"These Scriptures"

Brant Gardner

Malachi wrote after Lehi left Jerusalem, so the Nephites heard those scriptures for the first time from Jesus. He must have introduced them as scripture so that the Nephites would understand them as such, rather than as his personal message. Either Nephi or Mormon left off that introduction. The very presence of these verses suggests that their function was more for the restoration than for the Bountiful Nephites. The Savior knew to whom this record would come. As scripture, these words have scriptural impact only after they are known to be scripture. For the Nephites who heard them for the first time, the word of Yahweh-Messiah was easily as much “scripture” as that of an unfamiliar name from a long-distant Old World. Referencing an unknown prophet added no value to the words as the Nephites heard them.

Second Witness: Analytical & Contextual Commentary on the Book of Mormon, Vol. 5