The Editors' Notebook

With our fourth issue of the Journal of Book of Mormon Studies in the new format, a short report may be in order on what has been accomplished.

A total of twenty-seven articles have been published (an article features six or more pages). The average article size has been a little more than nine pages. An article typically has contained about five thousand words of text. Graphics have occupied space that would have accommodated an additional two thousand words if text had completely replaced the illustrations. As editors we feel that the size of these features is appropriate given our objectives, and communications from readers generally agree.

One of our intentions was to draw many new people into the fold of writers for the Journal. Of the thirty authors of articles in our four issues, twenty have not previously published with FARMS. We also wished to involve writers located away from the BYU campus. Sixteen of the thirty have been other than BYU faculty or emeriti. Moreover six of our writers have been women. We have issued invitations to over a hundred other potential authors to prepare their work for our readers.

Finally, we planned from the beginning to make the Journal visually handsome. Responses from readers, some of them highly complimentary, indicate that we have succeeded. A number of excellent designers have been instrumental in our progress in this regard. To assist in the task of further improving the Journal’s graphics, we are in the process of building an archive of photocopies of art involving Book of Mormon subjects and the context in which its history was played out. The archive is correlated with specific passages of scripture. So promising does this archive appear that we are considering preparing one or more volumes of little-seen, high-quality artwork so that teachers and readers of the Book of Mormon may enrich their studies beyond the visual helps we may be able to publish in the Journal.

On every count we are striving to improve the quality of the work that will appear in the Journal in the future, although our staff is only a fraction of the size of that of many other journals.

The sketches of Book of Mormon characters used in this issue are by Ronald Crosby, a Salt Lake City artist. Crosby’s evocative sketches first appeared in Mary Pratt Parrish, The Book of Mormon Story (Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 1966).