“To Scatter the Flocks of the People”

Brant Gardner

Redaction: This verse, as discussed above, is Mormon’s interjected explanation, since he apparently realized that he had not provided a motive for these repeated attacks on Lamoni’s flocks. Probably his source text did not give a reason, but Mormon simply fills in with a stereotype: it “was the practice of these Lamanites… a practice of plunder.” He thus overlooks the more probable political motivations. (See commentary accompanying Alma 17:26–27.)

Variant: The 1981 edition corrected this verse to read as did the printer’s manuscript. The typesetter for the 1830 edition had set the rather than these, so that it read “it was the practice of the Lamanites.” This slight change significantly alters the reading of the text and the printer’s manuscript limited the Lamanites whose practice this was and the typesetter’s error made it appear that it was a universal trait. The limited scope is the meaning taken in this commentary.

Second Witness: Analytical & Contextual Commentary on the Book of Mormon, Vol. 4