How the Lord knows men! Throughout all scriptures can be found countless examples of “if the people do this, that will happen; but if the people do that, this will happen.” This chapter contains Christ’s teaching about the latter-day Gentiles: if they accept the Book of Mormon things will go one way (verses 22 – 29), and if they don’t things will go another way (verses 11 – 21). Verse 10 of this chapter illustrates how very well the Lord knows men. It states “I will show unto them that my wisdom is greater than the cunning of the devil.” The scripture cross-reference there takes us to the Doctrine & Covenants where the Lord tells the prophet Joseph Smith not to re-translate 116 pages of the Book of Mormon transcript he had lost (see D&C 10:43). Without re-translating those pages, the information contained in them wasn’t even lost. How? 1500 years earlier Mormon double-recorded on the gold plates what Nephi had double-recorded 800 years before that. The 116 pages had come from Lehi’s writings that Nephi kept and which were passed down with the brass plates and the records the Nephites were keeping. The portion we have at the beginning of the Book of Mormon are from Nephi’s account of the same things Lehi had written about.
The Lord has always known men. In the Garden of Eden, if the adversary thought he had destroyed the Father’s plan by convincing Adam to eat the forbidden fruit, he was mistaken. The Father had already made plans for the Atonement of Jesus Christ to cover that transgression. The Lord still knows men today. We can take comfort in knowing that, as explained in D&C 3:1, the purposes of God cannot be frustrated.