- 1 Ne. 6:1 - the Plates of Nephi
And now I, Nephi, do not give the genealogy of my fathers in this part of my record; neither at any time shall I give it after upon these plates which I am writing; for it is given in the record which has been kept by my father; wherefore, I do not write it in this work.At several points in 1 Nephi, explicit discussion of plates upon which the written record is etched or engraved is presented. Here at 6:1, Nephi refers to "these plates," making no distinction between two different sets of plates that he was working with. This distinction (between what present-day Mormons call the Small Plates of Nephi and the Large Plates of Nephi) is made later in chapters 9 and 19. Back at 1:17, Nephi notes that these are "plates which I have made with mine own hands." Also at 1:17, Nephi announces that what he is first writing is "an abridgement of the record of my father," suggesting a third set of plates from which he is drawing some of his material. We might refer to this record kept by Nephi's father Lehi as "the Plates of Lehi" (although it is not explicitly stated that Lehi's record was kept on plates).
In the front matter to the published Book of Mormon there is a one-page outline titled "A brief explanation about the Book of Mormon." That outline identifies four sets of plates referred to in the narrative, not all of which are referred to in the text of the Book of Mormon by the titles given in that outline. Interestingly, what I have called the Plates of Lehi are not referenced in that outline, which names four other sets of plates:
- The Plates of Nephi, including the Small Plates and the Large Plates. The text of 1 Nephi through Omni is drawn from the Small Plates.
- The Plates of Mormon, the source of the text from Mosiah through Moroni, excluding Ether.
- The Plates of Ether, the source behind Moroni's abridgement of the history of Jared, his brother, and their descendants found in Ether.
- The Plates of Brass, containing some writings of the Jews. These are described at 1 Ne. 5:11-13 and are presumably the source for extensive quotations from the Book of Isaiah presented in 1 Nephi 20 and 21, and in 2 Nephi 12 through 24.
- 1 Ne. 6:5 - Nephi's intent
[T]he fulness of mine intent is that I may persuade men to come unto the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, and be saved.This resembles the declaration made in the Title Page to the Book of Mormon (said to have been part of the ancient record, not a modern addition) that the book is to convince "the Jew and Gentile that JESUS is the CHRIST, the ETERNAL GOD, manifesting himself unto all nations."