“And It Came to Pass”

Dwindling in Unbelief takes a close look at how many times The Book of Mormon uses the phrase “And it came to pass.”

So “it came to pass” is found in nearly 20% of the BoM’s verses — over 13 times as often as in the Bible! But, actually, it’s a bit worse than that. The original 1830 edition of the BoM had even more uses of “and it came to pass.” But since I can’t find a searchable version of the 1830 edition, I can’t quantify it for you.

Of course all of this can be explained. Brant A. Gardner in Meridian Magazine tells us that there’s a good reason for all the and-it-came-to-passes; Joseph Smith used this phrase to mark the begining of paragraphs. It’s just that simple.

Still it seems strange that he would have had 30 paragraphs in the 39 verses of 1 Nephi 16. I guess the original translation didn’t have any punctuation, but still 30 paragraphs in 45 or so sentences seems a bit excessive.