Source:Rediscovering the Book of Mormon:Ch:23:1:Seasonality of warfare

Ancient aspects of Book of Mormon warfare: Seasonality

Ancient aspects of Book of Mormon warfare: Seasonality

When we look carefully at what the Book of Mormon says about war, we find that the many military activities reported did not take place just anytime during the calendar year. Rather, they occurred according to a definite pattern. Certain months were war months while others were not. The complete consistency of this pattern reminds us of how many details the writers of this scripture kept straight....

This timing pattern is striking. Clearly, wars went on mainly at the end and beginning of the year, while months six through nine were quiet. Also, what fighting there was in the fourth and fifth months tended to be minor skirmishes, not major wars. What reasons can we find for this pattern?...

Perhaps our establishing these dates is not important in understanding this attack or appreciating its results, but the concreteness of the setting, including the date and the weather, makes the entire business more "real" to me, more believable as history.

Over all, we find remarkable consistency in the handling of these highly technical bits of war and calendars. Most of us would not have been alert enough in writing a book about wars to have kept all this straight in our heads. If Joseph Smith had simply made up a "golden Bible" on the basis of his own experience and the locality where he lived, as some critics believe, then the thirty-two battles at the end and start of the year in the Book of Mormon would have fallen in western New York's windy, icy winter, a major error! The "heat" suffered by the Nephite and Lamanite soldiers and Amalickiah's death on new year's eve (Alma 51:33-52:1) would have been a hilarious blunder. Instead, the timing of wars we find in the scripture is part of a consistent pattern. It all agrees with what the Book of Mormon says about itself—that it is a translation from an authentic ancient American record. —(Click here to continue)[1]


  1. John L. Sorenson, "Seasons of War, Seasons of Peace in the Book of Mormon," in Rediscovering the Book of Mormon, edited by John L. Sorenson and Melvin J. Thorne (Salt Lake City, Utah: Deseret Book Co.; Provo, Utah: Foundation for Ancient Research and Mormon Studies, 1991), Chapter 23.