A chronology of the Book of Mormon

c. A.D. 1 - Nephi2 passes the records on to his son Nephi3 (3 Ne. 1:2]; signs given that the Son of God is born and the "more part of the people did believe and were converted unto the Lord" (3 Ne. 1:19-22); the third and last method of reckoning time among the Book of Mormon peoples begins with the coming of Christ (3 Ne. 2:8).

c. A.D. 19 - Gadianton robbers, under Giddianhi, battle against the Nephites, causing the greatest "slaughter among all the people of Lehi1 since he left Jerusalem" (3 Ne. 4:11-12); Giddianhi is slain (3 Ne. 4:14); three years later, the Gadianton robbers, under Zemnarihah, are defeated (3 Ne. 4:27-28).

c. A.D. 30 - Chief judge is murdered, ending the reign of the judges; people are so divided they cannot agree on a form of centralized government, so "they did separate one from another into tribes . . . and thus they did destroy the government of the land" (3 N. 7:1-2).

c. A.D. 34 - At the time of the crucifixion of Christ, several cities including Zarahemla are destroyed, many people are killed as tempests, earthquakes, fires, whirlwinds and physical upheavals "change the face of the whole earth"; darkness covers the land for three days (3 Ne. chapter 8).

God the Father testifies of His Beloved Son Jesus Christ, who appears to the Nephites in the land Bountiful and proclaims His atonement; multitudes feel the prints of the nails in His hands and feet (3 Ne. 11:1-15).

Jesus calls 12 disciples - Nephi3, Timothy, Jonas1, Mathoni, Mathonihah, Kumen, Kumenonhi, Jeremiah2, Shemnon, Jonas2, Zedekiah2 and Isaiah2 (3 Ne. 12:1; 19:4).

The Savior delivers to the Nephites a discourse similar to the Sermon on the Mount (3 Ne. chapters 12-14), declares that the law of Moses is fulfilled in Him (3 Ne. 15:4-5), announces that the Nephites are part of the other sheep of whom He spoke in Jerusalem (3 Ne. 15:21-24) and indicates there are still other sheep (the lost tribes of Israel), whom He would visit (3 Ne. 16:1-3; 17:4).

Jesus institutes the sacrament among the Nephites (3 Ne. 18:1-2), teaches that the Gentiles will be established as a free people (in the Americas) (3 Ne. 21:4), that the New Jerusalem will be built (3 Ne. 21:23-24), and the lost tribes will return (3 Ne. 21:26-29); Savior commands that the true Church should be named after Him (3 Ne. 27:1-10).

c. A.D. 35 - Disciples of Jesus form churches "in all the lands round about" (4 Ne. 1:1).

c. A.D. 36 - The Nephites and Lamanites are all converted to the Lord "and there were no contentions and disputations among them" (4 Ne. 1:2), "neither were there Lamanites, nor any manner of -ites, but they were in one, the children of Christ, and heirs to the kingdom of God" (4 Ne. 1:15-17).

c. A.D. 60 - Many cities that had been destroyed at the time of Christ's crucifixion, including "that great city of Zarahemla," are built again (4 Ne. 1:7-8).

c. A.D. 111 - Nephi4 dies; his son Amos1 keeps the records in his stead (4 Ne. 1:19).

c. A.D. 194 - Amos1 dies, passes the records on to his son Amos2 (4 Ne. 1:21); a small part of the people begin to revolt from the Church and take upon them the name of Lamanites (4 Ne. 1:20); the name Lamanites comes to be applied to those who reject the gospel (4 Ne. 1:38) rather than to the descendants of Laman1; those who are true believers of Christ are called Nephites (4 Ne. 1:37).

c. A.D. 245 - A great division had, by c. A.D. 231, occurred among the people (4 Ne. 1:35), and the wicked become more numerous than the people of God (4 Ne. 1:40).

c. A.D. 260 - The wicked begin again to build up secret oaths and combinations of Gadianton (4 Ne. 1:42).

c. A.D. 306 - Amos2 dies, his brother Ammaron receives the records (4 Ne. 1:47).

c. A.D. 321 - In hill Shim, Ammaron hides records (Morm. 1:3) that had been handed down from generation to generation "that they might come again unto the remnant of the house of Jacob" (4 Ne. 1:48-49); Ammaron tells Mormon2, a boy of aobut 10, where the records are hid and he (Mormon2) should later retrieve the [large] plates of Nephi and "engrave on the plates all the things that ye have observed" (Morm. 1:2-4).

c. A.D. 327 - War between the Nephites and Lamanites again breaks out; Mormon2, in his 16th year, is appointed leader of the nephite armies (Morm. 2:1-2).

c. A.D. 345 - Mormon2 obtains the plates of Nephi and makes full account of the wickedness and abominations he had seen since he had been "sufficient to behold the ways of man" (Morm. 2:17-18).

c. A.D. 350 - Nephites make a treaty with the Lamanites and the Gadianton robbers; Nephites receive land northward, Lamanites land southward, narrow passage divides the two (Morm. 2:28-29).

c. A.D. 360 - King of Lamanites sends word to Mormon2 that he's preparing again for war against the Nephites (Morm. 3:4), a war that eventually results in the destruction of the Nephites as a people.

c. A.D. 375 - Mormon2, seeing that the Lamanites are about to overthrow the land, goes to the hill Shim and retrieves all the records that Ammaron had hidden (Mor. 4:23).

c. A.D. 385 - As Nephites gather to the land of Cumorah for battle with Lamanites, Mormon hides in the hill Cumorah all the saved records entrusted to him, "save it were these few plates which I gave unto my son Moroni2" (Morm. 6:6); at least 230,000 Nephites are slain by the Lamanites in battle at Cumorah (Morm. 6:8-15); the Nephite nation is destroyed.

Between A.D. 400-421 - Moroni2 wanders alone "withersoever I can for the safety of mine own life" (Moro. 1:3), abridges the account of the people of Jared (Moro. 1:1), writes for the benefit of the Lamanites (Moro. 1:4).

c. A.D. 401 - Moroni2 finishes the record of his father Mormon2, who had been killed by the Lamanites, along with other Nephite survivors of the battle at Cumorah (Morm. 8:1-3).

c. A.D. 421 - Moroni2 seals up the records (Mor. 10:2) after explaining how to gain a testimony of what has been written (Moro. 10:3-5).

The Jaredite Period: c. 2600-2200 B.C. to c. 589-200 B.C.

1 Jared2 and the brother of Jared2, and some of their friends," leave with their families "from the great tower" [of Babel] at time of the confounding of languages; the Lord directs brother of Jared2 to lead them to the "valley which is northward," called Nimrod; there, the Lord says, "will I meet thee, and I will go before thee into a land which is choice above all the lands of the earth" (Ether 1:33-2:3).

2 The Lord directs the Jaredites through remote wilderness to the shores of "that great sea which divideth the lands"; there they dwell for four years (Ether 2:4-13).

3 After four years the Lord instructs the brother of Jared2 to build small, light barges for voyage across sea; the brother of Jared2 prepares 16 small stones and asks the Lord to touch them to provide light during their voyage, then sees the finger of the Lord and is struck with fear; the Lord reassures him and, because of the great faith of the brother of Jared, reveals His spirit body to him; Jesus Christ is seen as a personage with an image like man's; the brother of Jared2 is given seer stones for eventual translation of the Jaredite record, and is shown panorama of "all the inhabitants of the earth which had been, and also all that would be. . . ." (Ether 2:16-3:28).

4 The Jaredites depart and are driven forth over the sea toward the promised land by "furious wind"; they land after 344-day voyage (Ether 6:1-12).

5 The Jaredites begin to multiply and wax strong in their new land; Jared2 and the brother of Jared2 grow old and gather people together before their deaths; people desire one of their sons to be anointed king; reluctantly they approach their sons, but all refuse to be king, save Orihah, a righteous son of Jared2 (Ether 6:18-30).

6 Before two generations pass, wars begin to divide the Jaredites; sons battle against fathers, and rival kingdoms rise and fall; prophets come among the people to warn of curse in land if wickedness continues; people repent, and peace returns - for a while (Ether 7).

7 The same pattern of rebellion and division continues in next generation - with addition of secret society that nearly brings destruction of the Jaredites and would, many centuries later, lead to their total downfall (Ether 8:1-9:12).

8 Generations of reghteousness and prosperity intermingle with wickedness and destruciton; the Lord sends prophets to warn the people always with temporary effect; He also allows wars, famines, even poison serpents, to humble them (Ether 9:13-11:19).

9 As wickedness of the Jaredites grows acute because of their "secret society and wicked abominations," prophets begin to predict dire consequences, even total destruction; the last of these prophets is Ether, who writes this record (Ether 11:6, 12:19-20).

10 Ether prophesies great and marvelous things, but people do not believe "because they saw them not," prompting Moroni2, the record's abridger, to comment at length about faith; Coriantumr2 is king "over all the land" (Ether 12:1-13:13).

11 After being rejected, Ether hids himself in a rock for a year as war rages around him; he writes this record on 24 gold plates, leaving his hiding place at night to observe "the things which should come upon the people": in the next year the Lord directs Ether to command Coriantumr2 to repent, or watch entire destruction of his people as their last survivor; Coriantumr2 rejects the message, and seeks to kill Ether, who returns to his hiding place (Ether 13:13-22).

12 The great final war continues, and so swift is the carnage that two million men, women and children are slain with no one to bury them (Ether 13:22-15:2).

13 Coriantumr2 himself is wounded, and he remembers the words of the prophets and begins to repent; Coriantumr2 sends an epistle to his chief rival Shiz offering to give up his kingdom to stop the war; Shiz agrees to "spare the lives of the people" on condition that Coriantumr2 would forfeit his life; Coriantumr2 refuses, the people do not repent, and the war continues with the final battle occuring near the hill Ramah (known by the later Nephites as Cumorah); Ether observes all for his record (Ether 14:30-15:19).

14 Coriantumr2 slays Shiz, and becomes sole Jaredite survivor, save Ether; Ether finishes his record and hides it "in a manner that the people of Limhi did find them"; Ether's passing, by translation or death, is unrecorded (Ether 15:29-34).

15 Coriantumr2, king and last surviving Jaredite, is "discovered by the people of Zarahemla . . ." and lives with them for nine months; his eventual death ends Jaredite civilization (Omni 1:21).

Dates of this chronolgy are taken from the internal dating system of the Book of Mormon.

The abbreviation "c." means circa, a Latin term to indicate it is approximate, not exact. The use of numerical superscripts (for example, the "2" on "Nephi2" follows the style of the index of the current edition of the Book of Mormon to distinguish between persons or groups with the same name.

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