Re-reading the BOM again continues to bring me new insights. This one I’m sure most of you have already thought of and probably done the math, or figured it didn’t matter.
When Martin Harris lost the 116 pages of manuscript Joseph had to replace it with a translation from the small plates. When the small plates ran out the "Words of Mormon" was used as the connector from the small plates back to the large plates. The large plates starts at Mosiah 1 (scholars say it really is like the third chapter, but we call it chapter 1).
How many pages of the printer’s manuscript did this new translation take? Was there more information on the small plates – so more pages on the printer’s manuscript – or less? I can’t find any reference to verify this one way or the other.
Here’s the deal, in the edition of the BOM I’m reading now there are 522 pages. 1st Nephi thru Words of Mormon takes 134 pages. That’s 25% of the book.
The original printer’s manuscript had approximately 480 pages. Assuming the translation of the small plates took the same number of pages as the lost translation of the large plates those 116 pages is 24% of the book.
So what! I just find it interesting. When I got thinking about it, I don’t know that I expected that to be the case. Did Joseph think this out in advance? "Opps, Martin we’ve lost 116 pages we need to make sure that this new translation of these other plates takes up exactly 116 pages too." Or did it just happen that way?
I wanted to check out the percentage based on the 1830 edition of the BOM but my son borrowed my copy so I can’t run the numbers.
Does anyone else find this bit of trivia interesting?