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TitleNephi's Outline
Publication TypeBook Chapter
Year of Publication1982
AuthorsReynolds, Noel B.
EditorReynolds, Noel B.
Book TitleBook of Mormon Authorship: New Light on Ancient Origins
PublisherReligious Studies Center
CityProvo, UT
KeywordsBook of Mormon Authorship; Nephi (Son of Lehi); Small Plates

The scriptural text which we refer to as the small plates of Nephi was apparently known to the ancient Nephites first as the plates of Nephi and later as the plates of Jacob, a name which distinguished it from the plates of Nephi or the large plates. Although Nephi refers frequently to the commandment to write the small plates, it becomes apparent only late in his narrative that this commandment was not received until some thirty years after the departure from Jerusalem. Furthermore, it also appears that it took him approximately ten years to write the first twenty-five chapters. This ten-year writing period, based on a perspective of thirty years, gave Nephi both the distance and the time he needed to devise a highly complex account with a carefully fashioned rhetorical structure.