Anyway, take a look at the opening verse of this chapter:
And again: Hearken, O ye house of Israel, all ye that are broken off and are driven out because of the wickedness of the pastors of my people; yea, all ye that are broken off, that are scattered abroad, who are of my people, O house of Israel. Listen, O isles, unto me, and hearken ye people from far; the Lord hath called me from the womb; from the bowels of my mother hath he made mention of my name.Now, let's take a look at the opening verse of Isaiah Chapter 49:
Listen, O isles, unto me; and hearken, ye people, from far; The Lord hath called me from the womb; from the bowels of my mother hath he made mention of my name.Nephi-slash-Joseph felt it necessary to include a few extra lines in the beginning. Mormon scholarship has explained that this was done to preserve the poetic form of chiasmus (which is helpfully diagrammed for us about three-quarters of the way down that page). This is a thin explanation.
Nephi's supposed to be carving these words into metal plates. It seems odd that he'd take great pains to preserve the poetic aspects of Isaiah, considering the extra part at the beginning doesn't really add much to the chapter. But beyond that, Mormon went through all these records and made an abridgment of them later...which means that he also decided to include all the poetry. Wouldn't it have made more sense, considering the limited amount of writing space and the laborious method of inscription, to have whittled the ideas down to the important parts before scratching them into the plates?
This is not strong evidence to support Mormon's aptitude or inspiration as an editor. If Mormon had been given A Tale of Two Cities to abridge, would he have left the first paragraph as is?
It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us, we were all going direct to heaven, we were all going direct the other way - in short, the period was so far like the present period, that some of its noisiest authorities insisted on its being received, for good or for evil, in the superlative degree of comparison only.This is a well-known passage of literature. However, if you were to regard it as scripture and consider it your task to record it for a future generation and be presented with space limitations and a time-consuming method of writing...how would you approach it? You'd shave it down until you had the basic idea preserved as best you could in the fewest words. Something like this:
It was the best of times, it was the worst of times. The period was so far like the present period that some of its noisiest authorities insisted on its being received, for good or for evil, in the superlative degree of comparison only.Is it as good as the original? No, of course not. But considering the constraints we had to work within, it concisely stays true to the original work. Mormon, that's how it's supposed to be done.
Joseph, stop adding extra stuff to try and make yourself look legit.
Nephi, quit quoting other people. Try to be original.
And Isaiah...well, you're not under fire here. You're fine the way you are.