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Nephi’s “Great and Abominable Church”

TitleNephi’s “Great and Abominable Church”
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication1998
AuthorsRobinson, Stephen E.
JournalJournal of Book of Mormon Studies
Pagination32-39, 70
KeywordsApocalyptic Vision; Great and Abominable Church; Nephi (Son of Lehi); Prophecy; Prophet; Vision

In 1 Nephi 13–14, Nephi describes major characteristics of the great and abominable church: it persecutes and slays the Saints of God; it seeks wealth and luxury; it is characterized by sexual immortality; it has excised plain and precious things from the scriptures; it has dominion over all the earth; and its fate is destruction by a world war. Nephi’s vision, known as an apocalyptic vision in biblical literature, corresponds well to features of Babylon as described in the apocalyptic Revelation of John (Revelation 17). Clearly, the earliest apostate church and the great and abominable church are the same. A suggested description for this phenomenon, avoiding a denominational name, is hellenized Christianity.


Scripture Reference

1 Nephi 13:1-42
1 Nephi 14:1-30