in it?  Seriously, I see two choices:

1) Spend time being unhappy with Mormon's choice and coming up with ideas on how to make it better (a fruitless and dissatisfying endeavor since it's full of unanswerable questions and is something you are powerless to enact) (Warning: see Ether 12:23:26 - don't take advantage of Mormon's (perceived?) weakness in writing / titling)

2) Spend that time looking for value / insight / understanding of the name choice, then share that with others (Christ's grace is sufficient in this endeavor)

35 minutes ago, clbent04 said:

why compound the confusion with vague titles that could be more transparent?

What can I say?  I think the existing title is sufficiently transparent, and that if one is confused, that confusion is easily banished by opening the book and reading from the title page through the "Brief Explanation about the Book of Mormon" page(s).

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16 hours ago, clbent04 said:

Would you be opposed to the idea of the Church dropping the Book of Mormon title and replacing it with American Testament of Jesus Christ? It would seem so much more fitting, don’t you think? I mean, I just don’t get why it was ever named the Book of Mormon to begin with. Very misleading to what it’s about

Really?

You do realize the secondary title is: Another Testament of Jesus Christ, right?  Let's take a look at many other famous titles:

To Kill a Mockingbird
Catcher in the Rye
Bridges of Madison County
Flowers in the Attic
1984
Wuthering Heights
Lord of the Flies

There is no way that anyone would be able to fathom the subject of the stories by simply reading the title.  Yet they are classics.  And people who read them understand the meaning of the titles.

Now let's make a more appropriate comparison.  The Bible simply means "The Library".  Does that make sense?  What does it actually tell us about the contents?  Absolutely NOTHING!

The Book of Mormon is so named because Mormon was the primary man who compiled the entire record.  This makes as much sense as calling the books of the Pentatuch - the First Book of Moses and the Second Book of Moses, etc.

Edited by Guest
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19 hours ago, clbent04 said:

Does anyone know who decided to name the Book of Mormon as such? Was it revealed to Joseph Smith from God for it to be named the Book of Mormon? If not, I would like to suggest we simply call it the American Testament of Jesus Christ

It appears that Moroni, Mormon's son, named the entirety of his father's abridgment after him (see e.g. Mormon 8 and the Title Page, which was doubtless written by Moroni, not Mormon). Mormon himself seems to have called his abridgment "my record" and possibly "the book of Nephi" (e.g. Helaman 2:14, possibly 4 Nephi 21).

Edited by Vort
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12 hours ago, clbent04 said:

Would you be opposed to the idea of the Church dropping the Book of Mormon title and replacing it with American Testament of Jesus Christ? It would seem so much more fitting, don’t you think? I mean, I just don’t get why it was ever named the Book of Mormon to begin with. Very misleading to what it’s about

I would be very much opposed to any such thing, though if the leadership found it appropriate (for whatever bizarre reason) to do so, I would not voice a complaint. They appended "Another Testament of Jesus Christ" to the title thirty or forty years ago, and I haven't complained publicly about that. But from where I'm sitting, "The Book of Mormon" appears to be the perfect name for the book.

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  • 1 year later...

The more I think about this, the more I feel Church leaders may very well be currently discussing the possibility of changing the name of The Book of Mormon especially considering President Nelson's recent directive of using the Church's full and official name.

Why change the title at this point after we have had such a long and rich history with it this far?

Because just like saying "I'm a Mormon", it's misrepresentative to who we truly are. We are not Mormon's people. We worship no man. We only worship God the Father and His Son.

The Book of Mormon testifies of Jesus Christ. Throughout its entirety, it's a book of Jesus Christ, not Mormon. 

The whole initiative of President Nelson steering us away from referring to ourselves and the Church by anything but the full and official naming was sprung from the title The Book of Mormon. Misrepresentation bred further misrepresentation and I think the Church may very well make further revisions by removing the name Mormon from the title of that sacred testament of Jesus Christ.

 

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5 minutes ago, clbent04 said:

The more I think about this, the more I feel Church leaders may very well be currently discussing the possibility of changing the name of The Book of Mormon especially considering President Nelson's recent directive of using the Church's full and official name.

Why change the title at this point after we have had such a long and rich history with it this far?

Because just like saying "I'm a Mormon", it's misrepresentative to who we truly are. We are not Mormon's people. We worship no man. We only worship God the Father and His Son.

The Book of Mormon testifies of Jesus Christ. Throughout its entirety, it's a book of Jesus Christ, not Mormon. 

The whole initiative of President Nelson steering us away from referring to ourselves and the Church by anything but the full and official naming was sprung from the title The Book of Mormon. Misrepresentation bred further misrepresentation and I think the Church may very well make further revisions by removing the name Mormon from the title of that sacred testament of Jesus Christ.

 

They won't.

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2 minutes ago, scottyg said:

They won't.

A lot of members thought the same thing about us no longer referring to ourselves as "Mormons" especially considering the resources dedicated to the "I'm a Mormon" campaign that was launched not too long ago.

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5 minutes ago, clbent04 said:

A lot of members thought the same thing about us no longer referring to ourselves as "Mormons" especially considering the resources dedicated to the "I'm a Mormon" campaign that was launched not too long ago.

I have had a few friends question that as well, especially because of the "I'm a Mormon" campaign, the "Meet the Mormons" movie, etc. 

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25 minutes ago, scottyg said:

They won't.

I tend to agree for a simple reason...  God Named the church and expects it to be called the Church of Jesus Christ.  There is a whole set of verses about the Name of the Church to be found in the Book of Mormon.  Thus getting us to call ourselves by the Name of Christ... Is a call to repentance.  The Book of Mormon is called by God as "The Book of Mormon" that is what he has repeatedly called it.  It no more needs to be changed then the Bible needs to have its name changed.

Or to put it in other words calling us Mormon is like calling other Christians.... Biblians

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2 hours ago, clbent04 said:

The more I think about this, the more I feel Church leaders may very well be currently discussing the possibility of changing the name of The Book of Mormon especially considering President Nelson's recent directive of using the Church's full and official name.

Why change the title at this point after we have had such a long and rich history with it this far?

Because just like saying "I'm a Mormon", it's misrepresentative to who we truly are. We are not Mormon's people. We worship no man. We only worship God the Father and His Son.

The Book of Mormon testifies of Jesus Christ. Throughout its entirety, it's a book of Jesus Christ, not Mormon. 

The whole initiative of President Nelson steering us away from referring to ourselves and the Church by anything but the full and official naming was sprung from the title The Book of Mormon. Misrepresentation bred further misrepresentation and I think the Church may very well make further revisions by removing the name Mormon from the title of that sacred testament of Jesus Christ.

 

You know we believe in more than one holy scripture right? So if you believe we need to change the Book of Mormon to align with the name of the church, we ought to rename all our other books too.

We would find ourselves reading:

The Book of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day saints in America (600bc - 400ad edition)

The Book of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day saints in Eurasia (6000bc Edition) 

The Book of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day saints in Europe and Asia ( 0ad - 35ad edition)

The doctrines and covenants of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saint 

The Pearl of Great prices of the Church of Kesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

Very silly indeed. The word “Bible” doesn’t misrepresent us. It’s the name of a book we read. Same as the Book of Mormon 

Edited by Fether
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My goodness people, have you read the book? It was named by Moroni in the title page of the book. The title page was the last thing he wrote on the plates. As a side note, Joseph said that the last page of the book was the title page and the plates were then turned over to Moroni. Then the small plates of Nephi were brought to him to translate, they were not part of the set that he got from the Hill Cumorah in Palmyra. Most people think they were just added in as a combined bundle and that is just not supported by the historical record.

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1 minute ago, Emmanuel Goldstein said:

My goodness people, have you read the book? It was named by Moroni in the title page of the book. The title page was the last thing he wrote on the plates. As a side note, Joseph said that the last page of the book was the title page and the plates were then turned over to Moroni. Then the small plates of Nephi were brought to him to translate, they were not part of the set that he got from the Hill Cumorah in Palmyra. Most people think they were just added in as a combined bundle and that is just not supported by the historical record.

Vort mentioned that several posts up.

And this is a very old thread.

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1 hour ago, Fether said:

The Book of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day saints in America (600bc - 400ad edition)

The Book of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day saints in Eurasia (6000bc Edition) 

The Book of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day saints in Europe and Asia ( 0ad - 35ad edition)

Wouldn't those be "...Former-day Saints"?

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58 minutes ago, Emmanuel Goldstein said:

My goodness people, have you read the book? It was named by Moroni in the title page of the book. The title page was the last thing he wrote on the plates.

This is true, as attested to in the Book of Mormon itself.

58 minutes ago, Emmanuel Goldstein said:

As a side note, Joseph said that the last page of the book was the title page and the plates were then turned over to Moroni. Then the small plates of Nephi were brought to him to translate, they were not part of the set that he got from the Hill Cumorah in Palmyra. Most people think they were just added in as a combined bundle and that is just not supported by the historical record.

Most definitely not so. Mormon himself talks about deliberately searching out the small plates of Nephi and inserting them into his abridgment. He did this after he had abridged the Book of Lehi and before he abridged the Book of Mosiah. See his explanation as recorded in the Words of Mormon. Here is an excerpt:

Quote

And now I, Mormon, being about to deliver up the record which I have been making into the hands of my son Moroni, behold I have witnessed almost all the destruction of my people, the Nephites...[A]fter I had made an abridgment from the plates of Nephi, down to the reign of this king Benjamin, of whom Amaleki spake, I searched among the records which had been delivered into my hands, and I found these plates, which contained this small account of the prophets, from Jacob down to the reign of this king Benjamin, and also many of the words of Nephi [i.e. the Small Plates]...But behold, I shall take these plates, which contain these prophesyings and revelations, and put them with the remainder of my record, for they are choice unto me; and I know they will be choice unto my brethren. And I do this for a wise purpose; for thus it whispereth me, according to the workings of the Spirit of the Lord which is in me. And now, I do not know all things; but the Lord knoweth all things which are to come; wherefore, he worketh in me to do according to his will.

Note from the final words quoted above that Mormon didn't actually know why the Spirit was telling him to include the Small Plates. He wasn't told about the lost 116 pages, or that his translation of the Book of Lehi would be entirely lost to our generation. Perhaps the Lord was just saving him from the heartache and frustration of knowing that all his previous work would be for naught, at least for the first few hundred years of the Restoration. In any case, it's certainly clear that Nephi's Small Plates were very much a part of Mormon's abridgment.

Edited by Vort
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