The Nephite Record Keepers and the Plates of Nephi
Over the course of Book of Mormon history, from the time Nephi made his two sets of plates to Mormon’s abridgment and Moroni burying the record, 23 men are known to have been caretaker of the small plates, the last 14 were also caretaker of the large plates. Each of these men probably had the plates for approximately the same time. So, we can look at the Nephite Timeline through this lens and divide it into 23 time periods and study each.
Record Keepers in Order of Most Verses
- Nephi (son of Lehi)
- Alma the Younger
- Nephi (one of the 12 disciples of Christ)
- Moroni (including his abridgment of the Book of Ether)
- King Mosiah
- Helaman (son of Alma, commander of stripling warriors)
- Nephi (the great missionary who was given the sealing power)
- Jacob (brother of Nephi)
- King Benjamin
- Helaman (son of Helaman)
- Amos (son of Amos)
- Shiblon (son of Alma)
- Nephi (son of Nephi the Disciple)
- Amos (son of Nephi)
What’s the point?
Studying the record keepers of the Book of Mormon is essential in understanding them, their records, and the Book of Mormon. By seeing how much we know and how much we don’t know about each record keeper, we gain more perspective into Mormon’s abridgment and what he chose to include. It becomes apparent we have more writing from the time of Nephi and Alma more than anyone else. We also see clearly what parts of Nephite history we just don’t have a lot of information for, which can also help in forming inferences about the Nephite civilization.
This is a division of the Nephite timeline by who was the record keeper and how much is written about their time. There is a graph included comparing the number of verses written about the time of each record keeper.