Book of Mormon Manuscript Excerpt, circa June 1829 [1 Nephi 2:2b–3:18a]

Book of Mormon Manuscript Excerpt, circa June 1829 [1 Nephi 2:2b–3:18a]

<aer◊◊◊◊ ereth◊◊ [illegible]>

Oliver Cowdery handwriting begins. This excerpt begins midnarrative because the previous leaf of the original manuscript of the Book of Mormon is missing.  

[that he Should] ta[k]e his family & dep[a]rt into the wilder[n]ess [and it ca] me to [p]ass that he was obediant unto the word of the Lord wherefo[re he]  did as the Lord commanded him & it came to pass that he depart[e]d  into the wilderness & he left his house & the land of his in heritance [and]  his gold & his silver & his precious things & took nothing with him save  it were his family & provisions & tents & he departed into the wilder[n] ess & he came dow[n] by the borders near the shores of the Red Sea & he trav eled in the wilderness in the borders which was nearer the Red Sea  [and] he did travel<d> in the wilderness with his family which consisted of my  mother Sariah & my elder Brethren which were Laman Lemuel &  Sam & it came to pass that when he had traveled three days in the wilderness  he pitched his tent in a vally beside a river of water & it came to pass  that he built an altar of stones & he made an offering unto the Lord & gave  thanks unto the Lord our God & it came to pass that he called the name of the  River Laman & it empted into the Read Sea & the vally was in the borders  near the mouth thereof & when my father saw that the waters of the River  empted into the fountain of the Red sea he spake unto Laman saying O  that thou mightest be like unto this River continually runn [in]g into <the fountain of> all righteousness & he also spake unto Lemuel saying O that thou  mightest be like unto this vally firm & steadfast & immoveable in keeping  the commandments of the Lord now this he spake because of the stiffneck edness of Laman & Lemuel for behold they did murmur in many thin ngs against their father because that he was a visionary man & that he had lead  them out of the land of Jerusalem to leave the land of their in heritance &  their gold & their silver & their precious things & to perish in the wilder ness & this they said that he had done because of the foolish immagionations of  his heart & thus Laman & Lemuel being the eldest did murmur against  their father & they did murmur because they knew not the dealings of that God  who had created them neither did they believe that Jerusalem that great City  could be destroid according to the words of the prophets & they were like unto  the Jews which were at Jerusalem which saught to take away the life of  my father & it came to pass that my father did speak unto them in the vally of  Lemuel with power being filled with the spirit untill their frame[s] di[d]  [sh]ake before him & he did confound them that they est [durst] not utte[r] ag[a]inst him where[for]e they did do as he commanded them & my father dwelt in a tent & it came  [to] [p]as[s] that I Nephi being exceding young nevertheless being large in sta ture & also haveing great desires to Know of the mysteries <of God> wherefore I cried  unto the Lord & behold he did visit me & did soften my heart that I did  believe all the words which ha[d] been spoken by my father wherefore I  did not rebell against him like unto my Brothers & I spake unto Sam  makeing known unto him the things which the Lord had manifested  unto me by his Holy spirit & it came to pass that he believed in my wo rds but behold Laman & Lemuel would not hearken unto my words  & being grieved because of the heardness of their hearts I cried unto the Lord fo[r] th em & it came to pass that the Lord spake unto me saying blessed art thou <[N]ephi> beca use of thy faith for thou hast saught me diligently with lowliness of heart  & in as much as ye shall keep my commandments ye shall prosper in & sh all be lead to a land of promise yea even a land which I have prepared fo r you a land which is choice above all other lands & in as much as thy Br ethren shall rebell against the<e> they shall be cut off from the presance  of the Lord & in as much as thou shalt keep my commandments thou  [s]halt be made a ruler [and a] teacher over thy Brethren for behold in that  day that they shall rebell against me I will curse them even with a so r[e] curse & they shall have no power over thy seed except they shall [p. [3]]
JS and Oliver Cowdery resumed work on the translation of the Book of Mormon after arriving at the Whitmer farm in Fayette Township, New York, in June 1829. Though no specific record of their progress to that point is extant, evidence suggests that they were near completion of what are known as the “large plates of Nephi.” They then apparently turned to translation of the “small plates of Nephi,” the record that replaced material from 116 pages lost by Martin Harris in 1828.
Unlike the printer’s copy of the Book of Mormon manuscript, which survives intact, only a little more than a quarter of the original manuscript is extant, and much of that is damaged or consists of fragments. All surviving portions of the original manuscript will be available later in the Revelations and Translations series.
This text, an extract from the surviving pages of the original translation manuscript, is a portion of the Book of Mormon that replaced the lost 116 pages. It corresponds to a section of the published Book of Mormon designated as “The First Book of Nephi: His Reign and Ministry.” The handwriting is predominantly that of Cowdery with portions possibly transcribed by John Whitmer and Christian Whitmer.