In Book of Mormon, the text in 2 Nephi 5:15 says (emphasis mine):

15 And I did teach my people to build buildings, and to work in all manner of wood, and of iron, and of copper, and of brass, and of steel, and of gold, and of silver, and of precious ores, which were in great abundance.

The next verse, 2 Nephi 5:16, then continues (emphasis mine):

16 And I, Nephi, did build a temple; and I did construct it after the manner of the temple of Solomon save it were not built of so many precious things; for they were not to be found upon the land, wherefore, it could not be built like unto Solomon’s temple. But the manner of the construction was like unto the temple of Solomon; and the workmanship thereof was exceedingly fine.

So it looks like that while verse 15 states that various valuable things (gold, silver, and other precious ores) where of great abundance, verse 16 states that such things were not found upon the land.

Question: Is this a contradiction or is there some other way to understand this?

[Update] To the question regarding the materials used on Solomon's temple, the following materials are referred to in the various verses of 1 Kings chapter 6 and chapter 7:

  • Various kinds of wood (juniper, cedar, etc.)
  • Gold (used for overlaying the walls and ceilings, among other things)
  • Silver
  • Brass (or copper)
  • Stone
  • Welcome to Christianity.SE. For a quick overview, please take the Site Tour. For more on what this site is all about, see: How we are different than other sites. May 29, 2017 at 18:24
  • Have you researched what the temple of Solomon was constructed with?
    – JBaczuk
    May 30, 2017 at 3:54
  • Hi @JBaczuk, thank you for your question. I did go through the description of Solomon's temple construction found in the Bible and updated my question with the materials I found. May 30, 2017 at 7:01

1 Answer 1


Because the LDS don't believe the Book of Mormon contradicts itself ("the Book of Mormon was the most correct of any book on earth", Joseph Smith), it must be referring to other materials which weren't mentioned in 2 Nephi 5:15.

Here are some examples of materials which were used in the temple of Solomon that Nephi could have been referring to, which were not mentioned in verse 15:


1 Kings 5

  • costly stones [v17]

1 Kings 6

  • olive wood [v31]

2 Chronicles 2

  • purple, crimson, blue [v7]
  • cedar, fir, algum [v8]

2 Chronicles 3

  • palm trees [v5]
  • precious stones [v6]
  • fine linen [v14]

See also Bible Dictionary - Temple of Solomon

  • 2
    Your list mentions brass and gold which are mentioned in 2 Nephi 5:15...ok so brass is listed as "bright brass" and gold as "gold overlay"...not sure I see much difference in that except the items in your list are just more processed(?)
    – user100487
    May 30, 2017 at 19:28
  • You're right I removed gold, and brass is a copper alloy so I'll remove that as well.
    – JBaczuk
    May 30, 2017 at 23:26

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