The story of the creation of the Book of Mormon has been told many times, and often ridiculed. A Documentary History of the Book of Mormon
(Oxford University Press, 2019), by Larry E. Morris
, presents and examines the primary sources surrounding the origin of the foundational text of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, the most successful new religion of modern times.
The scores of documents transcribed and annotated in this book include family histories, journal entries, letters, affidavits, reminiscences, interviews, newspaper articles, and book extracts, as well as revelations dictated in the name of God. From these texts emerges the captivating story of what happened (and what was believed or rumored to have happened) between September 1823-when the seventeen-year-old farm boy Joseph Smith announced that an angel of God had directed him to an ancient book inscribed on gold plates-and March 1830, when the Book of Mormon was first published. By compiling for the first time a substantial collection of both first- and secondhand accounts relevant to the inception of the divine revelation-or clever fraud-that launched a new world religion, A Documentary History
makes a significant contribution to the rapidly growing field of Mormon Studies.
Daniel P. Stone holds a PhD in American religious history from Manchester Metropolitan University (United Kingdom) and is the author of
William Bickerton: Forgotten Latter Day Prophet (Signature Books, 2018). He has taught history courses at the University of Detroit Mercy and Florida Atlantic University, and currently, he works as a research archivist for a private library/archive in Detroit, Michigan.