1 And it came to pass that the thirty and fourth year passed away, and also the thirty and fifth, and behold the disciples of Jesus had formed a church of Christ in all the lands round about. And as many as did come unto them, and did truly repent of their sins, were baptized in the name of Jesus; and they did also receive the Holy Ghost. [This was the golden years of this generation, as all the disciples were still alive and the Gospel was spread with powerful success.]
2 And it came to pass in the thirty and sixth year, the people were all converted unto the Lord, upon all the face of the land, both Nephites and Lamanites, and there were no contentions and disputations among them, and every man did deal justly one with another. [The entire land had been converted. All that had remained after the destructions were convinced of the truthfulness of these disciples’ message. There were thousands of witnesses that were alive to tell the great story of walking with and being ministered to by Jesus Christ!]
3 And they had all things common among them [They sought the welfare of each other. No buying and selling. All were living a communal society.]; therefore there were not rich and poor, bond and free [debtors did not exist], but they were all made free, and partakers of the heavenly gift. [All were born again in Christ.]
4 And it came to pass that the thirty and seventh year passed away also, and there still continued to be peace in the land.
5 And there were great and marvelous works wrought by the disciples of Jesus, insomuch that they did heal the sick, and raise the dead, and cause the lame to walk, and the blind to receive their sight, and the deaf to hear; and all manner of miracles did they work among the children of men; and in nothing did they work miracles save it were in the name of Jesus. [The chosen disciples of Christ performed great miracles in the presence of the people and these acts were known and spoken of freely.]
6 And thus did the thirty and eighth year pass away, and also the thirty and ninth, and forty and first, and forty and second, yea, even until forty and nine years had passed away, and also the fifty and first, and the fifty and second; yea, and even until fifty and one years had passed away.
7 And the Lord did prosper them exceedingly in the land; yea, insomuch that they did build cities again where there had been cities burned.
8 Yea, even that great city Zarahemla did they cause to be built again.
9 But there were many cities which had been sunk, and waters came up in the stead thereof; therefore these cities could not be renewed.
10 An now, behold, it came to pass that the people of Nephi did wax strong, and did multiply exceedingly fast, and became an exceedingly fair and delightsome people.
11 And they were married, and given in marriage, and were blessed according to the multitude of the promises which the Lord had made unto them. [Regarding that their children would multiply and fill the land, raised in the covenant.]
12 And they did not walk any more after the performances and ordinances of the law of Moses [temple blood sacrifice]; but they did walk after the commandments which they had received from their Lord and their God [3 Nephi 11-12], continuing in fasting and prayer, and in meeting together oft both to pray and to hear the word of the Lord.
13 And it came to pass that there was no contention among all the people, in all the land [no arguing concerning doctrine or seeking power over others] ; but there were mighty miracles wrought among the disciples of Jesus.
14 And it came to pass that the seventy and first year passed away, and also the seventy and second year; yea, and in fine, till the seventy and ninth year had passed away; yea even and hundred years had passed away, and the disciples of Jesus, whom he had chosen, had all gone to the paradise of God [Some of the chosen disciple lived far beyond the age of 72.], save it were the three who should tarry; and there were other disciples ordained in their stead; and also many of that generation had passed away.
15 And it came to pass that there no contention in the land, because of the love of God which did dwell in the hearts of the people. [The people had charity for each other.]
16 And there were no envying [seeking higher status], nor strifes [angry divisions], nor tumults [rioting], nor whoredoms [sexual improprieties] , nor lyings, nor murders, nor any manner of lasciviousness [acts of sexual lust or lewdness]; and surely there could not be a happier people among all the people who had been created by the hand of God. [This verse is a good description of what the people of God look like.]
17 There were no robbers, nor murderers, neither were there Lamnaites, nor any manner of -ites; but they were in one, the children of Christ, and heirs to the kingdom of God. [There were no secret combinations among the people.]
18 And how blessed were they! For the Lord did bless them in all their doings; yea, even they were blessed and prospered until an hundred and ten years had passed away; and the first generation from Christ had passed away, and there was no contention in all the land.
19 And it came to pass that Nephi [4th Nephi, the son of the Disciple Nephi], he that kept this last record, (and he kept it upon the plates of Nephi) died, and his son Amos kept it in his stead; and he kept it upon the plates of Nephi also.
20 And he kept it eighty and four years, and there was still peace in the land, save it were a small part of the people who had revolted from the church and taken upon them the name of Lamanites; therefore there began to be Lamanites again in the land.
21 And it came to pass that Amos died also, (and it was an hundred and ninety and four years from the coming of Christ) and his son Amos kept the record in his stead; and he also kept it upon the plates of Nephi; and it was also written in the book of Nephi, which is this book. [Although there was a vast amount of records kept, there was only one Book of Nephi, which is this record we call the Book of Mormon.]
22 And it came to pass that two hundred years had passed away; and the second generation had all passed away save it were a few.
23 And now I, Mormon, would that ye should know that the people had multiplied, insomuch that they were spread upon all the face of the land [North America], and that they had become exceedingly rich, because of their prosperity in Christ.
24 And now, in this two hundred and first year there began to be among them those who were lifted up in pride, such as the wearing of costly apparel, and all manner of fine pearls, and of the fine things of the world. [Interesting that “high fashion” would be a lure of the Adversary to the lifting up of pride.]
25 And from that time forth they did have their goods and their substance no more common among them. [The profiteering of products, which was the accumulation of things. No longer were they satisfied with having sufficient for their needs and seeking the welfare of their neighbors.]
26 And they began to be divided into classes; and they began to build up churches unto themselves to get gain, and began to deny the true church of Christ. [A church is simply a word to describe an institution that people gather to achieve a common objective. At this time amongst these BofM people, they began to organize to destroy the Church of Christ and set themselves up leaders and rulers of the people.]
27 And it came to pass that when two hundred and ten years had passed away there were many churches in the land; yea, there were many churches which professed to know the Christ, and yet they did deny the more parts of his gospel, insomuch that they did receive all manner of wickedness, and did administer that which was sacred unto him to whom it had been forbidden because of unworthiness. [What is “unworthiness” in the sight of God? It is to be with envying, tumult, strife, lyings, whoredoms, murderers, and any kind of lasciviousness. If anyone was known to be a perpetrator of such iniquity and not repenting with all their heart, they were to be denied the Sacrament.]
28 And this church did multiply exceedingly because of iniquity and because of the power of Satan who did get hold upon their hearts. [A popular teaching amongst the rising generation. Do you see popular teachings rising in today’s generation which are not of the original doctrine and commandments of the Lord?]
29 And again, there was another church which denied the Christ; and they did persecute the true church of Christ, because of their humility and their belief in Christ; and they did despise them because of the many miracles which were wrought among them. [Another church, not only persecuted the church of Christ, but denied Christ all together. These are like today’s secularists, or atheists, that actively suppress Christians.]
30 Therefore they did exercise power and authority over the disciples of Jesus who did tarry with them [The Three, who by this time were well known among the people for their age.], and they did cast them into prison; but by the power of the word of God, which was in them, the prisons were rent in twain, and they went forth doing mighty miracles among them. [could not be held by walls]
31 Nevertheless, and notwithstanding all these miracles, the people did harden their hears, and did seek to kill them, even as the Jews at Jerusalem sought to kill Jesus, according to his word. [That must have been a challenging thing for them!]
32 And they did cast them into furnaces of fire, and they came forth receiving no harm.
33 And they also cast them in dens of wild beasts, and they did play with the wild beasts even as a child with a lamb; and they did come forth from among them, receiving no harm.
34 Nevertheless, the people did harden their hearts, for they were led by many priests and false prophets to build up many churches, and to do all manner of iniquity. [Many set themselves up as the priests and prophets of the people, but a title is not how we judge their authority.] And they did smite upon the people of Jesus; but the people of Jesus did not smite again. And thus they did dwindle in unbelief and wickedness, from year to year, even until two hundred and thirty years had passed away. [There is a phenomenon amongst the wicked that they feel they are justified to smite the face of anyone who disagrees with their thinking. They believe they have a license to be violent. Do you see that amongst the “churches” today?]
35 And now it came to pass in this year; yea, in the two hundred and thirty and first year, there was a great division among the people. [This is as much political as religious.]
36 And it came to pass that in this year there arose a people who were called the Nephites, and they were true believer in Christ; and among them there were those who were called by the Lamanite — Jacobites, and Josephites, and Zoramites; [Different branches of the same political persuasion, defined by their geography and heritage.]
37 Therefore the true believers in Christ, and the true worshipers of Christ, (among whom were the three disciples of Jesus who should tarry) were called Nephites, and Jacobites, and Josephites, and Zoramites. [What is the difference between a believer and a worshiper? A believer is one who identifies as a Christian. The worshiper is one who is devout in their keeping the commandments of the Lord. Today, in America, there are many believers, but few worshipers.]
38 And it came to pass that they who rejected the gospel were called Lamanites, and Lemuelites, and Ishmaelites; and they did not dwindle in unbelief, but they did willfully rebel against the gospel of Christ; and they did teach their children that they should not believe, even as their father, from the beginning, did dwindle. [“Unbelief” is a state of following a false tradition passed down through generations. When one willfully rebels against the truth they bring upon themselves the judgments of God.]
39 And it was because of the wickedness and abomination of their fathers [the latter generations of Lamanites], even as it was in the beginning. And they were taught to hate the children of God, even as the Lamanites were taught to hate children of Nephi from the beginning.
40 And it came to pass that two hundred and forty and four years had passed away, and thus were the affairs of the people. And the more wicked part of the people did wax strong, and became exceedingly more numerous than were the people of God. [The church of Christ becomes a minority among the people. In only about 43 years the complete demographic of believers amongst the people has changed.]
41 And they did still continue to build up churches unto themselves, and adorn them with all manner of precious things. And thus did two hundred and fifty years pass away, and also two hundred and sixty years. [Is the adorning of churches with “precious things” an abomination to the Lord? During the time that the favored people of the Lord flourished there had been no such thing done upon their church edifices.]
42 And it came to pass that the wicked part of the people began again to build up the secret oaths and combinations of Gadianton. [At the exact same time, as the people were focusing upon the “precious things” and dividing into classes, the secret combinations begin to rise again.]
43 And also the people who were called the people of Nephi began to be proud in their hearts, because of their exceeding riches, and become vain like unto their brethren, the Lamanites. [Both political distinctions among the people became equally wicked in their acts.]
44 And from this time the disciples began to sorrow for the sins of the world. [The state of sin amongst the people had ripened and the Three disciples were taken from their midst. From that time forth they acted anonymously as servants of the Lord.]
45 And it came to pass that when three hundred years had passed away, both the people of Nephi and the Lamanites had become exceedingly wicked one like unto another.
46 And it came to pass that the robbers of Gadianton did spread over all the face of the land; and there were none that were righteous save it were the disciples of Jesus. [The few that had remained unspotted from the world, saved in Christ.] And gold and silver did they lay up in store in abundance [the Gadianton], and did traffic in all manner of traffic. [They did build up the commerce of the land, the currency, and the buying and selling of all things including slavery, and murder.]
47 And it came to pass that after three hundred and five years had passed away, (and the people did still remain in wickedness) Amos died; and his brother, Ammaron, did keep the recored in his stead.
48 And it came to pass that when three hundred and twenty years had passed away, Ammaron, being constrained by the Holy Ghost, did hide up the records which were sacred — yea, even all the sacred records which had been handed down from generation to generation, which were sacred — even until the three hundred and twentieth year from the coming of Christ. [These were all carried a great distance to the Hill Shim.]
49 And he did hide them up unto the lord, atet they might come again unto the remnant of the house of Jacob [In our day, a future event], according to the prophecies and the promises of the Lord. And thus is the end of the record of Ammaron.