About this edition

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This online version of the scriptures uses the | mark without any capitalization or punctuation to separate the text into individual components:

i | nephi | having been born of goodly parents | therefore | i was taught somewhat in all the learning of my father |

Text indentation has been used for quotations:

and it came to pass | that | as he read | he was filled with the spirit of the lord | and he read | saying |

wo | wo unto jerusalem | for i have seen thine abominations |

for paraphrased quotations:

it came to pass | that the lord spake unto him again | saying |

that it was not meet for him | lehi | that he should take his family into the wilderness alone | but that his sons should take daughters to wife | that they might raise up seed unto the lord in the land of promise

for parentheticals:

for it came to pass | in the commencement of the first year of the reign of zedekiah | king of judah |

my father | lehi | having dwelt at jerusalem in all his days |

for changes in speaker:

now | pharaoh being of that lineage | by which he could not have the right of priesthood | notwithstanding | the pharaohs would fain claim it from noah | through ham | therefore | my father was led away by their idolatry |

but i shall endeavor | hereafter | to delineate the chronology | running back from myself to the beginning of the creation | for the records have come into my hands | which i hold unto this present time |

and for “i say unto you” phrases:

verily | i say unto you |

that i | the lord | will chasten them | and will do whatsoever i list | if they do not repent | and observe all things | whatsoever i have said unto them |

Some words have been placed into bold type, because they create natural divisions in the text that group ideas. These include: and it came to pass, it came to pass, now, and now, as well as others.

and again | i say unto you |

if ye observe to do whatsoever i command you | i | the lord | will turn away all wrath | and indignation | from you | and the gates of hell shall not prevail against you |

The “wherefores” and “therefores” have been italicized when they link previous thoughts with thoughts that follow. (“Wherefore” means “for which reason; so,” used relatively, or means “for what reason; why,” used interrogatively. “Therefore” means “for that or this reason, referring to something previously stated; for that; on that account; consequently.”)  Other linking words such as “nevertheless” and “otherwise” have also been italicized.

and the law also maketh you free | nevertheless | when the wicked rule | the people mourn | wherefore | honest men | and wise men | should be sought for diligently | and good men | and wise men | ye should observe to uphold | otherwise | whatsoever is less than these | cometh of evil |

Many of the “yeas” indicate that further clarification of something previously written will follow, and when they are used to mark the addition of something more emphatic, they have been italicized.

yea | even my father spake much concerning the gentiles |

Also, certain remember, but remember, behold, and behold, but behold, and for behold word combinations have been put into bold italicized type and placed on separate lines, to show that the text is drawing attention to something that follows.

and the spirit said unto me |

behold | what desirest thou |

Direct quotations of the Lord are written in colored text:

for i have decreed in my heart |

saith the lord |

that i will prove you in all things | whether you will abide in my covenant | even unto death | that you may be found worthy |

All complete sentences have been grouped into separate verses unless they are compound sentences which speak of multiple topics and which make more sense alone or which are more conveniently placed as their own separate verses.  Every verse is numbered and surrounded by horizontal rulers for easy reading and quick searches.

  1. and it came to pass | that the angel of the lord spake unto me | saying |

      1. behold |

    1. saith the lamb of god |

For the Book of Mormon text, the chapter divisions are the same as those of the first published edition, which were the ones actually found upon the plates themselves. All chapters are numbered sequentially, without restarting the numbers with each specific book of the Book of Mormon.  For example:

BOM 7 (1 Ne. 22) | BOM 8 (2 Ne. 1—2 Ne. 2) |

For all text that is not the word of God, normal capitalization, punctuation and paragraphing has been followed.

Why no capitalization or punctuation?

The words of God are always revealed and dictated without punctuation or capitalization, in phrases and clauses. Afterward, when they are written down, scribes add punctuation and capitalization. This edition attempts to keep the word of God pristine, in a dictated or newly revealed form, before the scribes have gotten to it. For example, in the first edition of the Book of Mormon, Joseph, scribes and publisher tried to make the text fit the “book form” that men typically write in by adding punctuation, capitalization and paragraphs. Later, it was further altered by dividing it into chapters that did not follow the chapters on the plates, and also put into verses.

In this edition, nothing is capitalized, not the first word of any chapter or even any of the titles, nor is even a period put at the end of a chapter or revelation. This is because the word of God is continuous. It has no beginning and will have no end. When a man picks up a book of scripture, he is always tuning in to a broadcast already in progress. There are words that preceded that revelation and there are words that follow it. It is very much like tuning in to a talk radio station whose broadcaster is continually speaking. One always enters into the middle, never the beginning, nor the end. If you turn the radio off, the broadcaster is still speaking, though one cannot hear what he is saying. So, all chapters begin with lower case letters, for they are merely a continuation of thought and concept; and all end without periods, showing that more is coming.

This principle is shown in the following scriptures:

and god spake unto moses | saying |

behold | i am the lord god almighty |

and endless is my name | for i am without beginning of days | or end of years |

and is not this endless |

and behold | thou art my son | wherefore | look | and i will show thee | the workmanship of mine hands |

but not all | for my works are without end | and also my words | for they never cease (Moses 1:3-4)

but unto myself my works have no end | neither beginning (D&C 29:33)

God has no beginning or end, His works have no beginning or end, and His words have no end (never cease) and thus must also have no beginning, for God works by His word. Therefore, the word of God is like a mathematical line, extending eternally in both directions. Whenever a man reads any of it, even when it is composed as a chapter or book of scripture, he is only getting a segment of that eternal line of words.

By arranging the text in this manner, we can see the never-ending nature of God and His words and His works, and can see that our commandments to always remember Him and always look to Him and always pray to Him are patterned after Him. There are certain things that He does continually and there are certain things that He commands us to do continually also, that we might become like Him.

Reading the words of God in this strange way makes it peculiar and sets it apart from the way man composes his literature, allowing people to view it in plainness for what it proclaims itself to be, even a work of God. For example, the celebrated American author Mark Twain criticized the Book of Mormon when he first read it, calling it, “chloroform in print,” and saying that “and it came to pass” was Joseph’s pet phrase. When Twain read the Book of Mormon, it was arranged as a typical book, such as how a man would write, but with paragraphs all beginning with “and it came to pass,” etc. So, his assessment is understandable. Viewing it in the format in which it was first published, which was according to the customs of men, it really did come across as very poorly written. Had he seen it in this current edition’s format, perhaps he would have been perplexed and perhaps he might have wondered, “What is this strange work?”, for it shows itself as something completely foreign to the ways of men, and thus very possibly of God.