“A New Star Did Appear”

Brant Gardner

The cultural acceptance of celestial phenomena as indicators of terrestrial events would certainly be echoed in the New World. The question remains, however, about what that particular star might have been. Brown examines three possibilities proposed by various scholars (and favors the third): a supernova, a comet, or a planetary conjunction. Although it is impossible to determine the nature of this phenomenon, the biblical star would have also been significant in the New World. However, the textual use of “star” may have been either the term on the plates or Joseph’s term, influenced by the New Testament texts.

Second Witness: Analytical & Contextual Commentary on the Book of Mormon, Vol. 5