New 1908 Edition

For the past year a small group of Restoration Saints has been working on the "Three in One Project" to produce the Inspired Version of the Bible, the Book of Mormon, and the Doctrine and Covenants in book and electronic formats.

The Book of Mormon has been the first objective of the Scripture Committee. We discovered a variety of editions and printings of the "1908 Edition" presently in use by the Saints. Some have flaws which have existed throughout the printing history of the Book of Mormon, and some printings introduced new problems.

We want to produce Scriptures that are as correct as possible. Therefore, we offer a New 1908 Edition with limited editorial corrections—which include spelling, capitalization, grammar, and punctuation. It has been compared with the Original Manuscript, the Printer’s Manuscript, the 1830 First Edition, and subsequent editions published by the Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.

This book preserves the record and the doctrine of the familiar 1908 Edition but eliminates many of the flaws of earlier printings. Therefore, it will not exactly match any printed book.

We invite your assistance to read, review, and respond by telling us of any problems you encounter in the text and any suggestions you care to make. We want to catch any problems before publishing in book form.

Please respond to, giving your name and your choice of the following:
First Book of Nephi
Second Book of Nephi
Books of Jacob, Enos, Jarom, Omni, Words of Mormon
Book of Mosiah
Book of Alma Chapters 1-12
Book of Alma Chapters 13-20
Book of Alma Chapters 21-30
Book of Helaman
Third Book of Nephi
Fourth Book of Nephi
Book of Mormon
Book of Ether
Book of Moroni
(Or if you want a surprise, say so!)

The book will be e-mailed to you in Rich Text Format so you can put it into your word processor and print it or read on-screen. Some instructions will be included with the text. We would like your response within 2 weeks of receiving the text.

Thank you for your assistance.
Paul V. Ludy and fellow Scripture Committee members
August, 2013

Monday, August 19, 2013

Examples of Words Corrected in New 1908 Book of Mormon

any one > anyone
anymore > any more
burthens > burdens
can not > cannot
cherubims > cherubim
evil doer > evildoer
first born > firstborn
first fruits > firstfruits
for ever > forever
fraid > afraid
gave > given
harken > hearken
head-bands > headbands
king-men > kingmen
maid servant > maidservant
man servant > manservant
night time > nighttime
Oh > O
one fifth > one-fifth
one half > one-half
past > passed
plead > pled 
plow shares > plowshares
prophesy > prophecy
raise > rise
sea-shore > seashore
self-same > selfsame
seraphims > seraphim
shew (in all forms) > show
smote > smitten
some one > someone
to-day > today
to-morrow > tomorrow
under foot > underfoot
vail > veil
whether > whither
worshipped > worshiped
wrecked > racked

Note: This is not a complete list, and not every occurrence of a word was changed ("gave" and "past" are good words in the right place).

Samples of Corrections Needed to Produce Correct Book of Mormon Text

These are not the only items which need consideration and correction. But they should serve to help us understand that there is a need to make the text as correct as possible.

Do not let problems in the Scriptures tear down your faith in God. Remember the writing of Moroni: "If there are faults, they are the mistakes of men; wherefore, condemn not the things of God" (Preface or title page of the Book of Mormon) and "If there be faults, they be faults of a man" (Mormon 4:21).

2 Nephi 6:44 Oh how great the holiness of our God! For he knoweth all things, and there is not anything save he knows it. [This is the only Oh in the Book of Mormon—all others are O; it was O in 1830, etc., and changed in the 1908 edition.]

Mosiah 5:13 And now, I desire to know the cause whereby ye were so bold as to come near the walls of the city, when I, myself, was with my guards, without the gate? [All editions show this as a question; but it is not a question.]

Mosiah 11:193 My soul was wrecked with eternal torment; but I am snatched, and my soul is pained no more. [It shows this way in P manuscript and all printed editions; compare to racked in Alma 17:10, 14, 15.]

Alma 1:16 And it came to pass that he stood before Alma, and plead for himself with much boldness. [It is this way in all printed editions; but the P manuscript shows pled. Plead is not past tense.]

Alma 2:20 Now this was a great cause for lamantations among the people, while others were abasing themselves, succoring those who stood in need of their succor, such as imparting their substance to the poor and the needy; [This is a typo in only the 1953 printing.]

Alma 3:106 And he commendeth you that ye suffer no ravenous wolf to enter among you, that ye may not be destroyed. [This is a typo in only the 1953 printing.]

Alma 5:4 And behold, I have come, having great hopes and much desire that I should find that ye had humbled yourselves before God, and that ye had continued in the supplicating of his grace, that I should find that ye were blameness before him; [This is a typo in only the 1953 printing.]

Alma 12:33 And the king inquired of Ammon if it were his desire to dwell in the land among the Lamanites, or among his people? [All editions show this as a question; but it is not a question.]

Alma 21:47 And he said, Surely God shall not suffer that we, who are despised because we take upon us the name of Christ, shall be trodden down and destroyed, until we bring it upon us by our own trangressions. [This is a typo in the 1953 and 1992 printings.]

Alma 21:144 But as I have said in the latter end of the nineteenth; yea, notwithstanding their peace amongst themselves, they were compelled reluctantly to contend with their brethren, the Lamanites; [This mistake is in all printed editions; it should say nineteenth year.]

Alma 26:49 Now they durst now turn to the right nor to the left, lest they should be surrounded: neither would I turn to the right or to the left, lest they should overtake me, [This is a typo in only the 1953 printing.]

Alma 26:95 And as the reminder of our army were about to give way before the Lamanites, behold, those two thousand and sixty were firm and undaunted [This is a typo in only the 1953 printing.]

3 Nephi 4:44 Behold I am Jesus Christ, the son of God. I created the heavens and the earth, and all things that in them are. [Son is capitalized in 1951 but lower case in 1953 and 1992 printings.]

Ether 4:59 And his brother did raise up in rebellion against him, by which he did bring him into captivity; and he did remain in captivity all his days [This is shown in all editions; but correct grammar requires rise.]

Ether 6:35 And now there began to be a great curse upon the land, because of the iniquity of the people, in which, if a man should lay his tool or his sword upon the shelf, or upon the place whether he would keep it, and behold, upon the morrow, he could not find it, so great was the curse upon the land. [This is a typo in only the 1953 printing; all others show whither.]

A Short History of the Development of the 1908 Book of Mormon

  Adapted from Richard Howard, Restoration Scriptures: A Study of Their Textual Development, Second Edition, 1995.

There were two Book of Mormon manuscripts, the Original Manuscript (O MS), which was dictated by Joseph Smith, Jr., and the Printer’s Manuscript (P MS), which was produced for the printer to use.

The O MS was considered a "first draft." It lacked capitalization and punctuation, and spelling was inconsistent. This MS was placed in the cornerstone of the Nauvoo House and deteriorated. Only a few pages and some fragments remain (they are in the custody of the LDS Church).

The P MS was partially refined prior to printing the 1830 Book of Mormon, but E. B. Grandin punctuated the text and divided it into paragraphs. After the 1830 printing, the P MS was marked with additional changes, which were used to produce the 1837 printing in Kirtland. Howard says 2,000 refinements show on the P MS (but another 1,000 revisions in the 1837 edition are not shown on the P MS).

Some changes which were made for the 1837 include "which" to "who" 707 times; "was" to "were," "were" to "was," "is" to "are," and "are" to "is" 137 times; "saith" or "sayeth" to "said" 229 times. Most changes were to grammar and style—however some were theological. The words "Son of" were inserted into the 1830 text in several places, such as "The Lamb of God is the Eternal Father" and "The Everlasting God was judged by the world."

Joseph Smith, Jr., personally supervised or was responsible for the textual revisions of the 1830, 1837, and 1840 editions of the Book of Mormon (plus the 1842 Nauvoo edition, which was printed with the 1840 plates). The title page of the 1840 edition says, "Carefully Revised by the Translator." His objective appears to have been to convey the Book of Mormon message and meaning as clearly as possible.

Although the 1840 (and 1842) editions were available in the U.S., the first European edition of the Book of Mormon was based on the 1837 edition. The LDS Church continued using that text and format until 1879. Then the text was divided into more chapters and shorter verses (the 1830 edition did not have separate verses; in later editions some verses were two or three pages in length).

In 1858 Zadoc Brook privately reprinted the 1840 Book of Mormon (through James O. Wright and Company in New York). Until the 1874 printing of the Book of Mormon by the RLDS Church, which also used the 1840 text, the Brook edition was generally all that RLDS members had available.

The RLDS Church purchased the P MS in 1903 (for $2450.00). That sparked interest in changes, and the 1906 General Conference approved a "Committee on Reversification" to compare the P MS and the 1837 Book of Mormon. The committee did much more than make shorter verses. Changes nearly always followed the P MS and disregarded the later revisions of Joseph Smith, Jr., including the 1840 edition and the 1000 changes in the 1837 edition which were not marked on the P MS.

The resulting text of the 1908 edition has closer ties to the 1830 Book of Mormon than to the 1837, 1840, and 1874 editions—even though the note on the title page says, "Compared with the original manuscript and the Kirtland Edition of 1837."

—Paul V. Ludy

Friday, August 2, 2013


The Book of Mormon

Translated by

Joseph Smith, Jr.



Compared with the Original Manuscript,
the Printer’s Manuscript, the 1830 First Edition,
and Subsequent Editions published by the
Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.

1908 Edition
with Limited
Editorial Corrections




An Account Written by the Hand of Mormon
upon Plates Taken from the Plates of Nephi

Wherefore, it is an abridgment of the record of the people of Nephi, and also of the Lamanites; written to the Lamanites, who are a remnant of the house of Israel, and also to Jew and Gentile; written by way of commandment and also by the spirit of prophecy and of revelation. Written, and sealed up, and hid unto the Lord, that they might not be destroyed; to come forth by the gift and power of God unto the interpretation thereof; sealed by the hand of Moroni and hid up unto the Lord, to come forth in due time by the way of Gentile; the interpretation thereof by the gift of God.

An abridgment taken from the Book of Ether also, which is a record of the people of Jared; who were scattered at the time the Lord confounded the language of the people, when they were building a tower to get to heaven; which is to show unto the remnant of the house of Israel what great things the Lord hath done for their fathers; and that they may know the covenants of the Lord, that they are not cast off forever; and also to the convincing of the Jew and Gentile that Jesus is the Christ, the Eternal God, manifesting himself unto all nations. And now, if there are faults, they are the mistakes of men; wherefore, condemn not the things of God, that ye may be found spotless at the judgment seat of Christ.

The Testimony of Three Witnesses

Be it known unto all nations, kindreds, tongues, and people unto whom this work shall come, that we, through the grace of God the Father and our Lord Jesus Christ, have seen the plates which contain this record, which is a record of the people of Nephi and also of the Lamanites, their brethren, and also of the people of Jared, who came from the tower of which hath been spoken; and we also know that they have been translated by the gift and power of God, for his voice hath declared it unto us; wherefore we know of a surety that the work is true. And we also testify that we have seen the engravings which are upon the plates; and they have been shown unto us by the power of God, and not of man. And we declare with words of soberness that an angel of God came down from heaven, and he brought and laid before our eyes, that we beheld and saw the plates and the engravings thereon; and we know that it is by the grace of God the Father, and our Lord Jesus Christ that we beheld and bear record that these things are true; and it is marvelous in our eyes; nevertheless, the voice of the Lord commanded us that we should bear record of it; wherefore, to be obedient unto the commandments of God, we bear testimony of these things. And we know that if we are faithful in Christ, we shall rid our garments of the blood of all men, and be found spotless before the judgment seat of Christ, and shall dwell with him eternally in the heavens. And the honor be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Ghost, which is one God. Amen.

Oliver Cowdery
David Whitmer
Martin Harris

And also the Testimony of Eight Witnesses

Be it known unto all nations, kindreds, tongues, and people unto whom this work shall come, that Joseph Smith, Jr., the translator of this work, has shown unto us the plates of which hath been spoken, which have the appearance of gold; and as many of the leaves as the said Smith has translated we did handle with our hands; and we also saw the engravings thereon, all of which has the appearance of ancient work and of curious workmanship. And this we bear record with words of soberness, that the said Smith has shown unto us, for we have seen and hefted and know of a surety that the said Smith has got the plates of which we have spoken. And we give our names unto the world to witness unto the world that which we have seen; and we lie not, God bearing witness of it.

Christian Whitmer
Jacob Whitmer
Peter Whitmer, Jr.
John Whitmer
Hiram Page
Joseph Smith, Sen.
Hyrum Smith
Samuel H. Smith