[S]ome Hebrew constructions that appeared in the first (1830) edition of the Book of Mormon have been erased from later printings, in a bid to make the book read more smoothly as English. One striking example of this involves a series of conditional sentences in Helaman 12:13–21. Such sentences, in English, typically feature an if-clause (either using the word if itself, or something equivalent), which expresses a hypothetical condition, and a result clause that describes what will occur if the hypothetical condition comes about. For example, "If you don't study, you will fail." The result clause may contain a word such as then, but commonly does not. By contrast, the result clause of a conditional sentence in ancient Hebrew can be introduced by the word wa (and), so that the sentence takes what might be termed an if-and form. The occurrence of if-and conditionals in the 1830 Book of Mormon seems to indicate that it did not originate in the mind of a native English-speaker, but is a quite literal translation from a Hebrew original:Difficult indeed! So, this compelling evidence of Hebraic origins has been carefully covered up in modern printings to make the grammar more acceptable! (Fortunately, some of the other tell-tale Semitic evidence has been allowed to stay.) What are they trying to hide? Well, stew upon that for a while, dear Mormons.
13. yea and if he saith unto the earth move and it is moved
14. yea if he say unto the earth thou shalt go back that it lengthen out the day for many hours and it is done.
16. and behold also if he saith unto the waters of the great deep be thou dried up and it is done.
17. behold if he saith unto this mountain be thou raised up and come over and fall upon that city that it be buried up and behold it is done.
19. and if the Lord shall say be thou accursed that no man shall find thee from this time henceforth and forever and behold no man getteth it henceforth and forever.
20. and behold if the Lord shall say unto a man because of thine iniquities thou shalt be accursed forever and it shall be done.
21. and if the Lord shall say because of thine iniquities thou shalt be cut off from my presence and he will cause that it shall be so. (Helaman 12:13–14, 16–17, 19–21, 1830 edition)
4. and if ye shall ask with a sincere heart with real intent having faith in Christ and he will manifest the truth of it unto you by the power of the Holy Ghost. (Moroni 10:4, 1830 edition)
It is difficult to imagine a native speaker of English (such as Joseph Smith, though poorly educated at the time, indisputably was) producing such sentences. Yet they represent perfectly acceptable Hebrew.
I haven't even brought up the part about the change to cover up Moroni waving the "rent" of his garment in the air, as Hebrews were wont to do (i.e., it's a logical expression in Hebrew, awkward in English), so it had to be covered up for the sensitivities of modern English readers with an emendation to the text. Now Moroni waves the "rent part" of his garment. All in the name of grammar!