Mesoamerican and Jewish Calendars

The ancient American civilizations of the Olmec, Maya, Aztec, Inca, and others have a long history of calendar-making. Calendar systems were used extensively and for a variety of purposes. The ‘Mayan Calendar’ included the Haab, Tzolk’in, and Long Count calendar systems that were each used for different purposes and worked together. The ancient calendar systems shows that calendars were important to the peoples of the Americas.

The Jewish people also had a luni-solar filled with sabbaths and sacred days. Calendars were important to these people and they helped them to remember God and commemorate his wonders.

Nephite Calendars

We only know about the Nephites and ancient American peoples as much as the Book of Mormon tells us. It does tell us of three calendar systems used in the record itself. Lehi Left Jerusalem (LLJ), the Reign of the Judges (ROJ), and Coming of Christ (CC). It is evident that these calendars were used by individuals in the record and were known by those who used them.

The Book of Mormon is not clear, however, about what was their purpose specifically was or if their were other calendars in use among the Nephites. No information is given of Lamanite or Jaredite timekeeping, though there most certainly needs to be something they used. It is quite possible these calendars, Mesoamericn calendars, and Jewish calendars were all in use.

What’s the point?

Studying time in the Book of Mormon helps us understand the people therein and the ways they measured time. Methods of measuring time tell us a lot about peoples and their values. It also shows us the importance of certain events on cultures.


This is a great explanation of the 3 calendar systems in the Book of Mormon and the potential roles of calendars in the lives of BOM people. This also contains a simple way to convert between the 3 systems.

Book of Mormon Timekeeping