“And My Prayer to God Is Concerning My Brethren”

Brant Gardner

Mormon concludes his discussion of organizing the record by reiterating his purpose: to convince his brethren of the Messiah’s mission.

Redaction: Here Mormon means that he will return to his already-abridged text, not that he would begin Benjamin’s story. Consistent with his terminology, he indicates that the source of the abridgment is the “plates of Nephi,” an allusion to the fact that he has added the small plates in their chronological order but that the reader will now be returning to the abridgment. Mormon’s testimony about his personal relationship to the plates is understandable from Mormon the editor, to whom all of these historical records were in the “present tense”—that is, present before him. While the documents deal with various narrative layers, Mormon’s “present” spans the whole work, and his frequent editorial insertions all indicate this type of “present” consciousness while he works with the historical material.

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