1 Nephi 14
“to them hath he shown all things”
Some who have read the Book of Mormon have been troubled by the many similarities both in language and in imagery between the Book of Mormon and the New Testament. Others have been troubled that Joseph Smith’s father had a similar vision to that found in Lehi’s tree of life vision.
But Nephi makes it clear that such repetitive revelation to people at different times and places is part of God’s pattern of revelation.
Nephi notes that one of the twelve (John) had seen the same vision that Nephi had seen, but the John’s vision would be written in greater detail and sent to the world. He also notes that ” also others who have been, to them hath he shown all things, and they have written them.” In other words, overlapping and interlocking revelation was revealed to people who lived before Nephi and also to people who lived far after his time. There is a marvelous and heavenly synchronicity here.
We shouldn’t be surprised that cultures across the world have myths and legends which resemble the Christian message of Christ. We shouldn’t be surprised to see ancient myths that resemble the creation account or the flood narrative. These elements are entirely consistent with the divinely inspired nature of these tales and visions.
With the translation of the Book of Mormon, it is of course hard or impossible to disentangle what phrased and elements came as a result of Joseph Smith’s familiarity with the King James Bible and what came through the process of repetitious revelation. But it simply shouldn’t be all that troubling or all that surprising that we find such themes, and phrases echoed time and again.