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RECORDS WERE ENGRAVED ON METAL PLATES

The Book of Mormon plates were engraved by various keepers of records. Engraving was simply the process of "writing" or recording information on metal.

Several individuals were mentioned as ones who "kept" the records. "Keepers" of the records are generally understood to have been writers or engravers. However, in a broader sense of the word, a "keeper" of the record might also refer to a steward or caretaker.Amaron, for example, was little more than a caretaker of the record since he engraved his entry of only five verses in the present text "in the day that he delivered them" to his brother, Chemish. (Omni 1:9.) Chemish wrote only one verse, thereby becoming more of a "caretaker" than an engraver or writer.

Others may have kept the records without making any entries before passing them along to others.

LDS scholar Daniel H. Ludlow, director of Correlation Review for the Church, said that of the 11 actual writers or engravers on the two sets of plates received by Joseph Smith, six were prophets or religious leaders: Nephi, Jacob, Enos, Jarom, Mormon and Moroni.

"However, the other writers on the Small Plates of Nephi - Omni, Amaron, Chemish, Abinadom and Amaleki - evidently were not religious leaders, although Amaleki was apparently a righteous person.

"Each of them made a comment to the effect that he was writing because the record had been given to him by his father or his brother, and he had been commanded to "write" somewhat upon these plates." (Omni 1:1.)

Ludlow said the five engravers whose writings all appear in Omni most likely lived during a period of apostasy. Omni described himself as a "wicked man." (Omni 1:2.) "If the people had been living righteously, the Lord would have given them additional revelation," said Ludlow.