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TitleNephi’s Change of Heart
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2016
AuthorsNewton, Dennis
JournalInterpreter: A Journal of Mormon Scripture
Keywords1 Nephi; Nephi (Son of Lehi); Plates; Record; Small Plates; Writing

How long did it take Nephi to compose his portions of the “small account?” Careful text analysis and data mining suggest that “Nephi’s” texts may have been composed across periods as great as forty years apart. I propose a timeline with four distinct periods of composition. The merits of this timeline are weighed, and some thoughts are explored as to how this timeline alters the reader’s perceptions of Nephi. The net effect is that Nephi becomes more sympathetic, more personable, and more relatable as his record progresses and that the totality of Nephi’s writings are best understood and interpreted when the factor of time is considered.