The Book of Mormon Commentary
The Book of Mormon

[Mormon Chapter 1]  [Mormon Chapter 2]  [Mormon Chapter 3]  [Mormon Chapter 4]

[Mormon Chapter 5]  [Mormon Chapter 6]  [Mormon Chapter 7]

[Mormon Chapter 8]  [Mormon Chapter 9]

Prophet, Author & Military Leader Mormon

     The Prophet, Author and Military leader named Mormon was the son of his father also named Mormon in about the year 311 A.D. The name Mormon was are the place named Mormon, it being the borders of the land infested at times or seasons by wild beast (Mosiah 18:4). And it seems to have been named Mormon because of that associate with the 'wild' or 'free' animals rather than domestic animals kept in captivity. Thus I've made the presumption that the name Mormon has an associate with 'living free' or being as 'liberty'. I am aware that one of our latter-day prophets has stated that Mormon, in relation to the 'Mormon' Church meands 'More - Good' — 'Mor - Mon'. And that because the Mormon Church, he said does not take away any of the good that people already have, but that it adds 'More Good' to what they already have. I like my presumption as it does at least have a Book of Mormon possible name association to 'free living creatures' and the Nephites prided themselves that they were a people at liberty and free.

When Mormon was age 10, the prophet Ammaron, after he hid up the Nephite records, came to Mormon and his son Mormon to give a charge to Mormon's young son Mormon. He told him when he was about the age of 24, he was to remember and do the things that Ammaron would instruct him to do. That is he should go to the land of Antum unto a hill there called Shim where Ammaron had deposited the sacred engravings concerning the Nephite people. And Ammaron told young Mormon that he was to take the plates of Nephi, that is the large plates of Nephi, and engrave his record as to his observations concerning this people. Those engravings of Mormon we do not have as the large plates of Nephi is the unabridged record of the Nephites.

Mormon must have recieved a further instruction of the Lord to make his own abridgment of the whole set of the large plates of Nephi, which would have included his own unabridged record therein. As to Mormon's abridgment, that is what we have as the central part of the Book of Mormon today. And of that abridgment, Mormon has stated that is it but a hundreth part of what was in the large plates of Nephi. That is, what we have is a highly condensed small fractional part of the whole of the record of the large plates of Nephi. It ought to be here noted that when studying the Book of Mormon one must take in consideration that it is but a small fractional condensed abridged record and not a full history of the people, their doings, their cities and their lands. Too often Book of Mormon scholars take the Book of Mormon as a full account and attempt to plot lands and maps on the very limited and partial basis of a 'hundreth part abridged record.

And example of an abridged account would be such as, "Lewis and Clarke crosed the Missippi river, climb over the Mountain and came to the pacific Ocean." Such an abridged summary statement could be read and the reader might determine that the distance the Lewis and Clarke traveled was but a relatively short distance wich included a river, a mountain and of course a sea shore of the Pacific Ocean. Now if you were to increase that one sentence account of the Lewis and Clark expodition to 100 sentences, just how much more detail could be put into the account? While still not accounting for every minute, it must be understood that with 100 times the relative information, the interpreted perspective of Lewis and Clarke's would no longer be read and interpreted to being a short journey but a sizable more representative rendering of the reality of the matter. Such is the case of the 'Limited Theory Map of the Book of Mormon' taken from Mormon's abridgement. The put every thing on their map that Mormon puts in his hundreth part abridgment and it seems to fit very nicely in their Central America or even limited North America models. But what they are missing is 99% of the story, 99% of the matter about the lands, cities, location, events and so forth. The just do not take the care to reconsitute the 'dry condensed abridgment'. Ever eat a dry condensed soup that has not been given the time to fully reconstitue? When such finishes reconstitueing itself in your stomach, boy the you really have a swollen and sore stomach because you did not take the time and effort to properly resonstitue the shrinkage to its full size.

When Mormon was age 11, Mormon was carried away down south through the narrow neck of land and into the national lands of Zarahemla. Mormon's brief discription states, "The whole face of the land had become covered with buildings, and that the poeple were as numerous almost, as it were the sands of the sea." With that 'one-liner', as descriptive as it is, those of the Limited Book of Mormon Map model make of the size of the whole of the lands of the Jaredites from the Hill Cumorah/Ramah to, through and including Zarahemla and Nephi of the south, to be about the over all land size of the state of Utah. And they make there Hill Cummorah within the distance from the narrow neck of land as the narrow neck of land is wide, a day and a half journey distance. That type of limited shrinkage does not even square with the Book of Mormon account when it is laid out upon the table. And thus it would seem that such scholars have taken the Book of Mormon hundreth part abridgement and even condensed it further to fit their select map model.

For what reason Mormon took his young son Mormon to Zarahemla is not exactly known. But we have a hint in the fact that there were battles and wars in the land for about fours years going on before Mormon was age 15. And then Mormon's father is no longer mentioned while still young Mormon, being large in stature, is selected to be head of the whole Nephite army of this people whose number is almost as great as the sands of the sea. One might conclude that Mormon the elder was a military man and that young Mormon had also entered the military strugle of war to have been selected as the head of the Army by age 15, being in his 16th year. My mother use to say that. She was married young, and she would say that she got married in her 17th year, although she was still merely 16, because it made her sound older at marriage. My dad entered the Army preparing for World War I at age 15 and a half himself. So my conclusion is that Mormon Sr. was in the Nephite Army and then also was his son Mormon Jr. at a very young age.

Time of the First Deliverance Under Mormon

Mormon led the Nephite army and after many battles back and forth including in the lands of Angola, David and then of Joshua on the west seashore and at the land and so on from land and city to land and city for four years before Mormon and his army did finally beat King Aaron and his army of the Lamanites date 333 A.D. (Mormon 2:9). This was Mormon's first deliverance of the Nephite people and it has been finally successful in the land of Zarahemla.

Ten Year Intrim of Life 333-344 A.D.

From age 15, that is from his 16th year, Mormon had had a steady diet of war as the military leader of the Nephite Army. What a way to keep a teenager out of trouble. Mormon was now age 22 (333-311=22) and his interests would turn to that commitment he had made to Ammaron concerning the plates near the land of Antum in the hill Shim and other things. Thus Mormon returned to his homeland north of the narrow neck of land, he got married, they had a son named Moroni and Mormon obtained the plates of Nephi at age 24, all not necessarily exactly in that order, but close. And it would be that Mormon would finally have some 10 years or so of a normal life (333-344) before he would called to war again against the Lamanites.

For this interim Mormon settled into life of family and record keeping for some 10 years until 344 A.D. had pasted away. And by 345 A.D. the wars had began again and to advance beyond the land of Zarahemla south of the narrow neck of land and on up and into the land north where Mormon had been raising his family and at work doing the Lord's work of keeping the records of the Nephites.

War In the Land North

Certainly there would have been the 'rumors' and reports of the wars being fought in Zarahemla, but when is crossed over beyond the narrow neck into the land Northward, it came so fast that most all were not prepared for the deluge. For in 345 A.D. the Nephites did begin to flee before the Lamantites and they were pursued until they came even to the Land of Jashson before the Nephites had firs stopped in their retreat. And the city of Jashon was near the land where Ammaron had deposited the records and therefore the records were under treat that they might be destroyed. And Mormon had been making a full account of the people and their wickedness of the large plates of Nephi. But now he had to secure the records and rejoin the army in order to defend the Nephite nations and further to protect the records from detection and being destrotyed by the Lamanites.

And the temporary halt at Jashon ended in that same year and the Nephites agains had to begin to flee as they were hunted and driven. And they, now with Mormon again with them, were driven until they came to the land of Shem. And the city of Shem the Nephites did fortify, and gather in all the people as much as was possible in order to save them from destruction. And in 346 A.D. the Lamanites came again against the Nephites at Shem. And Mormon did lead and urge the Nephites to stand boldly before the Lamanites and fight for their wives and their children, and their houses and their homes. And the Nephites not only withstood the Lamanites, but the Lamanites began to flee before the Nephities. And in short they continued to fight and beat the Lamanites and put them to flight until with Mormon's leadership they had forced them back to the narrow neck of land.

The Second Deliverance of the Nephite People Under Mormon

And there did Mormon make a treaty with the Lamanites, whereby the Nephites gave unto the Lamanties all the lands south of the narrow neck of land from the top of the neck to include all of the national lands of Zarahemla including even the land of Bountiful. And the Lamanites agreed to give the Nephites all the lands north of the top of the narrow neck beginning from the provincial land of Desolation and north in 349 A.D. And so again through the leadership of Mormon were the Nephites delivered for the second time and this time in the land north of the narrow neck that they might retained the land north of the narrow neck of land.

Another Interim Begins 350 A.D. to 361 A.D.

And so another interim of relative peace was entered in being. But for Mormon it was not a peace of home living, but an interim of 'peaceful' preparations for war. Mormon would remain with the Nephite army at the city of Desolation and round about preparing strong hold and places of retreat and defense. Mormon had thus secured the whole of the Nephite records, which were still secured in the hill of Shim, for Mormon had driven the Lamanites back out of the land north of the narrow neck. The whole of the Nephite records would not be taken from the hill Shim and moved much further north until in the beginning of the final 10 years when the Lamanites had broken through and beyond Boaz. Yet Moroni was likely left there in charge in charge there over Mormon's family, the sacred records and also the Church of the people who did still remain as a part of the Church of God in the Antum/Shim area.

It was likely at this interim with Mormon about Desolation and Moroni in the north with the church that some contintions concerning the important doctrine of baptism was had. Having experienced war, the people became concerned over the welfare of their children and did what to have them baptized as infants rather than to wait until the age of accoutability. Thus Moroni would have written the Prophet Mormon for an authoritative statement and that would have been the letter Moroni shared in chapter 8 of his small book of Moroni.

Now Mormon did know that the Lamanites would come again. Mormon had now dealt twice with King Aaron of the Lamanites and defeated him or at least he had come to a treaty settlement this second time. But treaties can be broken and Mormon knew that King Aaron and his Lamanite armies would be back. So while Mormon was fortifying against the pending next round, King Aaron was likely just as busy gathering more of the Lamanites unto his army that they might have even a greater army with which to attack the Nephites the next time.

Treaty Broken 361 A.D. - Battle One Won

The Lamanites did come down against the Nephites of the city of Desolation again to battle. Mormon was correct and Mormon was prepared. And in that same year Mormon's defenses and his Nephite army did beat them 'insomuch that they did return to their own lands 'of Zarahemla' again.

Battle Two of 362 A.D. Won

And in 362 A.D. the Lamanites did come down again. And Mormon's defenses and army did beat them again. And they did slay a great number of the Lamanites. And they did cast their bodies [over the cliffs] into the sea. This was upon the east coast where the Jaredite city had once stood that led up into the preserve land southward (Ether 10:20). Thus the city of Desolation was upon the sea coast at the top of the eastern passage way of the narrow pass which led down from the location at the bottom of the neck of land that was once the city of Bountiful of the Nephites, but was now occupied by the Lamanites as a part of Zarahemla, which was a part of the Lamanite lands.

The Third and Last Deliverance under Mormon

This marked what would be the third and last deliverance of the Nephites from destruction under the leadership of Mormon for the Nephites. Because of the ease of defeating the Lamanites, due to the preparations of Mormon, the Nephite army began to boast of what they had done and of their own strength. And they did take oath before heaven that they would avenge themselves against the Lamanites and even go and reclaim the lands of Zarahemla. And they swore by the throne of God that they would go up to battle against their enemies and cut them off from the face of the land. And they did so in their own wickedness.

At that time Mormon did utterly refuse to be their military leader and commander of the Nephite people ever again, for he would not support them in their wickedness and for such a wicked and abominable cause. For these three time for the love of his people the Nephites he had lead them to defeat the Lamanites despite the very wickedness of the Nephite people. And this as long as their cause was just and in defense of their wives, children, homes and liberty. Thrice Mormon states that he had delivered them out of the hand of their enemies, and they still had not repented of their sins (Mormon 3:13). So when they had sworn by all that had been forbidden them by the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, to go up in a wicked cause against their enemies to battle, Mormon would no longer agree to lead them.

Interim of Withdrawal by Mormon and Wars of the Wicked (363-375 A.D.)

If Mormon had not removed and secured all previously as I presumed he would have, it would have to be now the all this was done. And though not without concerns, Mormon would have again had some family time to spend with his family for about a decade or more before the wars and treats of the Lamanites did again come and threaten the very door steps of where he have retreated to with his family much further to the north, away from the narrow neck of land the the wickedness of the Nephites in the south of the lands of the Nephites north of the narrow neck of land.

The Final Retreat Begins - 375 A.D.

The stalemate about the defenses of the Nephites round about the lands of the province of Desolation would be broken through. The Nephites had gone up into the lands of Zarahemla and they were defeated and were pushed back through the narrow neck to Desolation. And then the Lamanites came up against the Nephites there again. Aided by these tactics, defenses and designs of defense Mormon had installed, there had been waged a back and forth war between the Nephites and Lamanites round and about those lands to the city of Teancum and back to the city of Desolation the battle raged with violence and horrors. Then in 367 A.D. the Lamanites had captured and sacrifice the women of the Nephites and in their fury, they Nephites had came upon the Lamanites and defeated them and drove them out of their lands about Desolation.

It was during that last uneasy cauldren boiling interim that the Lamanites did gather all their powers that their numbers could not be counted or estimated for the greatness of their size. The Nephite had dug themselves in as Mormon had taught them to prepare and great and sore battle ensued in which the Nephites were routed out and the work of slaughter had began. And the Lamanites began to sweep the Nephites off as dew before the sun. And they Nephites that could fled before the Lamanites, and they fled so far that they had even reached unto the land and city of Boaz. And at Boaz the Nephites fought with exceeding boldness that the Lamanites did not beat them until they had come against them a second time. And then the fleeing retreat did commence again.

It was at this juncture that Mormon, seeing that the land was about to be overthrown that he and likely Moroni did go to the hill Shim and take up all the records of the Nephites which Ammaron had hid up unto the Lord. But Mormon himself was torn. His Nephite people were being destroyed. And it would have likely been Mormon's charge to his son Moroni to take his family and the records and all the people of the church and retreat northward, ever northward, staying ahead of the advancing Lamanites armies. But as for Mormon himself, he repented of his own decission to never lead the Nephite again, and though they were without hope, Mormon could not just set idlely by and watch as his people were destroyed. Mormon was going back to war and to lead his people against the Lamanites.

So for about the next 4 years, from the latter end of 375 A.D. until 379 A.D. the battles and wars continued, and whatsoever lands they passed by they'd gather their people in unto them in their battles and flight and who were not nor could flee were trodden down as the dew before the sun. And this until about 378-379 A.D. At which time it is considered that Mormon was able to make a temporary stand for a short season with such other city stronghold and Nephite armies he could muster. This is considered to be that defense of Jordon and the cities such as Moriantum and Sherrizah spoken of to Moroni of the Nephite conditions in the second letter which Moroni shares in chapter 9 of the small book of Moroni.

At that time Moroni was obvious further north behind the somewhat protective front line where Mormon and his captains of the Nephite army were contending with the Lamanties. In that letter Mormon shares with his some Moroni a small snippet view of the horrors of the war which would be why Mormon does not share much or the further history of their battles and wars until they had finally retreated further north still and likely had come upon his son Moroni and the records in their own retreat when Mormon devised the final battle and war Strategy about the land of Cumorah. A rough map suggest the land and possible relative locations along this long fleeing trek ever northward. Note, it would be that 'Moroni's land' to which Mormon's letter concerning the events round and about the stronghold cities of Moriantum and Sherrizah, would have been further to the north from the site of those battles. It would seem that Mormon was staying true to he intent of Ammaron's instructions for in that letter Mormon warns Moroni that he likely would see him soon and that he had some sacred records which he would have been keeping that he had to deliver unto Moroni if for no other reason but to include them with the rest of the records which Moroni was taking care of and in charge of (Moroni 9:24). It does seem that while separated over these years of flight, Mormon would continue to communicate back and forth with Moroni letting him know of their locations and conditions so that Moroni would descern where he would then further retreat to in order to keep the records safe. But this one letter Moroni felt to share perhaps because it gave a snippet of evidence why Mormon would state in his record that he refused to give a fuller account of the horrors of the war in his abridged writings in his small book of Mormon.

Thus in 380 A.D. the Lamanites did come 'again' against them to battle and they did withstand them (Mormon 5:6). But it was in vain because of the numbers of the Lamanites they did 'tread the people of the Nephites under their feet.' And from thence on they did again take flight in which those who fled swifter than the Lamanties did manage to escape and those that did not were swept down. And Mormon state he was not going to record such an awful scene any longer. But from about 380-384 A.D. the flight and run and hid wars of destruction did continue. Until what I am left to presume when Mormon's army finally caught up with Moroni's retreat with the records and Mormon devised the strategy in 384 or 385 A.D. that if King Aaron of the Lamanites would grant it. Mormon would gather all the Nephite who would fight together to meet in battle at the land of Cumorah.

And thus there was a season in which Mormon and Moroni could prepare the last resting place for the sacred records of the Nephites in the hill of Cumorah, while Mormon's leading men could go round and about those last lands of the Nephites in the far north before the lands of snow and ice, to gather in all who would come forth to battle the Lamanites. And when the depository had been constructed and the Nephites willing to fight brought together, then the final battle would commence about the drumlin hills, forests groves, and streams of the land of Cummorah. There Mormon did have a strategy which seems to have include the number of hills, forest groves and river streams round about the main hill of Cumorah, for he divided his forces into 23 armies of 10,000 sholdiers each. And Mormon did so state, "... here we had hope to gain advantage over the Lamanties." Knowing Mormon, he would have set out among the surroundings places of defense and places of retreat with snares and ploys against the enemy. And though it would have been a good plan and design to win, because of the overwhelming numbers of the Lamanites and without the aid of the Lord, there was little hope to actually win.

So when the 384 year had ended, that would be in the beginning of the 385 year, which would likely have been according to the Israelite calendar and the dating from the birth, coming and death of Christ, in the spring of the year. Mormon had marshalled all that would come unto him similiar to but not exactly like the great Jaredite gather. The Jaredites had gathered everybody in, in mandated manner that they all had to choose one side or the other. And they did it over 4 years time. Mormon had but one season, perhaps from fall to spring of 384 A.D. And not everybody would have been brought in. It was not manditory and places like the land and hill of Antum and Shim had been bypassed (Ether 9:3) in the retreating Nephites under Mormon and the persuing Lamanite armies. So when the battle of the hill of Cumorah ended, it was not a total annihilation of a people, it was the destruction of a nation dedicated the worship of Christ. There would be surviors of the battle and their would be those who had not chosen to have come to it or may have been reached by Mormon's more limited canvasing to have even brought them in. And that is what Moroni says in his record, that the Lamanites continued to persue and kill every Nephi and every person that would not deny the Christ and Moroni had to live a hidden life to not be found and killed by them himself.

While compelling, like most artist efforts, the artistic license doesn't pick up all the details historically. It is artistic to paint a last autumn leaf left hanging on the tree yet to fall, but in reallity, it was more likely that the battle of Cumorah was fought in the spring of the year, which would have been contrasted by the new leaves and renewal of life with the tree's young new growing green leaves appearing in contrast to the 'death' scene as painted by Arnold.

Even Mormon survived the battle of Cumorah with 23 others, including his son Moroni. Mormon had been wounded and fallen to the ground passed out and thus by passed by the Lamanite attack and left for dead. Later Mormon would finish his record, heal from his wounds and even live to fight another day in a battle in which he was finally killed by the Lamanites. And the few plates which Mormon had give Moroni were those few plates of the small single book of the prophet Mormon specifically about his day and time. And there was space left on those few plates for Moroni to add what is today two more chapters, Mormon 8 & 9, and then the small history of Mormon's life was complete which Mormon had for the most part taken from those large plates of Nephi, upon which even Mormon gave a fuller account of his times according to the commandment of the prophte Ammoran.


Do You Know Mormon? Match Mormon’s age to what happened to him at that age.


1. Mormon, age 10,

2. Mormon, age 11,

3. Mormon, age 15,

4. Mormon age 16,

5. Mormon, age 19,

6. Mormon, age 24,

7. Mormon, age 39,

8. Mormon age 51,

9. Mormon, age 74,

10. Mormon age 75 or greater,


a. hid plates in Hill Cumorah. (See Morm. 1:6 * ; Morm. 6:5 * ; Morm. 6:6.)

b. received plates. (See Morm. 1:3; Morm. 2:17.)

c. led Nephite army. (See Morm. 2:2.)

d. delivered Nephites from Lamanites second time (See Morm. 2:28)

e. learned about plates. (See Morm. 1:1–4.)

f. delivered Nephites from Lamanites third time (See Morm. 3:8)

g. saw Jesus. (See Morm. 1:15.)

h. traveled to land of Zarahemla. (See Morm. 1:6.)

i. fought his last battle (See Morm. 8:2-5.)

j. delivered Nephites from Lamanites first time (See Morm. 2:9)

Answers: (1) e, (2) h, (3) g, (4) c, (5) j, (6) b, (7) d, (8) f, (9) a, (10) i.
ver. 27 November 2015