“The Fall of the Great and Abominable Church”

Monte S. Nyman

The fall of the great and abominable church, she who brought about the apostasy and “slayeth the saints of God, yea, and tortureth them and bindeth them down… , and bringeth them down into captivity” (1 Nephi 13:5), is foretold by Nephi. This would include all the churches he had just described. He had previously given this description of the same churches:

23 For the time speedily shall come that all churches which are built up to get gain, and all those who are built up to get power over the flesh, and those who are built up to become popular in the eyes of the world, and those who seek the lusts of the flesh and the things of the world, and to do all manner of iniquity; yea, in fine, all those who belong to the kingdom of the devil are they who need fear, and tremble, and quake; they are those who must be brought low in the dust; they are those who must be consumed as stubble; and this is according to the words of the prophet. [1 Nephi 22:23]

Nephi’s prophecy may have been based upon Isaiah (see 2 Nephi 24:4–24; Isaiah 14:4–24). John the Revelator saw and foretold the fall of Babylon, which he uses to represent the great and abominable church.

8 And there followed another angel, saying, Babylon is fallen, is fallen, that great city, because she made all nations drink of the wine of the wrath of her fornication.
9 And the third angel followed them, saying with a loud voice, If any man worship the beast and his image, and receive his mark in his forehead, or in his hand,
10 The same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out without mixture into the cup of his indignation; and he shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels, and in the presence of the Lamb:
11 And the smoke of their torment ascendeth up for ever and ever: and they have no rest day nor night, who worship the beast and his image, and whosoever receiveth the mark of his name. [Revelation 14:8–11; see also chapters 17 and 18]

Book of Mormon Commentary: I Nephi Wrote This Record