“AND IT CAME TO PASS”
Excerpts from the Book Exploring the Lands of the Book of Mormon
by Joseph Allen
The phrase “and it came to pass” occurs in the English translation of the Book of Mormon 1,381 times. Add to this derivatives of the phrase such as “Now it came to pass”, “For behold it came to pass”, “But behold it came to pass” and “and it shall come to pass”, and it adds up to over 1500 times.
The phrase is not unique to the Book of Mormon.
occurs 526 times in the Old Testament and 87 times in the New Testament. This fact suggests that the phrase “and it came to pass” is Hebrew in origin and correlates with Nephi’s statement, “Yea I make a record in the language of my father, which consists of the learning of the Jews and the language of the Egyptians." - 1Nephi 1:2
The Maya people, who lived in Southeast Mexico and Guatemala, may have adopted the phrase “and it came to pass.” Glyphs of the 7th century AD Maya ruins of Palenque manifest the phrase “and then it came to pass” and “it had come to pass.” Another glyph has been interpreted as “and it shall come to pass.”
In the Book of Mormon, the pattern is consistent with the grammatical and literary purpose in the Maya glyphs. Therefore we can speculate that the record from which the Book of Mormon was translated manifested a phrase, or glyph, similar to what is recorded in the Maya hieroglyphs. Furthermore, we now know that the Lowland Maya did not invent writing in Mesoamerica. They simply adopted it from an earlier culture period between 600 BC and 50 AD.
The great Maya scholar, Eric Thompson, writes,
“Middle America is the only part of the new world in which a system of embryonic writing developed.” [Thompson 1966:189]
This writing system was developed during the Preclassic period (600BC-200AD—a time period that correlates directly with the Book of Mormon time period.