Book Review

 A Documentary History of the Book of Mormon

A Documentary History of the Book of Mormon

Larry Morris, a veteran researcher of everything related to Oliver Cowdery and early Latter-day Saint history, has provided the world with this fine collection of primary historical sources relevant to the coming forth of the Book of Mormon. Published by Oxford University Press, this formal presentation of his fascinating compilation will certainly be interesting, convenient, credible, and crucial in the hands of historians (in the rigorous documentary sense of that word) as well as in the hearts of amateurs (in the best Latin sense of that word).

This book fills an important need in Latter-day Saint scholarship. Although other collections of early Latter-day Saint documents have been published, none has focused exclusively on the documents pertaining to the Book of Mormon, beginning with Moroni’s first appearance to the seventeen-year-old Joseph Smith in September 1823 and ending in March 1830 with the publication of the Book of Mormon. Having these documents organized, numbered, sourced, introduced, transcribed, edited, typeset, annotated, and indexed adds to the library of early Latter-day Saint research tools. This book belongs on the shelf of every library that is serious about the beginnings of new religious movements in general and Mormon origins in particular. Initial responses to this book’s release were rightfully prompt and enthusiastic.