3 And now, I speak somewhat concerning that which I have written; for after I had made an abridgment from the plates of Nephi, down to the reign of this king Benjamin, of whom Amaleki spake, I searched among the records which had been delivered into my hands, and I found these plates, which contained this small account of the prophets, from Jacob down to the reign of this king Benjamin, and also many of the words of Nephi.
4 And the things which are upon these plates pleasing me, …
5 Wherefore, I chose these things, to finish my record upon them …
7 And I do this for a wise purpose; for thus it whispereth me, according to the workings of the Spirit of the Lord which is in me. And now, I do not know all things; but the Lord knoweth all things which are to come; wherefore, he worketh in me to do according to his will.
Mormon, at this point in the record, is just wrapping up all his work in abridging all the Nephite records into this one volume of scripture for our benefit. I often think about how difficult Mormon’s life was. He spent the entirety of his life watching the wickedness and destruction of his people, all while being a righteous prophet with a really hard and lonely job (engraving these plates was hard, I’m sure).
So he gets to a point where he’s already abridged the words from Nephi down to Mosiah. He had a plan, he’d put much time and effort into it. I’m sure he was prayerful and faithful in his efforts.
And AFTER he had completed that work, he found the small plate of Nephi. And the Spirit whispered that he was supposed to change his plans, discard the work he had done, and go a different direction.
That would have been hard. But Mormon was meek and humble and recognized the Lord’s will.
I love that he explains, “I don’t know all things, but I know God does. So I will yield to him and keep going.”
We are sometimes faced with changes to our plans. Can we face them like Mormon did? He humbly submitted to God’s will because he saw that God had great purposes for him and for us (as recipients of the Book of Mormon).
I don’t know why God let him go through that abridging process on his own first. Maybe there were lessons there for him that he needed. God could have very easily revealed Nephi’s small plates before that work was done. But He didn’t.
Sometimes He changes our plans. We don’t always see why. He lets us go one way and then asks us to change. Sometimes those direction changes are hard and we don’t understand them. But He always does.
When we humbly yield, we can trust that God’s purposes are sure and that He is with us in the journey.