Helaman 11:34 Textual Variants

Royal Skousen
[& > NULL 1| ABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRST] now this great evil which came unto the people because of their iniquity did stir them up again in remembrance of the Lord their God

Oliver Cowdery started to write an ampersand at the beginning of this sentence; but before completing the ampersand, he stopped and crossed it out. His correction undoubtedly reflects the reading of the original manuscript. Elsewhere in the original text, there are 51 examples of “now this” at the beginning of a sentence, so the corrected text here in Helaman 11:34 conforms to the most frequent possibility. But “and now this” is also possible; it occurs five times in the original text. Thus there would have been no grammatical motivation for Oliver to edit the text here in Helaman 11:34.

Summary: Accept Oliver Cowdery’s immediate deletion of the ampersand at the beginning of Helaman 11:34 since the reading without the and in 𝓟 very likely agrees with the reading in 𝓞, no longer extant here.

Analysis of Textual Variants of the Book of Mormon, Part. 5