A Large Stone Brought Unto Mosiah with Engravings on It

Alan C. Miner

Amaleki tells how “there was a large stone brought unto [Mosiah] with engravings on it” (Omni 1:20). The details of this record are not related anywhere else in the Book of Mormon. The stone gave an account of “one Coriantumr, and the slain of his people” (v. 21). Coriantumr was the name of the Jaredite king who survived the final battles of his people, the Jaredites (Ether 12-15). Assuming that these separate verses refer to the same man, then Coriantumr was most likely the one who wrote his own history on this large stone. The people of Zarahemla "had brought no records with them” (Omni 1:17); however, even if some Mulekites could write, this stone had to be translated, and so could not have been in the tongue of the Mulekites. It is not known to what degree this record taken from the stone duplicated or enhanced Moroni’s abridgement of the 24 plates found by the people of Limhi and translated by Mosiah2. The following logic might be followed regarding the stone:

1. If the stone was large, then it would have been difficult to transport and thus might have been found not too far distant from the local land of Zarahemla. Thus, a Mesoamerican setting seems more plausible than a Hemispheric.

2. Coriantumr had been severely wounded in the final battles (Ether 15:1, 28-32). He probably wouldn’t have been able to leave such a monument in a land so distant from the final battles. In addition, he probably wouldn’t travel far from the Jaredite capital of Moron, which was mentioned from the beginning (Ether 7:6) to the end (Ether 14:6) of the Jaredite records of Ether.

Thus, we might presume that the local land of Zarahemla wasn’t far from the location of the Jaredite lands. These Jaredite lands might have been known and visited by the people of Zarahemla. One might wonder whatever happened to this large stone? Are there any places other than Mesoamerica where large stones are found with writing on them? [Alan C. Miner, Personal Notes] [See the commentary on Alma 22:30-31]

Step by Step Through the Book of Mormon: A Cultural Commentary