3 Nephi 3:1 Textual Variants

Royal Skousen
And now it came to pass that in the sixteenth year from the coming of Christ [Lachoneas 1|Lachoneus ABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRST] the governor of the land received an epistle from the leader and the governor of this band of robbers

Here the printer’s manuscript and the 1830 edition disagree on the spelling for the name of the Nephite governor. 𝓟 has Lachoneas while the 1830 edition has Lachoneus. However, the earliest occurrence of this name is in 3 Nephi 1:1, and there both 𝓟 and the 1830 edition have the u spelling, so Lachoneus should be taken as the correct spelling. The 1830 typesetter consistently spells this name with the u. Oliver Cowdery’s spelling in 𝓟 is usually with the u (12 times, including the case in 3 Nephi 1:1), but twice the a shows up (here in 3 Nephi 3:1 and also in 3 Nephi 3:22). In three other cases in 𝓟, Oliver’s vowel could be interpreted as either an a or a u (in 3 Nephi 3:2, 3, 24). The ultimate difficulty is Oliver’s handwriting: his u’s sometimes look like a’s and vice versa. For more on this point, see under 1 Nephi 4:35 (where the spelling for the name Zoram is discussed) or under Mormon 6:2 (where the 1830 spelling Camorah is compared with the manuscript spelling Cumorah).

Summary: Maintain the spelling Lachoneus for the name of the Nephite governor; the earliest occurrence of the name (in 3 Nephi 1:1) has the u vowel in the printer’s manuscript and in the 1830 edition, both firsthand copies of the original manuscript.

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