“I Know All Their Works”

Monte S. Nyman

The bolded words show the Book of Mormon retentions. The King James text is identical to that not bolded except the last sentence is made a statement instead of a question by reversing “Is it.” The word “and” introducing verse 27, indicates that it refers back to what has been said. The warning is to those who refuse the message of the “marvelous work and a wonder”—the Book of Mormon—which would come forth to correct the precepts of men. These men even try to work against it in secret. The Book of Mormon also retains the declaration that the Lord “will show unto them” that “I know all their works” (v. 27). This is at least partly a reference to those who would take the 116 pages of manuscript with the intent to change them and frustrate the works of God. In his foreknowledge, God had prepared the way to frustrate their work, the (small) plates of Nephi covering the same time period (see D&C 3 and 10).

The Book of Mormon retains the introductory “But behold, saith the Lord of Hosts; I will show unto the children of men that” (v. 28). This helps to confirm the time when this marvelous work was to come forth. A little while after the marvelous work and a wonder (the Book of Mormon) has come forth, “Lebanon shall be turned into a fruitful field, and the fruitful field shall be esteemed as a forest” (v. 28; Isaiah 29:17). Lebanon in this verse has been interpreted to be synonymous with Palestine, and the land would become fruitful temporally or agriculturally. Elder Orson Pratt gave a spiritual interpretation of this verse:

The book, therefore, that Isaiah prophesies of, is to come forth just before the great day of the restoration of Israel to their own lands; at which time Lebanon and all the land of Canaan is again to be blessed, while the fruitful field occupied by the nations of the Gentiles, “will be esteemed as a forest;” the multitude of the nations of the Gentiles are to perish, and their lands which are now like a fruitful field, are to be left desolate of inhabitants and become as Lebanon has been for many generations past; while Lebanon shall again be occupied by Israel, and be turned into a fruitful field. These great events could not take place until the Lord should first bring forth a book out of the ground. [Works, 276–77]

Book of Mormon Commentary: I Nephi Wrote This Record