The Most Common Phrase
Did you know "it came to pass" appears in the Book of Mormon a whopping 1,353 times? While other powerful phrases in the Book of Mormon—such as the second- and third-most-common phrases "of the Lord" (which appears 478 times) and "I say unto you" (which appears 260 times)—speak of the divinity of this sacred record, showing that it truly is "of the Lord" and shares His words spoken directly to us, "it came to pass" is often a little harder for Latter-day Saints to grasp.
But as Dr. Taylor Halverson, a BYU Teaching and Learning Consultant, observed, this phrase signifies more than just a transition or a way to move along events. The phrase itself is rooted in the Hebrew name for Jesus Christ, the great I Am. As Halverson writes:
In Hebrew, the phrase “it came to pass” is built on the same Hebrew root word for the personal name of God: Yahweh. . . .
When we read “it came to pass” we see God’s presence, His love, His concern, His energy, His knowledge, His direction, His guidance. Truly, God, as Yahweh, is the One who makes all that is and brings to pass all that is necessary for our eternal salvation.
"It came to pass" is not a meaningless phrase. Instead, its very makeup testifies of our Savior, Jesus Christ, showing us the source of our faith and all we do. Its consistency and frequency throughout the Book of Mormon testifies that this sacred record is the word of our Heavenly Father and His Son, Jesus Christ, as They testify to us in the most intimate, clear, and personal language. Truly, the Book of Mormon is a divine book, one that can speak straight to our souls and fill us with the love and light of Christ.