JOSEPH SMITH AND THE BOOK OF MORMON
Increasingly, questions are being asked about how the Book of Mormon came to be. Few of these questions are new, for each generation must confront the challenging presence of the Book of Mormon for itself, the same as have the generations before us. In this light, it may be of interest for us to reread the five-part series from the 1959 Improvement Era written by High Nibley, entitled "Mixed Voice." For the first time, these five articles are now available as a set.
Part 1, "Kangaroo Court," is a witty exposé of anti-Mormon methods of Book of Mormon criticism. Says Nibley, "It is the inalienable right of every accused person to be represented by competent counsel, heard by an impartial jury, and sentenced by a qualified judge, being convicted or acquitted only on evidence and not on hearsay. To expect such extravagant justice for the Book of Mormon is to ask for the moon." Parts 2 and 4, "Just Another Book" and "What Frontier, What Camp Meeting?", show ways in which the Book of Mormon was out-of-sorts with the nineteenth century and, thus, not "just another book" of that time period, especially the religious and political milieu of the American frontier. Parts 3 and 5, "Grab Bag" and "Comparative Method," raise questions of the critics' methodology, especially as to the issue whether the Book of Mormon copies Ethan Smith's View of the Hebrews.
Many other Nibley papers have been added recently to the F.A.R.M.S. Catalog and Nibley Archive. Please consult the 1985 Catalog for further papers now available.