In an easy descriptive style Robert Matthews, research editor of the Department of Seminaries and Institutes, has written a biographical concordance of the Book of Mormon that is a delight to use. Within the compass of 74 (8½ × 11 mimeographed) pages he has listed the name of every person in the sacred volume and indicated each separate incident of his life with supporting reference citations. That he has gone over each biography with a fine tooth comb is apparent from the comprehensive array of data that he presents. Helaman’s son Nephi, for example, has 44 entries, while 84 entries unfold the career of the first Moroni. And in many instances where the author is obliged to interpret events in order to index them lucidly he shows himself quite at home in the role of commentator.
Inevitably, subjecting any volume to the kind of detailed scrutiny to which Matthews has exposed the Book of Mormon means that the investigator forms some kind of value judgment concerning the subject of his inquiry. In this respect Matthews is no exception. In “Some Observations” at the close of his little volume he reflects upon his literary detective work, and declares that “The greatness of the Book of Mormon was again and again impressed upon the writer.” Though Matthews’ little book does not pretend to compete with Reynold’s comprehensive Concordance (852 pp.), it is more useful as a Book of Mormon biographical tool because it cites descriptive references to a particular person not only those in which his name appears.
As a most useful little book, Who’s Who in the Book of Mormon provides a compact guide to the lives of Book of Mormon personalities that will prove helpful both to teachers and students of the volume. It will undoubtedly also be welcomed by parents seeking to relate the Book of Mormon narratives to their children.