The earliest text here has two instances of them in clause-initial position; the first instance functions as a direct object (“them he did number”), the second as the head of a complex noun phrase that is treated as a subject by the following main clause (“and them that would not confess their sins … the same were not numbered among the people”). Since them that is dialectal, Joseph Smith replaced it with those that in his editing for the 1837 edition, although another possible emendation would have been they that (“and they that would not confess … the same were not numbered among the people”). The original text has examples of all three types, as in the following sampling of cases where the pronoun is found in clause-initial position:
The critical text will in each of these cases follow the earliest reading. Thus them will be restored in Mosiah 26:36 (which means that the original parallel use of clause-initial them will be restored to the larger passage covering both verses 35 and 36). For additional discussion and examples, see under pronominal determiners in volume 3.
David Calabro (personal communication) points out the possibility that verse 35 might contain a dittography—namely, “whosoever repented of their sins and did confess them / them he did number among the people of the church”. The first them, of course, refers to their sins while the second them redundantly refers to the whole whosoever-clause. In standard English, in fact, the second them would be omitted, thus giving “whosoever repented of their sins and did confess them he did number among the people of the church”. In support of this hypothesis (that the occurrence of them them is a dittography), there is one other case where scribe 2 of 𝓟 accidentally repeated the pronoun them:
Oliver Cowdery, when he proofed 𝓟 against 𝓞 for this later part of scribe 2’s copywork, removed the obvious dittography. The 1830 edition, set in 3 Nephi from 𝓞 rather than 𝓟, has only one them (as we would expect). The problem in Mosiah 26:36 is that the double them will work and could represent the original text. Moreover, the original text has examples where a pronoun is used to restate an initial whosoever-clause, such as this nearby example:
Unlike the case in 3 Nephi 28:18, the parallelistic conjoined sentence in Mosiah 26:35–36 seems to require the extra them (or at least some kind of pronoun-like noun phrase) in verse 35:
Each verse starts with a clausal noun phrase (the whosoever-clause in case 1 and them modified by a relative clause in case 1 ), which is then followed by a main clause that begins with a pronoun or pronoun-like noun phrase (them in case 2 or the same in case 2 ) that redundantly restates the preceding clausal noun phrase. The two verses are also semantically parallel, with the second one acting as the negative reversal of the first one. Also notice that the first them in verse 35 (“and did confess them”) participates in the parallelism: the verb confess takes a direct object in both verses 35 and 36 (them in verse 35 and their sins in verse 36). Thus parallelism argues that both them’s in verse 35 are necessary and most probably intended. The critical text will therefore maintain the them them in Mosiah 26:35.
Summary: Restore the nonstandard use of them that in Mosiah 26:36: “and them that would not confess their sins … the same were not numbered among the people”; the occurrence of the double them them in Mosiah 26:35 appears to be intended because of the strong syntactic and semantic parallels between verses 35 and 36.