What is so wise? (Words of Mormon and D&C 10)

Both Words of Mormon and D&C 10 talk about wisdom.

In both cases, wisdom has something to do with the small plates and something to do with including the small plates.

In Words of Mormon, Mormon feels that God wants him to write on the small plates and include them with his abridgment.

Mormon says he doesn’t know, but he hopes that this is wise because it will contribute to the work of converting future Lamanites.

In D&C 10, God says this is wise because it will thwart plans against Joseph’s honesty.

Also wise because it will fulfill the promise he made to ancient prophets — the promise he made to include in the Book of Mormon the gospel so that the Lamanites can be converted when they read it.

I find it significant that in both cases there is talk about how the book is used – that is, how it can convert the descendants of the Nephites and Lamanites. It’s not the only thing that D&C 10 talks about, surely, but it is talked about. There are a few other places where “wise” is used when talking about the plates (1 Nephi 9:5, and several verses in Alma 37), and they all have a similar focus on how the plates might be used in the future to accomplish something. I guess that’s obvious, in some sense, but I still find it interesting. We are so quick to say that it was wise because this bad thing (losing of the 116 pages) was going to happen. But the prophets are focused on conversion. I don’t think these are exclusive purposes, but maybe we could talk about them together like this: “It was wise that the ministry of the gospel among the Nephites be preserved in order to convert future generations. When part of the record was lost, it was good that we still had enough to accomplish the purpose of the plates. It was wise that God had the Nephites include two records, because it secured the possibility of the teachings getting out even if something happened. It is so important (and so wise) that this information be received.”

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