207: The Beginning of the End (BoM Gospel Doctrine Lesson 33)

“A Sure Foundation”


Even with the impending ministry of Christ among the Nephites, Mormon sees this section as the beginning of the end (Hel. 2:13). Helaman is a dark book with powerful highlights. This is a bad time to be a chief judge, and a bad time for the Nephites. The Nephites expand their territory, but wars divide the land–the Nephites to the north, Lamanites to the south. In this lesson and discussion we will cover:

  • Lessons from Helaman to his sons
  • A bright episode in dark chapters–the miraculous ministry of Lehi and Nephi
  • The beginning of an extreme “pride cycle” and Mormon’s commentary
  • Mormon’s provocative use of the term “church”
  • The connection between adversity and sanctification

Recurring Donation:

$5   $10   $25   $50

One Time Donation:

$10   $25   $50   $100

Prepare yourself for a thoughtful and heartfelt discussion with ChelseaGwenevereWhitney and Jonathan.

After you listen to the lesson and class discussion, please post your comments and questions here on the blog and continue the conversation!

You can access the Lesson Notes here (or PDF).


Thanks again to James Estrada of Oak Street Audio for postproduction.


Art: Ave, Caesar! Io, Saturnalia! (1880) by Lawrence Alma-Tadema, with the Praetorian Guard hailing Claudius (veiling himself in a curtain) as the new emperor after the assassination of Caligula.

Hey, it seemed to fit all the king assassinations in these chapters.

Latest Comments

  1. Stephen Viramontes says:

    Great lesson. Particularly appreciated the collaboration with listeners; something I’m interested in as well.

    I had one question about a quick comment you (Jared) made during a quick rundown of he lesson. When you made mention that Mormon intended the BoM was to be called the book of Nephi. Where in the text do you gather that info from? Helman 3:13-17? And where in the text does the idea come from that Moroni changed the name of the BoM to commemorate the abridgment (don’t remember your exact framing) or out of respect to his father? Does that also suggest Moroni wrote his father’s book too? Because Mormon 1:1 reads “And now I, Mormon, make a record of the things which I have both seen and heard, and call it the Book of Mormon.” Can you help clarify here? Thanks for all your work on these lessons, they keep me engaged so I’m actually learning.


    • Jared Anderson says:

      Thank you! Yes, I have always been interested in including more voices, though it gets difficult to do.

      I am connection several dots for the book names. In Helaman 2:14 Mormon uses the “book of Nephi” in reference to “all the record.” He spent considerable time abridging the record of Nephi (remember that the kings would likely have also called their books the book of Nephi), and so it makes sense that he categorized it that way.

      Moroni on the other hand had a massive inferiority complex when it comes to the records. He includes Ether because Mormon promised to include it. In the Book of Moroni, Moroni includes several of his dad’s letters. He clearly saw the records as his father’s work.

      The Book of Mormon is a composite work. Mormon was referring to his own short book of his own life as “the Book of Mormon”. I conclude that this brief “book of Mormon” would have been part of the larger “book of Nephi” if Mormon had finished it. But Moroni named the whole record in tribute to his father. I’m not sure I am correct, just connecting the evidence as I see it.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s