It would appear that when Jarom came to the end of his ministry, he found no truly righteous son to whom he could entrust the sacred records. He therefore was compelled to turn them over to his son, Omni, in 361 B.C., and apparently just hope for the best. We are now in the fourth generation of Lehi's descendants. Omni was the son of Jarom, making him the grandson of Enos, the great grandson of Jacob, and the great, great grandson of Lehi.
Omni says he has been commanded by his father, Jarom, to write on these plates so they can preserve their genealogy from generation to generation. The word "genealogy" probably implies a family history or "book of remembrance" and not merely a genealogical table of names. Omni makes no pretension of being a prophet, priest, or teacher. In fact, he says that he has spent most of his life fighting the Lamanites in order to preserve the Nephite people. He confesses that he, himself, has been a wicked man and has not kept the statues and commandments of God the way he should have done.