Modern English Version of the Book of Mormon Received

Amazon Came Though Even With the Holiday

When I placed the order last Saturday, the delivery date showed it would arrive this Saturday (today). During the week, I received an email from Amazon advising me the delivery would be delayed until Sunday, probably because of the holiday. Surprise, it arrived on time. I was delighted. I opened it and immediately sat down to start reading. I first read the Sacrament prayers, then went to 3rd Nephi.

I always enjoy comparing the print on demand date found on the last page (30 June 2024), and the date of the various introductory pages at the beginning of the book, in this case, the page entitled “Answer,” which is dated 20 June 2024. So ten days after the Lord said, “Publish it for the people to read.” It was printed for me, and I have it in my hands seven days later. What a modern miracle.

Not the First Modern English Version

Did you know there was a modern English version of the Book of Mormon published in 1993 and has been available online for many years? I never really liked it. The first thing I did when I started reading the book I received this afternoon was to compare it to this online version, side-by-side with the LDS version on my screen. Immediately, I noticed was that there are contractions. I love that. That’s the way we speak.

I especially wanted to read how the words of the Lord were presented. As I read the relevant pages in 3rd Nephi, I felt a familiarity, both because I knew the original passages so well, but more importantly, because I felt as if the Lord was speaking directly to me. If He were to visit me, I imagine he would talk like what I was reading as He spoke with the Nephites at Bountiful. He would use “you,” not “thou.”

This is not Formal Elizabethan English

I get it. When Joseph brought forth the Book of Mormon, he was already very familiar with the King James version of the Bible. He knew how to use that formality, and presented the words in that style as the ideas came into his mind prompted by the Lord. I don’t have the gift of translation, but I do have the gifts of prophecy and revelation (or so I’m told in my Patriarchal Blessing). I recognize this as scripture.

Like most folks my age who grew up in the LDS Church, I can use the formal language of prayer with “Thee” and “Thou” and “Thy” and “Thine,” and “dost” and all the other versions of words that we just don’t use when we speak to each other in daily conversations. That’s not there. It doesn’t get in the way of the words or the message. If you aren’t comfortable with old English, you don’t have to translate unfamiliar words.

And It Came To Pass

Another thing I noticed right away is the lack of “And it came to pass.” I’m not a linguist, but I think I’ve shared on this site previously my first experience reading the Book of Mormon aloud at my mother’s side at the age of five. It was her first time reading it as well as mine. I remember very distinctly every time we came across the phrase “and it came to pass,” that she would line it out saying, “That’s not good English.”

I had to laugh as I scanned through 1st Nephi looking for that phrase and not finding it. I said in my mind, “Mother, you would love this version of the Book or Mormon. It uses modern English like we do.” I then thought about why Joseph dictated the words as he did. He knew this was scripture. He knew the people would expect it to sound like scripture. Or at least the Lord did. That’s why he used archaic language.

Covenant of Christ - the book

Covenant of Christ

I don’t intend this to be a long post. Just an expression of gratitude for this miracle. I have committed to myself to stop watching entertaining YouTube videos every evening after work (Like Matt’s Off-Road Recovery), and spend every possible moment reading this new version of The Book of Mormon. I love that the title has been changed to “Covenant of Christ.” I love the beautiful blue cover and the Tree of Life.

Carol noticed right away that I was reading a new book. She asked if it came from “those people” referring to the Remnant group. I said, “The copyright is Restoration Scriptures Foundation.” She said, “Is that Denver’s group?” I said, “Denver was involved in the publication.” I was saddened by her response, “I’ll never read it.” No matter. I will. I want to consume and absorb this with all my heart. I feel like Parley P Pratt.

Parley P Pratt’s Experience

“I opened it with eagerness, and read its title page. I then read the testimony of several witnesses in relation to the manner of its being found and translated. After this I commenced its contents by course. I read all day; eating was a burden, I had no desire for food; sleep was a burden when the night came, for I preferred reading to sleep. As I read, the spirit of the Lord was upon me, and I knew and comprehended that the book was true, as plainly and manifestly as a man comprehends and knows that he exists.”

I wrote in my previous post that I expect reading this Book will change my life. Not because the contents are new to me, but because I believe my mind and heart will absorb it differently than ever before. This is an opportunity for the Lord to speak to me and answer my prayers directly through the whisperings of the Holy Spirit, that come to me, again, as I’ve been promised in my Patriarchal blessing and have witnessed many times before. I hope to write more of my reading experience, if you are interested.

And for those who haven’t received it yet but are curious how the Sacrament prayers read, here you go:

The Sacrament Prayers

“O God the Eternal Father, we ask You in the name of Your Son Jesus Christ to bless and sanctify this bread for the souls of all those who partake of it, so they can eat in remembrance of Your Son’s body and show to You, O God, the Eternal Father, that they are willing to take upon themselves the name of Your Son, and always remember Him, and keep His commandments He has given them, so they can always have His Spirit to be with them. Amen.”

“O God the Eternal Father, we ask You in the name of Your Son Jesus Christ to bless and sanctify this wine for the souls of all those who drink of it, so they can do it in remembrance of Your Son’s blood, which was shed for them, so they can show to You, O God the Eternal Father, that they always remember Him, so they can have His spirit to be with them. Amen.”

3 thoughts on “Modern English Version of the Book of Mormon Received”

  1. I have read that the phrase “And it came to pass” is used since the fullstop did not exist, so it is actually a form of punctuation to show the start of a new sentence. For those that study older languages it makes sense to keep it there. For us who don’t, leaving it out is better. BTW: The Dutch language version from when I received my testimony about God and Joseph Smith (1994) omitted it.

  2. Alexander Snobgrass

    The way you describe how you feel reading this new Book of Mormon sound like how I feel when reading the Lord’s words in the Second Book of Commandments!

  3. Chris VanCampen

    If you’re willing to sacrifice MORR to read the book, it must be good! Can’t wait to receive mine!

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