3 Nephi 4:1 Textual Variants

Royal Skousen
and the cities which had been left [desolates 0|desolate 1ABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRST]

The plural desolates in 3 Nephi 4:1 (the reading in 𝓞) may be the reading of the original text, where desolates means ‘desolate places’. On the other hand, there is evidence that the plural form desolates was a rather persistent error made by Joseph Smith when he dictated desolate. As discussed under Helaman 3:5–6, the critical text will accept the singular form desolate here in 3 Nephi 4:1 and elsewhere in the text.

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