Sons and Brothers

Grant Hardy

in Understanding the Book of Mormon

Published in print March 2010 | ISBN: 9780199731701
Published online May 2010 | e-ISBN: 9780199777167 | DOI:
Sons and Brothers

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  • Religious Studies
  • East Asian Religions


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The first hundred pages of the Book of Mormon are presented as the writings of Nephi, who is also a character in the action. This chapter examines the ways in which he, as the narrator, shapes his tale of family conflict through selective characterization. The story begins in Jerusalem about 600 BC and then continues in the New World. In his telling, Nephi shifts chronology, flattens the characters of his rebellious brothers Laman and Lemuel, and suggests that his own experiences are parallel to those of the biblical Joseph. In addition, his own frustrations and tensions with his father Lehi are implicitly communicated through inconsistencies in the narrative and obvious omissions, that is, places where readers’ expectations are unmet or deflected.

Keywords: Nephi; narrator; characterization; Laman; Lemuel; Lehi; Joseph; omissions

Chapter.  12994 words. 

Subjects: Religious Studies ; East Asian Religions

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