“They Shall Be a Pure and Delightsome People”

Joseph F. McConkie, Robert L. Millet

The seed of Lehi will rejoice in the restoration of such truths which will free them from the darkness of false traditions and the bondage of ignorance in which they have long wandered. Nephi graphically says the “scales of darkness shall begin to fall from their eyes,” thus emphasizing that for both people and nations the working out of their salvation is a process rather than an event; and in the course of generations, he said, they shall become a “pure and a delightsome people.”

“A Pure and a Delightsome People”

In earlier editions of the Book of Mormon this phrase read “white and a delightsome people.” The manuscript that the Prophet prepared for the 1840 edition was changed to “pure” rather than “white.” In the theological sense the difference is slight, “white” being the symbol of purity (see Alma 5:24; Mormon 9:6; Revelation 19:8). This, however, is not intended to say that in the course of generations righteous and faithful Lamanites will not also lose their darker skin, for such the Book of Mormon repeatedly prophesies. (See commentary on 2 Nephi 5:21-22 and Alma 3:6-11.)

Doctrinal Commentary on the Book of Mormon, Vol. 1