Finding the Lost 116 Pages

I adore Don Bradley. His scholarship is precise, his efforts are extensive, and he has been generous to me personally. Don is currently completing his Master’s Degree at USU.

Today’s LDS Perspectives podcast allows us to hear from Don Bradley regarding his work on Joseph Smith’s translation efforts and what we can know about the contents of the lost 116 pages (or more accurately, the lost pages that contained information corresponding to the first 116 pages in the original Book of Mormon as published).

I’ll come back later and expand this post to include pretty pictures and stuff, but for now, go to LDS Perspectives and listen to Don.

http://www.ldsperspectives.com/2018/01/31/lost-116-pages-book-mormon/

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About Meg Stout

Meg Stout has been an active member of the LDS church for decades. She lives in the DC area with her husband, Bryan, and several daughters. She is an engineer by vocation and a writer by avocation. Meg is the author of Reluctant Polygamist, laying out the possibility that Joseph taught the acceptability of plural marriage but may have privately defied the commandment for love of his wife, Emma.

7 thoughts on “Finding the Lost 116 Pages

  1. My first interaction with Don was reading his article on Fanny Alger in The Persistence of Polygamy. I really liked how thorough and reasonable he was. And my husband particularly remarked on how well that article was written (I don’t recall him making a similar comment about any of the other articles in that series of books).

    My next interaction with Don was here at M*. I had read something about his research into the lost pages and the business with the interpreters and the animal skin. When I posted my commentary on this, I asserted the similarity between this early account (now lost) and the way Joseph looked into the seerstone hid inside what I conjectured was a hat made of animal skin. I was gratified that Don appreciated that insight, and I am thrilled that he has been able to validate that Joseph’s hat was made of beaver skin.

    I can’t wait to read the full book when it is eventually published! In the meantime, I am thrilled to have had a chance to hear what is discussed in this interview.

  2. Great podcast.

    Meg, I remember your post on the animal skin hat. It’s always stuck with me–and I was really glad to hear Don substantiate your theory.

    Fun stuff.

  3. It seems likely that the lost manuscript was nearly double 116 pages on the evidence Don Bradley cites. No doubt it would be wonderful to recover it now. However the Book of Mormon as we have it is truly a treasure. I believe the second record made by Nephi, Jacob and Enos contains important scripture we may not have if there was no need to make up for the loss by providing an alternative. I wonder what status a recovered ‘lost’ manuscript would have. Would it be like the Apocrypha, of interest but not canonical?

  4. My opinion is we won’t get the lost section of the plates of Mormon until we we get the whole thing, sealed portion and all.

    Did JS give any indication if the whole thing (of plates of Mormon), sealed section and all, would be released pre-Millennium?

    My guess, based on the idea that we’ll get it when we’re ready for it, is that the full plates of/Book of Mormon won’t be released until some time in the Millennium. And sometime after that, maybe all the large plates/source material.

  5. My opinion is that the crucial part of the lost pages was the explicit explanation of the creation narrative and Messianic plan of salvation. The doctrine that was technically lost we have adequately received via the Book of Moses, the Book of Abraham, and the temple ceremonies. Again, in my opinion. And the core plan of salvation is reflected throughout the extant portions of the Book of Mormon, sometimes explicitly and certainly implicitly. The historical portions would be cool, but not crucial.

    I am delighted by what Don has uncovered regarding the tabernacle and the interpreters. And listening to the Book of Mormon yesterday, I noted the times that it talks about Lehi and the tent, and now when I hear/read “tent” I think tabernacle.

    If the Book of Mormon were actually longer, fewer would read it. And it wouldn’t be as possible to have those marathon sleepovers where the entire book is read (something carious Young Women groups will do to make it easier to complete the task of reading the Book of Mormon for the Virtue value experiene).

  6. I loved the Book of Mormon read-a-thon we did on my mission. It was an awesome experience. It was the first time I noticed that the current division into chapters is artificial. Skimming through very quickly made it clear that the book was constructed carefully out of specifically themed units.

    I wish we had the 116 pages, but I am confident that the small plates are more precious. Don Bradley does seem to have dug up quite a bit more information about the 116 pages than what I thought was possible. Good job!

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