D. John Butler received his law degree from New York University and currently practices law in Idaho. He is also a fiction writer and the author of The Goodness and the Mysteries: On the Path of the Book of Mormon's Visionary Men. In Plain and Precious Things, Butler casts the beginning of the Book of Mormon in a specific light: Lehi and Nephi as spiritual outsiders looking in on a corrupt Jerusalem. According to Butler, Nephi and Lehi's teachings contradict many of the Jewish doctrines in Jerusalem that are described in the latter part of 2 Kings.
Josiah was the king of Judah and a contemporary to Lehi, and although the Old Testament generally implies in its history that Josiah's reforms are positive, Butler shows, through the lives and visions of Nephi and Lehi, that many of those reforms were corrupt and contributed to Jerusalem's destruction.