Book of Mormon Word Cloud [updated]

July 27, 2012 | 17 comments
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I’ve been curious what a word cloud of the Book of Mormon would look like, so , just for fun on a Friday, I finally made one. I don’t have a lot to say about it, other than that “unto” seems to be a very popular word (which doesn’t really surprise me, but I didn’t expect, either). “Lamanite” shows up more than “Nephite,” though the usage of both is dwarfed by “people.”

I took the text from the 1830 edition of the Book of Mormon, and I copied it from here, and I made the cloud using WordItOut.

(Note that I actually prefer the look of the Wordle cloud, but I couldn’t get it in the post at a decent size. That said, I’ve included it below.)

Wordle: Book of Mormon 1830 edition

Update:

Ardis pointed out that, in many ways, the word cloud would be more useful if some of the dull words came out (really, other than an interesting look at word choice, having “unto” as the biggest word doesn’t tell us anything interesting about the themes of the Book of Mormon). So, in the interest of a more telling word cloud, I’ve run it again, taking 11 words out. And, thematically, I think it is a better representation of the Book of Mormon. So below is the Book of Mormon word cloud without unto, ye, came, pass, yea, even, thou, thy, saith, said, or thee:

17 Responses to Book of Mormon Word Cloud [updated]

  1. keila on July 27, 2012 at 12:14 pm

    Ha ha ha, how pathetic…

  2. Sam Brunson on July 27, 2012 at 1:12 pm

    Hey keila, I’m afraid you’re going to have to be a lot more specific: what’s pathetic? My interest in word clouds? The distribution of words in the Book of Mormon? Or the fact that I couldn’t make the Wordle cloud bigger?

    I have to admit, I love the fact that “unto” is pretty much the most-used word in the BoM, but I’m glad Ardis encouraged me to make a more-useful cloud; I really like the updated one.

  3. Paul on July 27, 2012 at 1:47 pm

    Sam, I agree, the second attempt is really cool (and not pathetic at all). I think it does highlight themes in an interesting way.

  4. mapman on July 27, 2012 at 2:16 pm

    It would be interesting to see these for other scriptures. Here are some for the Bible: http://www.66clouds.com/bible.html

  5. davea0511 on July 27, 2012 at 4:51 pm

    The thing about Lamanites being larger is interesting. I wonder if it’s because it’s a narrative from the Nephite perspective with the main goal to convert their brethren, the Lamanites. Nephite may also be substituted for “my people”, or “my bretheren”, “followers”, or simply “we”, when combined might outnumber the references of Lamanites, but if it didn’t I would not be surprised, because as Jesus said “the whole hath no need of a physician”.

  6. NewlyHousewife on July 27, 2012 at 9:46 pm

    I think to be truly useful you would have to get rid of any descriptor of time and placement, which is most of the adjectives from my glances. ‘Because’, ‘upon’, ‘all’, ‘wherefore’ and ‘having’ are not important words for example.

    Though I do find it interesting that Christ is fairly small considering how much emphasis we put on his visiting the Americas in door-to-door proselytizing.

  7. Bryan S. on July 27, 2012 at 10:50 pm

    “Though I do find it interesting that Christ is fairly small considering how much emphasis we put on his visiting the Americas in door-to-door proselytizing.”

    I think maybe one of the main reasons that “Christ” isn’t as big is because he is usually referenced using a variety of different terms or expressions. At least that is my guess.

  8. michelle on July 28, 2012 at 1:09 am

    Bryan, NewlyHousewife, fyi:

    “Years ago, Susan Easton Black tabulated all of the occurrences of the names and titles of Jesus in the Book of Mormon.20 Though Black’s goals were different from those of this article, the results of her findings are quite instructive. According to Black, 101 names or titles of Christ are presented in the Book of Mormon. These include the names/titles Lord God Omnipotent, Redeemer of Israel, Shepherd, and Son of the Living God, each of which is found once in the work. The names/titles Stone, True Messiah, Mighty One of Jacob, and Great Creator are each found twice; the names/titles Holy One of Israel, Lamb of God, Lord Jesus Christ, Redeemer, and Messiah each appear 10 or more times; and the names/titles Christ, God, Jesus, Lord, and Lord God are each found at least 100 times in the book. In all, the 101 name/titles of Christ are collectively presented 3,925 times in 6,607 Book of Mormon verses.21 Black’s tabulation of the names and titles shows that on average, one name or title of Christ appears once every 1.7 verses.”

    http://maxwellinstitute.byu.edu/publications/books/?bookid=107&chapid=1216

  9. kaphor on July 28, 2012 at 1:47 pm

    #7 – Read the Book of Mormon and highlight every verse which points to Christ by name or reference. You’ll have 70% of the pages with yellow highlighting.

  10. christine on July 28, 2012 at 9:05 pm

    We Latter Day Saints have so many fabulous words which you left out which are totally unique and magical. like Zarahemla, Melchizedec, Corianthon, Planet Kolob. how did you pick the words you wanted to use or was it a random generator

  11. christine on July 28, 2012 at 9:10 pm

    oh sorry i just saw it is word frequency. so then maybe inverse frequency i.e. which are the least used words in the BoM

  12. Rob Perkins on July 28, 2012 at 11:02 pm

    I’d omit “behold”.

  13. christine on July 29, 2012 at 10:56 am

    Rob, yeah you cannot probably suppress a word because the words which are used are the most frequent in the BoM (or another book which you feed into the word cloud generato)

  14. christine on July 29, 2012 at 10:59 am

    oh i am sorry you CAN apparently take words out. what is so bad about behold

  15. Susan Lazenby on July 29, 2012 at 4:48 pm

    I thought this was a great idea. I love “word clouds” I especially love moving around javascript clouds but it but really cramps-up the download time. The making of the cloud was wonderful experiment and I know it took a lot of thought and study. And, then to do it all again? I know that the Savior is referenced so much. I did the reading the Book of Mormon, highlighting references and different names of Jesus Christ like kaphor above mentioned. My Scriptures were FULL of dark, yellow highlighting.

    I thought this was a expressive thought making “word art” and I love it. I knew that “Behold” is mentioned a lot, but I was about to start highlighting and references to “repent” for just a reminder. Thank you for all your work and sharing it with us. It’s all about study and the “study on the word of God” is the best of all.

  16. Sam Brunson on July 30, 2012 at 11:23 am

    Rob (12),
    I debated over that; behold appears both as an interjection (see, e.g., 1 Ne. 11:2—”And the Spirit said unto me: Behold, what desirest thou?”) and as a verb (see, e.g. 1 Ne. 11:3—”And I said: I desire to behold the things which my father saw.”).

    Used as an interjection, it is no more interesting than “And it came to pass,” and should be eliminated. Used as a standard verb, on the other hand, behold is very interesting.

    That said, it is certainly weighted too heavily in the word cloud; I suspect (though I haven’t gone through and looked at every appearance in the BoM) that behold is used as an interjection much more frequently than as a substantive verb.

  17. Cameron Nielsen on September 7, 2012 at 6:49 pm

    That small red/orange one is quite nice. Now my inner designer is wanting to do a custom version of that and put in on my wall as a nice alternative to the sayings painted on wood planks (I have nothing against these, to be clear).

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