Introduction to The Plates of The Priests
composed ca. 560 bc21This introduction begins at Second Nephi 5:26 in the current LDS version. The Plates of Jacob end at Words of Mormon 1:11. Mormon describes in Words of Mormon this record gives a “small account of the prophets, from Jacob down to the reign of this King Benjamin, and also many of the words of Nephi.” By “words of Nephi” I take him to mean something like “sayings,” “prophecies,” and “teachings.” They pleased Mormon with their many “prophecies of the coming of Christ.”
And it came to pass that I, Nephi, did consecrate Jacob and Joseph, that they should be priests and teachers over the land of my people. And it came to pass that we lived after the manner of happiness. And thirty years had passed away from the time we left Jerusalem. And I, Nephi, had kept the records, upon my plates which I had made, of my people thus far.
And it came to pass that the Lord God said unto me:
Make other plates! And thou shalt engraven
Many things upon them which are good in my sight,
For the profit of thy people.
Wherefore, I, Nephi, to be obedient to the commandments of the Lord, went and made these plates2 upon which I have engraven these things. And I engraved that which is pleasing unto God. And if my people are pleased with the things of God they will be pleased with mine engravings which are upon these plates2. And if my people desire to know the more particular part of the history of my people they must search mine other plates1.
And it sufficeth me to say that forty years had passed away, and we had already had wars and contentions with our brethren.