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Why would Joseph Smith go to the effort of Nephi covering Lehi’s story to compensate for the lost 116 pages?

Martin Harris lost 116 pages of the Book of Mormon translation in 1828 however the content was largely not lost because Nephi has already made a record of the same time period as instructed in 1 Nephi 19:1-2:

And it came to pass that the Lord commanded me, wherefore I did make plates of ore that I might engraven upon them the record of my people. And upon the plates which I made I did engraven the record of my father, and also our journeyings in the wilderness, and the prophecies of my father; and also many of mine own prophecies have I engraven upon them.

And I knew not at the time when I made them that I should be commanded of the Lord to make these plates; wherefore, the record of my father, and the genealogy of his fathers, and the more part of all our proceedings in the wilderness are engraven upon those first plates of which I have spoken; wherefore, the things which transpired before I made these plates are, of a truth, more particularly made mention upon the first plates.

Mormon goes on to explain in Words of Mormon 1:7 that he included Nephi’s writings for an unknown reason:

And I do this for a wise purpose; for thus it whispereth me, according to the workings of the Spirit of the Lord which is in me. And now, I do not know all things; but the Lord knoweth all things which are to come; wherefore, he worketh in me to do according to his will.

Would Joseph Smith really have gone to this trouble to make the Book of Mormon look convincing?


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