Sunday, August 18, 2013

It Came to Pass in Moroni

Years ago I read an observation that Moroni never uses the phrase "it came to pass." The individual seemed to think that it was not part of Moroni's style. This is not quite true.

The phrase "it came to pass" never appears in the book of Moroni, but Moroni uses it elsewhere in his writings, in Mormon 8:2 for example.

In the Book of Mormon, the phrase "it came to pass" appears only in historical contexts. The phrase "it shall come to pass" occurs only in prophetic contexts. By the time that the book of Moroni comes, Moroni has narrated all the history he cares to. The wars of the wicked who are not his people are no longer of much concern. Instead he tells about various facets of the Nephite church and how it worked and what the ordinances were like. Then he includes a sermon and two letters from his father, and finally concludes with some observations for a future day. These require no historical narrative and present no reason to use the phrase "it came to pass." That, and not some idiosyncrasy of Moroni's style accounts for its absence in the book of Moroni.