Editor's Introduction

This issue focuses exclusively on what Joseph Smith called “the most correct of any book on earth, and the keystone of our religion”—the Book of Mormon. As the papers in this volume show, the Book of Mormon can be studied and understood from a wide variety of scholarly disciplines. The introductory chronology offers a brief overview of the book’s amazing history and the multitude of translations now available. In ” ‘That Most Important of All Books’: A Printing History of the Book of Mormon,” David J. Whittaker examines a key element of that chronology in fascinating detail. In “The Golden Bible in the Bible’s Golden Age,” Paul Gutjahr then adds to Whittaker’s work by placing the printing of the Book of Mormon in the context of American efforts to publish the Bible. Finally, Alyson Skabelund Von Feldt shifts to scriptural exegesis in ” ‘His Secret Is with the Righteous’: Instructional Wisdom in the Book of Mormon.”

We thank the authors for their contributions and also the scholars who peer-reviewed their work. We also appreciate the support of Andrew C. Skinner, executive director of the Maxwell Institute; Alison V. P. Coutts, assistant executive director of the institute; and S. Kent Brown, director of FARMS and the Willes Center. Thanks also to Paula Hicken, Larry Morris, Shirley Ricks, and Sandra Thorne and to Julie Adams, Brette Jones, Kelley Konzak, Kelly Krapfl, and Drew Robbins for their tireless efforts at editing, proofreading, and source checking.

M. Gerald Bradford, Editor