1 Nephi 13:23 Textual Variants

Royal Skousen
the book [which 0A|which >js that 1|that BCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRST] thou beholdest is a record of the Jews

Here we have an example of Joseph Smith’s editing from which to that. The earlier examples involved which ’s that referred to human antecedents. Joseph normally edited these cases of which to who (or whom). Sometimes prescriptive grammarians attempt to substitute that for which in restrictive relative clauses, as here. (For discussion, see Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary of English Usage under that 1.) Of course, the Book of Mormon text has retained many examples of which used as a restrictive relative pronoun, including the following example involving book:

Note that this passage has a second example of which used as a restrictive relative pronoun (“the things which he shall write”). For a complete discussion of the occasional editing of which to that, see under which in volume 3.

Summary: Restore the original which in 1 Nephi 13:23 (“the book which thou beholdest”), despite the prescriptive injunction against its use as a restrictive relative pronoun.

Analysis of Textual Variants of the Book of Mormon, Part. 1