3 Nephi 4:16 Textual Variants

Royal Skousen
for they did suppose that if they should cut off the people of Nephi from their lands and should hem them in on every side and if they should cut them off from all their outward privileges that they [could 1ABCDEFGHIJKLMOPQRST|should N] cause them to yield themselves up according to their wishes

The 1906 LDS edition replaced the modal could with should, undoubtedly because there are three should ’s in the preceding text. The 1906 edition never served as a copytext for subsequent LDS editions, so the secondary should was not transmitted into any other edition. In addition, the modal could is perfectly appropriate here in the resultive that-clause that follows the listing of those conditional statements (the conditional should is appropriate there). Both 𝓟 and the 1830 edition read could here in the last instance, which undoubtedly means that 𝓞 also read this way.

Summary: Maintain the modal could in the resultive that-clause in 3 Nephi 4:16.

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