I, Mormon, am writing a book about the things that I've seen and heard. I call it "The Book of Mormon."
2 And about the time that Ammaron hid up the records unto the Lord, he came unto me, (I being about ten years of age, and I began to be learned somewhat after the manner of the learning of my people) and Ammaron said unto me: I perceive that thou art a sober child, and art quick to observe;
When Ammaron hid the records , he came to me (a ten-year old child) and said to me,
I see you are a smart, sober child.
3 Therefore, when ye are about twenty and four years old I would that ye should remember the things that ye have observed concerning this people; and when ye are of that age go to the land Antum, unto a hill which shall be called Shim; and there have I deposited unto the Lord all the sacred engravings concerning this people.
So when you're about 24 years old, I'd like you to remember the things you've seen, and go to a hill called Shim in the land of Antum, and look for some engravings that I hid there.
4 And behold, ye shall take the plates of Nephi unto yourself, and the remainder shall ye leave in the place where they are; and ye shall engrave on the plates of Nephi all the things that ye have observed concerning this people.
When you find them, take the plates of Nephi, but leave the other plates where they are.
Then engrave on the plates of Nephi all of the things you've seen about the Nephites.
I, Mormon (my father's name was Mormon, too), remembered what Ammaron told me to do.
When I was eleven, my father carried me to the land of Zarahemla.
There, I saw buildings that covered the entire ground, and people as numerous (almost, as it were) the sand of the sea.
8 And it came to pass in this year there began to be a war between the Nephites, who consisted of the Nephites and the Jacobites and the Josephites and the Zoramites; and this war was between the Nephites, and the Lamanites and the Lemuelites and the Ishmaelites.
When I arrived in Zarahemla, it was in the midst of a war between the Nephites, Jacobites, Josephites, and Zoramites versus the Lamanites, Lemuelites, and Ishmaelites.
The former group were called "Nephites" and the latter group "Lamanites."
11 And it came to pass that the Nephites had gathered together a great number of men, even to exceed the number of thirty thousand. And it came to pass that they did have in this same year a number of battles, in which the Nephites did beat the Lamanites and did slay many of them.
The war began by the waters of Sidon, where the Nephites assembled more than 30,000, many of which were killed by the Lamanites.
After the battle, there was peace for three years.
13 But wickedness did prevail upon the face of the whole land, insomuch that the Lord did take away his beloved disciples, and the work of miracles and of healing did cease because of the iniquity of the people.
But there was wickedness throughout the land.
It was so bad that the Lord had to take away his beloved disciples, so there were no more miracles, healings, and gifts of the Lord.
The Holy Ghost didn't even come on people anymore!
So when I was fifteen years old, being (somewhat) of a sober mind, I was visited by the Lord and tasted his Jesus's goodness.
16 And I did endeavor to preach unto this people, but my mouth was shut, and I was forbidden that I should preach unto them; for behold they had wilfully rebelled against their God; and the beloved disciples were taken away out of the land, because of their iniquity.
I tried to preach to the Nephites, but the Lord shut my mouth, forbidding me to preach to them.
God cursed the land and took away the beloved disciples because of the hardness of their hearts.
18 And these Gadianton robbers, who were among the Lamanites, did infest the land, insomuch that the inhabitants thereof began to hide up their treasures in the earth; and they became slippery, because the Lord had cursed the land, that they could not hold them, nor retain them again.
The Gadianton robbers infested the land.
It got so bad, in fact, that people had to hide their treasures in the earth. They even became slippery, because the Lord had cursed the land.
19 And it came to pass that there were sorceries, and witchcrafts, and magics; and the power of the evil one was wrought upon all the face of the land, even unto the fulfilling of all the words of Abinadi, and also Samuel the Lamanite.
There were sorceries, witchcrafts, and magics; and the power of the evil one was all over the land, just like Abinadi and Samuel the Lamanite predicted.