Friday, April 20, 2012

Grateful that Nephi kept the commandments

First Nephi 9

It's easy to forget about the lost 116 pages of the Book of Mormon. After all, they are lost. But we never really talk about their replacement, the small plates of Nephi.

Nephi didn't know why he was writing this second record - keep in mind he had already written his story in depth in his initial record, as the events occurred. The small plates were for the spiritual highlights of his life. The plates themselves were forged later - in the new world. It probably wasn't easy to make them, and to feel invested in writing things that were already written, but Nephi was obedient to God's commands, and for that I am grateful.
I am also grateful for the prophet Mormon. He wrote almost the entire Book of Mormon, an incredible accomplishment. But the book we have today is missing a significant portion of what he wrote. It's the 116 pages which were stolen from the Prophet Joseph Smith's scribe. It was a teaching moment for the young prophet, and the Lord provided a way to replace the missing pages, a way planned 2400 years in advance when he commanded Nephi to make the small plates. Not only did Nephi follow the promptings of the spirit when making the small plates, but Mormon also followed the spirit when he included them with his record. In the end, these plates of Nephi make up about 26% of the final version of the Book of Mormon. It could almost be called the Book of Nephi-Mormon.

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