Too Many Plates?
It makes no sense that the Nephites should have so many sets of plates containing the same history. According to the Book of Mormon, Mormon abridged the Nephite history from the large plates of Nephi, while the small plates of Nephi overlap the history covered by both the large plates and Mormon’s abridgment (represented by the 116 lost pages). Lehi’s genealogy is said to be found not only on the brass plates, but in Lehi’s own book as well as in the larger account prepared by Nephi (1 Nephi 3:3, 12; 5:14, 16; 6:1; 19:2; Alma 37:3).
There is nothing unusual or suspicious in this. The Bible has many examples of such parallel histories. Most of the stories in the books of Samuel and Kings (which, the majority of scholars agree, are a single history) are repeated in Chronicles, a post-exilic attempt to rewrite the history. Moreover, we are frequently reminded in Samuel and Kings that the information contained therein originally came from the chronicles of David, of the kings of Judah, and of the kings of Israel, as well as from records kept by various early prophets whose works have been lost to us. Parts of Jeremiah and Isaiah repeat some of the history from 2 Kings, and the genealogies at the beginning of 1 Chronicles repeat information recorded earlier, mostly in Genesis. Parallel histories are nothing new to the world of holy writ.