Last Updated September 5, 2023.
Translated in 1830 by Joseph Smith, who was said to have discovered the plates it was originally written on at the age of seventeen, The Book of Mormon states, under its title, that it is "Another Testament of Jesus Christ."
The introduction of The Book of Mormon describes who wrote the book, why it was written and how it got into the hands of Joseph Smith.
After Mormon completed his writings, he delivered the account to his son Moroni, who added a few words of his own and hid up the plates in the Hill Cumorah. On September 21, 1823, the same Moroni, then a glorified, resurrected being, appeared to the Prophet Joseph Smith and instructed him relative to the ancient record and its destined translation into the English language.
Joseph Smith translated the scriptures "by the gift and power of God." and eleven witnesses witnessed him doing it. The testimonies of Joseph Smith and the eleven witnesses make up the first part of The Book of Mormon.
In "The Testimony of the Prophet Joseph Smith" Smith states
The ancient record thus brought forth from the earth as the voice of a people speaking from the dust, and translated into modern speech by the gift and power of God as attested by Divine affirmation, was first published to the world in the year 1830 as The Book of Mormon.
In "The Testimony of the Three Witnesses" three of the eleven witnesses state,
Be it known unto all nations, kindreds, tongues, and people, unto whom this work shall come: That we, through the grace of God the Father, and our Lord Jesus Christ, have seen the plates which contain this record, which is a record of the people of Nephi, and also of the Lamanites, their brethren, and also of the people of Jared, who came from the tower of which hath been spoken.
The Book of Mormon is divided into fifteen sections that are narrated by religious leaders including Nephi, Mormon, and Moroni. In chronological order it tells the story of how the Mormons travelled from Jerusalem to the promised land of the Americas.
And inasmuch as ye shall keep my commandments, ye shall prosper, and shall be led to a land of promise; yea, even a land which I have prepared for you; yea, a land which is choice above all other lands.
On the way, due to disagreement, Lehi divides his family into two groups: the Nephites and the Lamanites.
Wherefore, after my father had made an end of speaking concerning the prophecies of Joseph, he called the children of Laman, his sons, and his daughters, and said unto them: Behold, my sons, and my daughters, who are the sons and the daughters of my firstborn, I would that ye should give ear unto my words.
For the Lord God hath said that: Inasmuch as ye shall keep my commandments ye shall prosper in the land; and inasmuch as ye will not keep my commandments ye shall be cut off from my presence.
After his resurrection, Jesus Christ visits the Nephites and Lamanites and teaches them his gospel.
And it came to pass that while they were thus conversing one with another, they heard a voice as if it came out of heaven; and they cast their eyes round about, for they understood not the voice which they heard; and it was not a harsh voice, neither was it a loud voice; nevertheless, and notwithstanding it being a small voice it did pierce them that did hear to the center, insomuch that there was no part of...
(This entire section contains 804 words.)
their frame that it did not cause to quake; yea, it did pierce them to the very soul, and did cause their hearts to burn.
A boy called Mormon begins building a record of the stories of the Nephites and Lamanites and continues it into adulthood.
And now I, Mormon, make a record of the things which I have both seen and heard, and call it the Book of Mormon.
After the Lamanites destroy the Nephites' nation, Mormon's son Maroni buries the plates at Cumorah.
And it came to pass that when we had gathered in all our people in one to the land of Cumorah, behold I, Mormon, began to be old; and knowing it to be the last struggle of my people, and having been commanded of the Lord that I should not suffer the records which had been handed down by our fathers, which were sacred, to fall into the hands of the Lamanites, (for the Lamanites would destroy them) therefore I made this record out of the plates of Nephi, and hid up in the hill Cumorah all the records which had been entrusted to me by the hand of the Lord, save it were these few plates which I gave unto my son Moroni.