We are pleased to announce that John S. Dinger, editor of the recently-published Significant Textual Changes in the Book of Mormon: The First Printed Edition Compared to the Manuscripts and to the Subsequent Major LDS English Printed Editions, will be at our store on Thursday, July 18, to speak about the book and sign copies. He will be here from 5:30 to 7:30 pm to sign and will begin speaking at 6:00. He will be available to sign and answer questions after his presentation.
In an 1841 meeting with the Twelve, Joseph Smith declared that “the Book of Mormon was the most correct of any book on earth.” However, Smith did not see it as a fixed text and ever since it was first dictated, there have been significant modifications in several editions.
Here, presented for the first time, is an easy-to-use, single volume correlating all the major changes to English language editions of the Book of Mormon. It includes the original manuscript, printer’s manuscript, and fifteen editions from 1830, 1837, 1840, 1841, 1849, 1852, 1879, 1888, 1902, 1905, 1906, 1907, 1911, 1920, and 1981. The presentation is simple and reader friendly. The base text is from an original 1830 edition, and bold lettering signals the altered text. Footnotes track changes over time, with details from the variant texts. Most often these changes simply clarify minor issues of spelling, adding or deleting conjunctions or completing fragmented sentences. But at several important points, the changes transform the meaning of Joseph Smith’s canon. For example, in describing the symbolism of a dream he has, Nephi equates “the Lamb of God” (Jesus) with “the Eternal Father.” As Dinger notes, the text was subsequently changed in 1837 to read “the Lamb of God, yea, even the Son of the Eternal Father,” which may indicate a more nuanced understanding of deity. Other changes affect basic understandings of theology, race, and identity, which morph through printings and are tracked here in a clean, straightforward approach. Similar efforts have been published but none are as user-friendly with the changes easily referenced in the footnotes.
John S. Dinger is a graduate of the S. J. Quinney College of Law, University of Utah, Salt Lake City, where he was an editor of the Utah Law Review. In addition to a juris doctorate, he holds degrees in political science and history from the University of Utah. He has published in the Journal of Mormon History, Idaho Law Review, and Utah Law Review. His book, The Nauvoo High Council and City Council Minutes (Signature Books, 2011), won the Best Documentary Book Award from the Mormon History Association and the Best Book Award from the John Whitmer Historical Association. He is presently a Deputy Prosecuting Attorney for Ada County in Boise, Idaho.
Significant Textual Changes in the Book of Mormon: The First Printed Edition Compared to the Manuscripts and to the Subsequent Major LDS English Printed Editions ed. by John S. Dinger (foreword by Stan Larson). Smith-Pettit Foundation, 2013. 454 pp. Oversize hardback. Limited edition. $60.00.
Also by John Dinger:
The Nauvoo City and High Council Minutes. Signature Books, 2011, 616 pp. Hardback. $49.95.
Of related interest:
The Parallel Book of Mormon: The 1830, 1837, and 1840 Editions, historical introduction by Curt A. Bench. Smith-Pettit Foundation, 2008. 645 pp. Oversize hardback. Orig. $75, SPECIAL SALE $59.99. This limited edition (now out-of-print–we have some new copies still) presents the text of the first three editions of the Book of Mormon in parallel columns.
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