strtoupper('“T')he Record of This People Is Engraven Upon Plates Which Is Had by the Kings”

Abinadom’s record is short for two reasons: the kings keep the official record and he has no new revelations to record. As a man of war, he apparently concentrated on physical rather than spiritual survival. However, his clear knowledge of the kings’ records, coupled with the isolation of Jacob’s lineage from political power indicates that the existence of this record was common knowledge. Perhaps it was read from on public occasions or otherwise mentioned at public events.

Chronological: Abinadom does not specifically record passing the plates on to his son, Amaleki; but Amaleki begins his own account in Zarahemla rather than in the city of Nephi as did his father. It seems unlikely that Abinadom would have nothing to say if he had journeyed from Nephi to Zarahemla. Since only Amaleki mentions that journey, Abinadom probably died in Nephi.

Abinadom’s failure to mention the recipient of the plates—which has been a consistent feature of even the briefest of his successors’ record—suggests that Amaleki was too young at his father’s death to receive them directly and that they were held in trust by an unnamed steward, possibly Abinadom’s brother since the plates were, at times, entrusted to brothers.

Brant Gardner -

Brant Gardner

Second Witness: Analytical & Contextual Commentary on the Book of Mormon, Vol. 3