JST and Book of Mormon

I received a very good question from someone who has worked on the scripture recovery effort. His question is the following:

“And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you.” In 3 NE 7:1, Christ explains, “Behold, ye have heard the things which I have taught before I ascended to my Father.” But when we look at the same teachings in, for example, Matthew 3:47, Christ is quoted as saying the exact opposite: “And then will I say, You never knew me.” And this was a correction Joseph made in the JST.I’m trying to reconcile the conflict/discrepancy. Christ can know you, whether or not you know Him. So Joseph’s change makes a great deal of sense. But I also recognize that Christ’s statement in 3 Nephi can be a way of indicating that those making the claim were not acknowledged servants of His, but simply wannabes.Is it possible, perhaps likely, that Joseph’s understanding was such that he didn’t catch the difference until later in time, working on the JST? We seem to have a few instances of that already

I responded to his question as follows:

I understand that at the time of translating the Book of Mormon Joseph was charged by God with creating a translated text that the gentiles of the day would accept as scripture. If it had not been acceptable to the gentiles as scripture in 1830, they would not have perpetuated it. It needed to be perpetuated. So the wording was to allow gentiles to accept it and then to print and reprint it, preserving it for a later effort to conclude the restoration.

When Joseph did the JST, the charge from God was different. In that work he was restoring the “fullness of the scriptures” to remove errors from the King James Version. It was not to go out to the world, but only to believers inside the restoration. Ultimately, the gentiles of his day were not even allowed to receive the JST, and when it finally did roll out it was from a group who altered and corrupted it to include their changes, and omitted many of Joseph’s.

Our Restoration Edition which the Lord approved in 2017 is the first time the fullness of the scriptures have been provided. In it the change Joseph made to the text is revealed, or preserved. But that does not mean we should do anything to alter the Book of Mormon text because it preserves the record in the form gentiles were willing to accept in 1830. This is why we need the new scriptures to include both accounts.

If the difference is noticed, it will provoke an investigation. That should result in uncovering what Joseph did, under the inspiration from heaven, to give the investigator insight into God’s merciful patience with mankind’s weaknesses.