Prophecy and History : Structuring the Abridgment of the Nephite Records
Journal of Book of Mormon Studies
Neal A. Maxwell Institute for Religious Scholarship
Olsen states that not just the contents but the "structure of the Book of Mormon narrative can be considered spiritually significant." He feels that Mormon may have specifically edited the large plates of Nephi to show how the prophecies of Nephi (recorded on the small plates of Nephi) were fulfilled. Olsen bases this idea on the similarities between Nephi's vision of his people and the world, and the events Mormon focuses on when he is editing the Book of Mormon, as well as the editorial comments Mormon makes throughout the record. Mormon and the other authors of the Book of Mormon are not recording a true history of a people, rather they "include historical, social, geographical, and other details in order to define the plan of salvation in real-world terms and to demonstrate its partial fulfillment among a portion of God's children."