"If stupidity got us into this mess, then why can't it get us out?" Will Rogers
Q:

Dear 100 Hour Board,

What was the order of the Book of Mormon as found in the gold plates? Possible Order:

Lehi [Lost along with the original Mosiah chapter 1 - 116 pages]

Mosiah - 4 Nephi [Not lost abridgement of the Large plates by Mormon]

Mormon 1 - 6 [Final words of Mormon]

* 1 Nephi - Omni [small plates inserted here]

* Words of Mormon [Explanation of why he inserted the small plates]

Mormon 7-8 [First words of Moroni]

Ether [Abridgement by Moroni]

Moroni [Final words of Moroni]

Title Page of the Book of Mormon (written by Moroni as a final leaflet)

[Sealed Portion]

I am not sure about the * placement items

I realized as I was studying this last week's Come Follow Me that I had always assumed 1 Nephi through Words or Mormon were inserted just before the title page by Moroni (before the move to the front)... But in considering this I realized the above might be the correct ordering. Do I have this correct? I was trying to pin this down for a little while without finding a specific enough source to make me certain.

Another location for the original insertion may be before Mormon altogether. Because Mormon 6 does seem like a final goodbye while ending with Words or Mormon (for Mormon's final words) leaves us with verse 9 saying goodbye and then verses 10-18 as a acclamation of King Benjamin.

So I guess my question is in the original order what comes right after verse 18 of the Words of Mormon? The Title Page? Mormon 7? or some other place?

I'm just wondering if I were to read The Book of Mormon in the order the gold plates had them would there be some insights we could garner from the original ordering. Imagining the first part of the abridgement of the large plates had not been lost.

Another that I had is that likely we are missing the first words of Mormon leading up to the abridgement of the large plates. Such a shame... Why Martin Harris? Why???

(Obviously the current rendering is wonderful and a testament to God's omniscience. Just asking as a curiosity.)

-Irritated by Inexact Plate Structure Charts

A:

Dear you,

I have no clue. In fact, I've never thought about it much and I realized that the more I think about it the less confident I am in giving you a competent answer. The only other way for me to answer this question for you is to refer you to this chart and this one that will hopefully help you read/study the Book of Mormon in chronological order. I know that's not what you are asking but it also might be a cool way to study it. I mean, when we read the Book of Mormon from front to back it's easy to get lost in all of the flashbacks. If you read it in chronological order, the story might make better sense and who knows, you may even find some new insights!

I know you are feeling cheated right now. I can hear you now: "SNB, that's not what I asked for." I know and I sincerely hate to disappoint our wonderful readers, but I'm not Mormon or Moroni and it's been a while since I've talked with either of them. Perhaps another reader has better insights than I do, if so please leave a correction.

I hope that helps!

-Sunday Night Banter