According to Joseph Allen, the phrase "and it came to pass" (or one of its derivatives) occurs in the English translation of the Book of Mormon over 1300 times. Apparently, the Maya people, who lived in southeast Mexico and Guatemala, may have adopted the phrase. Recent discoveries by Linda Schele show that the glyphs of the Seventh Century A.D. Maya ruins of Palenque use the phrases "and then it came to pass" and "it had come to pass."
Furthermore, we know that the Lowland Maya did not invent writing in Mesoamerica. They simply adopted it from an earlier culture that existed between 600 B.C. and 50 A.D. The beginnings of the Classic Maya writing system fall in the period between 200 B.C. and 50 A.D. (Schele 1987:1).
The noted Maya scholar, Eric Thompson, first observed and recorded two glyphs that followed a pattern of marking dates. He called one the Anterior Date Indicator (ADI), and the second he labeled the Posterior Date Indicator (PDI).
In 1985, a young Mayanist, David Stuart, observed that the ADI and the PDI functioned as a grammatical and literary feature in both colonial and modern Maya languages. He speculated correctly when he interpreted the sound of the glyph as "Ut" in the Chol language and "Utchi" in the Maya language, meaning "to happen, or to come to pass" (Schele 1987:26). [Joseph L. Allen, Exploring the Lands of the Book of Mormon, pp. 31-33]
Mosiah 1:2 And it came to pass ([Illustration]): Glyph--"And then it came to pass." [Joseph L. Allen, Exploring the Lands of the Book of Mormon, pp. 31-33]
Mosiah 1:2 And it came to pass ([Illustration]): The breakdown of the Maya glyph UTCHI--"and it came to pass." [Joseph L. Allen, Exploring the Lands of the Book of Mormon, p. 32]