If I didn’t already have an understanding of the gospel and the church, and I were reading the Book of Mormon, I would have to be impressed by how much it talks about the gathering and the role of the Book of Mormon in that gathering.
I’ve been spending some time in 1 Ne with that question. Today I happened to look at Jacob 4, and it was interesting to see what things Jacob mentioned in connection with the gathering.
So, a few half-baked thoughts:
Nephi’s vision shows the Great and Abominable church taking out plain and precious information from the Bible. The Book of Mormon restores this view or information and establishes the truth of the Bible. Jacob’s focus in chapter 4 is not on the future Lehites and the Gentiles here, but on the Jews of old. He says in verse 14 that the Jews “despised the word of plainness … God hath taken away his plainness from them.” Whatever this plainness is, it was taken away before the Bible went into the hands of the Great and Abominable church.
Also, if we read up on the documentary hypothesis, etc., there were likely lots of edits to the Old Testament before Christ was even born. The Old Testament has gone through a lot!
1 Ne 13 says that when the bible “proceeded forth from the mouth of a Jew” it was pure; verse25 says “these things go forth from the Jews in purity unto the Gentiles, according to the truth which is in God.” So, a different kind of plainness. It was pure, but God had withheld some plainness of language (I’m thinking of Isaiah here, who was called to give them more than they could handle).
Also the removal of plain and covenant parts happens after the 12 Apostles take it to the Jews who take it to the Gentiles.
Anyway, a few random thoughts strung together for now. Baby’s awake, gotta go.