George Reynolds, Janne M. Sjodahl

." Here the thread of narrative is again broken, to be resumed by Jacob. Fifteen years passed and then Jacob was instructed to take charge of the second set of plates and to hand them down to his descendants, properly completed with the history of his times.

Readers of the Book of Mormon know that Nephi had been instructed to make a set of smaller plates for the record of sacred history, and that he did so, while the larger plates, which had been kept by Lehi were devoted to secular events, chiefly. (See 1 Ne. 6:16) This arrangement was not new, or original, in the days of Nephi. Dr. Leonard Wooley, an English archaeologist who has spent years of successful research in the land of the Near East, tells us in his little but immensely interesting book on the Sumerians, that about 2000 years B.C. scribes of that race undertook to record the glories of the past. They, he says, had at their disposal, a mass of documentary evidence and from this they compiled, on the one hand the political history of the people and on the other, their religious traditions. The original records were lost long ago but this set of duplicate tables undoubtedly facilitated the making of such excerpts and lists of kings as do exist and which enabled Berosus, the Greek historian (about 260 B.C.) to write his Babylonian-Chaldean history. Jacob was instructed by Nephi to write upon the small plates mainly that which he considered "most precious," such as "sacred preaching" or "revelations" or "prophecies."

Commentary on the Book of Mormon, Vol. 1