Thursday, February 13, 2020

A Tale of Two Manuscripts

There are 2 manuscripts that were used to publish the Book of Mormon in 1829. The first is called the Original (O) and the second is the Printer's manuscript (P). The Lord wanted 2 so that if the original was destroyed the process of revealing the text would not have to be done again.

In case some fool out there thinks there is something fishy with having 2 copies let me state that the second is merely a copy of the first made immediately after finishing the first copy.

The inspiration for this post came from learning that only 25 percent of the Original copy remained. This occurred because it was placed in the cornerstone of the first Nauvoo, Illinois temple and it suffered water damage. 

The key ideas here are that only 25 percent of the Original manuscript remains legible.

The Printer's manuscript survives intact.

Now for the irony of the situation.

The Printer's manuscript is the property of the Community of Christ, formerly known as the Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ. It was sold to them in the late 1800's by the Whitmer family.

The Original manuscript is owned by the largest version of Mormonism currently headquartered in Salt Lake City. 

I find it very fitting that the version of Mormonism that I believe most follows what Joseph Smith delivered via revelation to the world has a complete manuscript of the Book of Mormon. I am not advocating anyone join this church, but they have done their best to avoid some of the pitfalls of religion in general. I theorize that the LORD felt he could trust this institution with a complete copy of the book after it was in the possession of David Whitmer's family.

It is symbolic that the Utah Mormons who followed the polygamous cult of Brigham Young and now follow the cult of personality of the living prophet possess only one-fourth of the original words of the Book of Mormon. I am guessing that GOD could not trust this branch of Mormonism with the best copy. 

Interestingly, the Polygamist Mormons went West without either of the manuscripts. The O copy was retrieved 40 years later from the Nauvoo temple by Emma Smith's second husband Lewis Bidamon. It is almost as if the Utah Mormons wanted nothing to do with the book. Of course, the Book of Mormon clearly condemns polygamy, so maybe the 2 manuscripts were not critical to a church that based its entire existence on an abomination.


Whether I am right or wrong, I believe the Book of Mormon to be a volume of sacred scripture whose purpose is to get people to literally meet JESUS CHRIST.

It is a book that is not supposed to be tethered to any church but it belongs to the entire world, which is why GOD had it published before any version of a Mormon church was ever established. 

You will not regret reading the Book of Mormon, and you do not have to join a church if you think it is helpful on your personal spiritual journey.